National Black and Latino Council USA
Open Letter to Corporate America
September 18, 2020
Dear Corporate America:
As ongoing protests and cries for social and economic justice continue to prevail throughout our country’s streets and communities, it is important for us to find collective ways to address the systemic challenges that continue to plague our nation and local neighborhoods.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and global social unrest has exposed how vulnerable minority communities and small businesses are during this tumultuous time. Black & Brown business owners are facing a myriad of challenges and are fighting to survive. Millions of minority-owned small businesses with employees in America are an essential job source, employing more than 8.7 million workers and annually generating more than $1 trillion in economic output. But most minority-owned companies are microbusinesses with 10 or less employees. Financial distress and limited opportunities have compounded the disparities and have put these extra small, minority-owned enterprises at high risk of closure.
The National Black & Latino Council is rooted in a community whose history has been the center of social, economic, and cultural transformation for years. Our quest to harness the economic and social power of the nation’s largest minority populations to bridge the economic gap and cultivate business opportunities is a testament to our passion to create change and make a difference in the lives and communities of people of color.
For over ten years, our mission has been to create ongoing opportunities and collaborative relationships between minority small business owners, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, governmental decision-makers, college students, and youth. Now, more than ever, it matters that Black & Brown people, minority-owned businesses, and minority communities receive the access and support they need.
Overcoming today’s social and economic challenges require more than hashtags and futile forums. We stand in solidarity with the movements, leaders, and voices that bellow for an end to racial injustice, inequity, and discrimination. Addressing and rectifying the decades of disparity and exclusion will not happen overnight. The National Black & Latino Council does believe that economic empowerment and more inclusive opportunities will impact the trajectory of minority businesses and the communities they represent.
While we recognize that public consciousness and corporate awareness is at an all-time high, The National Black & Latino Council would like to call on your organization to do more and implement new practices and offerings into your diversity, inclusion, and supplier programs.
Specifically, we’d like to implore your company to activate change in the following areas:
Diversify Corporate Board Appointments
Strengthen Diverse Hiring & Contracting Practices
Build Targeted Internship Programs for Black & Latino Students
Create a Procurement Pipeline for Black & Brown Microbusinesses and Independent Contractors
We are calling on you to work alongside us to take measurable actions to change our society’s legacy with social and economic injustice. True transformation and reform must be a collaborative effort. The National Black & Latino Council wants to partner with you to identify diverse board members; support recruitment efforts for minority professionals and talent; craft youth employment and internship programs; and expand your supplier chains to include Black & Brown microbusinesses and freelance workers.
We believe that if we collectively and implement these changes, we can empower businesses, professionals, students, families, and communities.
We invite you to join our movement and set a new precedent for how your organization practices diversity, inclusion, social and economic empowerment.
We build bridges to build bigger bottom lines for all.