A message from the Chamber’s Vice President, Civic Affairs Yvette A. Núñez to our member community.

When the Chamber’s President and CEO Rob Wonderling asked me to lead our civic affairs and social impact work, I had never before worked at a majority white organization. There were media articles at the time recognizing me as the first Latina executive in its more than 200-year history. I even received a number of awards from Latino organizations; their pride a cushion of support in what was for me a foreign world. A part of the point, and the problem, is that even today, we are living in a world where people of color can still be the first of something. And when you are, it may take many more words to be understood.

Coming from a career serving low-income communities of color, where we dismiss “outside” efforts as all talk, I naively came wanting to do more than just talk. But I quickly learned that in some spaces, and depending on the topic, talk alone is progress.

But there is no more opportune time than this to shift from talk to action.

The Chamber actively advocates for inclusive growth and diversity, equity, and inclusion, regardless of an individual’s economic position, gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. As we explore how our existing commitment to these practices can evolve to better serve this moment, I invite you to view our recent conversation about how companies are currently taking action by retooling, upskilling, and yes, hiring for a sustainable future for Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.

As a daughter of poverty, mother to Black children, and sister to a good cop, I know the complexities of what we are facing as individuals and a nation are many. Still, we must do better and not let what is hard get in the way of doing what is good, what is right, and what is just. In our talk and in our action, it must be clear that Black lives matter.

Photo of Yvette A. Núñez

Yvette A. Núñez

Vice President, Civic Affairs
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia