Columbia Business School, Robert F. Smith’s Alma Mater, Commits to Tackling Racism and Expanding Access to Their Courses

Columbia University

Robert F. Smith called on institutions to do their part in calling out and addressing systemic racism in America. Columbia Business School recently took steps to do just that. A June 2020 update from Gita Johar, the Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, said that this moment calls for us to create space for Black students and colleagues to grieve, but also to learn about how we can all do better. Johar said “It is also a time to educate ourselves about how we, individually and collectively, can do better and be better in eliminating systematic racism.” Johar acknowledged the road ahead and committed to listening, learning and working hard to drive change.

She went on to reference Smith’s letter to the Vista Equity staff in the days after the killing of George Floyd. Smith said “this has been a heartbreaking and painful week for America and a reminder that in our endless pursuit of a ‘more perfect union,’ a great deal of work remains.” 

This June, Columbia Business School also announced a partnership with TIME to launch a series of affordable, high-quality professional development classes to make the school’s materials more accessible to a broader audience of people during the pandemic and beyond. Maya Draisin, TIME Senior Vice President of Progress Marketing, said, “At a moment when strong leaders are more important than ever, we are proud to partner with Columbia Business School to help people meet the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The pandemic is only magnifying the inequalities our communities face — in health care, education, access to capital and more. It’s critical that institutions play a role in acknowledging these disparities and then commit to working to change them.

To read more about the new series of Columbia Business School classes, visit their website.