Creating a Community of Belonging

With some of the most trusted and knowledgeable voices in diversity, equity, and inclusion, Johnson has the will, the means, and the commitment to support and empower a diverse student body.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management nurtures the success of all of our students by creating a community of belonging. We have broken down barriers and dismantled the systems that have historically prevented students from showing up as their authentic selves.

McGraw Tower at sunset with a lake in the background.

Our Stance Against Hatred

Our school, along with the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, remains committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Our community promotes and practices respectful, civil discourse, and our immediate focus is on keeping the community safe. We echo Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack’s messages to support one another in standing against hatred.

A student wearing a letterman jacket that says “Cornell” with a professor at the front of a room in the background.

Our Commitment to Antiracism

Dialogue and education are essential now more than ever to dismantle systemic racism in our school, in business education more broadly, and in the organizations our students go on to lead. We’ve developed several initiatives to promote antiracism and enhance diversity and belonging throughout the school.

Person writing on a green chalkboard in the Gayogohó:nǫˀ language.

Land Acknowledgment: Recognizing the Cayuga Nation

Our school, as part of the SC Johnson College, recognizes and honors the land on which we live, work, and learn. Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ (the Cayuga Nation).

The College’s Land Acknowledgment

Hear from Our Students

Headshot of Kayla Menes MBA ’24.

“I know that whenever I walk in, I’m stepping in a space where I can be myself and my voice will be heard. The office has an open-door policy, and I’ve always felt welcome to stop by and share my thoughts on how to continue to foster an inclusive community for Black students and underrepresented minorities at the Johnson School.” —Kayla Menes MBA ’24

Headshot of Saurab Prabhakar MBA ’24.

“We have the opportunity to shape the next class by leading various events for current and prospective students. I had the opportunity to partner with incredible students this past year. Students can expect strong second year and faculty support.” —Saurab Prabhakar MBA ’24

Our Office

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management was one of the first top-tier business schools to have an office focused on supporting the rising generation of women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx/Hispanic, and LGBTQ leaders. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), which opened in 1999, is a resource for all prospective and current students, faculty and staff members, corporate partners, and alumni.


Our Mission

As a university founded to be a place where “any person can find instruction,” we value diversity and inclusion, and we strive to be a welcoming, caring, and equitable community. The university mission complements our mission to “foster a diverse community of equity, inclusion, and belonging within the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management to promote psychological safety so that all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and external partners can show up as their authentic selves and thrive to build sustainable, shared prosperity.”

Two students sitting at a table with plates and cups in front of them.

Innovators in Inclusion: Our History and Impact

Founded in 1999 as the Office for Women and Minorities in Business, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2024. The Johnson School was among the first top-tier business schools to create an office dedicated to integrating diversity and inclusion into the student experience.


Students in business attire walking across a road.

Applying to the Johnson School

We’re here to support applicants of any race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation through the admissions process. Our MBA program offers several signature events for prospective students including Johnson Diversity Hosting Weekend and Johnson Military Preview.


Diversity Resources and Support: How We Help Our Students

All across the Johnson School, you’ll find student organizations and clubs that bring communities and allies together to celebrate diverse cultures and provide learning and networking opportunities. Our office partners with these groups and other departments across campus to ensure we’re dismantling barriers and nurturing success.

Accessibility at Johnson

We are committed to creating an equitable community that embraces students with disabilities and neurodiversity. We work closely with student support offices and campus groups to ensure students have access to services and other resources.


Asian, Desi, and Pacific Islander at Johnson

We celebrate awareness and allyship of Asian American and Pacific Island heritages in many ways. Participate in annual celebrations such as Lunar New Year and Diwali or attend an educational event hosted by the Asian Affinity Business Association.


Black at Johnson

ODI works closely with groups like the Black Graduate Student Association and the Johnson Africa Business Society. Annual student-led events include the Melanin Mixer, Jollof Wars, and a range of programming during Black History Month.


Consortium at Johnson

Johnson is a member of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an organization dedicated to increasing diversity in global business education. Member schools aim to reduce the underrepresentation and exclusion of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in their enrollment.


Faith and Spirituality at Johnson

We strive to foster a community that respects the spiritual beliefs of everyone. Our office works with faith-based organizations and individual students to promote awareness of cultural and religious practices that are less understood in the United States and thereby marginalized.


First Generation at Johnson

Being the first person in the family to attend college is an accomplishment that can come with unexpected challenges. We support first-generation and low-income students in several ways, from financial support and career development to mentoring and networking opportunities.


Indigenous at Johnson

ODI helps Indigenous students connect or reconnect with their full identities. We offer intentional support and resources, such as opportunities to engage with other Indigenous students at Cornell and with the nations on whose traditional lands we sit.


Latinx and Hispanic at Johnson

Our office collaborates with the Hispanic American Business Leaders Association and the Latin American Business Association. Student groups host events like Carnaval Latino and the Afro-Latinx Party. 


LGBTQ+ at Johnson

We celebrate the many identities that make up our LGBTQ+ community at Johnson. Groups like Out for Business provide professional development programs. Student groups host annual events like the Drag Brunch and an LGBTQ+ welcome for incoming students. 


Women at Johnson

We support women and help all students understand the implications of gender inequity. Student groups organize events for Women’s History Month and host networking and learning opportunities throughout the year. 


Inclusive Leadership Development

Johnson offers a variety of courses that focus on difficult conversations and leading across differences. Our office supplements that with facilitated dialogues and training for the campus community focusing on identity, equity, privilege, oppression, and more. 


Professional Development

Students can benefit from career development and conferences led by diversity-driven nonprofits and national organizations. Examples include Reaching Out MBA, the National Black MBA Association Career Expo, and the Empwr Disability in Business Conference.


Johnson Office of Diversity and Inclusion Events

Explore our event calendar for opportunities to learn something new, engage with our community, or participate in a celebration.

Upcoming Events

Accreditation Matters: AACSB Values Diversity and Inclusion

Supporting diversity and inclusion is a critical component of the accreditation standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The organization’s guiding principles state: “Diversity in people and ideas enhances the educational experience and encourages excellence in every business education program.” 

The Johnson School is proud to be among the less than 6 percent of business schools worldwide that have met AACSB’s rigorous requirements, which include creating a welcoming environment that fosters diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

AACSB Accredited logo fading into a photo of people walking on a sidewalk with Cornell flags.

Belonging at the Johnson School: News and Updates

Learn more about initiatives from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and other related news and stories from across our school. 

Women's History Month graphic featuring a line of diverse women across the bottom.
March 31, 2023

Timeless Advice from SC Johnson College of Business Faculty and Alumni

Leaders in business and hospitality share words of wisdom for emerging leaders.

headshot of Kielyn Jarvis.
February 28, 2023

Kielyn Jarvis Creates Mentorship Program for Dyson Students

As a Park Leadership Fellow, Kielyn Jarvis, MBA ’23, developed a mentorship program that will match MBA students with Dyson Diversity Scholars.

headshot of Kafilatu Tiamiyu.
February 27, 2023

Kafilatu Tiamiyu Helps Build Community of African Students at Johnson

Kafilatu Tiamiyu, MBA ’23, helped increase African international students at Johnson and organized a trek to Tanzania focused on the business of safaris.