Now more than ever, Americans are identifying as multiracial, with numbers growing from 9 million people in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020. That shift is sure to impact what the seat of power in America will look like for future generations.
That’s the focus of “Powerful Conversations,” a series hosted by Angela Logan, the St. Andre Bessette Academic Director of the Master of Nonprofit Administration Program and associate teaching professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, exploring the importance of race, gender and faith to the work of leadership. Logan’s first guest is Glenda Baskin Glover, president of Tennessee State University.
Logan and Glover will discuss a new framework for business leadership, experiences learned over the course of Glover’s career, fostering an environment for cultural identity, and the impact faith and family can have on one’s professional life.
“One of the reasons why this topic jumped out at me was the whole notion of ‘what does a leader look like?’” Logan said. “When you think of a leader, women — women of color, Black women — don’t immediately jump to mind. When I looked at leadership theory, I was nowhere to be found. Even 20 years later, there’s still not a lot of room for women leaders who look like me to see themselves in the literature. For someone who looks like me, who is just starting out in their career, they haven’t seen research that reflects their experiences.”
The fireside chat will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 31) in the Morris Inn’s Smith Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. A livestream of the event will be available for those unable to attend in person.
“I’m honored to be included in this very important discussion on Black women in leadership,” said Glover. “It is extremely important to showcase all facets of what success looks like, because oftentimes women of color are not included. While many of us may be referred to as trailblazers, we want to normalize Black women as effective leaders from the C-Suite to the classroom and beyond.”
Glover announced she will retire at the end of the spring 2024 semester, capping a decade of service in the role as president of one of the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In 2022 President Joe Biden appointed her to serve as vice chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs. She is one of two African American women to hold the Ph.D., J.D., CPA combination in the country. Glover has also served as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (AKA), America’s oldest service organization founded by college-educated African American women.
“Managing two multimillion-dollar organizations at the same time (TSU and AKA) is something I’m eager to talk about,” Logan said, “because that is a clear integration of professional, personal and civic interests.”
Logan has been studying the intersection of race, gender and nonprofit philanthropic leadership for 20 years, interviewing women in leadership positions at various nonprofit foundations. She found two key indicators for success: how faith played a role in their lives and the influence their families had on them.
Her research also focuses on the impacts of having a holistic, integrated life. “Your faith has an impact on how you show up in the world and in your work,” she said.
Understanding how to have an integrated faith life, regardless of the type of faith, can ground women in why they do their nonprofit work.
“If you don’t have something to ground you,” Logan said, “the work will grind you up.”
The conversation will kick off a historic weekend as the Fighting Irish prepare to take on the TSU Tigers in the football season’s home opener. It’s the first time in program history the Irish will play an HBCU. Several events are scheduled on and around campus exploring the historical and cultural significance of HBCUs and football and community at HBCUs, as well as leadership and the culture of diversity.
“It’s going to be an amazing opportunity for our campus and our community,” Logan said of the full slate of events taking place over the weekend. “Thinking about the [TSU Aristocrat of Bands] marching band, the presence of Black fraternities and sororities on campus — it’s going to be magical to see.”
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