Brock President to discuss corporate social responsibility in era of Black Lives Matter

Brock University President Dr. Gervan Fearon. Brock University photo

Brock University press release – The Black Lives Matter movement has opened the world’s eyes to the systemic barriers affecting those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. It has already led to some movement and dialogue around advancing change for more inclusion and equity initiatives within society.

During this time of social movement, what role should corporations play?

This question will be at the core of a discussion led by Brock University President and Vice-Chancellor Gervan Fearon on Wednesday, July 29/2020 at 11 a.m. as part of the Business Breathers webinar series.

The free weekly series is facilitated by the Goodman School of Businesses’ Goodman Group and features 30 minutes of live industry and faculty expert-led discussions, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer period. Topics focus on leadership, management and innovation, as well as the financial and social impacts of trending topics.

“In periods of significant social change, such as what we are seeing in the U.S. and across the globe with the Black Lives Matter movement, it is important for business leaders to consider the influence of societal changes and the role corporations can play through their corporate social responsibility strategy to foster broader societal values, such as civil rights, equity, diversity and inclusion,” said Fearon.

The webinar will discuss, among other points, the relationship between corporate social responsibility and human rights; reflections and strategies corporations may consider; and the need for decision makers to move from statements to action.

“There are expressions of understanding and there are also actions demonstrating an effort towards facilitating and supporting broader social progress and inclusion,” Fearon said. “We have seen corporations and governments impacted by previous social movements, such as the environmental movement, and taken action to address them.”

Fearon said statements of support from corporations and organizations are important, but they infer a commitment to take action.

“Corporate social responsibility can be a mechanism for linking expressions of support for equity and inclusion to concrete action that both addresses some of the core issues being brought by the Black Lives Matters movement and allows the organization to reflect its unique value-propositions through the actions it conducts,” he said.

Last month, Fearon wrote a letter in response to the hundreds of Black Lives Matter protests that took place in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Brock then announced a series of actions to advance equity and inclusion at the University.

The Business Breathers webinars are open to everyone, but interested participants are asked to register online. A confirmation email will provide a link to access the webinar.