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UNC and NCCU students create event to address diversity in business

In 2020, amid the backdrop of a global pandemic, the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers plunged the U.S. into months of social unrest. Young people around the globe rose in solidarity to protest and shed light on systemic issues that plague the lives of Black and brown people.

Was this new awareness a mere moment in history or a sustainable movement?

The answer will be explored as part of the virtual symposium “Sustaining the Momentum of Anti-Racism in Business” on April 9, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

It will address issues surrounding inequities within corporate systems and assess the role individuals can play as conduits for change.

The event is hosted by business students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. They joined together to provide a platform for honest dialog and collaborative coordination to go spark cultural awareness and conversation to create change.

“I’m excited to be part of this collaboration with UNC students on such an important topic,” said NCCU student Jordyn Martin.  “I look forward to learning about ways I can advocate for just and fair practices and help create a working environment that recognizes my own potential and perspective.”

The symposium will include:

  • Keynote remarks from Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison on corporations’ responsibility to be committed to equitable practices
  • A fireside chat with UNC Kenan Flagler Dean Douglas Shackelford and NCCU School of Business Dean Anthony Nelson on preparing students for entry into a diverse and evolving marketplace
  • A panel discussion featuring personal perspectives on diversity in the workplace from:
  • Kevin Brown (MBA ’00), lead manager in the Digital Divide Institute at Ernst & Young
  • Kevin J. Clark (BSBA ’99), head of talent transformation, marketing and communications at LinkedIn
  • Rebecca Fernandez, senior account manager for Nike
  • Michelle Witherspoon, chief of operations for diversity and inclusion at Cisco

“I’m a big believer in collaborative change,” said UNC student Jessie LaMasse. “This joint event is a unique opportunity to see how far we’ve come since June and determine where we still need to go, and will help ensure that last summer’s conversations don’t end, but rather grow and effect change.”