How Emory Takes Action to Provide Access & Opportunity for Diverse Business
Okay, when we're president it's done you come back on. Thank you again president for Randy. Oh, I'm just overjoyed at this point. I've already realized that there's certain people on my list I'm gonna have to get, I think our top. Okay, well it's four o'clock I'll I'll turn this off. Alright guys it is for about to start. First of all, welcome to all our viewers. My name is Randy Brown. I am the supplier diversity manager for Emory University and I'll be your moderator for today's event. Again, we have a fabulous panel. That will address the audience shortly, and let you know are.
We will have questions that will be collected via question, q amp a button that you have, and we will get to as many as we can. By the end of the hour. Finally this event is being recorded. And now, please welcome President finance who is who will share opening remarks. All right, thank you. Randy and welcome to everybody. Thank you for joining us on this final event this year is MLK lecture series on economic empowerment and inclusion. Today, our focus will be on how Emory University is working to provide access and expand opportunity for diverse businesses throughout metro Atlanta.
You're going to hear about Emory's programs and partnerships that are anchored in our commitment to serve and strengthen our communities that we call our home from procurement strategies and efforts to connect entrepreneurs with much needed resources to mentoring small businesses, many of whom are struggling in the midst of the covert 19 pandemic, which is disproportionately affected African Americans and persons of color. And while navigating this pandemic has presented extraordinary challenges for everyone. minority owned businesses have been hit particularly hard US Small Business Administration found that by last August black owned businesses had nearly three times the decline in business activity as their white counterparts. But as always, Black History Month invites us to reflect upon the many significant contributions and achievements of African Americans in shaping our nation's history especially here in Atlanta. But as well as the hard part's hard fought struggles and barriers that still exist today to progress barriers that are unfortunately alive and well today. Black History Month also lose the story of black economic empowerment, both the challenges of achieving it, and the powerful ongoing role it plays in driving growth for our communities and our economy.
Beyond just campaigns for civil rights and voting rights, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fight for social justice included the goal of economic empowerment. During the famous 1963 march on Washington part of his historic message was a call to end economic inequality, with some of called Dr. King's other dream. And we know here in Atlanta, that dream is still unfulfilled.
But at Emory we are committed to supporting the ability of everyone to flourish and thrive in what Dr. King call the sunlight of opportunity. And it's driving to create these opportunities we are interns strengthening our community partnerships. And this includes projects that you'll hear about today, such as Emery start me program transformational business accelerator, that is already sort of more than 200 Regional small businesses a vast majority of which are led by women and African Americans and Emory we've come a long way in strengthening our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, but there is still much more work for us to accomplish, at every level. And today's panel is an opportunity to learn to discuss and to develop new ideas and strategies as we move towards a university united and committed to lasting progress on campus and in Atlanta. So now I'm very pleased to turn over the program to our panelists, which include Kevin Nash chief procurement officer, Aaron Inglehart program director for start me.
And Dr candy tape system director for every college, Center for Creativity and the arts. Thank you. I want to thank thank you President, members for supporting economic diversity at Emory. We appreciate it. And right now, I'd like to do a brief introduction of our panelists will go in this order. Scott. If you'll go first. Please, and then Aaron, and then candy.
My name is Scott chapter I'm director of contract administration for Emory procurement. Unfortunately, Kevin Nash is not able to be here today. So I'm representing the procurement organization, the procurement organizations the central point of coordination for sourcing and contracting travel accounts payable, and most relevant here supplier diversity and Emory has a fairly decentralized structure where schools and business unit selected manage their own suppliers for good extent. However central procurements role does include partnering schools and business units on larger sourcing initiatives, providing tools and processes and expert resources. An example of this the enterprise coordination and leadership on supplier diversity. And of course, establishing standards and policies to guide how sourcing and contracting is performed.
