Bringing inclusion practices into the real world
Starting in the spring of 2020, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) community was spurred into action to implement learning, develop resources, and strengthen our community to address the issues of racism within our sphere of influence.
During the past year, we brought together more than 90 community members, including alumni, students, staff, faculty, executive leadership, and friends of the School to share ways to move forward with an anti-racist praxis.
Our lessons spanned several events last year, including faculty training, staff diversity and inclusion training, group discussions focused on two books—White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo and Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson.
We also launched our 21-Week Anti-Racism Challenge—a weekly dialogue of reflection, learning, growth, and community based on Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr.’s 21-Day Challenge.
This work led to several initiatives from students, faculty, and staff, that will be implemented over the next three years. These include:
- An “examining inequity” DBIE (Diversity Belonging Inclusion and Equity) learning experience for faculty.
- Deferred admissions research and proposal from our Faculty Diversity Committee.
- Staff training on micro-aggressions and allyship.
- Student-led training from the Women in Leadership student club on uncovering unconscious biases.
- Resources for personal learning and education.
Seven Core Actions for the Future
Moving forward, we will actively engage in combatting entrenched beliefs around race and gender through the seven core actions we developed as a community in May. The actions form the foundation of our GSM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategic plan, and are an outgrowth of our Action for Diversity community group.
- Celebrate Juneteenth: Starting with an acknowledgment of the holiday, we will provide resources for our community to learn more in tandem with the identification of black-owned businesses in our community.
- Working with Non-Profits: We’ll work to identify and develop relationships with specific nonprofits that are making strides in creating inclusive spaces in our community that we can support through quarterly actions of either direct or indirect commitment.
- Project Partners: We will research, identify and reach out to companies directly owned or with C-level suite representation of underrepresented minorities to approach sponsoring one IMP (MBA Capstone) project per quarter.
- Grad Pathways and Mentorship: We will reestablish and create grad pathways programming in collaboration with each of the minority retention programs on the UC Davis campus, including researching the implementation of a mentorship program—student to student.
- Admissions and Recruiting: We will continue to commit to holistic admissions and recruiting practices that enable a greater representation and student body that reflects the people in the state of California and globally.
- DEI in the Classroom: Our faculty diversity committee will continue to create resources and tools to increase diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity in the classroom.
- Preparing Collaborative Leaders: We commit to providing resources for continued learning and growth in preparing collaborative leaders who are able to navigate and create systemic change beyond the Graduate School of Management and in their communities and professional organizations.
This academic year, we’ll offer these opportunities and experiences to bring our community together:
- GSM Book Club (in-person and online gatherings)
- November 16 (part one) and January 10 (part two)
- Community attendance at Ibram X. Kendi’s Lecture on March 31, 7:30 p.m., Mondavi Center
- The Business of Race: How to Create and Sustain an Antiracist Workplace – And Why it’s Actually Good for Business by Margaret H. Greenberg & Gina Greenlee
- February 25 (part one) and April 27 (part two)
- C³ - Series of workshops, speakers, and events that focus on collaboration, community, and commitment.
- Effective communication across communities (October; in collaboration with the GSM student affairs team)
- Counteracting bias in promotions and salary negotiations (November and December; in collaboration with the Women in Leadership club)
- Social impact investing—The impact on corporations and communities (March; in collaboration with the Women in Leadership club)
- Companies making real change—a panel discussion (May)
- Action for Diversity Community Group Meetings (December 2021, March 2022, May 2022)
I look forward to working with our entire community, including difficult and respectful conversations that open our understanding of each other and our work to actively dismantle systems of oppression.