Statements of community support
“No pride for some of us, without liberation for all of us” -Marsha P. Johnson
As we enter Pride Month, our community is deeply impacted by the effects of both a global pandemic and nationwide protests against policy brutality.
Sloan Pride stands in solidarity with our classmates in the Black Business Students Association, along with Black communities at MIT and across America, in the fight for justice. We demand an end to decades of targeted violence against Black and Brown populations and call for proper investigations into the senseless killings of Black individuals at the hands of police. What happened to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others in this country for far too long is unjust. This must change.
Every year during Pride Month, we have the opportunity to not only celebrate love but also reflect on the ongoing fight for LGBTQ equality across the globe. We are reminded of the contributions of heroes like Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender woman who played a pivotal role in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. In the wake of Stonewall, Ms. Johnson co-founded LGBTQ advocacy organization S.T.A.R., and opened a house in New York City to shelter homeless LGBTQ youth — the first shelter of its kind in the country. It is the efforts of POC individuals like Ms. Johnson that have brought Pride Month into existence.
Change happens when we stand united. As members of MIT Sloan’s LGBTQ community, we stand proudly with our Black peers during these critical times — proud to love and proud to join in the fight for justice.
Sloan Pride Co-Presidents and Members
The Significant Others of Sloan
The Significant Others of Sloan stands in solidarity with the BBSA. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in recent weeks have amplified the discussion around the systemic inequities in our nation and the tendency of white Americans to sit in privileged silence. As contributing members of the larger Sloan and MIT communities, we refuse to be a part of that silence. We recognize that it is our responsibility to raise our voices against racial injustice and in unwavering support of the Black members of our own SO community and the Sloan community at large.
We are committed to identifying ways in which our club can be more effective allies and contribute to the necessary work of antiracism. We promise to not shy away from difficult conversations with our Sloanies, friends, colleagues, and peers. We vow to be stronger partners in creating a Sloan community that Black SOs can feel proud to join.
We are humbled by your vulnerability and willingness to tell your Sloan community where we are failing you. We are listening. We are learning. We are proud to be a part of a community that values diverse voices, centers this work, and commits to positive change.
Naomi Fainchtein, Alexandra Ferry, Geoffrey Gaurano
SOS Leadership 2020-2021
The Sustainability Initiative
The Sustainability Initiative stands with Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color in demanding an end to racist structures and systems, and targeted violence against Black Americans.
Our vision of sustainability encompasses more than just the environment. We believe true sustainability is complex, taking into account socio-political, economic, and personal factors.
This requires the prioritization of social and environmental justice.
We all must push the dimensions that are essential to sustainability, and expand the global conversation beyond any narrow conceptions that exist today.
As an Initiative team, we commit to taking responsibility for our own privileges and the limitations of our lived experiences. We will work hard to educate ourselves and practice humility, knowing that we will make mistakes along the way and that we must hold ourselves accountable to them.
From that place, we will contribute what we can to efforts that empower and elevate those too often left out.
As we all face another moment of reckoning in our country and world, we must take seriously our capacity to be leaders.
What we do, not just what we say, matters.
The Sustainability Initiative
Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship
The Legatum Center denounces the brutal violence and racial injustice that led to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death echoes the loss of many African American lives at the hands of law enforcement. Like many in our community and across the world, we are grappling with the reality of this systemic racism that needs to be dismantled.
Today, we stand in solidarity with all people speaking against oppression and injustice. We need to break the cycles of complicity that enable injustice to take root in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
The Legatum Center was created to support entrepreneurs fighting to create more inclusive and sustainable economies across emerging markets. The peaceful uprisings in different cities across the United States uphold our own values of equity, openness, and inclusivity. The fight for inclusivity and equality is as personal as it is political.
As President Reif expressed in a letter last week, we at MIT must continue to be “a community with an essential commitment to facing hard facts, thoughtfully striving to correct our errors – and working together to address humanity’s greatest challenges.” While we might experience pain, anger, and powerlessness at this time, it is our responsibility to continue to address and work on the present challenge of building a more inclusive community around our common values of freedom, social justice, and peace for all.
Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
The death of George Floyd and the events unfolding across the country have shaken us deeply. We stand with the protesters who are exercising their right to free speech and their desire that everyone hears their message. The peaceful protests are motivated by some of our highest American ideals: equality, justice, and accountability.
Our wish is to inspire hope and be part of the solution, to bring people together in a sustainable fashion that has impact and is meaningful. It starts with empathy. To our Black students and community, we send a heartfelt message: We see you. We hear you. We will work with you to use our voice and platform for positive change.
We believe entrepreneurship can be part of the solution as we all move forward.
What the Trust Center does best is to diligently and obsessively focus on inclusive and principled innovation-driven entrepreneurship. We are formulating an action plan that will start with a series of talks and open dialogue to be announced shortly.
These sessions will be co-led by MIT Senior Lecturer and former Trust Center Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Donna Levin, currently the Executive Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and MIT Executive MBA student Kevin D. Johnson, who is an entrepreneur and President & CEO of Johnson Media Inc., as well as the bestselling author of The Entrepreneur Mind.
This will be our first step, but it will not be our last. We will be diligent in making our center as inclusive as possible and make entrepreneurship a force for good by providing hope, pride, and rigor to people’s lives … and to their communities. This is what we have to offer by doing what we do best. We look forward to your thoughts on how we can help.
Operations Management Club
The MIT Sloan Operations Management Club leaders support Black Lives Matter and the BBSA, as well as all Black members of the MIT Sloan community. We are deeply saddened by the violent and unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the ongoing, disproportionate struggles facing the Black community throughout this pandemic crisis. We acknowledge our privilege as graduate students at MIT Sloan, and know that with this privilege comes the responsibility to lead as allies.
The impact of anti-Black racism cuts across industries and sectors, and from an operations management standpoint, we recognize that the inequalities in the labor force disproportionately impact Black and Brown Americans. We commit to ensuring that our club programming includes conversations around racism and equity across all sectors and how we as future leaders can work towards a more equitable society. We are also committed to supporting our URM club members and to being allies and advocates on campus and in recruiting efforts.
Sloan Christian Fellowship
Sloan Christian Fellowship has been watching the events of the past week unfold with a sense of immense sadness and grief. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor were terrible acts of racialized violence and reminders of how pervasive the issue of racism is today.
As Christians, we are called to fight injustice and oppression (Isaiah 1:17), redeem a broken world, and participate in the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). The Bible also condemns empty acts of worship while oppression persists. God tells his people to “Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5:23-24). We repent of the ways in which we have paid only lip service to racial justice efforts, while often failing to take action ourselves.
Sloan Christian Fellowship stands with all those who condemn acts of racist violence. Despite the current turmoil in our world, we have hope based on faith in a risen savior who died so that we could spend eternity in a place where there is no pain, fear, or oppression. Until that day, Sloan Christian Fellowship is committed to doing our part to end the deep inequalities that affect our society through our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Asian American Alliance
Asia Business Club
Greater China Club
Southeast Asia Club
Joint Statement In Solidarity
Words cannot describe the darkness of this past week, and if you are feeling anguished, disturbed, or helpless, we are right there with you. This is not the first time we’ve witnessed the senseless killing of a black male by a police officer, but too often, the Asian community backs down in the face of racism. Today, we stand in solidarity with the BBSA and the Black community, our hearts shattering alongside theirs.
We challenge the Asian community to face three truths.
Firstly, we need to acknowledge that Asian Americans have benefited immeasurably from the blood and sweat efforts by the Black community, who were the first to break down institutional shackles against all minority groups. We leaned on Black civil rights leaders as advisors for our own Asian American movement, and we are indebted to those who fought alongside us for our freedoms.
Secondly, internalized racism runs deep in Asian communities around the world, and we are often reluctant to confront our personal philosophies on race. For international Asian students, do not hide behind the facade that this is a “U.S-specific” issue. Fighting for justice and equality for our fellow human beings is a cause that transcends national borders. Progress on this front requires us to push aside our values of civil obedience and conformism, which may feel unnatural at first. But change was never meant to be easy.