Thank you Scott. Hi, my name is aeronautical heart I'm the program director for the startup the accelerator, start me in intensive three month accelerator for micro businesses, connecting entrepreneurs to the business know how networks and capital to build and grow successful businesses. We are place based, meaning we work in specific communities in Atlanta, and our work is really all around connection. In each case Emery squares what a business school partners with trusted local nonprofits. We work with the east side foundation serving East like to Edgewood friends of refugees serving the Clarkston Stone Mountain Tucker area and focus community strategies and purpose built schools Atlanta serving Atlanta's broader south side, and then we build a broader coalition of other nonprofits social enterprises business associations neighborhood associations to really help us connect with and support, entrepreneurs, and we engage a wide number of volunteers, including 75 mentors across our three programs really work hand in hand with entrepreneurs. And really, all of that is is around building connections to support the strength and vibrancy of businesses that brings strength and vibrancy to our local communities on the program, initially grew out of research that my colleague Dr Peter Roberts conducts eco sweater, looking at the differences between zip codes across the US. And one thing he found is a really significant gap of 30% or more in the number of micro businesses per capita, and what
you might call underserved communities, and that directly translates to fewer people starting an operating businesses opening storefronts employing people and serving local needs. We know that entrepreneurs, whether they're starting the next high growth tech company or a mom and pop, really need knowledge networks and capital in order to be successful. So we build local accelerator programs that that compliment and feed into the broader small business ecosystem. By connecting those two entrepreneurs. We've worked with just over 300 local micro businesses here in Atlanta, 84% of those are led by people of color, 72% are female lead, and they really do everything from farming to fashion furniture to food and everything in between. and individually they're all micro but collectively they have a really significant impact in our community so they generate over $12 million in annual sales, they employ about 600 people in addition to the founders and they operate 40 stores and offices in our communities.
Thank you, Aaron. Next we miss candy tape. And good afternoon, everyone. I'm Dr. ratios candy Tate I'm the Assistant Director for the Center for Creativity and arts at Emory which was founded in, 2008, and I'm also an emery alum and art history. The Center for Creativity and arts is an advocate for the arts on campus and in the community writ large. We offer, we have an annual arts Leadership Award, that we give out. And we also have an arts passport program for students to allow them to go to ticketed events on campus and in the community, our grants program gives funding for faculty, staff, and students who have creative projects, and we're very excited about are out there arts program which partners with local arts agencies to get students and their faculty, out of the Emory bubble, as we call it, and out into the community. Thank you candy would greatly appreciate it. So we're going to start off with some questions. But before that, you know, for some reason I just felt the need a little icebreaker.
And I felt I want to ask you guys a question do to Kobe, let's answer in the same order, and feel free to answer this question. Do you have one food that you will never eat again after coded is ended, what would that food being. So we'll start with Scott. Can you hear me Sorry I'm having some issues getting the video back on.
Yeah, I don't know actually food hasn't been an issue during a coven nothing we've been particularly bunker reading, sorry. Aaron What about you, um, I have two toddlers at home so probably any kind of toddler finger food. Hey, I'm just thinking. That's great. if I had to say one. I would almost say pizza, but I love pizza too much to say that I would not want pizza anymore.
So I'll probably go with anything that is, that is not good for me at this point, so I'll just say that anything that healthy. So we'll start off with our questions, and we'll start to see mortar. But this first question is for Scott. So Scott. Basically, can you share some effort underway in Strategic Procurement to create access to opportunity to do business with him.
Absolutely. So I mentioned at the outset the role of supplier diversity in central procurement organizations to lead and coordinate. So two important activities that are taking place under your leadership branding are being more active and engaging suppliers in our community. So that started with GM STC we actually had an event today where we talked to at least a dozen different potential vendors and, you know, we're looking forward to moving forward with with those discussions and potential engagement, but we're also looking to engage other agencies including but not limited to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the greater greater Women's Business Council and the Atlanta wealth builders, when engaging suppliers in the community, we have two primary objectives, identifying and qualifying suppliers who might have goods or services that Emery can utilize and providing guidance and coaching potential suppliers regarding how to do business with Emory Emory. So, we also are creating targeted areas we believe there's an opportunity from the research then with diverse suppliers, starting with identifying those areas Emory University spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year and a large variety of areas ranging from coven 19 testing equipment, personal protective equipment food services, and the list goes on and on and on. Because the variety so large we plan to target some spend areas would leave of greatest opportunity to utilize diverse suppliers, not by means of limitation just as a matter of focus.
