Update Regarding DEI Efforts

(August 10, 2020)

Dear Kellogg Community,

Greetings from Evanston! It is my hope that this message finds each of you in continued safety and good health. The purpose of this note is to provide a brief update regarding DEI efforts at “your” Kellogg School of Management.

First, we engaged in one-on-one conversations with over 800 people in the month of July. Here’s thanking all those who carved out the time required to participate in the aforementioned dialog. The exchanges have already yielded beneficial insights resulting in the school’s leadership committing to a variety of actions (e.g., establishment of a Black Leadership Speaker Series, establishment of an internal data portal, and the issuance of a school wide climate survey).

Second, the most important action undertaken during the month of July was the solidification of the Kellogg Inclusion Coalition’s “guiding coalition (GC).” The GC will interface with Francesca Cornelli (Dean and KIC Co-Head), Nicki Nabasny (Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer; Chief of Staff), Ben Porter (Associate Dean for Alumni Relations and Development), Marni Futterman (Chief Communications and Marketing Officer), and Bernie Banks (Associate Dean for Leadership Development and Inclusion, KIC Co-Head). The GC members are as follows:

Organizational Partners - Liza Kirkpatrick
Staff - Carole Cahill, Minya Nance, Lance Bennett
Faculty - Nicholas Pearce, Nicole Stephens 
Alumni - Melissa Thomas-Hunt, Eric Logan
Students - Jered Diego Linares, Disha Luthra, B. Michelle Williams, Iffat Siddiqui

The GC was selected to represent each of the community’s major stakeholder groups (i.e., alumni, faculty, organizational partners, staff, students) and its members possess a broad range of skills. Most importantly, the CG members are widely respected by the groups they represent. The GC and KIC’s “Army of volunteers” will drive change within Kellogg by working with existing groups (e.g., alumni groups, employee resource groups, student clubs, etc.) and establishing working groups as required to target important specific needs. In the weeks ahead, the GC will work with key entities from each of the stakeholder groups to establish a clear list of DEI priorities.

Third, collaboration has begun with the Full-Time and Evening/Weekend Black Management Association clubs. We met with the groups’ leadership and have discussed a list of objectives that will guide our interactions going forward. Together, we will make measurable changes that enhance DEI for black members of our community. (For example, the Evening/Weekend administration team has agreed to host quarterly dinners with black students in order to share perspectives at the E/W BMA’s request.)

Fourth, we integrated some new exercises designed to emphasize inclusion and build empathy within the 1Y MBA CIM. The initial feedback concerning those activities indicates they were well received and appreciated by the students.

Finally, here’s extending a heartfelt appreciation to all those who have answered the call to action. Together, we will enhance the level of inclusiveness experienced by every member of our community. If there are issues or opportunities you would like to bring to the attention of the KIC, please feel free to reach out to any of the Guiding Coalition members.


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