The Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA) hosted Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson this week as a part of their speaker series open to graduate students. Mayor Jackson met with students to discuss his experience leading the city during a pandemic and racial injustice.
“The goal of having Mayor Jackson speak with the students was to provide the students an opportunity to learn from a leader that is responsible for guiding the city through and unforeseen pandemic, economic turmoil, and social injustice,” said Shawn Braxton, GBSA Vice President of Social and Cultural Activities who moderated the event and is pursuing a dual degree as an MBA and Medical Physiology student.
Jackson reviewed with students how the pandemic has escalated in Cleveland, the effect the pandemic has had on the economy and what the next steps are in terms of distributing the vaccine. He also addressed the racial injustices in the city.
“This is a crisis and a challenging time. Hard times are what I do,” Jackson said. “Cleveland has been through quite a few hard and challenging times since I’ve been Mayor, and you just have to address it. You cannot run from a challenge or hard times because if you do, it will catch you. You have to engage it. If you engage in the fight, then you can help shape the outcome that will occur.”
After the discussion, students had the opportunity ask direct questions to the Mayor including his plan for growth in the city post-pandemic, longer-term economic effects and the structural and systemic racism in the city.
“We hope that students got a real understanding of the leadership and decision-making processes political leaders have had to undergo during these uncertain times,” Braxton said. “We plan on holding events like this in the future. We want to offer students a diverse array of events where they can learn from leaders that are dealing with societies prescient issues."
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