Air Date

June 23, 2021


Rick Wade
Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Suzanne P. Clark
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


All Americans should have the opportunity to earn their success, rise on their merit, and live their own American Dream. This topic was explored in depth during the second annual National Summit on Equality of Opportunity, Moving from Conversations to Real Action.

Rick Wade, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach for the U.S. Chamber, and Suzanne Clark, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, gave opening remarks during the event to outline the underlying challenges driving inequality of opportunity for Black Americans and other people of color and how the business community can work on these issues in meaningful ways.

"Today's summit is not the beginning of our work, but a continuation of the commitment we made last year, when we convened thousands of private and public sector leaders to discuss the underlying challenges driving inequality of opportunity for Black Americans and other people of color," Wade said. "While they are working began with that, it is now about real passion. The Chamber, along with many partners, powered and launched the historic private-sector-led Equality of Opportunity Initiative, a nationwide effort to invest in advanced data-driven business and policy solutions to bridge our country's gaps in education, employment, entrepreneurship, criminal justice, health, and wealth. Solutions like equitable education funding, diversity and corporate leadership, access to capital for Black-owned businesses, employment opportunities for persons formerly incarcerated, and much more."

Clark followed Wade's comments by reiterating the challenges surrounding inequity are worth addressing for many reasons.

"This work is a priority for the Chamber, and our members, because as we all know it's not just a moral imperative, it's an economic imperative," Clark said. "A study from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation found that the U.S. economy could be $8 trillion larger by 2050, simply by eliminating racial disparities where we live, work, and learn."