Johnnetta Betsch Cole, author and editor of numerous books, is President Emerita of Spelman and Bennett Colleges, Director Emerita of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art, and former Chair and President of the National Council of Negro Women. She lives in Florida.
The Fierce Urgency of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
2023. "The Fierce Urgency of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion", Speechifying: The Words and Legacy of Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Erica Lorraine Williams
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The speeches in this chapter showcase the range of Johnnetta Betsch Cole's work in inspiring change around diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia, philanthropy, museums, and even corporate America. In her 2010 speech to Goldman Sachs, she outlines the moral and business case for diversity and inclusion. Not only is ensuring a diverse workforce the right thing to do, but it also fosters innovation, enhances productivity, and attracts consumers. In her 2011 speech at Ohio State University, she argues that “excellence in education is only possible if there is diversity.” In “Lessons from the Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” she focuses on Coretta Scott King's activism to champion the rights of women and people within the LGBT community. Finally, in her 2015 speech in New Orleans, she outlines the benefits of study abroad and the need for more students from diverse communities to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.