A Leadership Moment

Dear Alumni,

Dean Ann Harrison with Kimberly Mendez, Nicole Austin-Thomas, and Almaz Ali, MBA 21s, at the Berkeley Haas Consortium student welcome event in 2019.
Dean Ann Harrison with Kimberly Mendez, Nicole Austin-Thomas, and Almaz Ali, MBA 21s, at the Berkeley Haas Consortium student welcome event in 2019.

As we began this issue of your alumni magazine, life as we knew it was disrupted and forever changed—first by a global pandemic, then, a couple of months later, by a global uprising in the wake of several horrific cases of racial injustice in the U.S. This is a leadership moment, and members of our community have proven through their talent and tenacity that they are up to the challenge.

Take, for example, Elisse Douglass, MBA 16, who raised over $110K to support Oakland Black-owned businesses damaged by protests and is building an infrastructure to provide ongoing help for these businesses as part of the Oakland Black Business Damage Fund. Berkeley Haas students raised funds for Color of Change and launched the Haas Clubs Solidarity Fund to support Black Lives Matter and racial equity organizations. Alumni and staff spoke out to share their experiences of being Black in today’s America, some of which are shared on this site.

As a business school and as Berkeley Haas alumni, we have an opportunity and an obligation to develop leaders who are equipped with the skills and the mindset to fight racism where they encounter it and to build equitable, inclusive teams and organizations. This is one of my top three priorities.

To this end, we will weave cutting-edge understanding of implicit bias identification and remediation into our teaching and develop a new required course on leading diverse teams to be introduced in fall 2021. We have also launched a bi-monthly lecture series, New Thinking in a Pandemic: Business, Economics, and Inclusion, to address some of these pressing concerns. And our Center for Equity, Gender & Leadership (EGAL) has created a catalog of diverse business cases called the EGAL Case Compendium, which includes hundreds of cases with diverse protagonists and with diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.

This is a new day for civil rights. The time has come to heal our racial divides once and for all. We will all live better lives once every member of our society enjoys the same freedom, opportunity, and protection.

In solidarity,

Signature of Dean Ann Harrison

Back
Read the latest campus information on coronavirus (COVID-19) here →