College of Business prepares to debate on the social contract

CSUMB to host the 19th annual Ethics and Responsible Business Forum.

A 19-year tradition will continue to thrive when the annual Ethics and Responsible Business Forum commences on March 24. According to the virtual flyer for the event, the forum will examine the question: “is the U.S. social contract with Black Americans broken?” and discuss racial equity.

According to the same flyer found at csumb.edu/business/ethics-and-responsible-business-forum, contemporary American politics and social relations no longer send “a uniting call” to establish justice for Black Americans. Several keynote speakers, panelists and deans from various colleges of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) will join the two-hour forum for a debate and critical discussion on the topic. 

Ralph Richard Banks of Stanford University and Jason Riley from The Wall Street Journal will be featured as the forum’s keynote speakers. All panelists in the event are educators from the CSUMB community. The event will begin with the keynote speakers, who will begin debating on racial equity in the U.S. Afterwards, the panelists will share their views on the issue and then host a student-derived question and answer session.

This year’s discussion will seek to understand how the current political climate “carr[ies] a polarizing charge, capable of breaking down the structures and processes integral to the civic health of our country,” according to the virtual flyer. “Our Ethics and Responsible Business Forum is dedicated to understanding why the project of racial justice has become divisive instead of unifying, and to identifying our pressing obligations, as a country, in this area of concern.”

The chair of the event Angeline Nariswari said the forum is trying to enhance CSUMB students, faculty and community members’ understanding of ethical dilemmas in the U.S. that centrailize around Black Lives Matter and the “U.S. social contract.” 

“We hope our graduates will become responsible business leaders who are able to balance considerations of profit with the planet, or the natural environment, people, ethics and equity,” said Nariswari. “The Ethics and Responsible Business Forum supports this mission.”

Nariswari has been a professor at CSUMB for over five years and is proud of the university’s mission to inspire responsible business. She noted that teaching CSUMB students to recognize unsustainable business practices and to learn responsible business practices will help create an ethical marketplace. Nariswari also mentioned the forum’s discussion of ethics, race and business could benefit those unspecialized in the world of business, as students not majoring in it are still stakeholders of consumerism.

Although the event usually takes place in the CSUMB University Ballroom, this first occurrence of shifting to a webinar forum will not hurt the flow of the event, and will actually allow event leaders to accommodate more attendees. The event starts at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24.

“Students need to learn about responsible business practices so they can make decisions that are not just based on profits, but that also consider their impact on the environment and human well-being,” said Nariswari. “Decisions need to be ethical and consider their short term and long term implications.” 

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