May 9, 2023

Dear Colleagues,
I would like to start my note by thanking the Dean's Diversity Council for all the hard work and dedication on diversity, equity, and inclusion in our school.
In May, we start wrapping up the semester and thinking ahead of the summer and the following year. Please take this opportunity to reflect on what worked, what did not, and what DEI initiatives you would have liked to see going forward. Also, please share with us your achievements, we would like to acknowledge and celebrate them together.
Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Jewish American Heritage Months
In this month, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Jewish American heritage. This is a great time to raise our awareness on the contributions of Asian American, Pacific Islander and Jewish Americans to our society.  
You can learn more about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and events, and Jewish American Heritage Month and events throughout May.

Here are some related events at GWSB and GW:
  • White House Forum on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders: 
    GW hosted the White House Forum on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders on May 3rd at the Lisner Auditorium. The speakers included Vice President Kamala Harris, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), M.A. ’92, poet Rupi Kaur and actor Daniel Dae Kim. You can learn more about this event from GW Today if you were not able to make it.

  • Jewish American Heritage Month Documentary Viewing and Discussion: 
    The GWSB Dean’s Diversity Council hosted a documentary viewing and discussion event on May 4th. The documentary “From Swastika to Jim Crow” is on the little known history of Jewish immigrants coming from Nazi Germany, working in HBCUs in the Jim Crow era, and their impacts on higher education. If you missed the event, you can watch the film on the PBS website.
Finally, here are two art works on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and on Jewish heritage in Washington, DC:  
Japanese lantern on the Potomac River Tidal Basin during spring cherry blossom season, Washington, D.C.
The Marc Chagall, Orphée from the Sculpture Garden in Washington DC.
Marc Chagall, Orphée, Sculpture Garden, Washington DC. 

“According to Chagall, this [painting] alludes not only to the general immigration of Europeans to America, but also to his own experience: smuggled out of Nazi-occupied France by the International Rescue Committee during World War II, the Jewish artist found safe haven in New York.”
Mental Health Awareness Month
May is also mental health awareness month. Let us take some time to reflect upon the mental health challenges faced by our community and the society in general today. Here are the emotional well-being sites for students and for faculty/staff at GW, which provide resources at GW and beyond.
May is the month of commencement and graduation celebrations. We hope you will join the events and share the joy with our diverse body of students and colleagues at GW.

Şenay Ağca digital signature
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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