After a long career in corporate America and now starting my own consulting business, I have found that it is imperative that we foster, sustain and promote a diversified and inclusive business culture throughout the Cape Fear Region if we truly desire to continue to grow our entrepreneurial community.
As noted diversity advocate Verna Myers puts it, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” It’s not about just another “Diversity Program.” It’s about putting in place programs and measurables to ultimately systematically reverse the residual effects of past years of racism and discrimination.
It is also about the continuous building of relationships and partnerships with people who don’t think like you, act like you nor look like you.
Natalie English, the president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, did that when she created the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce African American Business Council and asked me to chair it.
This council’s vision is to strategically position black businesses for inclusion and success through opportunity, education, exposure, entrepreneurship, economic development and public policy advocacy.
I applaud Natalie and know that more leaders of organization and businesses must take this same type of Inclusionary Leadership position to ensure we as a region continue to grow our entrepreneurial community.
Tracey Jackson, owner of u-nex-o, a local consulting firm that gets its name from the motto, “unity excellence operationalized."