A milestone was achieved on Saturday, October 19, 2019, as the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Black Alumni Network celebrated its launch as the school’s first affinity network. Approximately 75 Carey alumni and staff came together to mark the occasion with Carey Dean Alex Triantis and Black Alumni Network President John L. Green III (MBA ’04) delivering remarks.
The impetus for the network was reconnecting minority alumni to Carey, as well as creating new networking and mentorship opportunities among alumni, plus current and prospective students.
“When the LDP (Leadership Development Program for Minority Managers), a graduate certificate once offered, ended a number of years ago, there was nothing formal in place to keep in touch with and engage its graduates,” said Green, who earned his MBA from the Johns Hopkins School of Professional Studies in Business and Education, the immediate predecessor to Carey. “LDP also was a great feeder for minority students interested in pursuing a graduate degree at Carey, including the MBA,” he added. “So, there are many ‘double alumni’ because of it.” (Green himself is an LDP graduate, cohort 10, class of 2000.)
“We wanted to rekindle those relationships with our existing alumni base,” said Green. He stressed the value of an engaged, evolving partnership with highly successful professionals in a diverse group of industries and occupations who are passionate about Carey and eager to share their expertise and experience.
A core goal of the network is “bringing people back to the fold” said Green, citing the additional challenge of many who graduated before Carey was founded identifying themselves as Carey alumni.
Both Green and Gareth Warren (MBA ’11), vice president of the network, along with other members, are busy mapping out a calendar of events and initiatives for 2020. Already, social media channels are percolating with activity; the network’s LinkedIn page stands at approximately 150 members and growing.
The school has made progress on other fronts in engaging minority populations, as well. In 2017, Carey launched its “Leading a Diverse Society” initiative, with the goal of removing barriers to business education for underrepresented minorities. Fruits of those efforts have included creation of a dedicated fund to support student diversity at Carey, a mentorship program for minority students, and a first-ever Summer Business Academy in 2019, geared to undergraduates from historically black colleges and universities. In addition to continuing those initiatives, the network will be directly involved in Carey’s minority recruiting and career development efforts.
Of the diverse attendance at the kickoff event, Green observed “I actually met people who graduated from the LDP in the mid-1990s, as well as people who [just] graduated in the ‘teens.” Warren added that the event also drew individuals from other schools within Johns Hopkins, interested in the structure and goals of the network.
The network’s potential is already producing excitement. “This is a foundational year for us,” said Warren, who added “The support from Johns Hopkins and Carey has been phenomenal.”
“As the first affinity-based group at Carey Business School, the Black Alumni Network is poised to set the standard for all affinity groups to follow,” said Dean Triantis in his launch remarks. “This is due to the hard work of John Green and the members of the steering committee, along with Professor James Calvin, whose leadership and mentoring have inspired so many in attendance here today.”