In the early days of the civil rights movement, Washington University Professor Sterling Schoen experienced the Chicago Race Riot of 1964. This indelible experience prompted him to create a vision of our country in which businesses were more diverse, equitable and inclusive — one in which the most marginalized among us were provided the skills and opportunity to succeed and to lead. The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, the manifestation of Schoen’s vision, was founded in 1966 and continues to work toward the goal of enhancing diversity and inclusion in the American business community and beyond.
Yet, despite all of the progress that has been made, recent events have demonstrated how much work remains to overcome the racism and prejudice that persist in our country.
- We are horrified and dispirited by the recent heinous and unjustified killings of members of our African American community, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others. We hope that these reprehensible acts will not go unpunished.
- We are shocked and appalled by the treatment of immigrant LatinX families on our southern border – children separated from their parents and caged with no cogent plan for reunification.
- We are dismayed and disheartened by attempts to take control of tribal lands in the interest of creating more wealth for the wealthy irrespective of tribal sovereignty and ownership.
- We are angered and saddened by the anti-Asian American racism fueled by inflammatory language used to describe the Covid-19 global pandemic.
- We are outraged and sickened by Covid-19 and the systemic inequalities that have disproportionately impacted our African American, Hispanic American and Native American communities.
- And the list goes on…
In the aftermath of these heartbreaking events, we recognize the urgent need to unite now, more than ever, to support our minority communities. We must all raise our voices in unison to say “enough is enough” and recommit to the causes of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Now is the time to use the pain and anger we are feeling for effective change — to fight injustice, to dismantle racism and prejudice, to provide access to education and opportunity, to care for each other and our collective future. At The Consortium, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our mission to provide access and opportunity to underrepresented minorities pursuing graduate business education and careers in American business. At our annual Orientation Program & Career Forum, programming focused specifically on diversity, equity and inclusion has always been a cornerstone of the event. This year’s event is no exception.
We encourage our members, partners and friends to join us in this effort and to help guide this critical work to fulfill the vision of Sterling Schoen and others like him. Let us come together to honor the memories of our lost brothers and sisters while working to ensure that racism and prejudice are removed from the landscape of our country. Diversity is not a minority problem, it is an American opportunity.
For a PDF version of this statement, click here.