And then in these targeted areas, what we intend to do is utilizing new technology understand which organizations in Emory are spending money on these targeted areas, which will enable us to partner with them and coordinate the activity across Emory. It's also going to help us better understand what diverse suppliers are currently in place, so we can determine if the relationship can grow. We're also going to partner with the Emory organizations to find more creative ways to provide opportunity for diverse suppliers. So two examples of that creative thinking. One, many times the scope of work needed by Emory is too large for a small and diverse supplier frankly for any small supplier. So they often not participating rip events, being more creative we're looking at the scopes of work determine if it can be
partitioned into smaller scopes of work that would enable more firms to be considered or potentially as a tier two as a second alternative. We're also planning to utilize the enhanced functionality and our electronic shop into with Amazon. There's new functionality there that's going to enable us to prioritize diverse and local suppliers. Scott that's great. I'm glad to see at least I'm doing something that would in the right direction. So, Absolutely. Next question is for Aaron. Aaron Can you share how the business school is engaging and projects to help entrepreneurs gain access to the resources they need to thrive.
Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I'll start by saying that I really enjoyed the other economic inclusion events, and many of the same challenges and opportunities that they talked about drive a lot of the work that goes on with the within the business school as well. So Ryan from the gathering spot talks about how coven has really laid bare long standing structural issues that inhibit, particularly black and the businesses from starting and scaling and there's so much opportunity to intentionally build diversity into how you operate what you buy, who you hire the suppliers that you seek out. Joey from video nation talked about how communities key. And this is especially true in a city like Atlanta with strong concentrations of entrepreneurs and great mentors will start me we try to lay strong foundations for Atlanta area, micro businesses. Similarly, other programs within Goizueta, such as grounds for empowerment that connects female coffee growers at origin to business knowledge and market connections, and
the newly launched, Roberta. He goes, what a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation which really supports entrepreneurial students and alumni and fosters connections with the, the investor community really driving innovation and kind of the broader southeast, have a very similar focus in addressing some of those long standing challenges but also seeing that as a fantastic opportunity to really lean into and create prosperity for others. You know, we recognize that connections to peer entrepreneurs are really critical and that's a consistent theme across those various programs as well as other efforts that we see within the business school. And that really allows for collaborations, or insight learnings, frankly, you know, entrepreneurship can be personally and economically really empowering but it can also be really lonely, so it's important to build the networks that help people. Endure through challenging times as well, and actions to mentors and professional services are just essential, working with micro businesses many times these ventures are run by solo printers or maybe a couple of partners, and no one is an expert in all things. And so it's really important to have people to bounce ideas off of and those with deep knowledge who can really guide you in the right direction.
And then finally we, we definitely recognize it Atlanta is a big complex ecosystem that we are one piece of as a business school and a university, we really try to be positive contributors to that broader effort. So that includes being thoughtful about the research coursework and field work that we do. And also being good team players, you know, celebrating the work that other people are doing building connections across geographies and industries and building procurement channels that really include that that broader ecosystem as well.
Appreciate that Aaron and just to remind everyone go the q amp a to basically ask questions if you have questions concerning our panelists, or questions concerning myself as well. I will say Aaron it's great to hear that, especially considering the fact one I work in two areas of Emory which is. So viral supplier diversity and inclusion and also in government contracts. Now a lot of those government contracts deal with small businesses to help research that we're currently doing with Emory uses with the government and it allows us to have the opportunity to grow those businesses, as we continue to do those contracts with same services so definitely appreciate that.
Moving forward, one ask you a question candy. Can you share some efforts and connections we are making with arts organizations as well as your work as an alumni in the MLK quarter, quarter. Certainly random be happy too excited to share that, you know, the arts at Emory reach out to the community on a regular basis, and just recently. Earlier this month, we work with bronze lens Film Festival to do a tribute for the late Pelham McDaniels, which allowed us again to share audiences and resources. Last fall, we, we actually the title behind me shares the art and social justice Fellowship Program fellows, which is a partnership with the ethics center here on campus, and we were able to hire six fellows to to painters two actors a cellist and an arts administrator. That worked with six faculty members, and over 100 students to really expose them to the subject matter that they were interested in, and how art and activism work in modern day. You know lives and the world.
And so I invite those who are listening and interested to visit Emory asj.org. For more information on on that project because will also. We're looking this summer to hire you know to put out a call for artists. For our next cohort of fellows, but on a personal level, I'm a native of Atlanta and so it was so nice to hear, President been bets, you know, share, Martin Luther King, our native sons vision for a beloved community, and that beloved community to me starts with Martin Luther King Jr dry. And so what I've done is, as an art historian and interest in this area of work with historic preservation, I'm on the board for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation historic Atlanta Sala.
