Carnegie Mellon University

Accelerate Leadership Center logo

July 28, 2020

Accelerate Leadership Center Offers Empathy and Allyship Programming

Empathy is an important attribute of any great leader, and it’s the driving force behind much of what we do in the Accelerate Leadership Center. Empathy means putting yourself in the shoes of another, imagining life outside of your own, and considering the thoughts and feelings of people who aren’t like you.

But that’s just the first step. Once you’ve viewed life through another’s eyes, it’s crucial to take those learnings and apply them to your thoughts and to your actions.

Empathy Takes Work

Empathy seems like it should be easy, but it’s not. Empathy is work, and it’s not always comfortable. But just think, how great our world could be if we all worked toward being more empathetic if we made a continuous, conscious effort to treat others sympathetically?

The antithesis of empathy is hate and the opposite of empathy is prejudice. And there is no place in leadership for hate or prejudice. What you look like, where you’re from, how you worship, and who you love have no bearing on your value as an individual. As future business leaders — as human beings — it’s important to never forget this.

New Leadership, Empathy, and Allyship Program Offerings

Our students have called upon the Accelerate Leadership Center to make sure that Tepper graduates have “the experience and knowledge to lead diverse teams in an inclusive and equitable way, as well as operate businesses that provide access and opportunity to diverse customers and markets.”

We’ve heard you loud and clear. Beginning this academic year, in addition to our regular programming, we will now offer:

MBA Basecamp

  • How to Have Difficult Conversations: This workshop will give students tips and tricks about having difficult conversations with their peers. Crucial dialogue skills will be covered in this workshop that will support your time with us, as well as your post-MBA success.
  • How to Be an Active Ally: Allyship is a term we’re all hearing a lot lately, but what does being an active ally really mean? This foundational workshop will provide you with the tools necessary to be an ally to those around you.

Required Leadership Programming

  • EQ: The Inclusive Leader: This workshop ties all the dimensions of the EQ-i 2.0 assessment together with a focus on creating inclusive leaders. “EQ: The Inclusive Leader” is one of five options to fulfill the third Accelerate degree requirement in the Tepper MBA program.

The Allyship Coaching Conversation Series

This interactive series will take place throughout the academic year and will provide actionable takeaways to help you become a leader who is also an ally.

  • Doing the Inner Work: Knowing Your Biases and Blindspots
  • If You See Something, When and How Should You Say Something?
  • Triggered: Dialogue When Emotions Are High
  • Leading Inclusive Meetings
  • Watch Your Words: Everyday Language
  • Diversify Your Network: Building a Professional Network Along Lines of Difference
  • De-biasing Systems, Not People

SHIFT Programming

SHIFT teaches the essential leadership skills of empathy, critical thinking, and self-awareness through exposure to the arts. The following prongs of programming will directly address the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Tepper Reads: We commit to reading diverse authors and books in this series that will help you experience the thoughts, feelings, and actions of another through fiction.
  • Emergence: #ArtMakesYouSmart isn’t just a fun hashtag. Part of being smart is being culturally literate. The series of events brought to you through Emergence will expose you to arts and culture from around the globe.
  • The Curiosity Project: Ask questions, listen actively, learn about your peers. The Curiosity Project is all about talking with your peers — learning about our similarities and differences makes us stronger.

We could always be doing more! If there’s any other programming you’d like to see, please contact us at