Brian Banks

Diversity & Inclusion Advisor

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?

I feel my best work to advance DEI is when planning collaborative events that help bring people together to learn but also share their experience. Inviting Dr. Anthony Jack to speak about his book The Privileged Poor and partnering with CoE and Taubman to make it happen was very rewarding. We had over 100 people in attendance for the zoom event and I believe it was a success. I enjoy working with other to plan and execute events.

Wishes for the future: How would you imagine your environment needing to be for you to feel that you don’t have to do DEI work anymore?

There are several things that would need to happen. For example women to receive equal pay, for people of color to have more opportunities for employment and advancement in various fields. For people to be valued for the unique thing they can bring to the table no matter of race, creed, religion etc.

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?

Being a recipient is not important to me honestly. Although if awarded the honor I would cherish it. But it is humbling just to think someone nominated me for the work I’ve done which they felt exemplified the spirit of that of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.