So these multiple organizations have been working in the community. And I as a grant writer has been able to garner over a million dollars in federal funding for fountain Hall, which is one of the historic buildings on now Morris Brown's campus in a formerly Atlanta University. But this 1882 building is the centerpiece of black education coming out of emancipation. And so it needs to be restored and my mantra really has been, you know, historic preservation is economic development.
So along that corridor from downtown and mo in the Mercedes Benz stadium if we come down to him okay cord or Martin Luther King Jr. and drive. I have been working with Reverend Winston Taylor and the beloved community on the 960 building and have actually talked with Aaron and the cohort set. That was at a business school about possibly doing what they're helping in South Atlanta to help business owners on the MLK corridor. So we have just begun initial conversations we would love to work with you and see if we can get some government grants
to help fund it. But again, the history of that building is that the late Senator leeward Johnston had his law office there. So he was the first black senator after reconstruction. In Georgia and major Lance, who's a, you know, r&b singer Keyshia Lance bottoms our mayor's father practiced in that building. So there are all kinds of great stories up and down the core door that we have to elevate for past businesses and present businesses. And then lastly, on the places in peril for this year, I was able to put the MLK 925 the Atlanta business leagues Ashby street theater building on the places in parallel, it opened up in 1934, the segregated theater. And so we want to, we've been working with Matthew Bernstein. In the film studies department and other.
The more houses film department and others to see where we can bring resources to bear to restore that landmark. So all of those of you know and when you bring grant dollars to the neighborhood, that's jobs that are going to help you know restore the buildings, and to bring bring vibrancy back to the community. So, these are some things that we are doing and some things that, you know, I hope to do with Emory and okay cord. First of all, I appreciate your work. And ironically enough I was actually at Auburn Avenue market this weekend with some friends we were looking for a restaurant, my friend, owns down there I'm not gonna I don't want to publicize it I love to but I'm not sure about the option, but it's in the market but it was great, so I can see how the revitalization is coming around there, and I just love the fact of how it's coming about. Especially one that's been in Atlanta or and work downtown for over 20 plus years. So, that being said, I'm going to move forward to another question this will be for all you guys, I'm going to order Scott Aronson candy. Feel free to take your time.
But again for our guest, feel free to put a question and if you have one. We're looking forward to taking it, and we're happy to answer it. So, the question is if we're currently in the midst of a coven pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted communities of color. What are some new and innovative ways that you have worked with in small business region the Small Business region to help. So, one of the initiatives procurement supported was with the Emory Rowan School of Public Health, when they went in the community to provide coven 19 testing and other services. It was procurements role to make sure that all the supplies were available, including mass gowns gloves, etc. The pandemics put a strain on the global supply for all the personal protective equipment, supplies, so it was critical the supplies were appropriately prioritized and made available for this initiative.
I think I've also seen similar initiatives or that nature from school and nursing school medicine, and again we're providing the procurement support, supply chain support for them that in turn enables them to to get out to the community and to do that. Good work. Other ways we support small businesses are buying supplies that we've used in our covert testing activity. So, the International tubes at the Kovac collection sites is a local veteran owned small business and Marietta, selling metrics, saliva collection age of the barcode collection sites, so another small business I believe diverse small business spectrum chemicals for lab supplies and a small woman owned business cleaning supplies and other small business we engaged from Amazon I believe is a couple of others. Thank you Scott, Aaron, go ahead. Thank you.
I think this past year has really demonstrated the value of local small businesses that can identify and quickly adapt to local needs. And, you know, kind of goes without saying that this year has also been challenging on so many friends, the end of the day businesses are run by people. And many of them are facing a number of compounding challenges. I'm looking just at our start the alumni community, and the first six months of the pandemic we saw about three quarters of our alumni cut hours or close, about three quarters experienced a significant drop in sales. About half let go of employees or contractors and about two thirds required emergency funding in the form of grants or loans.
And this wasn't the case for all along some are well positioned to thrive. Others were able to use a furlough or a layoff from a nine to five as an opportunity to dive into a side business full time. Others have embraced new ways of connecting with customers but it's true. A lot of them and it's not unique to our alumni community by any means. And, you know, as a program, we have moved from place based gathering closely and community centers and schools to fully virtual, and on the surface that doesn't see my deal for a program focused on literally bringing people together and building connections, but there are some elements of it that are actually really nice geography is less of an impediment. So we've been able to pull in mentors and experts from a wider area. We've also been able to serve entrepreneurs who might have been hard pressed to attend in person whether their caregivers lack transportation for example, we've been able to work closely with the instructional design and academic Media Services teams to really transcribe rather than translate content to a virtual environment. So that means we really captured the essence of what we would have covered in person.
