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Business Council of Westchester Announces Racial Equity Initiative

Saying it is committed to standing again racism, the Business Council of Westchester this week announced a series of steps it will take internally, as well as resources it will offer the business community to address racial inequality.

“Our goal is to advance the conversation about 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,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, in announcing the program on Monday.

Gordon said the BCW will require its staff, Executive Committee and Board of Directors to undergo racial awareness training and will also identify a diverse slate of candidates for all open positions on its board. In addition, it will create an Anti-Racism Resource Center that will offer free programming for members and their employees.  Sessions include:

  • 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

On Thursday, the BCW joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of New York State to sponsor two important programs to address inequality.

“Open Conversation: Racial Inclusion, Diversity and Equality in Business”  was organized by the Business Council of New York State and featured speakers that included 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. WATCH THE PROGRAM HERE.

“The webinar was successful in starting the dialogue on how business leaders can instill meaningful change,’’ said Heather Briccetti, President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State. “The goal now is to continue what we have started and provide future, similar, events with concrete steps focused on how minority owned businesses can find equality such as access to capital and information, and how all businesses can create an inclusive work environment.”

Later that day, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, held a National Town Hall event that is part of a national initiative to address inequality.

“It is our goal to continue to roll out resources that will support systemic change, and to play a role in this important dialogue and deliver a robust plan of action,” said Gordon.

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