Kellogg Inclusion Coalition (KIC) Update February 2022

(February 21, 2022)

Dear Kellogg Community,

I hope this message finds you well and in good health. I’m writing today to share a Kellogg Inclusion Coalition (KIC) update, which provides a brief overview on our diversity, inclusion and equity progress at your Kellogg School of Management.

We remain focused on fostering an environment where our community members feel they belong here, are respected, and fully supported to be their best selves. We are intent on ensuring this transpires every single day. Thus, fostering continual improvement lies at the core of how Kellogg approaches its programmatic efforts.

Currently, I have commissioned a group of MBA students through the Dean’s Consulting Alliance (a for-credit course) to conduct an examination of how KIC can be re-imagined in service of amplifying its potential impact. I am excited to receive the team’s recommendations at the end of this quarter, and I look forward to acting on their insights to the greatest extent possible!

While there continues to be much work to do and many barriers to break down, I want to share some highlights of progress across the community:

Expansion of the DEI Pathway

We’ve added two new courses to the DEI Pathway, which prepares students to lead in diversity, equity and inclusion — whether they are building a diverse workforce, having difficult conversations regarding equity or ensuring inclusive experiences for all employees. The first course, “Leading With Empathy, is designed to enhance emotional intelligence with an emphasis on empathy such that one can become more effective when interacting with and leading others in diverse settings.

The second course, “Venture Equity Investment Program,” educates students on the challenges facing companies founded and led by underrepresented leaders. The course includes both academic and experiential learning opportunities with companies led by underrepresented founders. Students will provide consultative services and help businesses seek investments from the program’s dedicated venture equity investment fund.

Faculty Research, Thought Leadership & Impact

Kellogg faculty members continue to explore and be recognized for their path-breaking research and industry-shaping thought leadership to help us better understand the dimensions of diversity, equity and inclusion, including:

Ivuoma Ngozi Onyeador, Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations, explores how organizations can move beyond implicit bias training and develop a set of evidence-based recommendations for a robust, multifaceted approach to achieving diversity goals. She was recently recognized by The Society of Personality and Social Psychology with the SAGE Early Career Trajectory Award for outstanding achievements by early career scholars in social and personality psychology.

Nicholas Pearce, Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations, is the recipient of the 2021 Ideas Worth Teaching Award by Aspen Institute’s Business & Society Program for his class “Beyond Diversity: The Fundamentals of Inclusive Leadership.” Throughout this course, students are encouraged to examine the implications and impact of bias on society.

Mohanbir Sawhney, Associate Dean of Digital Innovation and the McCormick Foundation Chair of Technology, co-authored a white paper entitled “Fostering Inclusive Growth: How Digital Tools Benefit Entrepreneurs from Marginalized Groups,” which synthesizes findings across countries, highlighting both similarities and nuances in the experiences of minority entrepreneurs.

Suzanne Muchin, Clinical Associate Professor of Leadership Development & Communications, is the recipient of the 2022 American Jewish Committee’s Human Rights Medallion Award along with her husband David Brown. They were designated to receive the award in recognition of their efforts to build a more enlightened and compassionate society.

Furthering Kellogg’s Equity and Inclusion Experience

Kellogg students, faculty, staff and alumni continue to create opportunities for the community with great energy and dedication to improve the inclusion experience at Kellogg. Just a few examples include:

  • DEI student experience task forces have formed, one for each of the MBA programs. They are composed of students, administrative staff and alumni, and the task forces’ goals directly align with the broader Kellogg DEI objectives — increasing representation among students, faculty and staff; increasing academic exposure to DEI and research frameworks; and improving daily equity and inclusion experience — with a focus on the student experience. Working together, the task forces have developed a framework to allow for an intentional structure for how they coordinate efforts across programs and share best practices.
  • EMBA students launched Diversity in Business (DIB) sessions, which started organically and blossomed into regular weekend programming, led entirely by the students. One example is EMBA Cohort 127’s “Hear My Story” series for members of the military, both active-duty and veterans, which gives these students an opportunity for open and honest dialogue about their experiences.
  • Kellogg faculty continue to facilitate and participate in Kellogg and Northwestern workshops designed to create a more inclusive classroom environment. In the fall, Nicole Stephens, Jeanne Brett Chair and Professor of Management & Organizations, led sessions of a workshop titled “Creating Equity and Inclusion in Your Classroom,” and Lauren Rivera, Professor of Management & Organizations, led sessions of a workshop titled “Best Practices for Faculty Hiring and Evaluation.” During the Winter Quarter, Adam Waytz, Professor of Management and Organizations and Morris and Alice Kaplan Chair in Ethics and Decision Management, will lead a workshop exploring empathy and the symmetric and asymmetric approaches to inclusion.
  • Kellogg staff resource groups continue to advance outstanding programming. For example, The Kellogg Black/African American Network (KBAN) hosted an event for the Kellogg community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King where Lance Bennett shared his thoughts and facilitated a conversation on what it means to be an ally in today’s society, while ENLACE led a session on “Are you a 200 percenter?” exploring how first-generation Americans navigate assimilating into society.
  • Kellogg Alumni for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (KADEI) hosted a webinar entitled “Leading Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: The CREED Model and Organizational Change” with speaker Alvin Tillery, Associate Professor of Political Science at Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Looking Ahead

We continue to forge ahead with initiatives to advance DEI. Some of the immediate work underway includes:

  • Undergoing the process of examining what it would take to successfully build and deploy a DEI and ethics core offering for the MBA curriculum;
  • Ongoing fundraising efforts to generate increased scholarships and financial support for co-curricular activities so all students can have the full Kellogg experience;
  • Engaging with Chicago State University to find opportunities for connection between our student bodies as well as faculty members; and
  • Analyzing the November 2021 climate survey results. One action item is conducting focus groups with staff to drill down on data and inform planning. More communication regarding these results will occur in the near future.

I encourage each of you to find ways to further our commitment to fostering an inclusive community for all.



Bernard B. Banks ’08
Associate Dean for Leadership Development and Inclusion