And we've been able to create videos that feature a wide range of diverse speakers that endure beyond this year, along with punchy or more interactive content that we can do more readily via zoom. And while the year has been hard for a lot of people, it's also created opportunities for them to pause and invest in themselves, their knowledge, their businesses networks. So we are seeing some people kind of take a leap and build businesses that might have stayed a dream or a side hustle otherwise, you know for ventures in our current cohort and our broader alumni community, we found several ways to provide direct or indirect support to support them throughout this time. So we've been able to connect people to new and evolving financial resources, that's receiving f5 local banks local and national grant programs, we've been able to connect entrepreneurs with some Strategic Procurement opportunities for example connecting local electricians, in our network in with the Emory facilities management team kind of matching the skill set to a need. We offer virtual group mental health sessions so really trying to offer a safe space, guided by a local therapist for entrepreneurs to vent and share and work together on good coping strategies, and you know it's difficult to run a virtual business without access to a good computer and a solid internet connection so with local partners we've been able to grant laptops and provide financial support for connectivity to help bridge some of that divide and help people shift their model and the ways that they operate. And we're trying to pilot new things so things like you know professional services consulting where we connect entrepreneurs with local experts, many of whom are local small business owners themselves sort of driving connecting skill sets and
driving business in their direction as well. And, you know, it's good condition start to hopefully normalize this year I'm hopeful that many of the ventures will rebound and I do think that many of them will be able to propel beyond where they were before. I think a lot of the good that we've put in place in response to it will remain. But there's definitely a lot of work to be done and a lot of that is brought on by the pandemic but a lot of that is structural and it will require consistent action and intention in order to to really be thoughtful about how we move forward in a good direction. Aaron Thank you. Sounds like you guys are really impacting community we greatly appreciate the work you're doing. Especially as you work with Emory alum as well. Candy in the, in the arts our efforts has changed as you say with the dance analogy we've learned to pivot. In that we were as if we look at last June during June 18, we work with a local muralist, and we're over in the Carver neighborhood market when the when these incident happened in the burning and the shooting but the neighborhood broke out the Carver markets windows and they need to be boarded up we had to gather a lot of volunteers to come in and help board up the these windows but you had basically a blank canvas. So we brought in an artist, along with our alum, Dr. Muhammad who and designed, kind of a paint by numbers where we engage volunteers from the focus communities strategies if the neighborhood market, and had a beautiful mural.
And then when the glass, that was ordered came in those murals were then moved the plywood was moved to another building that they have in their kind of rotation to be restored so it was nice to see that the paintings repurposed. But again, all of this, if you can help by the art supplies help employ an artist, or again, putting money into the community in you know Emrys presence is same there. We're also working with artists on the mini Phil on a praise house project, which we hope, and we've written in any a grant for which will involve the Carlos Museum, the cab county and its centennial celebration next year. And then again, after having worked in South Atlanta. We reached out to South us cemetery, and they're interested so this idea of having this public art piece that will engage the community on history and neighborhood, but the grant monies will help build
the house, have tours, and again, hopefully get visitors to come out, it's going to spur on needing to buy lunch and, you know, all of the things that that arts helped with with economic development wherever they are. And I will, I will add that the arts on campus and the Schwartz center. Next to going to the hospital. The art so the second most visited your reason for coming to campus. You know reason for coming to campus. So we're always proud of that. And lastly, I would share something that the arts are doing this again is Aaron mentioned, we have to, we're having to go virtual. And so we've been able to partner with two colors theater. Morehouse King collection for an upcoming program March seven, which is the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
But what's exciting is because of this virtual environment. The Lincoln Center reached out to us. So here's your somewhere where we would not have normally shown a film or been able to do something with an artist, out of state, we're going to be able to show and have him on panel. Carl rocks in his home video visual on honoring john lewis and CT Vivian, and then have panelists on a virtual platform to engage the community and understanding, and what was important to us is not just to have the artists, perform but we're also offering honorarium, so we're paying the artists for their work which is very important during these Kovac screen, um, it's funny you mentioned true colors I think the last time I went to a play was a true college played South Coast. Art Center and I guess I'll say this and a lot of us think of it from our kids how can we have them have virtual experiences and experiencing that now and it's really difficult but glad to see that everything is kind of death, damaging to the environment that we have so right and now my last coven or pre coven experience was going to the loud opera to see Porgy and Bess so you know I'm like, I can't wait to get back to the live theater so yes we all love them.
