Just hours before a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia launched a new collaboration that aims to undo racial inequalities that pervade the region’s economy by changing how businesses do business.
Designed to encourage large companies to use more Black and brown-led suppliers, the Diverse Procurement Collaborative commits 100 of the region’s largest employers including the University of Pennsylvania, Comcast, and Wawa to increase the diversity of their contracting networks.
“The Chamber believes that we can’t truly create a strong, equitable economic recovery without a commitment to those Black and brown businesses,” Susan Jacobson, the board chair, said during a press conference Tuesday morning.
Part of the Chamber’s larger Recharge and Recover PHL, the public-private collaboration also includes the Philadelphia International Airport, the School District of Philadelphia, the Economy League, PIDC, Philadelphia Commerce Department, Philly’s Asian American Chamber, African-American Chamber, and Hispanic Chamber of Commerces, Independence Blue Cross and WHYY.
The participating companies have committed to participating in two years of sharing best practices and resources for increasing supplier diversity. To keep businesses accountable, all companies will undergo a baseline assessment to help determine achievable goals. Progress toward those goals will be benchmarked through an internal database.
During the two years, there will be six meetings to share best practices and resources with members.
Andrew Driscoll of Ernst&Young was one of many people who helped develop this initiative.
“We have to create this community across Philadelphia to make progress,” Driscoll said.
The official kick-off meeting is on June 22.
Participating companies so far include:
Alexander Perry, Inc.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Black Squirrel Collective
Bradley & Bradley Associates
Brandywine Realty Trust
Burns & McDonnell
CG Global Management Solutions, LLC
City Year Philadelphia
Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council
Independence Blue Cross
JWH & Associates
Kayole Environment Management Enterprise
Main Line Health
Montgomery County Community College
Mosaic Development Partners, LLC
Partner’s Consulting, Inc
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Philadelphia International Airport
Philadelphia Youth Network
Philly Improv Theater
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation
PRWT Services, Inc.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia
Roar for Good
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr
School District of Philadelphia
The Nature Conservancy
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Tactile Group
University City Science Center
University of Pennsylvania
WHYY is one of over 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push towards economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly.
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