Business & Society Institute

John R. Lewis Case Competition


2021 Finals

John Lewis Case Competition

The inaugural John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition inspired thousands of participants, sponsors, speakers, and audience members to come together to learn about the issues affecting our society while providing actionable recommendations that the corporate sponsors as well as other corporations can utilize to advance racial justice. The competition prizes enabled teams to support their careers and invest in local organizations addressing issues of racial inequality.
  • Students Engaged

  • Team Applications

  • Universities Represented

  • Prizes & Grants Awarded

  • Corporate Racial Justice Action Plans Created

  • Finals Audience Attendees

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)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan School of Management)*
  • Yale University (Yale 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

Corporate Partners

$35,000 invested in Organizations Advancing Racial Equality and Justice

  • Circles and Ciphers

    Circles & Ciphers is a hip-hop infused restorative justice organization led by and for young people impacted by violence. Through art-based peace circles, education, and direct action we collectively heal and work to bring about the abolition of the prison-industrial complex.
  • Surge Employment Solutions

    Meeting human capital needs with formerly incarcerated people, Surge Employment Solutions is much more than a staffing organization or workforce development plan. Our organization negotiates permanent staffing contracts with companies and only trains people for specific positions our company has secured.
  • Step Up

    Step Up For Students empowers families to pursue and engage in the most appropriate learning options for their children, with an emphasis on families who lack the information and financial resources to access these options. By pursuing this mission, we help public education fulfill the promise of equal opportunity.
  • Black Girls Code

    Black Girls Code builds pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology.
  • One Goal Metro Atlanta

    OneGoal addresses the depth and breadth of the problem by focusing on three pivotal transitional years from high school through the first year of college, working in close partnership with districts, high schools and postsecondary institutions.
  • Advancement Project

    Advancement Project is a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change.
  • Opportunity Hub

    Opportunity Hub is the leading technology, startup, and venture ecosystem building platform created to ensure everyone, everywhere has equitable access to the future of work, fourth industrial revolution and beyond as a path to multi-generational wealth creation with no reliance on pre-existing multi-generational wealth.

Student and Sponsor Testimonies

  • "A truly world-class event, one many of us will look back one day as a catalyst"

    Jason Wild, SVP of Transformation and Innovation at Salesforce
  • “The 24 MBA student teams were innovative, inspiring and bold in their ideas and recommendations."

    Meghan Pietrantonio, Vice President and Director of Strategic Initiatives at Truist Foundation
  • “The student teams assigned to us were full of passion and inquisitiveness. They challenged us… and they probed… asked for data. Then, they went to work. The results were amazing in each case."

    Shelina Ramnarine, Product Director, Payer Marketing Cardiovascular & Metabolism at Johnson & Johnson
  • “Business school has had quite a few highlights and participating in the John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition has certainly been one of the greatest among them!”

    2020-2021 Student Participant
  • "My goal was never to win. My goal was to be authentic, to learn, to create the highest quality intellectual capital with limited resources, and to honor the community by creating meaningful solutions that would actually make a difference”

    2020-2021 Student Participant
  • “THIS is why I came to business school, to help create impact for good and push corporations to do the same.”

    2020-2021 Student Participant

Full Presentation 2021 Finals