Black at Anderson hero
The John Lewis Case Competition

“When applying for my MBA, I sometimes felt nervous about bringing my passion for racial and economic justice into an elite business school environment. So joining this case competition with like-minded individuals has been a dream come true. I’ve learned a lot through the process, but my biggest takeaway has been that in order to spearhead true systemic change, racial justice shouldn’t just fit with your company’s strategy — it needs to be the strategy.”

Cynthia Andrianjatovo (’22)
Member of a 6-student UCLA Anderson MBA team that advanced to the semifinals of the inaugural John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition on January 21, 2021, and received Honorable Mention as a Top 12 team out of 105

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Community Stories


AfroTech World Goes Virtual

UCLA Anderson MBA students at the world’s largest multicultural tech conference

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Jennifer Abbondanza Q&A

Measuring NBCUniversal’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Jennifer Abbondanza (’06) leads the effort to create an environment for opportunity

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UCLA Anderson MBA Students Steer Nonprofits through the Pandemic

Black Girls Code and Raza Development Fund pivoted with pro bono help

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Most Recent Wooden Award Winner Named Chair of Starbucks

Mellody Hobson assumes top board role in a historic move

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An Investment Career Requires a Listener

Asset management veteran Andrea Almeida Mack (’94) on the value of an MBA and finding the right cultural fit

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UCLA Anderson Entrepreneurs Break into the $50 Billion Femtech Industry

Mitchella Gilbert (’21) and team will debut a high-tech line of women’s leggings

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At Home in L.A. and in His Skin, Ice Cube Reflects

The award-winning sports and entertainment powerhouse is UCLA Anderson’s 2020 Game Changer

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Roll Up Your Sleeves

Kenyan-born Wambui Waiganjo (EMBA ’20) is an M.D. turned management consultant and soccer mom who leads strategic projects from planning to implementation and review processes.

What Black History Means to a Kenyan

Facebook Develops Tech Solutions to Meet Client Challenges

Gene Alston (J.D./MBA ’97) and his team help businesses grow by building new communities and attracting new customers.

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Accelerating the Rhythm of His Career

In his first year at UCLA Anderson, music industry hopeful Gaelen LeMelle-Brown (’21) learns by example how to share success

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Social Responsibility — with Interest

A commitment to affordable housing and wealth-building in minority communities led Natalie Hunter (’20) to earn an MBA

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Innovative Health Care Solutions Delivered

With a head for business, Patricia Mathelier (MBA/M.D. ’20) imagines mobile medical services for people of limited means

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A Partnership to Champion Diversity in Entertainment

UCLA Anderson’s Center for MEMES partners with Howard University to address a persistent challenge for the industry

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Changing of the Guard

Juggling business school and weekends in the California Army National Guard, Rhian Rogan (’20) considers a career in academe

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A Diversity of Options

Alumna Patrice Greenwood-Eitner (’04) helps first-generation college students reach the top rung

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Celebrating at Full Speed

The Riordan Programs’ 32nd anniversary gala was the “Ride of a Lifetime”

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Our Community Embraces Diversity


UCLA Anderson’s annual Embracing Diversity Week celebrates the strength of our diverse campus community and the power of our connections to reshape our future. Amid the tumult of 2020, Anderson student leaders adopted the theme of Connect for Real Change to focus on the importance of building strong relationships across differences, despite the year’s tensions.

For Oke Bamgbose (’22), an outwardly “diverse” workplace becomes inclusive only once a diversity of voices is truly influencing the organization.

Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

Striving for a Diverse Business Community

Students, alumni, faculty and guests agreed that real change is in connections

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In Their Words


What’s your one-sentence definition of success?

“Getting up every day to do something that I’m passionate about, that inspires me, and I can see where my efforts have contributed to changing the world in some way. Fortunately, I get to do that every day at YouTube.”

— Connie Knight (’98)

Connie Knight (’98)

Head of Multicultural Content Partnerships, YouTube

Why did you decide to get an MBA?

“After establishing a career in law, I knew that I would need a broader understanding of business to achieve my goal of running a media company someday. Entertainment has always been a fascination of mine. It is a platform that allows communities throughout the world to visualize possibilities.”

— Segun Aluko ('19)

Segun Aluko ('19)

Business Affairs Executive, William Morris Endeavor

Gene Alston (MBA/J.D. ’97)

VP of Marketing Partnerships, Facebook

Who do you admire most in the business world today and why?