I'm sure wherever it is, It's true, that's true. So, I want to ask you guys another question, but I wanted to do. And this is a question I had so related to coven, but we talked a little bit about it, how is technology you feel has helped. And maybe hindered as you lead to in some of your discussions, Aaron and and effectively continuing to be able to to work through the pandemic and helping from an economic standpoint, and Scott I know that we work together on technology trying to be able to allow vendors to be able to adapt so I'll let you elaborate a little bit on that but just want to ask that question because it's so it has become a new normal for us the amount of technology we're using now. So, and Scott, I'll let you go first and Aaron. Okay. Yeah.
So, you know, as, as you will know Randy since you're helping to lead the effort and spearheading it, you know, part of the the problem is there, there's so many, you know, small business startup business that it's difficult for us to necessarily go out to find them. And at the moment, unfortunately Emory is not really set up in a great position to take their information and to be able to handle it. And so, you know, as you're helping us try to get to a point of improving our website, so that the small business the startup business. You know, and the diverse business can come to us, putting their information. You know, we can match it up to the right people internally to go to that, you know, where there might be a fit.
We can get additional information, and it just helps to have that two way communication and to enable. And, you know, I think we would have gotten there any way I think covert has helped press us more on the need for the technology to help enable that. Yeah, and just elaborate Scott you're absolutely right. I think that what's important is the fact is that we are focused on helping them, but we're trying to use technology because some of those vendors don't really have the means to understand how to handle transaction fees when it comes to dealing with Emory from that standpoint, so we talked about being able to adapt for them, but also trying to figure out a way to, to allow them to grow in that process as well through technology so they're not limited. And next year and what about you.
Um, so, I mean technology, I guess it's help and a hindrance at the same time, on the hindrance side, there's a huge digital divide. So we see that an access to, laptops, and you know really good accessible smartphones feels also see that with a good internet connection. And then on top of that you know comfort using various platforms comfort using social media comfort really jumping into, you know video or virtual engagement was very noticeable early on in the pandemic. And I think, you know, whether they wanted to or not I think a lot of people have made great strides I think some people really jumped into it others and we've sort of dragged along over the course of the year. And so while I've you know I think while people struggled with it initially really starting to see people embrace that as an opportunity. There are so many platforms out there that you can use it frankly picking one is almost the hardest part, but you
can kind of cobble together what you need and so, you know, we've really had to embrace technology in terms of creating videos for content in terms of sharing materials in terms of allowing for a safe way to still gather in an interactive way, but we found that, you know, while people are maybe a little hesitant when you first presented to them, they quickly embrace whatever you're giving to them because I think that people are really eager for ways to connect ways to work together, ways to support one another. And then, you know, entrepreneurs are innovative and so they figure it out, they figured out really good ways to connect so I think we're we're able to help bridge that digital divide and connecting people to resources were able to then sort of catapult them forward in terms of what they're able to do technologically for their businesses and then you know for connecting with others in their bar network. Thank you and candy. Of course the arts can't be far behind. And what we found is that we, we went from not being able to live stream in the short center to and other other public spaces to really having to make that financial commitment to put that technology into one space, where each year the dance, theater, music departments may have their own spaces that they control. We couldn't at this point afford to put it in everyone so now we have it in the Schwartz center, and having to book using using the space at you know as, as the it's available. Also with the, you know, obviously with you.
stride and, you know, and making the best of you know best of the best situation because of course, our first choice is to be live. And we live for an audience. Live for you coming to an exhibit to a performance, talking back, but the this technology, again, allows us to connect to audiences that we may not have that may not be able to come into the physical space, and we remember the days of traffic around the community. And so now you just need to, you know, make sure you have your, your link and unable to log in. So we're, we're excited, and you know some of this will continue post coven. And we'll, we'll make the best of combination a hybrid of both environments. I just.
