Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Wharton Dean Erika James will lead a public lecture series on racial unrest in America

Wharton's first Black woman dean will lead the three-part series beginning on Oct. 21.

Wharton Dean Erika James.

(Courtesy photo)

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has announced Beyond Business, a three-part lecture series that will be led by Wharton Dean Erika James and address America’s difficulties in handling racial unrest.

Beyond Business is part of the Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series and its first session is entitled “Race & The Entrepreneur.” This session will examine how systemic racism impedes the success and growth of Black entrepreneurs and discuss ways in which people and organizations can find solutions.

“Race & The Entrepreneur” panelists are:


  • Karl Ulrich, Wharton vice dean of entrepreneurship and innovation

James began her tenure on July 1 and is the first woman and first person of color to hold the position in the Ivy League business school’s 139-year history; she was previously dean of Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Beyond Business is an example of the work that she has done throughout her career in investigating diversity, leadership and crisis management.


“Through this lecture series, Wharton is making a statement on the importance of prioritizing race and inclusion in America and asking firms to consider what it will take to place the issue at the top of the corporate agenda,” Jame said in a statement. “I’m delighted such distinguished panelists will be joining me for the first session as we begin this conversation that will inspire others to make long-term change.”

The first installment of Beyond Business will stream for free via Wharton’s LinkedIn page on Oct. 21 at 12:30 p.m. EST. The next two sessions will be “Race & Corporate Power,” to be held in November, and “Race & The Selling of America,” in December.

Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. -30-
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