Jan 22, 2021

January Update on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Tuck School

By Dia Draper
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dia Draper


As we celebrate the life of and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this month, I cannot help but wonder what he would have thought about this year of collective trial, tribulation, and change. I believe that Dr. King would not be surprised by the state of the union or the world, but I do believe he would still be hopeful. You can hear both hope and steadfastness in his words. They point to his understanding that justice and equality would not come swiftly or easily.

Hope is at the core of what drives our work in diversity and inclusion. The hope that human and civil rights will always advance towards equality, justice, and affinity. I have hope because even in the face of division and discord, global, national, and local movements have brought more attention to important issues such as economic and health disparities, anti-black racism, trans rights and xenophobia. We have seen what is possible when hope meets courage. As we endeavor to be agents for change, I hope that we continue to show up for each other—and that we use our resources, skills, and talents to ensure that our communities, our families, our organizations also have cause and occasion for hope.

Dartmouth 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: Hope and Action
We invite you to join us for the month-long 2021 MLK Celebration and hope that that this year’s programming, inspired by Dr. King’s life and legacy, provides opportunities for learning, for reflection, for hope, and for action.
For a full schedule of events (including links to virtual events) visit

Wishing you well, 


Dia Draper (she/her)
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Many Voices. One Tuck. 

Dia Draper with students

On My Mind

One of the things that I am most excited about working on in my new role is fostering collaboration with my fellow DEI Deans at Dartmouth’s other graduate and professional schools which include the Guarini School of Arts & Sciences, the Geisel School of Medicine, and the Thayer School of Engineering. In the last 18 months, all four schools have appointed a staff or faculty member as Deans for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

While each of us is tasked with supporting our institution’s communities and advancing our efforts and impact, we recognized that though our student profiles are vastly different, our work overlaps significantly. We now meet every other week to share ideas, resources, streamline efforts and support each other. We have joined together to support the Dartmouth Black Hair Care Program, working to ensure that graduate students can access this vital resource. We created the Graduate Student Partner Visit Program which helps students secure guest rooms at the Hanover Inn at a discounted rate since visitors are not allowed in campus housing and gathering spaces. We also held space for students to check-in and connect after the November 2020 election. I am curious to investigate if there are other ways the graduate and professional school students want to create community.

Recommended Reading

“How 2020 Accelerated Conversations on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion”
A conversation with Lauren Romansky, Managing Vice President of Gartner Human Resources

“While there have been many points in history where society reflects on expectations of diversity and inclusion, the summer of 2020 has presented a real opportunity for change. As employees across the globe engage in discussions of racial justice, leaders are seizing this moment to consider their roles and opportunities to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at their organizations,” says Romansky. Listen to the full interview here.

DE&I Team Updates

There is a popular African Proverb that says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” As we gain momentum on our quest to build an infrastructure to support our institutional DEI efforts, we needed some additional help to capitalize on the great energy from the Tuck community.  We are happy to share that Michele Wheeler, guest services and academic coordinator, and Taryn Rich, associate director for institutional initiatives, are joining the DEI team so that we can go fast and far.

The Black Students at Tuck (BSAT) have changed their name to: Black Student Association at Tuck, retaining the BSAT acronym for the organization. The incoming T’22 co-chairs are: Jazmine Brite, Andrew (Drew) Hazel, and Natalie Omondi. My (and our) deepest gratitude to the T’21 co-chairs as they pass the torch: Ike Amakiri, Leah Jack, and Erukana Kazibwe.

DE&I Student Co-Chair Corner

With Roderick Milligan T'21 and Lia Parker-Belfer T'22

Hi there! We wanted to share a few exciting initiatives and events to look forward to in the coming months. Coming up: We’ve partnered with TuckStuff and BSAT to raise funds for the NAACP Legal Defense. Please consider purchasing a shirt here that we developed through a partnership with Paul Nichols, a Dartmouth undergrad and virtual designer. 100 percent of proceeds will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Thank you for your support and partnership this fall. We look forward to continuing this important work with you all in the new year.

—Rod and Lia

January 2021

  • “If You Knew Me” podcast launch. Listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify and Google Podcasts.
  • Anonymous Inquiry Form launch (submit DE&I questions to your co-chairs)
  • Black History Month book club with BSAT, TALK, and Literati
  • TuckStuff NAACP Legal Defense Fundraiser

February 2021

  • Private Equity & Venture Capital (PEVC) Conference Diversity Panel (2/1)
  • BSAT will host a second Horror Noire event. Details coming soon!

March 2021

  • DE&I Summit in partnership with HBS, Wharton, Tepper, Darden, and Ross*

*If you’re a current Tuck student interested in supporting this summit, please email us and we’ll loop you in!

