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Loyola receives award for video project highlighting experiences of local Black entrepreneurs

Jay Dunmore, television station manager for GreyComm Studios pictured with a Loyola student

Loyola University Maryland was awarded $13,818 for a project, “Stories, Context, and Lived Experiences of the Black Entrepreneur” from LeMoyne College. The award is sponsored by the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) and awarded by the American Jesuit Colleges and Universities Business School Deans. The series of videos and curriculum will focus on the experiences of Black entrepreneurs in Baltimore.

“This award furthers the principles of the new Inspirational Paradigm for Jesuit Business Education,” said Bill Romani, Ph.D., entrepreneur in residence of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.  “It stresses the idea of promoting corporate responsibility and bringing about positive social change using the same human-centered skills of creativity and storytelling that we stress in our interdisciplinary minors and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” 

The purpose of project is to create a series of five learning modules that are centered around high-quality videos that capture the personal stories and lived experiences of Black entrepreneurs in communities that have been subject to long term anti-black structural inequities.

Under the direction of Jay Dunmore, television station manager for GreyComm Studios, on-location interviews will be conducted along with footage of local entrepreneurs’ businesses and surrounding communities to add an additional perspective to the entrepreneurs’ lived experience.

Raenita Fenner, Ph.D., associate professor of engineering and director of the African and African American History minor, will lead a team of content experts in creating self-directed assignments and discussion questions that will accompany each video to facilitate student learning, discernment, and reflection that is consistent with the Inspirational and Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigms. 

The combined modular format of the video and accompanying assignments will be available on an open-access platform making the series accessible to faculty who want to contextualize the Black entrepreneurial experience in either curricular or co-curricular programming.

The project will also support the development of a course through the interdisciplinary minors in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and African and African American Studies that teaches students how angel investment might help create economic and social benefits to Black and female entrepreneurs; especially those in communities subject to racist policies that have resulted in systemic inequality in wealth creation and access to capital.

“These personal stories will provide an opportunity for our students to learn, discern, and reflect on how investment might help create economic and social benefits beyond the economic wealth that often drives investment decisions,” said Romani. “Considering this perspective before engaging and investing in a community or company is an important, and often overlooked, step for students and investors.”

In addition to Dunmore, Fenner, and Romani, Rev. Timothy Brown, S.J., associate professor of law and social responsibility, Patrick Dempsey, Ed.D., director of the office of digital learning and technology, and Jesse Goldstein, team lead of the office of digital teaching and learning will collaborate on this project which will be completed by August 31, 2021.