Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce Advocates for National Agenda Item to Defend Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

On Monday, the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce (ILBCC), representing a vanguard in economic empowerment and advocacy for Black businesses both within Illinois and across the nation, announced its call to action in defense of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. This announcement comes in direct response to the escalating attacks on DEI by certain political factions. The ILBCC, underpinned by its long-standing commitment to justice and equality, urges the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to prioritize this critical issue at their national convention.

“Today, we stand at a pivotal juncture in our nation’s history,” said Larry Ivory, President & CEO of ILBCC and Chairman of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. “The concerted efforts to undermine DEI programs not only threaten the progress we’ve made towards equality and inclusion but also aim to erode the very fabric of our diverse society. It is imperative that we confront this challenge head-on, rallying behind the values that define us as a nation.”

Mayor Johnny Ford, renowned leader of the World Conference of Mayors and strategic partner of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the National Business League echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the role of DEI in safeguarding the soul of America. “Our fight is for the soul of America,” Mayor Ford stated. “Inclusion, equity, and diversity are not merely policies but principles that guide our path to a more just and equitable society. The attacks against DEI are attacks against these very principles.”

In a significant move to bolster its efforts, the ILBCC’s state-coordinated Illinois Black Business Political Action Fund (IBBPAF) will join forces with “The Future, Today & Tomorrow,” an African American founded Super PAC renowned for its forward-thinking approach and commitment to shaping a brighter future for all Americans. This collaboration marks a pivotal moment in the fight for justice, symbolizing a united front against the forces seeking to undermine the values of diversity and inclusion.

Historic Mobilization for Black Businesses at Illinois State Capitol

In an unprecedented show of unity and determination, the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the largest concentration of Black business owners ever to lobby for Black-owned businesses at our State Capitol. We invite our colleagues and allies to join us in bringing the power of our collective voice directly into the building, onto the floor, and to the tables that matter most.

Location: Illinois State Capitol Building, 401 S 2nd Street, Springfield, IL 62701

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

Press Conference: Illinois State Capitol Blue Room (lower level) 11:00 AM

This pivotal gathering will serve as a potent demonstration of our commitment to economic justice, social justice, and environmental justice. It is a call to action for all who believe in the promise of America and the indispensable role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in realizing that promise.

The ILBCC’s call to action is multifaceted, advocating for Economic, Social, and Environmental Justice. These pillars are seen as essential in addressing the persistent racial wealth gap that continues to undermine the promise of equality and opportunity for all Americans.

“We call upon the DNC to champion these causes, integrating them into the heart of their agenda,” Larry Ivory added. “This is more than a political issue; it’s about affirming our commitment to a future where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. The racial wealth gap is a stark reminder of the work that lies ahead, and we must unite in our efforts to bridge this divide.”

The Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce stands ready to lead this charge, leveraging its expertise and network to advocate for policies that foster an inclusive economic environment. As the preeminent organization for Black businesses in Illinois and a national leader in economic empowerment, the ILBCC is uniquely positioned to spearhead initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of society.

“Our mission is clear,” concluded Larry Ivory. “We are fighting for the soul of America, advocating for a nation where justice, opportunity, and equality are accessible to all. Together, with allies across the country, including our collaboration with ‘The Future, Today & Tomorrow,’ we will continue this fight, ensuring that DEI remains at the forefront of our national agenda.”

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