The Business Council of Westchester is committed to standing against racism. We will join forces with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of New York, and others to create a call to action for all of our members to make a difference in the communities we represent. Our goal is to advance the conversation to end racism with actionable steps to support real change.
Today, we are announcing the first steps toward that change with a multifaceted program that includes listening, actions, resources, programming, and more.
● First, we look internally at The Business Council of Westchester to ensure that our team, our Executive Committee, and our Board of Directors undergo racial awareness training as part of our mandatory onboarding, as well as ongoing training. We will also identify a diverse slate of candidates for all open positions and Board seats.
● Second, we will provide on-going opportunities to raise awareness among our members starting with two immediate programs:
○ A National Town Hall event by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on June 25th that is part of a national initiative to address inequality. The BCW will stand with business and community leaders across the nation as we discuss concrete actions that can be taken by the government and the private sector to address inequality through education, employment, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice reform. As a partner on this important initiative, the BCW will host local and industry dialogues to further the discussion.
○ Also on June 25th at 10 a.m., we are partnering with The Business Council of NYS on their upcoming programing, offered free to BCW members. This includes a new webinar called “Open Conversation: Racial Inclusion, Diversity and Equality in Business” that will feature a diverse panel who will discuss the struggles of black business owners, and examine how all business leaders can develop plans and guidelines to diversify their workforce and teach employees how to maintain an inclusive workforce that respects all customers and clients. Speakers will include Dr. Hazel Dukes, President, NAACP New York State Conference; Garry Johnson, Economic Development Chair, NAACP New York State Conference; Helen Brooks, Senior State and Local Government Affairs Representative, FedEx Corporation; Michael Garner, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and President, Founding Chapter, One Hundred Black Men; Michelle McCleary, Immediate Past President, National Black MBA Association, New York; and Floyd Holloway, Counsel, State Farm Insurance.
● We will launch the BCW’s Anti-Racism Resource Center on our website in the coming days with the assistance of BCW member, Balancing Life’s Issues, which will provide free programming for members and their employees with a range of topics including:
○ Unconscious Bias
○ Fostering Inclusion in the Workplace
○ How to be an Inclusive Leader
○ What You Need to Know About Demonstrations
○ Coping with Civil Unrest
○ Self-Care in the Face of Trauma
○ Raising Children to Respect Diversity in Your Home
○ And more programming to be rolled out soon.
We look forward to your active participation and on-going engagement. It’s our goal to continue to roll out resources that will support systemic change, and to play a role in this important dialogue and delivery of a robust plan of action. Please join us!
Marsha Gordon, President and CEO, Business Council of Westchester