The Metro Atlanta Chamber has committed to leverage the power of the region’s business community to advance racial equity.
In February 2021, the Metro Atlanta Chamber launched our racial equity initiative, ATL Action for Racial Equity. This multi-year, multi-step action plan is designed to help address the ongoing effects of systemic racism impacting the Black community. The initiative will leverage the size, scale and expertise of the region’s business community to advance racial equity and focuses on measurable actions across corporate policies, inclusive economic development, education and workforce development – critical areas in addressing the region’s immobility and inequity challenges.
ATL Action for Racial Equity’s groundwork and deep dive on data reveal that a clear and surgical strategy targeting metro Atlanta’s Black population is necessary if the region is to move towards undoing the ills of systemic racism. Because a surgical approach is necessary to solve for the major challenges impacting many underrepresented and undervoiced groups, the Chamber may incorporate efforts targeting additional demographics into this work over a period of time. The launch of ATL Action for Racial Equity is one stage along this journey.
For the initiative’s launch, MAC rolled out its corporate policies focus, which calls on businesses across the region to take concrete actions in the areas of people, talent pipeline and human resources policies. Businesses can access a corporate policies playbook online as a guide to setting clear goals and implementing specific actions. For the next focus areas – inclusive economic development – MAC rolled out a second playbook that also outlines specific actions businesses can take, including increasing access to capital for Black entrepreneurs, growing the share of metro Atlanta-based companies that are Black-owned, and adopting formal supplier diversity programs. Playbooks for education and workforce development will be unveiled later in 2021.
To date, more than 225 organizations, including Fortune 500s, colleges and universities, healthcare organizations and small and medium-sized businesses have joined the initiative.
Diversity and inclusion are moral, business and community imperatives that should shape how we drive economic growth in our communities. I’m proud to stand with the other leaders who are a part of CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion as we leverage the power of the business community to drive change.