Juneteenth Message: June 19, 2020

Dear All,

I am sending my Sunday message early this week in honor of Juneteenth. Today commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, one hundred and fifty-five years ago. It also reminds us of the work that remains to achieve racial equality.

Over the last few weeks, we have had many discussions with members of our community about improving representation and inclusion of the Black community at Stanford GSB, and strengthening our overall diversity efforts. These discussions are an important step toward actionable strategies. We will be continuing this work in the coming weeks, and I will be writing later this summer with a set of actions and goals for the coming year. An important part of this process will be thinking about how Stanford GSB can contribute to racial justice beyond our campus and across the country.

I invite you to use this Juneteenth to engage in reflection, and to make use of the resources that Stanford Library has assembled to learn more.

Supreme Court Decisions

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two important decisions that impact members of our Stanford GSB community.

On Thursday, the Court left in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The decision comes as a tremendous relief to those of us who had been following the case with deep concern for DACA recipients. However, it does not resolve the longer-term status of DACA recipients. There is a clear path of action that Stanford has strongly supported, which is for Congress to create a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. This legislation is long overdue and I was happy to see the President and Provost affirm our continued advocacy this week.

The DACA decision follows Monday’s landmark ruling that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination. The decision is a milestone in the history of LGBTQ rights, and an important step toward ensuring that workplaces across the country are equitable and inclusive of all people.

Virtual Celebration of Graduates

We closed Spring Quarter last weekend with our first virtual Celebration of Graduates. It was a wonderful event that drew on videos and photos submitted by many people. I especially want to the Stanford GSB Communications team, and everyone at the school who put in a tremendous effort over the last weeks of the quarter to create the event. Congratulations once again to the Stanford GSB Class of 2020!

Stanford Rebuild

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Stanford Rebuild program we have organized in collaboration with the schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Education. The free program makes Stanford GSB entrepreneurial resources available to participants from around the world and aims to support them in innovative efforts to start new ventures and rebuild from the pandemic. The program has met with a tremendous response and launches on Monday with over 1,800 participants. Please consider registering for the program or just attending one of next week’s “Get Inspired” events.

Closing

Juneteenth and the beginning of summer arrive after a spring that has tested everyone’s strength and endurance. I wish everyone a restorative weekend and the opportunity to recharge.

Jon Levin
Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean