Dear members of the Columbia Business School community,
In recent weeks our country has endured injustices that challenge the fundamental values of our democracy and society. The killing of George Floyd — an unarmed Black person, and Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others — is an example of injustice and systemic racism in our country that we should individually and collectively work harder to dismantle.
Over the past few days, I have had conversations with my colleagues, friends, and peers to better understand the acute grief that accompanies their personal experiences of discrimination. I think it is crucially important to speak up in solidarity against all acts of racism and discrimination, which are antithetical to the values of Columbia University and Columbia Business School. It is important to act and collectively effect positive change toward making our society one that espouses and ensures equal treatment by the law, in the criminal justice system, and equality of freedom, access, and opportunity for all people.
On that last point, our institution can offer transformative access and opportunity to its students and we will continue to attract and educate a diverse student body and work to increase the diversity of our faculty and staff. We will also bring into sharper focus our efforts to engage with business leaders and to positively influence our society to eliminate discrimination, enhance diversity, and provide equal opportunity in the global business world.
I will hold a community conversation next week, together with Gita Johar, vice dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and other members of the School's senior leadership, so that our students, faculty, and staff can discuss ways to take action that will genuinely and collectively influence change in our community, our country, and the world.