When Amanda Strong ’87 joined Babson College’s Board of Trustees, she could just about count the number of women and people of color on the board on one hand.
Now, reflecting on how far the College has come after being named the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day Leadership Award alumni winner, and as the leader of the Board’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, she believes—no, she is certain—that due to its commitment to diversity, Babson has never been better positioned for success.
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion is something that’s near and dear to my heart,” she says. “One of the key tenants of the strategic plan is to advance DE&I. Until this point, our strategic plan has never been this clear as an institute. … It’s some of the best progress we’ve ever made.”
A Community-Wide Endeavor
In Strong’s vision, everybody is taking strides to support diversity, equity, and inclusion, not just people of color. She also alluded to the College’s progress to the team around her.
“I’m proud of the people who are on the journey with me,” Strong said. “Sadie Burton-Goss, Tina Opie, people who make up the underrepresented groups at Babson have incredible heart and are inspiring. It’s not something you do by yourself.”
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion is something that’s near and dear to my heart.”
Amanda Strong ’87
Diversity, equity, and inclusion is one of the five core values of the College’s strategic plan. Last year, the College formed a faculty committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion, of which Opie serves as chair.
“Part of what I’m grateful for is that I have the support system, at Babson, and in my personal, and professional life,” Strong said.
A More Inclusive and Equitable Community
The director of asset management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Investment Management Company, Strong has applied diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives into her day-to-day work as well. “It’s been really satisfying,” she said.
In addition to being awarded to an alumnus, the College’s MLK leadership awards, which honor members of the Babson community who reflect Dr. King’s principles and ideals in philosophy and action, are given annually to a staff member, faculty member, and a pair of students. This year’s winners also included Associate Dean of the Undergraduate School Tracey Reza, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Angela Randolph, Jaylen Bell ’21, and Shoaib Rahaman ’21.
“(Amanda Strong) is a person who has always supported Babson by asking the hard questions and offering a warm heart, with the goal of the College a more inclusive and equitable community, and a better home for all of us,” said President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA ‘92, PhD.
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