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Mar 25, 2024

Highlighting the Black Kenan-Flagler Community

By Ryan Crowell, Class of 2024

Creating environments for students to flourish as their authentic selves is essential for them to maximize their growth and embrace their college experience. Most people will likely interact or work with someone from a different background daily, and creating systems to build community and uplift underrepresented people should be an integral facet of all educational institutions.

The Undergraduate Business Program (UBP) Community, Equity, and Inclusion (CEI) Board serves as an organization to support, celebrate, and advocate for all undergraduate business students by providing a range of inclusive and equitable initiatives and events. The board is structured through three departments: external programming, internal programming, and student advocacy, which receive support from co-administrative and communications leads. I became involved with the board during my sophomore year because I wanted to be part of an organization that visibly impacts the people around me and continuously improves. Over the past years, the board has routinely celebrated heritage and identity months, implemented student affinity groups, began a town hall, collaborated with Kenan-Flagler organizations, and more!

I currently serve as a co-administrative lead, where I support and oversee all board programming. The external programming department hosts Heritage and Identity Month campaigns led this school year by UBP students Callie Kim, Ramya Kunduru, and Corey Brandon, and I wanted to supplement their Black History Month campaign as this serves my identity group. In addition to the planned Black History Month events hosting student

Black-owned businesses and serving Kenyan food outside of McColl, the board believes it is important to celebrate and uplift Black Kenan-Flagler community members. I took the lead in highlighting the sentiments and accomplishments of Black community members because I understand how visibility can positively impact a marginalized community.

During our campaign, we highlighted thirteen Black community members including UBP students, Kenan-Flagler faculty, UBP staff, and Luther Hodges Scholars leadership. Member highlights included accomplishments such as entrepreneurial ventures, Emmy awards, scholarships, and sentiments about why cultural competence is important and how identity impacts daily work. Hundreds of Kenan-Flagler members saw these highlights on their way to class or work which is hundreds of opportunities for non-Black business school stakeholders to learn and appreciate their classmates and colleagues.

In volatile times of political division, job market uncertainty, and widening economic gaps, those in educational institutions must be inspired to make the world a more inclusive and equitable place. The UBP CEI Board is an example of an organization that works to uplift those and will continue to serve a diverse population of students.

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