Dear Chamber community,
Like any organization that is over 100 years old, the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce has had a checkered history relating to racial equity and inclusion. The Chamber has not always been a place that welcomed or supported black business owners, and we acknowledge and regret that many black business owners still feel like the Chamber is not a place for them.
Recent Chamber leadership has been focused on trying to change that, and we fully recognize that burden is on us. Given the most recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, which have once again brought our nation’s undeniable racism, racial inequities and injustice into stark relief, we remain even more committed than ever to correcting past wrongs and leading our business community to a more united prosperity. We stand with all of you in denouncing racial violence, and we know that we can as a country do better.
We believe that actions speak louder than words. More than ever, it’s critical for the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce to stand for a fair, equitable and diverse business community, and to foster an environment that both sparks opportunity and celebrates accomplishment among all of us. We have a long way to go to reach that goal, but our team is committed to working in partnership with the Minority Business Alliance, our Chamber members, and our economic development partners to be a catalyst for a thriving regional economy that must include and support minority-owned businesses.
Our efforts will not be without occasional missteps. In that regard, we regret that the content of our Monday e-newsletter did not speak directly to racial violence and injustice. We must be absolutely clear that we find these most recent acts, and those before them, unacceptable.
We support and advocate for quality jobs, economic mobility, and strong, healthy businesses so that our region and everyone in it can thrive. In that spirit, we share the resources below:
We look forward to being in conversation and partnership with you as we move forward as a community to listen, learn, and, most importantly, act toward the unity and equity we all desire.