Introduction & Kellogg Inclusion Coalition Invitation

(July 8, 2020)

Dear Kellogg community,

Hello. My name is Bernie Banks. Currently, I have the tremendous honor of serving as a member of the faculty and senior leadership team at “your” Kellogg School of Management. Recently, my role was expanded to include accountability for the generation, integration, and implementation of Kellogg’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. I am humbled by the opportunity to work in concert with our community members to strengthen Kellogg’s culture and processes. Consequently, I would like to highlight two things that will guide our DEI efforts going forward: collaboration and commitment.

Kellogg will spearhead its efforts to foster greater inclusion (culturally, procedurally, developmentally, and intellectually) in a collaborative manner. We have already started to engage stakeholders (i.e., alumni, faculty, staff, students, organizational partners) broadly in order to understand each group’s lived experiences and perspectives. In service of structuring our collaboration platform, the school is establishing the Kellogg Inclusion Coalition (KIC). The coalition’s purpose is to engender Kellogg’s ability to fully achieve the institution’s diversity goal. I am personally inviting anyone who possesses an interest in joining the coalition to contact me directly at bernard.banks@kellogg.northwestern.edu. Together, we will unlock insights and act with precision to create systemic change across the school’s broad set of relationships.

Personally, I commit to giving you all that I am in this effort. Further, I commit to working in concert with Kellogg faculty, staff, students and alumni to advance this work. Most importantly, Kellogg re-affirms its commitment “…to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment."

The exigency of conditions faced by Kellogg’s Black community members has resulted in our initial prioritization of DEI initiatives designed to advance their needs. As we move forward, the Coalition will examine diversity, equity and inclusion of all members of our community and determine how Kellogg can further develop and live our value of empathy.

Kellogg puts two things into the world: people and ideas. We want to develop the next generation of extraordinary leaders whose actions are informed by extraordinary research. Our people and ideas must positively transform organizations around the globe in order to create lasting value. The school’s legacy always hangs in the balance of such efforts. I look forward to walking the upcoming journey alongside each of you.

Respectfully,
Bernard B. Banks '08
Associate Dean for Leadership Development and Inclusion
Clinical Professor of Management