Dear HBS Online Community,

It has been a sad and tumultuous year, beginning with the global pandemic that has undoubtedly affected every one of you in some way. We extend our sympathies to those who have experienced loss during these times and to those who are struggling with health or economic hardship.

While the effects of the pandemic have been tough on us all, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in late May has brought our anguish to a new level and spawned sadness, anger, and protest in the United States reminiscent of that seen during the American Civil Rights movement of the last century.

Mr. Floyd is the latest victim in a too-long list of Black men and women dying by the hand of those charged with protecting us. Much has been said about these horrors by people far more qualified than we. Much more remains to be said and done. But as the events of the past few weeks have unfolded, we felt it was important to share the message that our Dean, Nitin Nohria, sent this week, and to personally acknowledge the deep sense of injustice, frustration, and anger that so many of us feel. We know that the killings of Mr. Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others have caused great anguish among those of us who are part of the Black community and those who support them. Their lives matter. Black Lives Matter.

We realize there are no easy fixes to the scourge of systemic racism. But as we’ve witnessed in the weeks since the murder of George Floyd, there is tremendous momentum among people of all racial backgrounds to begin finding and implementing solutions. In the midst of such pain, we take solace in knowing that Harvard Business School’s mission to “educate leaders who make a difference in the world” remains as critical and relevant as ever, and we commit to furthering that mission and expanding its reach during these unprecedented times. We know that many of you are already making a difference in ways that are meaningful both in the United States and in countries and communities across the world. It is the accumulation of these efforts, multiplied by the millions, that will ultimately affect change.

We hope you are taking care of yourselves and welcome any thoughts you may wish to share in this brief survey about how HBS Online can do its part to make the United States and the world better, fairer, and more just.

Thank you for being part of our community.

Debora Spar, Senior Associate Dean, HBS Online
Patrick Mullane, Executive Director, HBS Online