Together We RISE, Fisk University Partners with Marsh McLennan to Launch a Fellowship Program for Black MBA Students

Fisk University has partnered with Marsh McLennan, the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, and announced the launch of RISE, a global MBA fellowship program in partnership with the National Black MBA Association®.

A first-of-its-kind program, RISE, which stands for racial inclusion and social equity, will provide second-year Black MBA candidates and graduates in the US, UK and Canada with an enriching curriculum of practical business knowledge and tools for advocating for social justice within a business environment.  The program is being launched in celebration of Marsh McLennan’s 150th anniversary. The first cohort will begin their fellowship in September 2021, completing the program in May 2022.

“We’re committed to the principle of responsible capitalism and doing business in ways that generate a more just and compassionate world,” said Dan Glaser, President & CEO, Marsh McLennan. “RISE will help us form a more diverse, inclusive and vibrant Marsh McLennan and professional services industry.”

As part of RISE, Marsh McLennan’s Executive Committee will participate in an intensive social justice module at Fisk University.  “Our leaders are committed to cultivating a culture in which different experiences and perspectives are valued and celebrated,” said Carmen Fernandez, Senior Vice President & Chief People Officer, Marsh McLennan.  “The RISE executive module will immerse our leaders in a social justice agenda, helping them more fully embrace their roles as inclusive leaders.”

“Every successful business leader needs to understand the dynamics of risk, people and strategy issues.  Increasingly they need to be fluent in the intersection of business and social justice as well,” said Nzinga Shaw, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Marsh McLennan. “Through RISE, we hope to foster a new generation of executives who will forge a leadership path in business and make our industries more equitable.”

The fellows will participate in an immersive social justice program through the John Lewis Center for Social Justice at Fisk University, one of the nation’s historically Black colleges and the oldest institution of higher learning in Nashville, Tennessee, followed by an eight-month paid fellowship incorporating thought-leadership and mentorship from Marsh McLennan executives and NBMBAA leaders. Upon completion of the program, the fellows will be expected to complete an assessment of their observations and how they envision their role in continuing to promote an agenda of social justice.

“Our young prospective members are among the sharpest business minds in the country, and any organization that invests in their success is sure to see an impressive return,” said Joe Handy, President and CEO of NBMBAA. “We are grateful to Marsh McLennan and Fisk University for their cooperation in making this program a reality, and excited to see the benefits it produces.”

“Black MBA candidates have a rich set of experiences to bring to the professional services sector,” said Vann Newkirk, Sr., President of Fisk University. “It will be exciting to see how these cohorts of fellows implement a social justice agenda within their careers and beyond. It is wonderful to see companies like Marsh McLennan taking a leadership role and partnering with Fisk University to address the next generation of diverse C-suite and executive leaders.”

Through its Leading the Change initiative, Marsh McLennan is helping its diverse talent thrive. The Company also recently committed $5 million to support select organizations that advocate for the Black community and doubled its match for colleague donations made to organizations working towards this cause.

Students interested in learning more or applying to the fellowship can visit for more information.