The Sixth Annual Rawls Diversity Symposium was held virtually on September 10, 2020. While the format was different, the organizing committee members worked hard to ensure it was still an engaging and powerful experience for the over 300 attendees.
The keynote address, “From #Hashtag to Action: Addressing Systemic Racism,” was delivered by author, attorney, and political commentator, Bakari Sellers. Sellers addressed systemic racism, social injustice and the present challenges facing communities of color.
Sellers instructed, informed and inspired attendees to work for change. He also engaged in a robust panel discussion with Texas Tech, Lubbock and Texas leaders as part of “Digging Deeper: Power in Real Conversations.”
Following the Rawls Diversity Symposium, Rawls College will continue this important conversation by hosting additional virtual events throughout the semester. Students, staff and faculty will dig deeper into the issues raised by Sellers and the panelists, with a specific focus on creating positive changes within Rawls College, Texas Tech and our communities.
Diversity does not start with grand gestures or words on a wall; it begins with small actions in the classroom or in your study groups that flourish into an environment of welcoming inclusion. Without that welcoming inclusion especially in business, the greatest ideas and innovation will often be the words left unspoken.
Having the opportunity to participate in the Diversity Symposium was so insightful to us. We learned what is on the hearts and minds of the next generation, and we saw that other employers are doing similar work and facing similar challenges that we see every day.