Dear Members, Partners, and Supporters:

You might have noticed there was not a Monday Morning Memo last week. I guess I had a bit of writer’s block. I couldn’t stop thinking about Ahmaud Arbrey . I tried to imagine what it would be like to have a group chase me and confront me for no reason at all. I tried to remember the most frightened I had ever been, then multiplying that by a shotgun and .357 magnum handgun. Even then, I am certain I will never know how Ahmaud Arbrey felt.

On Tuesday morning we woke to the news of a woman, a white woman, accusing a black man of threatening her in Central Park. Clearly, she felt her privilege allowed her to have her dog off leash. Christian Cooper , the black man, was bird watching and asked her to put her dog on its leash. Apparently, that request was the same as threatening her life and that of her dog. He was bird watching! Is there anything in the world less threatening than someone bird watching?

And now, we have all seen a man, a black man, George Floyd , choked to death in a violent and senseless act on a street in Minneapolis.  

My heart breaks for the families of George Floyd , Ahmaud Arbrey , Breanna Taylor and the families of every other victim of racial violence; names we have heard and those we have not.

This has got to stop.

We cannot stand on the sidelines shaking our heads at the senseless killing of black people in this country. Individually and as a community, we must do serious self-examination and decide if we are true advocates for equality and inclusion or not.

I want to share with you something written by Louise Chernin, CEO of GSBA, the LGBT chamber of commerce in Seattle; her words capture so much of what is needed right now:

I know that the LGBTQ community continues to suffer discrimination and violence, but we have plenty of work to do even within our own community, whether in our organizations, our community spaces, or ourselves. We talk about allyship and how important it is to work for human rights for all, but it is essential that we understand true allyship must be loud and visible, even when it is uncomfortable. And above all else, it must be earned.

We can do this, but it must be a priority. No one is better at movement growing than the LGBTQ community. Racism is deadly, discrimination crushes our souls, and at this very moment it is being fed by those in power. We must find ways to stop its growing boldness.

This includes accountable police forces which must continue to address acts of violence against the black community, all communities of color, and transgender and gender-diverse people. This includes intentional decisions to change economic systems that consistently oppress large segments of our populations. This includes recognizing that our desire to be comfortable is not greater than someone else's right to live.
The Members of the Board of the Chamber and the Chamber Foundation are committed to our mission of equality through business . Going forward, we will find more meaningful ways to partner with the Dallas Black Chamber and others to support their work and make our mission a reality.

Stay safe and stay strong,


Tony Vedda, CCE, IOM
President & CEO

On behalf of the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce and
LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation Boards of Directors:
Clint R. Thomson, Chamber Board Chair
Gary Sanchez, Treasurer & Chair Elect
Justin "JT" Williams, Foundation Board Chair
Ethan Avanzino, Board Member
Shelley Hunter, Board Member
Jacob Krysiak, Board Member
Justin Leach, Board Member
Stephen Lewis, Board Member
Armando G. Ramirez, Board Member
Waylon Tate, Board Member
Rachel Wolf, Board Member
North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce
LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation
214-821-4528 | info@LGBTChamber.com