The Kenan Institute stands with the countless number of protestors working peacefully to eradicate systemic racism in the United States and globally. We join their calls for substantial reform in law enforcement and criminal justice—while recognizing that all sectors of our society must bear responsibility for re-examining the ways in which each has created, upheld and benefited from pervasive historical inequities.
We are committing ourselves to this effort, and are looking inward first. Fundamentally, we acknowledge that we currently lack the necessary understanding of the intricate ways in which structural racism has, and continues to, affect our employees, partners and work. We commit to educating ourselves about these effects and to using that knowledge to take necessary action. We pledge to re-examine our research agenda, committing resources to explore how we, as a society, got to where we are today—and where we might go from here. And recognizing ignorance as the root of prejudice and injustice, we commit on an individual and organizational level to daily making ourselves more aware of the causes and effects of systemic racism in business and the economy—and to proactively sharing our learnings with the public.
Specific steps we’ll be taking in the immediate term include:
We know that our research and that of our partners has the power to dispel myths perpetuating racist beliefs and actions, and holds the promise of providing solutions for promoting the fair and equitable treatment of all people. That’s why the Kenan Institute pledges to work with its stakeholders, from students and business executives to policymakers and community leaders, to better understand systemic racism so we can collaboratively work toward its dismantling and elimination.
This work is neither separate from, nor additional to, our mission; rather, it marks an essential and long overdue step in our efforts to leverage the private sector for the good of people and communities here in North Carolina, across the United States and around the world.
We embrace a broad definition of diversity* and recognize that diverse and equitable participation at all levels of our work is core to advancing the Kenan Institute’s mission of generating solutions to vital economic issues and stimulating economic prosperity in North Carolina and beyond. We are committed to creating a culture of empathy, compassion and authenticity that enables all people to feel heard, empowered, valued and welcomed to bring their whole selves to the workplace.
* diversity – Our definition of diversity includes race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, national origin, geographic background, immigration status, ability and disability, physical characteristics, veteran status, political ideology, religious belief and age. We further celebrate a diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives and values.
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Al Segars and co-author Anselm Beach have written about their new model for developing diversity, equity and inclusion in an organization, the Values/Principles Model, in the most recent issue of the MIT Sloan Management Review. At a time when recognition of DEI’s benefits has become widespread, their approach gives leaders the tools to create real change that will allow their whole companies to prosper. Learn more by clicking below.
Mark Little, executive director of the Kenan Institute-affiliated center CREATE, provided expert testimony in a process that resulted in a May 11 settlement agreement regarding contracting and hiring practices for Dominion Energy’s $9.8 billion Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind renewable energy project.
Kenan Scholars Director Kim Allen is among the winners of UNC’s annual Diversity Awards, presented to individuals and groups who have given their time and effort to further diversity, equity and inclusion at the university and in its surrounding community.
Firms continue to strive for greater representation on corporate boards. One California law, attempting to mandate such greater representation, has encountered a recent setback. Two experts discuss obstacles to more diverse corporate leadership and offer approaches for surmounting them.
Global Chief Marketing Officer, Prime Video & Amazon Studios
Please join us for an exclusive virtual conversation with Prime Video and Amazon Studios Global Chief Marketing Officer Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu Ojo (BSBA '97) on Tuesday, April 12. This discussion is part of the Dean’s Speaker Series, hosted by Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford.
Join the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise for a virtual talk featuring London Business School Finance Professor Alex Edmans, who will critically examine the case for purposeful business using rigorous evidence and real-life examples to show what works – and, importantly, what doesn’t.
In this interactive virtual workshop, learn how news gets made and how you can evaluate the credibility of news you find on the web. These practical skills will help you become news literate in your professional and personal lives.
Remote work seems likely to continue in a post-pandemic world, if employees have their say. In this week's insight, our experts highlight how businesses can rethink workspaces and better engage and involve employees in the office and those working from home.
CREATE, an economic development center at the institute, worked with civic and business leaders in Rocky Mount last summer to plan a Black Business Matters District downtown in an effort to address the racial wealth gap in the area. Executive Director Mark Little will join CREATE’s Rocky Mount partners on a panel at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 24 to share their work as part of Carolina’s Engagement Week.
The U.S. spends significantly less on child care than other developed nations, and the consequences of that spending became evident during the pandemic – particularly within underserved communities. In this week’s insight, our experts discuss why the U.S. should prioritize and fund early childhood education and care.
This session delves into three critical aspects of smaller/regional funds. First, is their role in increasing diversity among both capital allocators and entrepreneurs who receive funding. Second, is how pooling capital in diversified vehicles that can invest locally can promote investment by larger VCs/investors. Third, is how regional funds can bridge the divides in communities that lack robust VC ecosystems.
Please join us for an exclusive virtual conversation with North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders on Wednesday, February 9. This discussion is part of the Dean’s Speaker Series, hosted by Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford.