Smiling student in a classroom

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

EDI at Freeman

The Freeman School of Business shares Tulane’s goals of fostering an inclusive environment with respect to diverse ideas, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religions, ages, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds. We celebrate diversity in all areas: scholarship, teaching, community life, public engagement and many others. 

Together with the broader Tulane community, we are committed to making Freeman an equitable, inclusive and supportive learning institution for all. We stand fully beside all our students, faculty and staff as we strive to build a community of respect, compassion and regard for each other.

We commit to building a community that promotes an exchange of ideas across lines of difference through intentional learning experiences that allow all of our members to thrive within an equitable environment that fosters a sense of belonging. 

From the Associate Dean of EDI

We aspire to engage and enable students, organizations, and our global business community to contribute to human achievement and prosperity by creating and disseminating high-impact business knowledge to advance a more equitable society. We strive to bring together the diverse cultural experiences that New Orleans offers into our students’ learning experience and continually reflect upon our responsibility to the evolving needs of our community.

photo of Erick Valentine

Erick Valentine, PhD
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Hear more from Erick Valentine about Freeman's EDI initiatives.

photo of Rosalind "Roz" Butler

Rosalind Butler
Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

From the Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

We remain committed to developing programs and initiatives that enhance and improve diversity at the Freeman Business School.   Everyday we are building relationships with other Tulane schools and departments, business and community partners, and serving as point of contact for students and student organizations.

How We Learn

Freeman faculty are engaging in EDI pedagogy that ensures inclusion is the driver for developing curriculum and research. We aim to implement diverse case studies, develop a slate of guest lecturers from varied backgrounds, foster sensitivities around gender neutral context or appropriate usage for identifying all orientations, and value cultural distinctions.

How We Work

Our staff are vital to what we do and are the connectors to all our key stakeholders—faculty, students and community. In collaboration with Tulane's larger EDI Faculty Council, we are providing our Freeman team with tools and resources to engage with all our varied audiences with shared respect, which begins with respect for each other.

How We Engage

We are dedicated to being more present and visible in our New Orleans community. Through Freeman’s robust programming, we can place resources and talent at the center of underserved areas. Our students are our greatest asset. Aligning students with projects that test their analytical thinking through an inclusive construct provides practical experience that results in real-world impact.

Discover our highlights, impact and growth in the 2023 Freeman Office of EDI Annual Report – a reflection of Freeman’s unwavering commitment to fostering an inclusive environment for all.

New Black Wall Street Panel

Hundreds of alumni, guests, faculty and staff converged on the uptown campus the weekend of Feb. 22-24 to celebrate Tulane University’s first annual Black Alumni Weekend. As part of this event, the Freeman School's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion hosted a panel discussion featuring five accomplished alumni who discussed their careers and offered advice for building financial security.

Visit Freeman News to read more about the panel discussion “Generational Wealth: Creating Pathways for the Next Black Wall Street”.

photo of Black Alumni Weekend speakers. Pictured in the photo from left to right: Erick Valentine, Stephanie Navarre (EMBA ’86), Brian Egwele (BSM ’01), Shannon Brice (MBA ’04), Derrick Strozier (BSM ’14), Kenny Welcome (BSM ’15), moderator Charisse Gibson

Our Leadership Principles

Diversity of thought

Building a community that promotes an exchange of ideas across lines of difference.


Offering a learning community that allows all of its members to thrive within an equitable environment.


Guiding all actions by strong ethical and moral standards that are consistent with the core values of the institution.


Developing leaders whose thoughts and actions are guided by fairness, who deem inclusion as a hallmark of excellence and value the individual experiences of others.


Empowering our stakeholders to develop and implement novel and useful ideas and solutions that address challenges facing all individuals, the Freeman School, business and society.


Actively seeking, creating and strengthening partnerships within the Tulane community and communities at the local, regional, national, and global levels to create an environment where all may belong.


Treating each other with respect, earning each other's trust and supporting each other as we use our knowledge and abilities to contribute to our community.

photograph of the Lepage Faculty EDI Award winner during the award ceremony. In order from left to right Erick Valentine, Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Freeman, Albert Lepage (MBA ’71), Paulo Goes, Dean of the A.B. Freeman School of Business, and Sanda Groome, Senior Professor of Practice at Freeman.

Albert Lepage Faculty EDI Award

Through a generous gift from Tulane alumnus Albert R. Lepage (MBA ’71), a $10,000 annual award has been established to recognize and reward an A. B. Freeman School of Business faculty member whose teaching or research significantly advances the ideals of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

Congratulations to Sanda Groome, senior professor of practice in business and legal studies, for receiving the 2024 Albert Lepage Faculty Award for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Read more about this year's Lepage Faculty EDI Award winner.

The Faculty EDI Advisory Council examines course curricula to find meaningful ways to incorporate EDI. 

2024 Tulane Black Alumni Weekend

The inaugural Tulane Black Alumni Weekend (TBAW) was a celebration and recognition of the many contributions black alumni have made in their perspective field. Current and perspective students, along with staff, faculty and area high school students were invited to participate in the three-day event. The TBAW offered panel discussions, educational workshops, networking and a tailgating during the HBCU Legacy Bowl. 

Tulane Alumni Take Selfies at Black Alumni Weekend

Tulane Alumni take selfies at Black Alumni Weekend

Tulane Black Alumni Pose in front of the A.B. Freeman Business School

Black Alumni pose for a pic in front of the A.B. Freeman School of Business

Dean Paulo Goes approaches stage to welcome everyone to Black Alumni Weekend

Dean Paulo Goes approaches stage to welcome guests to Black Alumni Weekend

photo of Rosalind Butler and the cover of Biz New Orleans magazine for the New Orleans 500


Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Rosalind Butler was named to the 2024 New Orleans 500 by Biz New Orleans as one of the most influential, involved and inspiring business leaders in the New Orleans area. For more than 20 years, Roz led the Family Business Center, working with small businesses throughout the region, and this fall she joined Freeman's office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.


Freeman Alumni: The Power of EDI

“Diversity within an academic environment is the catalyst for a tapestry of valuable attributes – from diverse thought patterns that spark innovation and foster creative problem-solving, to innovative leadership styles, enriching mentorship opportunities, and overall comfort. It fosters a culture of inclusivity, ultimately nurturing an academic setting where everyone can thrive comfortably and reach their full potential.
– Lloyd Lyons (MBA/MHA '22) , Manager of new business development at CVS Health

“My MBA has enabled me to expand my career by tapping into the Tulane network and having a clear focus on how I wanted to progress in my chosen industries. As one of three black women in my MBA class, I understood early on in my education that everyone in the class had something to contribute, and that my voice was both unique and necessary.”
– Amina Harvey Dearmon (MBA ‘12), Owner, Perspectives in Travel

headshot of Amina Harvey Dearmon
headshot of Adrian Mendez

“"As an alum of Freeman, I've seen that diversity isn't just a buzzword; it's the driving force behind innovation and success in today's business landscape. In our dynamic world, embracing diverse perspectives isn't a choice; it's a vital strategy for thriving."
– Adrian Mendez (MBA ‘14), Partner, Bacchanal Fine Wine and Spirits and The Elysian Bar

“Being at Freeman taught me to find my voice and to stand in my authenticity. As a woman of color, I was able to demonstrate how bringing different lived experiences to the classroom enriches the academic journey."
– Jessyca Oliver (BSM ‘11), Brand Onboarding Manager, Luxury Stores – Amazon

headshot of Jessyca Olivier
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