EQUITY NOW SPEAKER SERIES

The University of Connecticut School of Business is proud to present the EQUITY NOW Speaker Series, featuring expert insights on how law and policy can promote diversity, equity, and fairness in organizations and society. The EQUITY NOW Speaker Series is produced by the University of Connecticut School of Business in coordination with the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, Virginia Tech Pamplin School of Business, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and Temple University Fox School of Business. Each of the four new speakers to be featured during the 2023-24 academic year are esteemed business lawyers focused on legal and policy issues regarding race, identity, sexual orientation, disability and gender equality in modern organizations.

For more information about the series, please contact Robert Bird, Professor of Business Law and Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics, at robert.bird@uconn.edu.

To learn more about diversity initiatives at the UConn School of Business, visit diversity.business.uconn.edu.

Logos for UConn School of Business Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics Indiana Kelley School of Business Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Center for Business Analytics Temple University Fox School of Business and the Academy of Legal Studies in Business

Upcoming Events

Hear Me Out: A Lesson in Civil Discourse

Cheryl Black
Assistant Professor of Business Systems and Analytics
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University

February 20, 2024
6:00 p.m.(ET)

Civil discourse is the bedrock upon which the legal system is built, legal disputes are argued, and legal decisions are made. However, today’s polarization, gaslighting, and cancel culture threaten the existence of civil discourse in the public arena and in the classroom. Hear Me Out: A Lesson in Civil Discourse critically examines civil discourse and introduces guiding principles on how to argue respectfully. It is counter to the toxic approach that floods our media streams and social networks, and it might just be the solution we need to preserve our civilized democratic society.

Cheryl Black is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, who held several leadership positions in local, regional and national bar associations during her legal career. A seasoned lawyer and passionate educator, Cheryl Black practiced law for over 30 years in the public and private sector before transitioning to a career in academia. As an academic, she is actively involved in the Academy of Legal Studies in Business and recently participated as a finalist in their coveted Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher Competition. Cheryl is a tenured-track Assistant Professor of Business Systems & Analytics with the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University. She teaches business law and business ethics courses focused on data privacy, cybersecurity and technology.

Leading DEI in a Post-Affirmative Action Environment

Robert Thomas
Professor of Business Law and Ethics
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Kelley School of Business at Indiana University

November 13, 2023
6:00 p.m.(ET)

DEI has never been disconnected from the political landscape in which it resides. Its origins coincided with the development of affirmative-action initiatives and equal-opportunity legislation. Tenets of DEI advance justice and effectiveness in education and in the business world. DEI initiatives also enhance the engagement and productivity of employees in the workplace, reduce absenteeism, and produce a more collaborative working environment. Despite its value in the workplace and beyond, DEI is not universally supported. In this environment, DEI leadership requires redoubling efforts to promote the essential elements of DEI and highlight its value to the workplace and society regardless of the political context. DEI is about lowering barriers for everyone, and DEI can play an important part of advancing widely-accepted societal goals.

Robert Thomas is Professor of Business Law and Ethics and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Prior to this appointment, Thomas was on the business school faculties at the University of Florida and University of Michigan. He is an expert in diversity management and conflict resolution. His research examines strategic uses of law in business and politics. Thomas earned a PhD in business economics and a JD from Stanford University. He has served as Academy of Legal Studies President and is a founding board member of the Business School DEI Collaborative.

Past Event

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The College Athletes’ Rights Movement: Antitrust, Employment and NIL

Marc Edelman
Professor of Law, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York

October 3, 2023
6:00 p.m.(ET)

Recent years have seen three important changes to the legal landscape of college sports. First, new state laws have allowed college athletes, for the first time, to earn money by endorsing products. Second, the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in NCAA v. Alston overturned longstanding limits college athletes’ in-kind educational benefits. Third, there has been emerging support from the General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board to recognize certain college athletes as employees. This talk will discuss each of three important changes to the legal landscape of college sports, and it will explain how each of these changes supports societal goals of both social justice and free markets.

Professor Marc Edelman is a tenured Professor of Law at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York and the Director of Business Ethics at the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity. He has published more than 70 law journal articles, presented research at upwards of 150 academic conferences, and has testified in front of multiple government agencies. He is regularly cited by the media on topics including how the Sherman Act applies to professional sports leagues, how gaming laws apply to fantasy sports contests, and how both labor laws and antitrust laws apply within the college sports industry. In July 2019, Professor Edelman testified before the California State legislature in favor of the Fair Pay to Play Act – the act that first enabled college athletes to earn money from licensing the rights to their names, images and likenesses.

Professor Edelman recently returned to the United States after completing a three-month fellowship as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in Canberra, Australia, where he conducted research on the comparative governance of sports under the American and Australian systems. An important theme of his research was on the topic of “college athlete rights as human rights.” In addition to earning him the opportunity to serve as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar, Professor Edelman’s ongoing research on athlete rights has also earned him numerous ethics awards within the legal academy, including the 2022 Abraham Briloff Faculty Prize in Ethics and the 2018 Virginia Maurer Award for Best Ethics Paper, awarded by the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.

Past Event

Watch the Presentation Video