Black MBA Association Continues to Build Momentum in the Fight Against Racial Injustice
The tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, as well as countless other Black Americans, have awakened many to the systemic racial injustices in the United States. The Black MBA Association (BMBAA) at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business continues to provide a platform for racial uplift and advocacy of racial/ethnic minority student interests.
“We believe we have a responsibility, now more than ever, to shift our focus to address these immediate and harmful racial inequities that affect our communities every single day,” said Lydia Kickham-Dawes (MBA’21), co-president, BMBAA.
The racial injustices that have unfolded over the last few months are not unique and have been a lived experience for Black Americans for centuries. For some, it is hard to find the words to express support, leaving many thinking, “I want to help, but I do not know what to say.”
“The best thing you can do is take what you are learning and have those uncomfortable conversations with your non-black friends and family,” said Kickham-Dawes. “The most direct change you can make is the change within your own community.”
Silas Humphries (MBA’21), co-president, BMBAA, believes it is an important student organization within Georgetown McDonough because like many others, it allows a space to embrace Black identity through expression, personal, and professional growth.
“Corporate America is a predominantly white, male-dominated space, so it is important for us to create an environment where the Black MBAs can be themselves without feeling like they have to assimilate to a specific type of corporate culture,” said Humphries.
This moment in history has many non-black students, faculty, and community members searching for ways to be better allies in this fight against racism. In an open letter to the Hoya community, the BMBAA took a stand condemning the violent actions taken against black and brown bodies. One of the key takeaways urged the community to educate themselves through listening, watching, and reading, while understanding it is not the responsibility of marginalized people to educate white and non-black people of color. This letter serves as a pipeline of resources to continue the momentum of anti-racism work.
There are a lot of nonprofits and grassroots organizations doing important work to respond to the violence and protests happening right now across the country. In an effort to continue their support, the BMBAA designed and created two laptop stickers for purchase to help provide donations to organizations that need it most, including the Black Lives Matter, Higher Achievement organizations, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Kickham-Dawes and Humphries believe the best way to create institutional change is to have more allies throughout the university. The BMBAA currently is working alongside the Georgetown McDonough leadership to implement changes and find ways to enhance the Black MBA experience, through curriculum, programming, and admissions.