“Well, if I had to choose, it would be Colin Powell because he’s an independent thinker and authentic leader. That said, I admire several leaders I’ve worked with over the years for the different superpowers they possessed.”

— Gene Alston (MBA/J.D. ’97)

Tazia Middleton ('18)

Certified Financial Planner

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever gotten?

“The best piece of career advice I’ve received was actually from my parents. They taught me that it’s important not to count yourself out. Show up and take a chance. You might actually surprise yourself!”

— Tazia Middleton ('18)

What lessons have you learned from being a person of color in the business world today?

Be yourself unapologetically; people respect authenticity. Someone before you created an opportunity for you; therefore, you are indebted to help provide a ladder that creates an opportunity for another.
— Jason Cole ('19)

What is the most important skill we should be teaching our students today?

“Empathy. It becomes much easier to make purpose-driven decisions when you empathize with the people supporting and driving your business. As a Black male, I know what it feels like to be marginalized. As a result, I recognize situations were groups are not given a voice, and I am intentional about making sure they are heard. When you get in someone’s corner, you earn an ally. And it was all possible because you were empathetic.”

— Landon Medlock ('18)

Landon Medlock ('18)

Senior Product Manager

Career-wise, where would you like to be in five years?

My answer now is probably completely different than when I came to Anderson. Now my answer is, to be a successful entrepreneur. In an ideal world, I would have had some success in entrepreneurship in the past and I think that I would like to use that as a platform to really focus professionally on companies that are in social impact and the education space.

— Jason Cole ('19)


From the UCLA Anderson Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


Assistant Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Heather Caruso is a scholar and researcher of organizational behavior. She guides the UCLA Anderson community in the small personal actions and large structural changes that lead to and preserve social justice.

Heather Caruso
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It’s Not Just What You Say or How You Say It

Warren Olney and assistant dean of equity, diversity and inclusion Heather Caruso discuss how listening to understand is the key to averting conflicts, particularly among people of different backgrounds and cultures.

Featuring:  Heather Caruso, Assistant Dean, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations and Behavioral Decision Making

What You Can Do

Thoughts from Assistant Dean Heather Caruso

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The Course for Diversity

Heather Caruso’s class focuses on leadership in equity, diversity and inclusion

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Record Numbers of Americans Recognize Racism as a Problem

Heather Caruso envisions what the solution could look like

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Spotlight: UC President Michael V. Drake

Michael V. Drake became the 21st president of the University of California, presiding over its 10 campuses five medical centers and three nationally affiliated labs, with stewardship of more than 280,000 students and 230,000 faculty and staff. The first Black president in UC’s 152-year history, Drake works in service to Californians from all levels of society, who benefit from the university’s research and opportunity, and, in his words, “whose lives are elevated when we get this right.”
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Community Leadership

  • Heather M. Caruso

    Creating a climate for greater equity, diversity and inclusion at UCLA Anderson

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    Dean Al Osborne

    Dean Al Osborne told Poets & Quants how Anderson leverages UCLA's "cluster of brain power" to be an entrepreneurial epicenter

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    Jay Tucker

    Jay Tucker ('09)

    Center for MEMES' executive director Jay Tucker is a relentless problem solver and unrepentant optimist

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    Andrea Wade ('96)

    Andrea Wade walks her talk as she helps alumni tap into the lifelong value of their MBA

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  • Monique Jones ('93)

    How the film industry reeled in Anderson alumna Monique Jones

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    Alex Lawrence ('99)

    Assistant dean of admissions and financial aid is taking on the sensitive topic of diversity recruitment

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Anderson Associations


Professional and identity clubs at UCLA Anderson represent our diverse
campus and initiatives.

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International Business Association (IBA)

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Black Business Students Association (BBSA)


The Anderson African American Alumni Association


Other Resources


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Diversity at UCLA

Graduate education at UCLA couldn’t have reached the heights it has without a full commitment to welcoming and fostering the diverse population that today thrives on our campus.

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The Consortium

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is committed to increasing the representation of African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in American business schools and corporate management. A member since 2010, UCLA Anderson is a proud supporter of this mission.

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Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans

Anderson’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans provides business training to returning military — nearly a third of them African-American.


Learn How We Champion and Celebrate Equity, Diversity and Inclusion