The last 12 months have been filled with uncertainty, with a global health crisis, social unrest and a whole host of other issues causing many aspects of our personal worlds and daily lives to come to a screeching halt. But as a direct result, these events provided the opportunity for us to look holistically at ourselves as a society to reflect on our values, morals and inequalities, ultimately leading to us thinking of ways that we can improve these flaws to make life better for everyone. This inflection point has occurred in every aspect of our society, and the Full-Time MBA program here at the Broad College was no exception.

As a program, there has been a stronger focus on DEI efforts and making sure that everyone in the program, regardless of their background, is put into a position where they can not only succeed academically but also feel comfortable and empowered while doing so.

In MBA 806: Social Issues in Management, we are currently discussing the concept of corporate social responsibility and how corporate organizations have the expectation and responsibility to use their influence and resources to make positive change both within and outside of their organizations. As president of MSU’s Black MBA Association, I believe these same rules apply to student organizations within the MBA program.

With this in mind, I have been extremely excited that our organization, along with the other DEI-focused organizations in the program, has developed a clear objective to create and maintain an environment where everyone is allowed to be their authentic selves. For example, the Black MBA executive board’s focus this year has been on creating events within our program that draw awareness toward social issues that ultimately allow for positive dialogue, such as Black history trivia events and book discussions concerning current events and historical figures, as well as joint events with other student-led organizations in our program for an amplified effect. Holding these events with our classmates allows us to truly appreciate one another and respect our differences.

As February is Black History Month, I am reminded that I sit on the shoulders of giants; the numerous individuals who came before me broke barriers in every aspect of our society and paved the way to provide the opportunities that I enjoy today. It has been an honor and privilege to serve in a position that lets me do the same thing within our MBA community at Broad.