Change Does Not Start with a Community, but with Individuals: How Goizueta MBA Students Can Turn Tragedy into Triumph

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, what seemed to be a normal day in the Atlanta and surrounding area, eight innocent lives were taken from their families, friends, and communities. Community members and the media were quick to make the call that the crime should not be considered a “hate crime” until the investigation was complete. While I sat there processing the news, my heart ached, day after day we see hate fill our society and plague our everyday lives. I could not help but think about my own experiences being a Black man in America and how many times I’ve been unfairly judged due to the color of my skin.

As I continued to process my feelings, I thought about the Asian – American community and the fear, anxiety and danger they must feel going about their daily lives. After processing my emotions, I began to think about what impact myself and the rest of the Goizueta Business School community could make and how to influence positive change in hopes of creating a better future for generations to come.

The first call to action that comes to mind is that change does not start with a community, but rather with individuals. The first step to influence this positive change is inward self-reflection and growth of character and mindset.

Next, I reflected on the “Goizueta brand,” with current and aspiring students being the consumers. As students, we need to ensure that our voices are being heard and that we are raising awareness in our classes, with our peers, and amongst our leaders. If I think about brand loyalty among products I personally purchase, I can point to exactly what attracts me to a particular brand. Being Goizueta Business School students, we can ensure that the “Goizueta brand” is associated with powerful voices and influencers and attracts like-minded individuals for years to come.

Also, being in a program that attracts diverse backgrounds we should be called to reach across the aisle to someone who is different from us to engage in tough conversations and figure out ways to support each other through whatever life’s struggles may be.

We are called as individuals, the Goizueta Business School community, and as global leaders to be the change that is desperately needed in society today. We need to look out for our classmates and check on those that may be facing fears and uncertainty that we may know nothing about.

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Fred Mbena

Fred Mbena is a finance professional with a background in Corporate Finance and Accounting. Most recently he was employed by WarnerMedia where he held various roles from financial reporting and analysis to corporate budgets, forecasts and strategy. He has B.S in Accounting from Kennesaw State University and is currently an MBA candidate at Emory University.

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