Lastly, we have to recognize the fragility of the social status of both Asian Americans and international Asians in this country. Sharing the words of a friend (full post here): “We became conditionally privileged…If there is anything, we have seen in the past few months, it is that, just as we were given this conditional privilege, we can also have it revoked.” As members of the minority community, it has become painfully clear that this fight is all of ours to share.
We are fortunate to learn from the diverse community at MIT, so let us not waste this opportunity to be better, do better. Let us demonstrate our alliance to the Black community through educating, marching, reporting truths, speaking out, donating and voting – not just this week or this month, but into perpetuity.
Please take care, but be vigilant, be proactive, and be unapologetic.
Public Innovation Club
The Public Innovation Club stands in solidarity with the Black Business Student Association at MIT Sloan and the broader Black community in this country in response to the experiences of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper, George Floyd, and the many others who have come along and before them. Leaders and people in power have decided to ignore the injustices faced by our Black brothers and sisters and the broken system that perpetuates them for far too long. Many of us have decided to ignore our privilege for far too long. We join BBSA in the call for action and accountability by MIT Sloan’s faculty, staff, and students to address systemic racism in all its forms.
The mission of the Public Innovation Club is to help principled, innovative leaders explore the intersection of business, policy, and technology to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges in innovative ways. Our club firmly believes that as business leaders we cannot ignore the systems that shape the context in which we make decisions. We also have a responsibility to use our decision-making power to change the system for the better. As such, our club is committed to programming that furthers the conversation on racism and inequality, and sees our responsibility as future leaders to use public innovation to serve disadvantaged communities. We also call upon our club members and peers to: continuously educate themselves on matters of race and privilege, to acknowledge the impact of privilege and racism in their decisions and actions, to hold our public leaders accountable in this fight for justice, and to leverage our innovative spirit as a community to find ways in which we can proactively improve the world for and with the Black communities around us.
Public Innovation Club Co-Presidents and Members
Latin America Business Club
MIT Sloan Brazilian Club
What happened to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others in this country reminds us of the racial injustice that still prevails in the world. These acts are traumatizing. The Latin American community, a community composed of diverse races including the Afro-Latino and Caribbean communities, is deeply disturbed by the continued racism and colorism and should not be impartial about it. As a community consisting of members familiar with the economic and mental burden caused by the impacts of discrimination, racism, and colorism in the United States and other parts of the world, we stand in solidarity with and as an active ally for the Black community.
The Latin America Business Club and the Sloan Brazilian Club stand in solidarity with our classmates and peers in the Black Business Students Association and Africa Business Club, along with all the Afro-descendant community at MIT, in the United States, and in Latin America.
As MIT Sloan students from Latin America, we recognize we are very privileged with access to resources and spaces that many people in our broader community do not have. That is why it is our duty to use our position of privilege to help dismantle systems of oppression. We commit to using our networks, skills, and resources to help advance and uplift the Black community. We urge the members of Latin America Business Club and MIT Sloan Brazilian Club to act in support and be an active ally of the Black community, by having tough conversations about race and colorism within our community with hopes of one day dismantling colorism within the U.S. and within our own countries. It is critical that we seek to educate ourselves and others about the racism and colorism that is clearly apparent, but often not discussed, within our own Latin American countries.
MIT Impact Investing Initiative
We, the leadership of the MIT Impact Investing Initiative, stand in solidarity with our Black members, classmates, and Black communities across America, in their fight for justice and equity. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are just the most recent in a long history of violence, exploitation, and subjugation of black individuals. As members of the impact investing community, we challenge ourselves and likeminded individuals to do better. In the impact community we frequently talk about creating a better world and driving real impact through our work, yet often come up with elaborate programs and financing systems that inadvertently perpetuate systemic biases. Seldom do we seek to disrupt the systems that have created the very inequities and injustices we wish to remedy. To truly be principled, innovative leaders who improve the world, we must do so.
This summer and onwards, many of us will be working at organizations with an incredible amount of money and influence. We commit to listen, believe, and be strong allies. We commit to being change agents and forceful advocates for systemic changes and anti-racist practices. And we commit to moving beyond merely advocating for more diversity to actively investing in and lifting up communities of color. We make these commitments because we know that to make the changes we desire, displays of support are not enough. We must live and breathe these truths and this mission every day.
