John R. Lewis

Racial Justice Case Competition


Corporate Partners

Case Competition Winners


First Place

USC Marshall School of Business (Johnson & Johnson)

Second Place

Emory University's Goizueta Business School (HP)

Audience Award

Harvard Business School (Truist)


  • Harvard University (Harvard Business School)
  • Yale University (Yale School of Management)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan School of Management)*
  • University of Southern California (Marshall Business School)
  • Emory University (Goizueta Business School)


Congratulations to the 24 semifinal teams across eighteen universities. Team/Individual identification has been withheld publicly to prevent final round judging bias.

  • Boston University (Questrom School of Business)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper School of Business)
  • Cornell University (Johnson Graduate School of Management)
  • Dartmouth College (Tuck School of Business)
  • Emory University (Goizueta Business School)*
  • Harvard University (Harvard Business School)*
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan School of Management)*
  • Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management)*
  • Rice University (Jones Graduate School of Business)
  • University of Alabama (Manderson Graduate School of Business)
  • University of California, Berkeley (Haas School of Business)*
  • University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management)
  • University of Rochester (Simon Business School)
  • University of Southern California (Marshall Business School)*
  • University of Virginia (Darden School of Business)
  • Vanderbilt University (Peabody School of Education)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business)
  • Yale University (Yale School of Management)

* Multiple teams represented

The first case competition of its kind

Focusing on the intersection of Business & Racial Inequality

By bringing current business leaders and top graduate and undergraduate students from across the country together, the John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition goes beyond short-term solutions and brings lasting, value-creating change. The John Lewis Case Competition is a virtual student-run case competition that connects corporations and students interested in business in an effort to create innovative and actionable racial justice initiatives for those corporations.

John Lewis Case Competition

America is facing a moment of reckoning for racial justice not seen since the 1960s. Protesters are demanding racial justice in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and numerous others as well as a dismantling of systemic racism against Black Americans. In response, corporations have professed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and are seeking meaningful ways to invest time and resources in making sustainable change. Further, business school students all over the country are asking themselves what actions they can take in order to see real change and create a more equitable society. After a preliminary application round, 24 semifinalist teams will be assigned to a sponsoring corporation (6 corporations will be assigned 4 teams each) to explore the question:

How can this corporation best use its various resources to address issues of racial injustice in one or more of three areas: wealth/income disparities, health outcome disparities, educational/skills attainment gaps?

Semifinalists will be given a corporate partner specific case prompt based on that partner’s racial justice/equality goals after semifinalists are announced on December 7.

Semifinal Presentation Recommendation Guidelines

This is only a recommendation. Teams should feel free to present their recommendations and research analysis in whatever form they please.

  • Context – what problem are you solving?
  • Recommendation
  • Supporting Arguments with relevant evidence
  • Prioritized list of actions / next steps
  • Appendix
    • Overview of your methodology
    • Research / analysis details
    • Bibliography

Emory MBA Creates First Major Racial Justice Case Competition

John Lewis
November 16, 2020

From Poets & Quants

In early summer, Brian Mitchell, associate dean of the full-time MBA program at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, hosted a Zoom call to discuss the racial justice and police brutality protests occurring across the country in response to protests stemming largely from the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by two white men while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia, about four and a half hours southeast from Emory’s Atlanta campus.

Our Goals

  • Education

    Educate students on the history of systemic racism in the United States and how they can address systemic issues through innovative and strategic thinking and development of actionable solutions.
  • Action

    Provide corporations with actionable and impactful strategies for addressing racial inequality through targeted initiatives, philanthropy and education.

Our Mission, Our Location

Goizueta Business School's commitment to this integration of business and society, combined with its location in Atlanta, GA, which is known as the "cradle of the Civil Rights Movement" makes Emory the ideal host for this competition.

Roberto C. Goizueta, our namesake, believed that it is the responsibility of business to use its resources – its people, its finances, and its influence - to do well in the world and to create a dignified quality of life for everyone.

Congressman John R. Lewis (February 21, 1940 - July 17, 2020) was a leader in that movement, marching, organizing, and speaking with Dr. King across the US, and also served as the representative of the Atlanta district in the US House of Representatives for 34 years. Congressman Lewis devoted his life to racial justice and equality always encouraging young people to "Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."

“Though I am going, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.” - John R. Lewis

Case Competition Questions


No. However, all students must attend the same university.

Yes. But there will be a maximum of two teams from any given university promoted to the semifinals.

No. Semifinalists will be given a corporate partner specific case prompt based on that partner’s racial justice/equality goals after semifinalists are announced on December 7.

HP Inc, Johnson & Johnson, Salesforce, Southern Company, Truist, and Walmart


Yes. All 20 semifinalists will receive a primary research budget of $1,000.

No. PowerPoint Statement of Intention will be separated from other application materials that include university name. The screening committee members will only receive the PowerPoint Statement of Intention.

Please email us for anything not discussed here.