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5 Reflections on Building Racial Equity from DEI Nonprofit Leader John Rice

Written by Bannon Puckett on Jul 30, 2021

Related content: Diversity And Inclusion, Corporate Social Responsibility, Leadership

MLT Founder and CEO John Rice describes his organization’s unique mentorship approach.

In the latest EDU: Live—a monthly series of conversations hosted by 2U’s David Sutphen on equity, access, and opportunity in higher education and beyond—special guest John Rice, founder and CEO of Management Leadership Tomorrow (MLT), explains the simple secret to creating steady pipelines of diverse candidates to top leadership positions.

“We call employers in, not out,” he says.

As a former NBA executive whose nationally renowned nonprofit once landed him a spot on Forbes’ list of top 30 social entrepreneurs—as well as an appointment to President Obama’s Advisory Commissions on Educational Excellence for African Americans—Rice launched MLT with a mission to help new generations of Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals realize their full potential. Since 2002, MLT has coached more than 10,000 high-achieving men and women from all different backgrounds. The organization is also a leading source of talent for 170+ partner companies, from Goldman Sachs to Google.

In the following five short clips from the EDU: Live discussion, hear more of Rice’s reflections on why and how employers should build more racially equitable practices.

Rice explains how 2020 opened corporate America’s eyes to a “racial reckoning":
Rice introduces a corporate phenomenon he calls “the doom loop":
Rice describes one of the biggest challenges that professionals from underrepresented communities face at work:
Rice summarizes what it means to be a “good actor” in corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI):
Rice offers advice to companies at the beginning of their DEI journey:


Registration is now open for the next EDU: Live episode scheduled for Wednesday, August 25 with guest Jeremy Butler, ​​CEO at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. To keep up to date on all episodes, visit the EDU: Live LinkedIn page.

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