Updated: Jun 15, 2020
On June 10th, 2020 Margaret Larkins Pettigrew and Deborah Z. Read
Co-Chairs, GCP Equity and Inclusion issued the following message to Northeast Ohio's business community and leadership:
Last week Greater Cleveland Partnership released a statement supporting the City of Cleveland’s declaration naming racism as a public health crisis. Since then, many of you joined us in acknowledging the presence of racist practices that have resulted in injustice and have expressed your indignation that racism still exists. Your pledges of accountability and readiness for action are significant, and as Co-Chairs of GCP Equity & Inclusion, we welcome the participation of your companies and institutions in the many initiatives GCP Equity & Inclusion offers as well as others that GCP undertakes to address racial inequities.
Systemic racism will only change when leaders and their organizations, have the willpower and courage to act differently. Not in small ways, but in large, transformational ways with consistency that begins in the boardroom, cascades to the maintenance department and into all the stakeholders they impact. Change cannot be successfully managed alone. This is our collective responsibility. GCP Equity & Inclusion has spent 20 years in this region advocating, assessing, sharing, teaching, programming, convening and assisting with a goal of achieving economic equity and racial inclusion in Northeast Ohio. The recommendations are in place, the best practices are available in person or virtually, the tools of commitment and the pathway to more inclusive equitable organizations are paved. Our statement is simple and direct: let us help you take action in leadership, for your organization, and for yourself, now.
If our region is to truly become racially equitable, businesses need to move beyond statements and ACT. The question from many is, “what do we do to promote a more racially equitable, inclusive and just society?”
Without data and benchmarks against which to compare, it can be difficult to recognize, name and begin to do the work that is required—especially if your goal is to develop a meaningful and actionable strategy for improvement.
This is why, for nearly two decades, GCP Equity & Inclusion has offered our business community the opportunity to participate in the Diversity & Inclusion Organization Assessment. Now more than ever, your diversity, equity and inclusion efforts should be a primary focus across your entire organization. Taking GCP’s D&I Assessment is an impactful first step that will inform and guide your organization on the path to greater racial equity, accountability and best practices.
Over the past several weeks, our communities have become introspective and outspoken: Where do we go from here? How can we become part of the solution? What can we do to fight systemic racism and close that equity gap that is keeping people of color from flourishing and succeeding to their full potential? If you are asking yourself, your organization, your educational institution, your community these questions, attending the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s 12th Annual Inclusion Conference, on August 18th and 19th, 2020 is a step you should take.
This year’s theme, “Fueling The Future of Work,” is even more meaningful now as we challenge each other to change policies and implement practices that will indeed be what fuels the future of work. Because of the impacts of COVID-19, we are taking this conference virtual.
GCP Equity & Inclusion offers the business community a number of resources, some of which are highlighted here:
Inclusion Marketplace, an online portal connecting minority-owned businesses (MBEs) with demand for goods and services.
If you would like to be connected with GCP's Equity & Inclusion initiatives, please reach out to the Business Growth & Development team.