With June upon us, the world gears up to celebrate Pride Month, a time dedicated to honoring the LGBTQ+ community’s resilience, history, and ongoing fight for equality. For educational institutions like Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Pride Month is a time to reaffirm their commitment to fostering an inclusive environment where individuals feel valued, respected, and empowered to be their authentic selves.

Emory Goizueta’s campus has long been a beacon of diversity and inclusion, embracing students, faculty, and staff from all walks of life. “We have the privilege as a private university to be as inclusive as we want to be,” says Giacomo Negro, the associate dean for culture and inclusion. Yet, the journey towards LGBTQ+ acceptance and involvement is ongoing, and Pride Month serves as an opportune moment to reflect on the progress made and the work that still lies ahead.

Acceptance goes beyond mere tolerance; it involves active participation and engagement. Goizueta encourages LGBTQ+ students to take up leadership roles and join student organizations dedicated to activism and inclusion.

Fostering Leadership at Goizueta

One of the cornerstones of LGBTQ+ acceptance on campus is education. Goizueta recognizes the importance of providing resources and support to help all members of the community understand the challenges and opportunities faced by LGBTQ+ individuals. Through workshops, seminars, and guest lectures, the school fosters dialogue and awareness, creating a more empathetic and informed community.

This April, Goizueta partnered with Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) to put on one of the most prominent leadership summits for LGBTQ+ MBA students. “The idea is, they bring together club leaders from MBA programs all across the country,” says Tyler Dinucci 24MBA, who was vice president of the Goizueta Pride Alliance. “And then those club leaders share what’s worked for them, what they’re working on… and it’s also a knowledge exchange.”

Dinucci shares that ROMBA had been eager to have an event in the Southeast. So, a partnership with Emory seemed natural. “We are a top 20 MBA program. So if you’re looking for a high-quality program within the Southeast, this was one of the more obvious choices to go with,” he says. The Goizueta Pride Alliance jumped at the chance to host such a prestigious event, and it marked an important partnership for Emory as a whole. “I think it was a way for us to express our excitement to be able to participate,” says Negro.

The conference included workshops in which MBA students exchanged information on programs, marketing strategies, roadblocks, and community projects. Club leaders got to see different perspectives from a diverse group of MBA programs to which they might not otherwise have access. “The nice thing is going to a summit and hearing something that is wildly different than something you’re pursuing,” Dinucci says.

One program shared its initiative of providing consulting services to local queer-owned businesses. Dinucci admits that was something he and others in the Goizueta Pride Alliance hadn’t thought of yet. “Using what we’re learning at Goizueta to help a business in the community, especially a queer-owned one, was a really amazing idea,” he says. “That cross-pollination of ideas was super useful.” Staying plugged into the national LGBTQ+ MBA scene helps keep Goizueta informed and at the forefront of advocacy strategy.

A Small Class Needs Big Representation

Goizueta Pride Alliance recognizes the importance of connecting students organizationally and socially. With an MBA population that includes many working students, socializing proves more difficult than in a traditional undergraduate program. “MBA programs are really tough,” Dinucci shares. “It’s important to have social activities as well that make people feel like they’re in more of a community.”

Finding your people on campus who have similar experiences [to] you does have value, especially when you’re going through the rigor of an MBA program.

Tyler Dinucci 24MBA

Organizations like Goizueta Pride Alliance help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness. They do this by providing spaces where LGBTQ+ individuals can connect with one another, share experiences, and offer support. “I know lots of people come get their MBA with a goal in mind of how they wanted to accelerate their career. But that does not mean you can’t have fun while doing it,” Dinucci says. “And part of that is still making sure that social aspect exists.”

LGBTQ+ identifiers and allies alike have to do their part to nurture the small community. While tight-knit, the numbers are still prevalent. “The connections may be deep and sustained and long-lasting. On the other hand… everyone has to always step up and participate. Because if they don’t, then I think their absence might be noticed,” Negro said. “Not in terms of judgment, but more in terms of presence and contribution.”

Goizueta Pride

When asked what Pride means to a Goizueta student, Dinucci speaks of self-assurance and value. “It’s this idea shaking off the shame… or confusion, or maybe anxiety that you had when you were younger. You kind of come in with a more fully confident version of yourself and who you are,” he says. Acceptance and inclusion on campus help students grow personally in their self-identity as they grow academically and professionally.

Goizueta has a large population of working students who balance life in the office with life on campus. “Part of what being a Pride activist is for LGBTQ students to go into the workplace to be comfortable in their own skin. It means to be out and still be successful at whatever they do and wherever they go.”

Embracing diversity isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also smart business. In today’s interconnected world, companies and organizations operate in increasingly diverse markets. The ability to understand, appreciate, and leverage diverse perspectives is not just a moral imperative but also a competitive advantage. By championing inclusion and acceptance, Goizueta prepares its students to navigate a globalized marketplace with empathy, cultural competence, and leadership.

At Goizueta, diversity is a commitment to nurture and challenge the unique perspectives that will shape the future of business. It’s a commitment to innovate in traditional fields and embrace emerging insights. It is the foundation of our intentions and actions. It is one of the core values by which we lead. Learn more.