A Message from David


 June 5, 2020

Dear Colleagues: 

We feel the pain and outrage over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery—and the many others before them—and by the current state of unrest and persistent racism in the United States and around the world. As an organization, we need to recognize the social injustice and inequality in our country, affirm our belief in the moral imperative that every person is deserving of equality and safety, and to take action against racism wherever we see it.

As members of the HBS and Harvard University communities, we stand with the black community and all groups who have been targeted for their race, their ethnicity, their gender, their religion, their sexual orientation, and more.  

To our colleagues who are black/African American and people of color, we stand with you against racism, bias, and discrimination. We acknowledge that you are often systematically treated differently and recognize that many of you are directly impacted by these events and are suffering at this time. 

Our mission at Harvard Business Publishing is to improve the practice of management and its impact in a changing world. This gives us the opportunity to help leaders and organizations make a difference in the world and create a culture of inclusion that enables teams to thrive. This is a powerful platform and we believe we can do more to dismantle racism and foster meaningful change.

Efforts are underway to ensure we are doing what is needed to tackle this challenge both within our own organization and across the globe as we support our customers. Here are some of our initial activities.

Internal Activities

  • I have organized a small group of committed leaders to identify ideas and implement actions for both the near-term and long-term.
  • As I mentioned on Wednesday, we need to work harder and purposefully at recruiting and hiring a more diverse employee base.
  • We are also exploring a variety of approaches, including groups that are willing to partner with us,  to connect students who are people of color and from under-privileged backgrounds with HBP for learning opportunities and potential future internships.
  • We will reach out to you to hear your experiences and ideas for how we can do better.

External Activities

  • Similar to our response to the pandemic, we are collaborating across the organization to develop content, curate assets, and get HBP leadership actively involved in community and industry discussions.
  • Relevant content will be made easily available to customers. 
  • We will speak out at the upcoming Corporate Learning Partners’ meeting to address the current state and our position on equality and inclusion.
  • We plan to make available advertising pages in HBR magazine available to help build awareness for organizations that address racial bias and social injustice such as the Racial Equity Institute

We are here to help and support you in any way we can. I encourage you to take advantage of the numerous resources available to you should you need them.

In closing, I am grateful for each and every one of you and your commitment to our mission. I am committed to ensuring we are actively working to create a more equal and inclusive organization and world, and I look forward to hearing your ideas and perspectives on how we can do this work together.



David Wan, CEO
Harvard Business Publishing


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