When I was growing up was a TV show that day he right there. So, I have a question from the audience. I want to start with it and then it basically is is there I would say that long.
and they appreciate Emory's role in supporting small business and diverse businesses. When it comes to diversity procurement and focus on is often established on small businesses, can you please speak to Emily's role in supporting minority owned business startup in the startup community. So, I, we can go on the same order I just say continue that. And I'll add something to it at the end. So, yeah. So as I mentioned I mean this is part of the drive behind the website to be able to take data in part of our drive during cope it is to recognize the economic situation that especially startup businesses are in to be cognizant of that. So, you know, we do have, I wouldn't call them established yet and you know probably closer to start up businesses that are providing, you know, food service at
specific locations in the Emory campus, things of that nature. And because we know we have less people on campus. You know, in the business proposition is not what it was when they engaged with us so we're reworking economics to be cognizant of the economic situation they're in, to try to be helpful. You know, we, we definitely understand that that Emory and the community thrive. The more small and diverse businesses, there are and the more they succeed, including the startups, we're doing everything we can to to connect with them and to connect them to businesses we know that there's a lot of business internally that can be met.
And yeah, I'll turn it back to you but I I kind of feel that, um, so I want to focus on planning, design and construction because they're basically is yes, they should have right now that we're really pushing and you know looking at General Contractors people that can do renovation projects at Emory, but their real focus is working with MBAs and web locally on projects so they can basically increase that that area because there's a lot of startups in that area, even looking at two tier, so I know that they are definitely focused on it, and I'm sure that it's something as we continue to move forward will continue to help out entrepreneurs, but it goes back to the discussion that Aaron mentioned that we had the week before a lot of startups were included in in the discussions with the gathering spot. And right so I just think that we basically have the ability as Emory being one of the largest employers in Atlanta, but also having economic impact. $9.26 billion that we're focused on making sure that metro area and metro area Atlanta is basically we're involved with. So, air. So it's a it's a good question, and I don't know that I have the answer that they're looking for but I guess what I would say is it goes back to connection. Making introductions that's encouraging people to get the certifications that they need in order to make their businesses. You know well aligned to do business with large procurement organizations like Emory and, you know, we have a vast number of universities within the city.
And you know, connecting internally to brainstorm new and existing ways to build, you know we we as a small group try to really practice what we preach so that means sourcing from local small businesses startup and more established and really trying our best to build that into the university structure. I also think there's, you know, one in a way coven gives us a little bit of a time to pause and reflect and that doesn't mean to do nothing. What that means is to figure out exactly where you are, start where you are and set really ambitious goals for where you want to go, and then really start to be thoughtful about how you do that, what your your your indicators are going to be and how you're really going to act on that and so, you know, as it as it goes back to the specific question about supporting startups I think that startups need to be part of that small business intention. And I think that, you know, putting the the structures and frameworks in place to help them thrive. But then fostering the connections and opportunities for them to really connect with those who make decisions is really where Emery is going and the role that we can play. Thank you, Aaron I appreciate it. Yeah, I know that your organization is definitely working hard to make sure especially startup program with the make sure that, to try to reach out and do whatever we can. especially the locations you work in I think Clarkston West and I'm not sure the other third location Decatur is at it, but I know that you guys are definitely focused on areas now.
I appreciate it. Does it so much connect with the arts, but then it does in as I think about it, when we, when you're doing a zoom productions you know you need, you know the arts you need someone to put your run of show together, you need to be thinking about lighting you know all these are aspects of putting you know our best face forward on this virtual environment, and even to the point of you I've had folks say that they take theatre classes on how to do so you know how to present appropriately and and so the arts are involved in more ways than you knows to your background screen. But, you know, as we think about it in what I do, you know as a, you know, as an alum and working in, you know, various organizations in the community is I've always got Emory at my heart, thinking about where I can make the connections with someone in the community to come on campus and certainly where Emory can go out into Atlanta. So, those are things that we all have to be cognizant of is, you know, as a staff on campus. Yeah, it's, I think about that as well, especially when you think of the. When I saw the cat video for the mean for the zoom call. I think there are a DS and don'ts that you learn, but also think about how in sports how you have to take certain classes to learn how to speak as you become more of vocal athlete or politician
so definitely resonates in that way. So, as we are going into wrap up I want to ask a question, you guys all and just want to make sure that I answer it correctly. So, for Aaron, and candy This is for you. how can students get involved with the efforts like this to help create opportunities to partner with Emory. And just to segue that include alum and that same as well.
