We must, as a business community, collectively confront the systemic racism that has created a divide in our country and continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of the African American community. In addition, we have a long road ahead to recover from the economic hardships brought on by COVID-19 and the damage done to our commercial districts over the past week. The following is a small selection of what our Chamber members are doing to support these efforts.
Many leaders of Chamber member organizations are offering guidance and support during these times when one of the most important things we can do is listen.
African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ & DE
“As a first responder (in a business sense) to this most heinous viral attack on the human race, I work tirelessly alongside people of every race to assist minority business through this unprecedented moment in history.” – Donovan S. West, President & CEO
Broad Street Ministry
“We will not be able to move forward as a community until our guests are seen, their voices are heard, and their needs are met.” – The Broad Street Ministry Staff and Board
Urban Affairs Coalition
“Let’s talk. Let’s think. Let’s listen. Most importantly, let’s recommit to the humanity in us all and act decisively to make those in greatest need our number one priority. UAC stands ready to be an advocate, catalyst and facilitator for permanent, systemic change.” – Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President
Additional Member Perspectives:
These Chamber members are committed to rebuilding and restoring neighborhoods impacted by the destruction of the past week.
The Enterprise Center
The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation understands the frustration regarding police brutality and the death of George Floyd, and stands with those fighting inequality. They also believe in the power of community to rebuild in difficult times. The Center is accepting donations towards its ongoing efforts to aid the 52nd Street Corridor businesses in rebuilding and regrouping.
The North Broad Renaissance
The North Broad Renaissance’s Reopened with Care campaign is aimed at building consumer trust and making safety a priority as social distancing restrictions are lifted and North Broad Street begins to reopen. In light of recent looting and destruction, the NBR will also support cleaning and boarding to rapidly address the needs of businesses, as well as storefront improvement support to help businesses rebuild to avoid vacancy and job loss.
Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund
The PA 30 Day Fund has already supported more than 70 companies across the Commonwealth impacted by COVID-19 and intends to raise an additional $100,000 for diverse small businesses who have suffered loss due to property damage and looting. The nonprofit PA 30 Day Fund is led by a group of business leaders, including Chamber members Cassandra Bailey, Slice Communications and Roger Braunfeld, Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld.
The following Chamber members are offering support in the social justice space, providing instruction and safety nets for those exercising their first amendment rights.
At a time when we can all feel isolated, we need to pull together now more than ever to stand up against antisemitism and extremism. ADL is offering a new series of webinars, Fighting Hate from Home, to help unite and inform our community.
Fels Institute of Government
The University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government put together the Fels Social and Racial Justice Resource Guide that offers information on organizations that are fighting systemic racism among other social injustices. The Guide features resources specific to Philadelphia as well as national organizations and also offers a list of anti-racism and education resources.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
The Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania is launching a Racial Justice page on their website that will offer tools from the Girl Scout Research Institute’s Raising Awesome Girls, older girl service projects that have been based in racial justice, and many more resources for education and advocacy, including ways to talk with your children about race, training and education resources for volunteers, ways to contribute to causes supporting this work, and petitions to sign to make sure representatives understand what is important to its community.
As we continue an ongoing effort to address racial disparities and biases in our communities and workplaces, please share any actions your business is taking to move our region forward with your member engagement representative.