Update on TADA

Tuck is undeniably a place that inspires connection and engagement. I am rarely surprised, but always inspired by how alumni remain such dedicated advocates, advisors, and stewards of Tuck. One of the things that has improved diverse alumni engagement is the TADA (Tuck Association of Diverse Alumni) organization and the vision, structure, and opportunities that the group offers alumni who want to get involved. This month, TADA welcomes Victoria Weiss T’04, Ramsey Jay Jr. T’05, and Joanna Jen T’08; the triumvirate joins Lisha Davis T’10 as co-chairs of the association which is celebrating its 10th year.

History, Heritage, and Honor

MLK Jr. Day: This week we celebrated and honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A fundraiser (#TuckFallsMLKJr) organized by DEI student co-chairs raised a remarkable $3,390 for The Brennan Center for Justice, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and The King Center. For a full schedule of MLK Jr. events visit

Movember: Led by Mikael Clement T’22, over 20 Tuck students and Tuck partners signed up to help change the face of men’s health, exceeding a fundraising goal of $2K by raising nearly $10K. Read more from Mikael on the true meaning of Movember.

Black Legacy Month: Throughout the month of February, the Tuck and Dartmouth communities will offer a number of events and programs to celebrate BLM. Be on the lookout for the following events and more: 

  • Black Legacy Month TuckTails (Feb 4)
  • Smart, Funny and Black with Comedian Amanda Seales (Feb 5)
  • Delta Sigma Theta Race+History Tour of Dartmouth (Feb 18)
  • Black Excellence Banner Spotlight around the Dartmouth Green (All of February)
  • Black Student Leader Spotlight in Baker Library (All of February)

The purpose of Black Legacy Month is to recognize the Black experience, explore topical issues in the Black community while giving context to a vision of what the Black future could be, and engage the Dartmouth community in an appreciation for all that Black people have contributed to the campus and the world at large.  Download the BLM logo here.

In Case You Missed It: Recent Programs and Events

AfroTech Conference
AfroTech is one of the largest multicultural tech conferences in the United States, bringing together engineers, venture capitalists, recruiters, technologists, and culture enthusiasts from all over the world. Started in 2016, it is the definitive conference that brings leaders in technology and business together to exchange ideas and build a strong Black tech community. For Kristen Hughes T’21, who is headed to Microsoft in August, the AfroTech Conference was a reminder of just how much representation matters and how crucial it is to have mentors and thought leaders in your life that look like you. Read more on the conference from Kristen.

Tuck Business Bridge Program Introduces Inclusive Leadership Session
One of the benefits of moving to virtual delivery platforms during the pandemic is the increase in access to programs like Tuck’s Business Bridge Program which provides top liberal arts and STEM undergraduates and recent grads with essential business skills via a best-in-class certificate program that delivers a comprehensive business curriculum taught by Tuck faculty. In the December and January sessions, the participants were invited to join me for a pilot 60-minute seminar on Inclusive Leadership. I was stunned at the level of participation and the lively conversation and their thoughtful remarks. We used mini case studies and breakout rooms to dig into scenarios that would challenge these young leaders to consider: “What would I do?” while exploring a variety of scenarios around race, gender, sexuality and identity.

Tuck Executive Education: Diverse Business Programs Share Wisdom with Tuck MBAs
Last month we had the great fortune of partnering with Tuck’s Executive Education team and the Diversity Business Programs to give Tuck MBA students a chance to connect with leaders, change-makers and entrepreneurs who were participating in the Building a Successful Diverse Business Program. Tuck students had the chance to learn from entrepreneurs and executives from a wide variety of backgrounds and industries about how they lead, manage and build successful businesses, organizations and teams. Many students were interested in the opportunity to network and make connections with peers and executives who share common interests and goals while also sharing their own experiences.

The participants in the MBE Program include women, men, veterans, LGBTQ, under-represented, and international folks.

This year marks 40 years of Minority Business Program leadership at Tuck. We are proud to have the first and longest-running program for Diverse Business Executives. Special thanks to Emmanuel Ajavon, Associate Director, Business Leadership Programs, Executive Education.

A Final Thought: Join a DEI Working Group

As we head into drafting our strategic plan and crafting an inaugural annual report for DEI, we would benefit from having interested members of the Tuck community involved. To that end, I am convening advisory committees and working groups for short-term (through August 2021) partnership. These groups will be responsible for providing insight, ideas, and feedback on our research, drafts, and proposals. I anticipate that the time commitment would be 4-6 hours per month. Faculty, staff, students, partners, and alumni are welcome to indicate your interest via this short form or email