WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue joined the heads of four leading Black business associations in calling on our nation's leaders to take action in closing the opportunity gaps for Black Americans.
Together with Harry C. Alford, President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Ken L. Harris, Ph.D., President and CEO of the National Business League, Inc., Ron Busby, President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers Inc., and Natalie Madeira Cofield, Founder of Walker’s Legacy, Donohue issued the following statement commemorating the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom:
“The hundreds of thousands of Americans who joined the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom called on our nation’s leaders to close stark gaps in employment, prosperity, and economic opportunity between white and Black Americans. It is long past time we answer their call. While we have made progress, fifty-seven years later, Black Americans still lack equal opportunity and upward economic mobility.
“Systemic inequalities in education, employment, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice hurt individuals, communities, and our economy, and they are deepening amid the economic shock of the coronavirus. In particular, we must do more to encourage Black entrepreneurship and invest in Black businesses, so that they can create jobs and build stronger Black communities.
“A half century later, we must finally deliver on the promise of the March on Washington. Our organizations are working together, alongside more than 500 business groups across the country, to address inequality of opportunity throughout our economy. We call on every leader across the public and private sectors to make this a real turning point in closing once and for all the opportunity gaps affecting Black Americans.”
Learn more about the partnership between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, American Express, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc., the National Business League, Inc., the U.S. Black Chambers Inc., and Walker’s Legacy, which has established and funded a new $10 million grant program to help Black-owned small businesses.
Explore America’s Opportunity Gaps: By the Numbers, a research report on systemic barriers to equality of opportunity for Black Americans and people of color.
Read the Chamber’s Special Report on Race and Inequality on Main Street for the latest findings on Black small business owners.