Guest Post Written by Alankrita Dayal.
This Racial Equity@Haas blog series written by three Haas students (Charlie James, Alankrita Dayal, and Naayl Kazmi) is providing the space for us to meet our core principles of being Students Always, Beyond Ourselves, and Questioning the Status Quo by opening the conversation on race, how it manifests in business, and its broader implications. We’re asking four questions to members of the Haas community in order to illuminate how racial equity in business and Haas is conceived and to stir an open conversation.
Jose Luis Ramos Mora is a third-year transfer business administration major. During the past year, he has been the treasurer for the Cal Veterans Group and the Homeless Student Union. He is also a fellow in the Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations. He likes to walk the long way to class because it is the most scenic route. Jose likes to watch a lot of Netflix on his free time. Favorite shows consist of How I Met Your Mother, Friday Night Lights, and The Office. After graduation, he hopes to work for nonprofits that focus on higher education for low income communities. He hopes to one day start his own nonprofit organization. This summer he will most likely be taking summer classes and planning a trip to Costa Rica with friends from his time in the Marine Corps.
Q1) What is Racial Equity to You?
Racial equality to me means having the same opportunities as the person next to you without having race come into play, having to act a certain way because that is the way it is seen as professional. I believe there are many great qualities every race brings to the table and they should be accepted in a professional setting. Myself and certain friends act a certain way in professional settings and are overly conscious about everything we say and do because we are afraid of being perceived as the typical Mexican person or typical black person.
Q2) How do you find Racial Equity Important to Business?
I think it is very important because in the business world, it is crucial to have the experience and different perspectives that a diverse racial workforce brings to the table. In business, as in many other situations, it is critical to demonstrate your company or organization takes into consideration all the clients best interests and needs. This can best be achieved by having racial equality all throughout the company.
Q3) In Your Perception, How is Haas on Racial Equity?
Haas does a good job because all the administration and professors I have encountered acknowledge there is a racial discrepancy when it comes to education and race. Many business classes don’t take into consideration this inequality because it doesn’t fit with a lot of the business theories that are studied but nonetheless the professors for the most part acknowledge it exists.
Q4) Please Add a Personal Anecdote on Racial Equity.
Racial equality has a lot to do with the way you look. I remember checking into the USCIS building in Los Angeles, when I was about 18 years old, with my sister. We were standing in line and talking to each other in English. The guard that was doing the security check told me in broken Spanish to please take off my belt and any metal objects I had on me. Then he proceeded to tell my sister the same thing but in English. It is small things like these that make me realize I am stereotyped anywhere I go. I have also been stopped for no reason and asked for my ID while walking down the street and I have also been stopped in my vehicle because I was in a “drug dealing” neighborhood. At that time I did not think anything of these encounters but the more I meet other people, that don’t look like me, the more I realize they have never experienced these situations and the more I realize I look different. I am ok with it because I know I am not only proving something to myself and those people that assume certain things about me based on my looks, but I am also proving something to that 18-year-old Hispanic kid that is going through the same experiences I went through at his age and that is far more important than anything else.