Black History Month: Q&A with Dr. Tim GramlingRiverside, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2024) – In honor of Black History Month, we are excited to highlight staff and faculty members who are an important part of the Lancer Nation.

To kick off our series, we chatted with Dr. Tim Gramling, dean of the Dr. Robert K. Jabs School of Business and vice president for diversity at California Baptist University.

What does Black History Month mean to you? Black History Month represents the USA's important acknowledgment of perseverance and contributions by the descendants of slaves in our nation.  

Why is it important to celebrate the month? Black History Month provides an excellent opportunity to continue the celebration, discussion and reflection of Black culture in the United States. 

Which black leader in history has had the greatest impact on your life and why? The late Dr. Allen Counter was the founding director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. I met him when I went to Harvard in the 1980s. I had great conversations with him about life, Harvard and overcoming challenges. Our connection was a vital part of my success in college and beyond. 

Why is it important to use Black History Month as a time to reflect on, think about and celebrate Black history and culture? Given the ethnic and racial diversity of the U.S., it is easy to focus on the group du jour. Black History Month reminds us of our unique responsibility in the shadow of American slavery to value everyone regardless of race and ethnic origin. Just over 50 years ago, my father returned from the Korean conflict in his full-dress uniform and was refused service at a lunch counter in the South. We are barely one generation away from this kind of behavior being mainstream in our country. 

Is there anything you'd like to share about your own culture or being a part of the Black community? Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. recently produced an important mini-series: "The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song." This series provides a window into the history of the Christian faith and its role in helping Black people escape slavery to survive and thrive in the United States. I consider this to be a must-watch for Christians everywhere. 

How do diverse teams improve the work we do? I am reminded of Solomon's observation in Proverbs 11:14: "Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers." Diverse teams give us the "many advisers" that are part of making better decisions for a group, an organization, a people and a nation. I also have found this to be true in my life and career.

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Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504