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FIU launches hospitality course to elevate diversity in the C-suite

FIU launches hospitality course to elevate diversity in the C-suite

February 16, 2022 at 12:00pm

As part of a new initiative to create a pathway for talented Black and Hispanic hospitality management students to seek positions in executive leadership or professorships in hospitality management programs, Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is launching its first-ever diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) academic course.  
Senior Seminar Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, a for-credit course offered this spring, examines the challenges and paths to success for Blacks and Hispanics in the hospitality industry. Issues that are key to the advancement and development of Blacks and Hispanics are addressed by the guest speakers and include topics such as leadership, stereotypes, biases, microaggressions and accessibility.
"The world's leading hospitality companies and programs must do better to racially diversify leadership in the C-Suite, where Black men and women represent just 0.1 percent of all industry CEOs and presidents," said Brian Barker, FIU Hospitality DEI-endowed professor. "It's imperative that hospitality programs start the process and work together with major hospitality companies to level the playing field and ensure pathways to success."
This course is part of an ongoing commitment to address gaps in underrepresentation and inequity across the hospitality industry. One in five people working in the hospitality industry, specifically the hotel business, are Black, yet just 1.6 percent of hospitality industry executives are Black, according to a review of over 800 hospitality companies by the Castell Project.
Last month, FIU’s top 10 U.S. public hospitality program and Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer's)—the world’s preeminent distributor of beverage alcohol—announced a groundbreaking alliance focused on DEI. The alliance's focus includes a broad range of opportunities in addition to educational programming, such as academic research, recruiting, mentoring, career pathing, scholarships, employee training/micro-credentialing and other partnerships. 
“FIU has the most diverse hospitality school in the United States, with 74 countries represented in its student body and graduating more Black and Hispanic undergraduate students than any other school," said Michael Cheng, dean of the Chaplin School. "This course is the start to a more inclusive future in the hospitality industry for our students and the industry as a whole."

The course’s list of topics and speakers include:

Jan. 11 – Seminar Introduction: The vital Intersection of Leadership & DEI

  • Stephen Von Oehsen – SVP, Office of Strategic Management, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • Carlos Ferreira – Director of Strategic Management, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • Shelly Lungstrum – Assistant Director of Special Events, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • El pagnier “EK” Hudson PhD – VP of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, FIU

Jan. 18 – Sustainability and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: The Vital Connection

  • Dean Michael Cheng PhD, FIU – Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
  • John Buschman PhD, Co-Director Global Sustainable Tourism Program, FIU – Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Jan. 25 – Leading with Emotional Intelligence

  • Terry Good, VP Diversity, Equity & Inclusion SGWS (DiSC-Training)
  • Deanna Cleary, Director of Learning and Development SGWS

Feb. 1 – Leading In a Biased World: Stereotypes, Biases & Microaggressions 

  • Carleen Vincent-Robinson PhD, Teaching Professor and Associate Chair, FIU
  • David Bynes, founding Director – FIU Office of Social Justice

Feb. 8  – Socioeconomics History and Policy in America

  • Sherwin Robinson, VP of Dusse’   

Feb. 15 Identity and Privilege 

  • Delrish Moss, FIU Police Chief
  • Stephen Von Oehsen – SVP, Office of Strategic Management, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • Rozeena Taylor, Program Manager, FIU Office of Social Justice and Inclusion

Feb. 22 – Leadership Hierarchies: Colorism and the Caste System

  • Kathy Martin, Assistant Director Career Services
  • Lourdes Torres, Assistant Director Career Services
  • Carlos Ferreira, Director of Strategic Management, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Mar. 8 –  Building Diverse Leaders though Servant Leadership & The LMX Theory

  • Brian Barker, Endowed Chair of Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Mar. 15 – Minorities and the C-Suite

  • Dia Simms, Chief Executive Officer at Lobos 1707
  • Terry Arnold, Senior Vice President Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer
  •  Jonathan Saw, Vice President, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Pernod Ricard North America

Mar. 22 – Women and the Leadership Labyrinth

  • Castell College Women’s Panel
  • Lisa Cain PhD, Associate Professor, FIU – Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management           

Mar. 29 – Accessibility & Universal Design

  • Sylvia Longmire, Wheels Up Media
  • John Wittig, Chief Commercial Officer at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

April 5  – Advocacy and Allyship

  • Pete Carr, Regional President North America, Bacardi
  • Valerie L. Patterson PhD, Director, African and African Diaspora Studies, FIU

April 12 – Solving Social Problems through Hospitality Social Enterprises

  • Raul Thomas, CEO CGI Merchants
  • Shannon Allen, CEO Grown

April 19 – Personal and Organizational Branding: Competing in a Global Business Environment

  • Jose Cil, Restaurant Brands Int. Constellations