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Join ICIC’s Day of Action

We’re deeply respectful of the ways in which each of you has dealt with the pain and despair of the past two weeks during which we’ve witnessed the bias, bigotry, and racism that continue to afflict our society.  We’re proud of the millions who have protested, demonstrated and expressed solidarity with the aspirations of Black people who have been targeted by law enforcement officials at every level of government with stunning frequency, and all too often with deadly force.  We’re grateful for the suggestions you’ve made which have enabled ICIC to develop a plan of action to address these seemingly intractable problems.

We’ve designated today, Monday, June 8th, as a Day of Action for our colleagues at ICIC.   We’ll use this time to reflect and heal, and to volunteer our time and resources to support organizations that address systemic racism and police violence or provide support to Black-owned businesses.  We’ll also use this time to have honest conversations about internalized biases and the ways in which we can renew our commitment to being anti-racist.

ICIC will match all employee contributions to non-profit organizations like Black Lives Matter and others that are on the front lines of addressing the racial and economic inequalities in the Black community.

We’re making a significant contribution to the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) which plays a meaningful leadership role in securing financial resources, technical assistance and contracts on behalf of Black-owned businesses.

Economic empowerment is a key component of the movement for racial equity.  We’ve identified some outstanding local and national organizations which are deeply involved in issues of racial justice and are committed to supporting Black-owned businesses.

We encourage you to contribute generously to one or more of these non-profits that work every day to transform our most economically vulnerable neighborhoods and communities:

  • Boston Ujima Project: Aims to create a community-controlled economy led by Boston’s working class residents of color through a multi-stakeholder group comprised of community members, small business owners, and workers.
  • Movement for Black Lives (M4BL): Mobilizes communities across the country to increase Black political power, including economic justice and empowerment.
  • National Urban League: Helps African-Americans and others in underserved communities achieve social parity, economic self-reliance, power, and civil rights.
  • New Economy Coalition: A network of organizations across the country working together to create changes in our economy and politics so that people, communities, and ecosystems can thrive.
  • New England Blacks in Philanthropy: Shifts the philanthropy paradigm to focus on financially leveraging the Black philanthropic community by creating a strong alliance between funders and the community.

We know the facts all too well.  Unemployment in the Black community is at its highest level in a decade.  40% of all Black-owned businesses shut down between February and April.  Life expectancy in communities of color with high levels of poverty is often 15 to 20 years lower than in more affluent neighborhoods and suburbs. In the face of these daunting challenges, ICIC has redoubled its efforts to narrow the racial wealth gap in America by supporting small businesses in under-resourced communities.  We’ve always believed that the revitalization of these neighborhoods is possible only if healthy small businesses lead the way. We provide capacity-building executive education, coaching, and access to capital to drive growth and the creation of good-paying jobs.  That’s who we are and what we stand for and we’re determined to work with our nationwide constituency of thought and practice leaders as well as our 15,000 alumni to address these challenges together.

Please join us.  Our nation’s moral and economic health depend on rejecting the status quo and embracing societal change and racial justice.

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