13 Jul 2020

Dean's Anti-Racism Task Force


In mid-June I wrote to you about work we would undertake at Harvard Business School both to reduce racism and to become proactively anti-racist. I am reaching out today to update you on this effort.

We have formed an Anti-Racism Task Force comprising more than two dozen faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Ron Chandler, Jan Hammond, and Jan Rivkin have generously agreed to serve as co-chairs. Consistent with input from across the School, the Task Force has been asked to focus on four broad areas: anti-racism education and research, support for the Black community at HBS, engaging the broader business community, and culture and organization. Working between now and the end of August, the Task Force will develop a draft action plan for initiatives and activities we might pursue in the near, medium, and long term. We will share the plan and solicit broad feedback through multiple channels in the weeks after, with the goal of finalizing it as autumn begins.

The Task Force launched with an initial meeting on July 1 and has helped clarify the workstreams we will pursue—seven in total. Each workstream will engage additional faculty, staff, students, and alumni from across the School. I've provided information on the initial Task Force members, as well as the workstreams and their leaders, below.

We have seen already, through the call to diversify our case protagonists so as to better reflect the diversity of our student body, how members of the HBS community are eager to work collectively to realize change. We all want the School to embody our highest expectations and aspirations, and I am confident that this effort will move us significantly toward this goal. I look forward to receiving the recommendations of the Task Force.

Task Force Members

Bukie Adebo (MBA 2021; Co-President, African American Student Union)
José Alvarez (Faculty / Marketing)
Cathy Basquel (MBA 2021)
Dobbin Bookman (MBA 2002; Director OPM/OMP Organizational Development, Executive Education)
Janet Cahill (AMP 189; Executive Director, External Relations)
Ron Chandler (co-chair) (Chief Information Officer)
Dolly Chugh (MBA 1994 and PhD 2006; Associate Professor, Stern School of Business, NYU)
Jen Eliason (Associate Director, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging)
George Ellis (MBA 1984; VP Supply Chain Solutions, Chemonics International)
Robin Ely (Faculty / Organizational Behavior and Chair, Gender Initiative)
Dilan Gomih (MBA 2019; Project Manager)
Robin Greenwood (Faculty and Unit Head / Finance)
Jan Hammond (co-chair) (Faculty / Technology and Operations Management and Senior Associate Dean for Community and Culture)
Aaron Hancock (MBA 2021; Co-President, African American Student Union)
Caniece Haywood (MBA 1992, Vice President Global Strategy Marketing & Insights, Welch Allyn)
Linda Hill (Faculty / Organizational Behavior and Chair, Leadership Initiative)
Alexis Jackson (MBA 2021; Co-President, African American Student Union)
Jana Kierstead (Executive Director, MBA and Doctoral Programs)
Rindge Leaphart (MBA 1997; COO)
Justin Lee (MBA 2021)
Tony Mayo (Faculty / Organizational Behavior)
Robert Munroe (MBA 2005; Vice President and Global Head of Strategy, Ingersoll Rand)
Tsedal Neeley (Faculty / Organizational Behavior and Course Head / LEAD)
Jan Rivkin (co-chair) (Faculty / Strategy and Senior Associate Dean and Chair, MBA Program)
Andy Zelleke (Faculty / General Management)


Anti-Racism Education and Research
Leaders: Robin Greenwood and Carin Knoop
Focus: How can we deliver curricula that prepare all of our students (in our MBA, Doctoral, Executive Education, and Online programs) to be anti-racist and able to make the most out of differences?
- How can we significantly increase the number of cases with Black protagonists?
- What must we do to prepare our faculty and students to have sensitive conversations about race effectively?

Research and Dissemination
Leaders: Robin Ely and Das Narayandas
Focus: How can we increase the impact and reach of our research and course development efforts on race, diversity, inclusion, and belonging?

Support for the Black Community
Leaders: Kathleen McGinn and Len Schlesinger
Focus: How can we do a better job of attracting, developing, promoting, and retaining Black faculty? How can we attract a larger number of Black students to our Doctoral Programs?

Students and Participants
Leaders: Dobbin Bookman and Chad Losee
Focus: How can we attract a larger number of Black students (in our MBA, Executive Education, and HBS Online programs) to HBS and foster a greater sense of belonging and thriving among them?

Leaders: Janet Cahill and Ellen Mahoney
Focus: How can we do a better job of attracting, developing, promoting, and retaining Black staff members?

Business Community Engagement
Business engagement
Leader: Ron Chandler
Focus: How can we encourage the wider business community to fight racism and other forms of discrimination?
- How can we create an effective framework for businesses to report on key diversity metrics and encourage them to share it while recruiting at HBS?
- How do we leverage our alumni's and alumni clubs' efforts?

Culture and organization
Leaders: Jen Eliason and Jan Hammond
Focus: What structures, systems, processes, and people will be required to carry the anti-racism work forward?
- How can we enhance the School's culture through education and skills development across the HBS community?
- What data need to be gathered and how should they be reported to provide an accurate, transparent annual report that enables us to measure and track progress?

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