Racial Equity and Social Enterprise

The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise is committed to educating leaders to use business knowledge, skills, and tools to address social and environmental challenges. The worldwide protests and Black Lives Matter movement have mobilized attention on the persistent problems of racial inequity that exist across America and in many countries. This movement has also highlighted the shared values and desire in our communities to advocate for social justice and an end to anti-Black violence, bias, and unequal treatment. In the United States, these racial divides are evident in education and health outcomes, income and wealth disparities, and the lack of representation across many spheres in society.

Social enterprise and business leaders should actively strive to be anti-racist in their own lives as well as within their organizations. This includes marshaling strategies, policies, people, and resources to more aggressively tackle the systemic racial inequities that exist in society, including within and across organizations. Our mission is integrally tied to training the next generation of effective social enterprise leaders. This means helping leaders to develop greater self-awareness of racism and its historical and systemic effects. It means providing spaces for deeper listening to voices of people who have been marginalized due to racism, and opportunities to practice and improve communication skills and have sometimes uncomfortable conversations about race. These are necessary conditions to help leaders to develop and implement a racial equity lens that can be infused in strategies and social justice initiatives at organizations, and for the constituencies that they serve. Centering this lens, to ensure these perspectives are not pushed to the margins, can help achieve inclusive and sustainable solutions that social enterprises are focused on achieving.

Whether you are working in business, public or the nonprofit sectors, are a social entrepreneur, sit on a nonprofit or company board, or are a volunteer, an intimate understanding of anti-racism, racial justice, and racial equity issues are critical first steps. It is our hope that these resources below will serve as a starting point to help you be an effective leader, ally, advocate, and change agent in any sector.

For business leaders and students interested in the intersection of race and the mass incarceration crisis in the United States, we also encourage you to engage in our ReEntry Acceleration Program (REAP). REAP has two main initiatives. The first involves training Columbia Business School MBA and EMBA students to teach business courses for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. The second initiative is to develop tools for potential employers and forums to dramatically improve post-incarceration employment and entrepreneurship. We also partner with Columbia University's Center for Justice on Justice Through Code, which aims to expand the pipeline of talent for career track employment in the tech sector.

The center is actively working on integrating racial equity in courses, experiential learning programs, research, and outreach activities that we offer on campus and beyond. Please contact us if you have suggestions on resources, organizations, or tangible initiatives not covered below.

What Data and Research Exist on the Economic Impact of Racism in the United States?

What Does it Mean to be Anti-racist?

Additional Resources

Faculty Insights on Overcoming Racial Inequity

Additional Faculty Resources

Career / Sector Areas

Corporate Responses, Commitments and Action
Philanthropy

Nonprofit and Public Management

Education
Health Care
Arts
Community Development and Financial Inclusion
Nonprofit Boards

Impact Investing

Racial Equity Investing
Social Entrepreneurship

International Development

White Savior Industrial Complex

Green Business

Climate Change and Sustainability