And you would you like to go first this time. There we go. Technology my mic. But yeah, I'll go first. In, as we as we think about how students and loans can be involved in all the work that that we do, you know it's it's about getting connected through the, you know, the Alumni Association, most importantly, and, and also being a resource for students on campus, you know, during career day and those those sorts of activities and. And then students, certainly, letting us know what their skill sets are, you know, so they're things that they know and things that they need to know.
And so how we can mentor students who, along the way is always going to be what a university is you know its best at doing. Thank you so much I appreciate it. Aaron. So we engage a lot of alumni in particular we recruit about 75 to 80 mentors and they're really engaged weekend and week out throughout a three month program and then throughout the rest of the year as well. We have a lot of returning mentors. Many of them are graduates of Emory undergrad, or grad programs. We also bring in lawyers and lenders and focus group providers.
So we really need people in and around the community who are passionate about this community. And I think that's one thing that that that every alumni in student community really bring this a lot of that passion and enthusiasm and students, we do generally involved in a lot of our key sessions they're great in front of the scenes if you will and behind the scenes so we oftentimes leverage place where the students to help us with some of the coordination and planning for executing some of our more complicated sessions, but they also oftentimes step in as as feedback providers really engaging with local businesses and sharing their insights and perspectives. And then we also work closely with a student led group called the Emory impact investing group. They provide micro loans to entrepreneurs specifically micro business micro businesses led by entrepreneurs and, and so they've actually supported a number Um, and so they've actually supported a number of our entrepreneurs, allowing them to, you know, invest in strategic inventory to invest in equipment and really kind of launch or scale a business. It's great, just to hear how we're investing back in this is a capital, you know, mine, Scott I wanted to ask you a question as we go forward. I'm not the same as air so it'll be different, but I'm just share some efforts from a long term perspective what were we talking about what we're developing I know that I can speak to it too but just what we're developing and then other areas that we are exploring but you have yet been developed and being creative in that way.
And, yeah, I think we've covered it I mean it covers from a couple of different dimensions. So one is concentrating on given areas like the School of Nursing we have an initiative looking at their spend and trying to identify current and increasing diverse Ben Carter centers and other you already talked about with campus services and construction is a big area, both for tier one, as well as making sure that in turn our vendors have the same commitment we do, and what we can't get tier one would get tier two So, at least the spend is getting there. For the very smallest and most nascent of of diverse providers you know just individuals we contract with a ton of independent contractors on a regular basis.
And so, you know, going back to that question a little bit. You know absolutely that that would be the first place to start if you know you're just an individual and you have a good or service more likely, not as a service but to sell you know if there's somebody at Emory that has that need. We can potentially you know make that happen. You don't have to be even a company or large. And, you know, the kind of the sky's the limit. Part of the problem is that even from a basic human perspective we're still kind of building infrastructure, but you know, we are building it from the ground up with diversity at its center you know we're
building our spend analytics, we're building our tools, where one of the first considerations is how is this going to help us to identify and expand diversity spend. Thanks God I appreciate it. I just know this that as I think about our program you know I think about the mission of Reversi to create preserve teach and apply knowledge in the service of humanity, and how we're basically doing that as a whole through these areas. So as we begin to wrap up, I just want to ask you guys if you would individually start with Scott. Actually, let's go backwards. Let's start with candy. Aaron you're not going to be in the middle, I'll go to Scott, and then we'll let you be last. Um, if you would please just share how people can connect with you, the office or how they would be able to do that as we go forward if they want to reach out
to discuss anything further. Certainly, our web address for creativity and arts and arts at Emory is arts that Emory that edu. Great. Um, how about you, Scott. Yeah so unfortunately since that website isn't built yet.
You know, I think it's going to have to be reaching out to, to me individually we really don't have a joint box or website to go to so just reach out to me at Emory and I'm happy to make the connections I can and help to facilitate. Thank you. And Aaron. Yeah, the best place to look for us is either start me atl.org, where it's Derby TL on various social media channels LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or also through this website. Great. And first I want to thank everyone for the event today thank presidency vas for his comments Welcome everyone, and just want to let you know that.
I hope you enjoyed our panelists today, feel free to reach out to them and the areas that they have. And thank you for joining us. We hope you come back in the future. Thanks for having me.