Miami Business School to host first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Conference


The Miami Business School is offering its first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Conference on Thursday, Sept. 26. As a student-driven initiative, the event is designed to educate and create awareness about the important role racial and gender diversity play in the business world and beyond.

The event begins at 8 a.m. with a light breakfast followed by a morning of speakers, Q&A sessions, discussions and leadership panels. The goal, according to Rony Shir, director of alumni and corporate relationships, is to provide a platform for students, alumni and business leaders to share ideas and perspectives.

Currently, there are 400 people registered for the event, comprised of students, alumni, community members, business leaders and faculty.

The idea of the event derived from students and graduate students enrolled in the business school. The students took different polls and surveys and engaged in dialogue about diversity in the classroom. The feedback made it clear that the students were incredibly interested in having an event like this one as they believed diversity was a crucial part of understanding the field that they would one day enter.

When the rest of the UM, alumni and community members got word of this event, everybody wanted to be apart of it.

“It is amazing that the initiative came from students, and it’s also really amazing the response we have received from faculty, alumni and community partners as well,” said Shir. “It’s been very rewarding.”

There will also be a panel of UM educational leaders who will talk about the campus climate in the morning, followed by a corporate panel in the afternoon. The morning line up will speak mainly to students, beginning with introductory remarks from John A. Quelch, the dean of the Business School. He will speak about diversity within the UM community, followed by Jeffrey Duerk, the executive vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Following the provost, Hilarie Bass, the chair of the Board of Trustees, will speak. Because Bass is the second woman ever to lead the board, Shir says she is looking forward to hearing her perspective about what it is like to be a woman in the workforce.

“I’m really excited for every panel at the event,” Shir said. “I think they all bring different value.”

In addition to these UM educational leaders, business leaders and UM alumni like Alice Vilma, managing director at Morgan Stanley, and Jonathan Vilma, an ESPN college football analyst will speak from an alumni perspective about diversity. The event will close with a reflection by Ellen McPhillip, assistant dean of Undergraduate Business Education.

This event is sponsored by Northern Trust, Morgan Stanley, Miami Business School, Nextera Energy and the Bass Institute for Diversity and Inclusion.

For more details on the days itinerary and more information about the event, visit

What: Miami Business School’s Diversity and Inclusion Conference

When: 8 a.m-3:30 p.m. Sep 26, 2019

Where: Miami Business School’s Storer Auditorium

How to attend: Registration is now closed online. If you would like to register, please call 305-284-4052 or email Attendees are requested to adhere to a business casual dress policy.

For more information, visit