The following is taken from messages sent to the faculty, staff, and students of Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management from Dean Johnson earlier this summer.
Dear Community Members,
Racism has no place at Owen. Equity, diversity, and inclusion lie at the heart of our school’s mission; I acknowledge that our work to foster these principles has been insufficient in driving equality and combating racism across our community. We are urgently working as a school to correct our course and accelerate progress.
Right now, a lot of that work is being accomplished through existing organizations like our Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board, a diverse body representing faculty, staff, and students. On the recommendation of the board, Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to be an Antiracist will be required reading for our entire community as we enter the new school year. It will be discussed at orientation, community panels, and other group events.
Owen is purchasing digital copies of the book for all community members.
If we hope to be an antiracist community and propagate antiracist behavior in the business world, it stands to reason that we need to learn what it is. This marks just one of many steps we will be taking in the coming year and beyond to pursue our mission. I look forward to telling you about them in the weeks and months ahead.
M. Eric Johnson,
Ralph Owen Dean
Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy