In the fall of 2020, Yale SOM Dean Kerwin Charles announced a series of concrete steps and overarching goals that will guide the school in responding to racism in society and in its own corridors.
We at SOM are called upon to address systemic racism, both because we are part of the larger national current and because our distinctive mission urges us to engage with pressing societal issues. There is no more pressing issue than confronting systemic racism—specifically against the Black community.
Yale SOM Dean Kerwin K. Charles
Read the full statement
Our mission to educate leaders for business and society ...
Our mission to educate leaders for business and society requires that we address the big problems in the world around us, rather than pursue individual success without regard for injustice and other factors that diminish the flourishing of segments of our community. Issues of discrimination, bias, and inequity are particularly germane to our mission, since they lead to deep human suffering, exclusion from opportunity, and systemic injustice. These problems can only be addressed if leaders at all levels bring passion, acumen, and rigor to the effort to change major institutions. Indeed, there is significant evidence that diverse companies do better across a variety of contexts; for example, companies with diverse executive teams are likely to outperform while diverse VC firms generate better returns. Efforts to enhance diversity truly benefit business and society.
The Urgency of Today
Police killings in 2020 and the resurgent Black Lives Matter movement have brought intensified attention to the ways racism taints all of our institutions. At Yale SOM, we will leverage this energy and focus to further a long history of efforts to build an inclusive community and welcome diverse voices. At the same time, we recognize that we, like many institutions, have a long history of problems and shortcomings in achieving greater diversity. Those challenges will not be rectified overnight, but will require sustained, holistic, and committed action. The steps laid out on these pages are not a final plan but the initial steps in an ongoing commitment to engage with these problems.
In the Statement on Responding to Racism, Dean Kerwin Charles lays out many of the principles that will inform efforts at the school to be a sustaining force in the effort to scour our institutions of racial injustice.
We will focus our efforts in the 2020-21 academic year in the following areas:
- Inclusive Community: How can our community actively encourage anti-racist norms and behaviors while supporting those who suffer harms?
- Academics and Classroom Culture: How can the subject matter and delivery of what we teach do more to train leaders who will address systemic racism?
- Representation: How can we do more to welcome students, faculty, and staff from backgrounds that have suffered from discrimination?
Our actions will not be limited to these areas or to the particular steps outlined in these pages. Antiracism is a predominating concern for the school’s leadership, as well as its faculty, students, staff, and alumni. It will be woven into innumerable discussions, initiatives, and activities at the school in coming years.
Contact and Feedback
Continued progress on building an inclusive community will require engagement and participation from the whole community. We welcome feedback and suggestions on any aspect of these plans. Please send ideas, comments, and responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.