Announcing Diversity & Allyship Week 2024
Announcing Diversity & Allyship Week 2024
Diversity & Allyship Week. A multicolored arrow is illustrated, pointing to the text.
January 22, 2024
Dear GW Business Community,

I would like to begin by thanking Professor Leo Moersen for leading our Dean’s Diversity Council in continuing to move forward on the important work of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the GW School of Business during my sabbatical in the fall 2023 semester. I would also like to thank the members of the Dean’s Diversity Council for their impactful contributions. You can find a brief snapshot of our initiatives and events from the past few months on the Dean’s Diversity Council website.

At this moment in our global community, I believe it is critical to reiterate the ideals of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. having recently celebrated the national holiday commemorating his life and legacy. These ideals are well encapsulated in this quote delivered by Dr. King on April 18, 1959: "Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in."

In this context, I invite you to our GWSB signature week-long event - Diversity & Allyship Week 2024, taking place from February 5-9. This week will feature a Diversity Roundtable Breakfast, a Career Town Hall and Networking Event with Alumni, a Women in Global Careers Roundtable, a George Talks Business session with Sharifa A. Anderson of Fannie Mae (details below), and a virtual panel discussion on Employee Resource Groups.
George Talks Business, February 8
The George Talks Business series features business, government, academic, NGO and other thought leaders in conversations with our dean or another moderator from our faculty and School leadership. This special George Talks Business, held as part of annual Diversity & Allyship Week programming, will welcome Sharifa A. Anderson, senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion (D&I) officer at Fannie Mae. Ms. Anderson will discuss the connections between equity and housing, and how Fannie Mae is incorporating DEI into its organization and into how it fulfills its mission. Vanessa G. Perry, M.B.A., Ph.D., interim dean and professor of marketing, strategic management and public policy, will be the moderator.
DEI is being celebrated across the university. From January 29 - February 1, the Elliott School of International Affairs will host its fourth annual Inclusive Excellence Week, placing a spotlight on the variety of ways that inclusivity is practiced and exhibited across different cultures and geographies. I also would like to encourage you to attend the university-wide GW Diversity Summit. This summit is now in its ninth year, and is set to take place from February 20-22 and reflect on questions about what it means to be revolutionary, and how we as individuals can impact change and solidarize with the identities represented within our communities.

Before I close this message, I am excited to share that the Meditation, Prayer and Reflection Room is available at the GW School of Business in Duquès Hall, Room 656. It is open to students, faculty and staff during normal building hours, and will remain devoted to being a quiet, safe and inclusive space for spiritual, religious, or non-denominational forms of reflection. An important part of embracing DEI is enabling spaces where community members can feel a sense of belonging. This adds to our ongoing efforts at the School and in the Dean’s Diversity Council to ensure our commitments toward fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive community are realized.

In this new year, I celebrate the unique ways each of us contributes to our community, fostering an environment of diversity, equity, and respect.

Wishing you a wonderful year ahead,
Signature of Şenay Ağca, chief diversity officer
Şenay Ağca, Ph.D.
Professor of Finance
Chief Diversity Officer
Chair, Dean’s Diversity Council
George Washington University School of Business
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