Winners of the Racial Justice in Corporate America Challenge
We are thrilled to announce the finalists and winner of the Racial Justice in Corporate America Challenge, a program launched in collaboration with Caesars Entertainment. The program opened in February and invited both students and professionals to submit ideas for how Corporate America can be part of the solution to effectively advance racial justice.
Congratulations to our four finalists, who were awarded prizes for their inspiring and innovative recommendations. Read below for an overview of their ideas:
Ariana Almas, University of Michigan, MBA
Idea: Provide contract workers with equitable benefits.
"In many corporate industries, racial minorities are overrepresented in labor intensive contract roles, such as janitors and security guards, which lack benefits, are significantly underpaid, and offer no advancement options. This contributes to an inability to afford the cost of housing among other challenges, which ultimately perpetuates a cycle of racial inequity. Corporate America can help end this cycle and advance racial justice by providing their contract workers with equitable benefits to ensure a greater sense of stability as well as skill development programs and contract-to-perm advancement pathways to ensure opportunities for upward mobility."
Matthew Hui, University of Southern California, Social Impact, MA
Idea: Sponsor programs and challenges that encourage racial equity solutions.
"Corporate America can effectively advance racial justice through sponsoring innovation challenges that encourage racial justice solutions, live dinner events that promote stories of racial reconciliation in the marketplace, and racial equity leadership development programs that incentivize racial justice in corporate leadership. By implementing these programs, knowledge of racial issues that occurs both on the streets and in the office, can be exchanged for the better of communities. With its abundance of financial resources and facilities, Corporate America is in the perfect position to ensure better solutions towards racial equality are supported and heard."
Carley Mostar, University of Illinois, Chicago, MBA - Social Value Creation
Idea: Directly invest in communities of color
"To work toward racial justice, corporations should invest directly in communities of color through partnerships with local small business owners within their industry and within their communities. To address the lack of access to traditional capital and assets that these communities often face through structural racism, corporations could create mentorship programs for entrepreneurs of color to shadow at the executive level in their industry and receive supply chain, marketing, and financial support through sustained relationships. In return, corporations will develop stronger brand loyalty, gain access to new markets, and develop talent within their industry - all while working toward racial justice."
Cathleen Jeanty, Net Impact New York City Professional Chapter
Idea: Create a data-driven platform to foster collaboration on strategies to address racial inequality.
"Moving the Needle would be an innovative, collaborative, data-driven platform that allows multiple companies to work together to address racial inequality in the workplace. The online platform would be open to all companies that would like to see a more equalized workplace."
Congratulations to the finalists and to all who participated in this program! If you are interested in more racial justice content, check out the engaging webinar series that was created in conjunction with the challenge. These three webinars feature a variety of renowned and experienced professionals discussing their perspectives on racial justice in Corporate America. Speakers include Justin Steele from Google.Org, Malcom Shanks from Race Forward, and Gwen Migita from Caesars Entertainment, among many others. You can listen to recordings of all the webinars here.