Business & Leadership

Antiracism in Business

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USC Marshall School of Business Dean Geoff Garrett discusses antiracism in business with three Marshall professors known for their work in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism: Sharoni Little, former vice dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and professor of clinical business communication; Sarah Townsend, associate professor of management and organization; and Shaun Harper, Provost Professor of Management and Organization, Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership, and USC Race and Equity Center Executive director. The conversation covers how leaders can think about antiracism in the current moment, what it means for businesses and business education and how it features in Marshall’s vision.

Who Will Benefit

– Leaders who want to establish an inclusive business culture and diversify at all levels across their organizations
– Business professionals searching for best-approach ways of building an antiracism mindset in their hiring, retention and leadership practices
– Those looking to learn how systems of structural and systemic racism affect our health care organizations, economy, businesses and more

About Our Featured Faculty

Shaun Harper is a Provost Professor of Education and Business at the USC Marshall School of Business and USC Rossier School of Education. Harper studies racial, gender and LGBT issues in corporations, law firms, Hollywood production companies, K-12 schools and universities. He also is an expert on college sports. Harper has consulted with more than 200 businesses and institutions on strategies related to equity, diversity and inclusion. He has published 12 books and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications, and procured $13 million in research grants. His research has been cited in over 10,000 published studies. The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune, Washington Post, Black Enterprise and several thousand other news outlets have quoted Professor Harper and featured his research. He has interviewed on CNN, ESPN and NPR. Prior to becoming a faculty member, he was Assistant Director of MBA Admissions for the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Harper spent a decade at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a tenured full professor.

Geoff Garrett is the dean of USC Marshall School of Business. He holds the Robert R. Dockson Dean’s Chair in Business Administration and is professor of management and organization. He previously served as dean of the Wharton School from 2014 until 2020. Garrett taught at USC from 2005-2008 as a professor of international relations, business administration, communications and law while also serving as the president of the Pacific Council on International Policy. A distinguished international political economist, Garrett has held academic appointments at Oxford, Stanford and Yale universities. Garrett holds a BA (Honors) from the Australian National University, and an MA and PhD from Duke University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Sarah Townsend is an associate professor of management and organization at the USC Marshall School of Business. She studies the psychological foundations of inequality. Her research reveals the dysfunctional behaviors and physiological costs that can result when individuals’ cultural norms collide with the dominant cultural norms of organizations. She examines how these“cultural divides” are often a hidden source of inequality, but how they can be used to lessen opportunity gaps and fuel greater cross-group understanding. The director of the Culture, Diversity, and Psychophysiology lab (CPD Lab) at USC, Townsend has received recognition including, being named a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science and “Professor of the Week” by Poets & Quants.

Sharoni Denise Little, former vice dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion at USC, is an award-winning teacher, researcher and mentor. A renowned author, global facilitator and media commentator, Little’s research and expertise centers on organizational leadership, strategic communication, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Little is completing her forthcoming books, The Perpetual Surveillance of Black Men (2019), and Diapers and Dissertations: Women, Education, and Work (2019), and is the recipient of the USC Faculty Mentoring award, two Marshall School of Business, “Golden Apple” teaching awards and the USC Remarkable Woman award. An educational and social advocate, Little is a member and immediate past chair of the Los Angeles County, Policy Roundtable for Childcare and Development Commission and sits on several boards of trustees. Throughout her career, she has partnered with numerous community leaders and organizations, including the Aspen Institute, Obama Foundation, Children’s Defense Fund and the Compton Human Trafficking Task Force.