NCCU and UNC Business Students Create Symposium to Address Issues of Diversity in Business

Posted March 17, 2021, 12:39PM

Business students from North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will host a virtual symposium titled Sustaining the Momentum of Anti-Racism in Business from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 9, 2021.

Students from NCCU and UNC are coming together to address issues surrounding inequities within corporate systems and to assess the role everyone plays in being conduits for change.  

Amid the backdrop of a global pandemic in 2020, the country experienced several months of social unrest. Within these months, young people from across the globe rose in solidarity to march and protest to bring attention to systemic issues that continue to sully the lives of black and brown people.

Is this awareness a mere moment or is it a sustainable movement for the country? This question is driving students to provide a platform for honest discussion and collaborative coordination with the goal of sparking a cultural awareness. As the conversations continue, real change can be made.

“I am a big believer in collaborative change,” said UNC senior Jessie LaMasse, who is pursuing a double major in Business Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies, with a minor in Public Policy.  “A symposium that joins our schools together against racism is a unique opportunity to see where we have all come since June 2020 and discuss where we still need to go. This is an important event to ensure that last summer’s conversations do not end, but grow and see change.”

The symposium will include:

  • Keynote remarks from Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison regarding the responsibility of corporations to be committed to equitable practice;
  • A fireside chat featuring two deans – UNC Kenan Flagler Dean Douglas A. Shackelford and NCCU School of Business Dean Anthony Nelson – about preparing students for entry into a diverse and evolving marketplace;
  • A panel discussion featuring Kevin Brown, a lead manager in the Digital Divide Institute at Ernst & Young in New York; Kevin J. Clark, head of operational excellence for digital marketing at LinkedIn; Rebecca Fernandez, senior account manager for Nike; and Michelle Witherspoon, chief of operations for diversity and inclusion at CISCO. Each panelist will discuss their respective experiences regarding issues of diversity in the workplace.  

“This symposium is very important, and we are happy to be in conversation and partnership with UNC business students surrounding this critical topic,” said Jordyn Martin, NCCU junior Business Administration-Marketing major. “As I find my place in the corporate world, I look forward to learning about ways I can advocate for just and fair practices while being in an environment that recognizes my own potential and perspective.”  

For more information, please visit and register to attend conference visit:

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