The recent protests in our community and across the world have given rise to a voice too long ignored. They have shone a light on the pain and inequity caused by systemic economic, political and societal racism.
The Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce stands in solidarity with those who protest against racism. We support our community members and team members in their right to non-violent protest. We have seen that protests and public safety can coexist.
We do not have answers. We do not even know the complete and correct actions for the organization to take. We do commit to change internally and lead externally. We will begin with the following steps:
- Commit time and resources required to educate Chamber Professional Staff and Volunteer Leadership on the groundwater of systematic racism as an economic construct in America. This will begin with senior leadership and the Executive Board of the Chamber.
- Commit time and resources required to attend additional training activities.
- Commit time and resources required to complete organizational audit focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.
We will look to and lean on our major employers and global leading cultural organizations as examples and for resources. We will ask more questions, and we make a vow to listen to the answers. We look to our community, many who do not feel included in the work of our mission, for guidance and suggestions.
The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by law-enforcement is but the most current example of systemic anti-black racism in our nation. We stand against racism and discrimination wherever it exists. We are committed to the actions needed to create an anti-racist environment across our organization and set an example for the community we serve.