South Asia Business Club
India Business Club
The MIT Sloan South Asia Business Club and India Business Club stand in solidarity with the Black community in the fight against racism and discrimination. We all stand together in this fight.
As Black communities make their voices heard, we are listening intently, learning actively, and committed to advancing these perspectives within our communities. As the leaders of today and tomorrow, it is our responsibility to speak up and bring an end to racism in our professional and personal lives. Thus, as representatives of the South Asian and Indian communities at MIT Sloan, we pledge to:
1. Be pro-active allies to the Black community
2. Continuously educate our friends and family to increase our knowledge and self-awareness and to fight racism at local and global levels
We are here for you, as you have been always here for us!
Sloan for Inclusion
Sloan for Inclusion stands in solidarity with the Black Business Student Association at MIT Sloan. The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many others that have come before bring to the forefront the racial inequality that is pervasive in our society. As student leaders at MIT Sloan, it is our responsibility to help drive the change that will create a more equitable and just society for members of the Black community at MIT Sloan and beyond.
Education about and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion are core to our group’s purpose and values. Our mission as a student group is to use innovation and the MIT mens et manus attitude to inspire, energize, and advance DE&I conversations within the MIT Sloan community. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we work towards fulfilling this mission. We are proud of our annual event Hack for Inclusion, which brings together a diverse group of individuals over the course of a weekend to develop solutions to pressing DE&I challenges. However, an annual event is simply not enough. Members of the Black community don’t have the choice to think about these topics only one weekend out of the entire year. They are exposed to and forced to navigate these challenges on a daily basis.
We recognize that it is our responsibility to be stronger allies to the Black community, while we help build a more inclusive culture at MIT Sloan for people of all identities and intersectionalities. In doing so, we are committed to creating more opportunities for members of the MIT Sloan community to educate themselves on allyship, starting with a series of events over the course of the summer. We plan to continue developing meaningful and educational yearlong programming that supports our mission throughout the rest of the academic year.
Sloan Veterans Club
The Sloan Veterans Club stands in solidarity with the Black Business Students Association in condemning continued systemic racism and oppression against Black Americans and other people of color. The killings of Black Americans – George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, and countless others – run against the sacred Constitutional values we have fought to protect.
Veterans and members of the military represent every race, color, and creed in America. The military’s strength comes from our ability to overcome our differences to create a cohesive team capable of accomplishing any mission. The American military has often been at the forefront of social change, but we must also reconcile that with the ways that historically our military has assisted in the perpetuation of segregation and discrimination. From the founding of our military that broke freedom guarantees for black recruits, to financial inequity for black soldiers during the Civil War, our beloved military institutions have at times fallen short of upholding our highest ideals. Bias, prejudice, and intolerance threaten the very freedom that the military is sworn to support and defend. America can and must do better.
We stand with our black peers, veteran and otherwise, and commit to using our position to advance honest conversations and tangible change around race and discrimination facing underrepresented minority communities, while supporting increased diversity in our outreach and club programming. “We the People” means all the people and we will be better allies to make sure these inalienable rights are afforded to everyone.
**This statement is made in our role as students and citizens. This statement should not be interpreted as representing the official views of the Department of Defense or any other institution.
Sloan Jewish Student Organization
We, the Sloan Jewish Student Organization, stand in solidarity with the BBSA, the Black student community at MIT Sloan, and the broader Black community at MIT and around the world. The events of the last few weeks have been a disturbing reminder of the racism, aggression, prejudice, and systemic injustice that Black people face every day in this country.
We’ve watched in horror at these events, and we will not remain silent. While there are no words for these tragedies, we’re reminded of two important Jewish principles - Tikkun Olam (repair the world) and the biblical verse, “tzedek tzedek tirdof” (justice justice you shall pursue”). As Jewish people and human beings, it is our duty to stand up for others with targets on their backs. After all, many of us are here today because of the few brave people throughout history who risked their lives to defend and save our ancestors, heeding their personal obligation to pursue social justice and freedom.
We can and we must do more to lend our voices and our support. While we’ve urged our members to attend events and educate themselves, we’d like to offer additional ways to support Black students at MIT Sloan and MIT, as well as those directly affected by recent events. It is critical that this is an ongoing commitment to challenging our club and communities to be voices for change, solidarity, and support.
Standing with you,
SJSO Presidents - Sarah Scolnic, Matt McLean, and Avi Fainchtein
MIT Sloan First-Generation Low-Income Club
The MIT Sloan First-Generation Low-Income (FLI) club stands in solidarity with the Black Business Student Association and the larger Black community in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the fight against anti-Black racism. As first-generation and/or low-income students, we empathize with experiences of marginalization and exclusion, and yet we are very much aware of the privilege we hold: the choice to disclose this part of our identity. We recognize that the Black community does not have this same privilege of choice, and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmed Aubrey, and many others are a stark reminder that individual and systemic racism remains rampant in our society. As FLI students and allies, our fight for equality and justice extends beyond expanding inclusion for low-income, first-generation students, and we stand in solidarity with the Black community.
We know that these words are just a start. We express empathy, and we take responsibility as allies and as members of this society. We vow to not only show our verbal support, but also to take action: to listen, to educate ourselves on the inequality and injustice that the Black community experiences, to develop intersectional programming, to donate, and to speak out. And we commit to constantly challenging ourselves to find new ways to aid the fight.
MIT Sloan Action Learning
MIT Sloan Action Learning stands in solidarity with Black people and communities of color.
In recent days, our community has struggled to truly understand how to respond to the challenges we face. We applaud our Black Business Student Association members and other participants in our community as they speak with candor about their lived experiences. We hear you. We see you. We stand with you.
Action Learning provides opportunities for students to interact with and learn from diverse partners in different regions of the U.S. and the world. We provide a forum for students to encounter new ways to listen, observe, reflect, adapt, grow, and respond. Difficult but necessary conversations ensue, all the better to enrich learning on all sides, and move us to action.
We hear the need to listen and to make changes to improve the world. As we strive to enhance our course offerings to further opportunities for learning and impact, we welcome your ideas for Action Learning labs.
MIT Sloan Hispanic Business Club
We, the Hispanic Business Club (U.S. Domestic Latinxs) stand in solidarity, with our Black communities—including our Afro-Latinx hermanxs—here in the United States and around the world. We join our Black familia in fighting for a more equitable and just society.
As Latinx MBAs, we have a responsibility to further opportunities for Black people at every level of our economic infrastructure, and to create more inclusive spaces where everyone feels safe, valued, and given the opportunity to thrive.
The systemic racism that drives the lack of justice for Black people—for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for Ahmaud Arbery, and for countless others—murdered by police and white supremacists, is the same systemic racism that leads Black people to be denied access to leadership positions and roles that shape the allocation of institutional capital.
The norm is often that few Black people are in leadership and management positions across industries and organizations. This tokenism is not enough. We need the Latinx MBA community to not only realize that, but to take individual action to combat the systemic inequities that create the exclusionary environments we see across corporate America.
As Latinx MBAs, we recognize that we are a very privileged group with access to resources and spaces that many people in our broader community do not have. Furthermore, we acknowledge that, for many of us, our proximity to whiteness allows us to benefit from colorism and white supremacist structures in the United States, in Latin America, and around the world.
Above all, we know that what we need most right now and in the long-term is ACTION. We choose to use our privilege to help dismantle systems of oppression and we commit to use our networks, skills and resources to help advance and uplift the Black community in the following ways:
- Elevating Afro-Latinx leadership in our own organization, including ensuring representation on the executive leadership team and advisory board, and amplifying Afro-Latinx voices across our membership and programming. This is needed across ALL organizations, but we are starting at our own home base first.
- Educating our own community on anti-Blackness, including hosting community sessions and creating a bilingual discussion guide for Latinxs to use when discussing anti-Blackness with their own friends and family.
- Being better allies on a daily basis, including disseminating a resource guide for non-Black Latinx leaders to leverage when advocating for Black representation and combating systemic racism in the workplace and in the classroom.
We continue to listen and grow our understanding of how to do better and we invite you to join us. When our Black familia has access to more opportunities, the whole world benefits.
In strength and solidarity,
MIT Sloan’s Hispanic Business Club in Partnership with the Latinx MBA Association