A Message from Grow Cedar Valley's Economic Inclusion Partnership: Committed to Equality for All

posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 in Grow Cedar Valley

Will Frost, Director of Talent Development Grow Cedar ValleyWritten by Will Frost, Director of Talent Development, Grow Cedar Valley's Economic Inclusion Partnership, and Cary Darrah, CEO

For too long inequalities and inequities have been annealed into the framework of our nation. Recent national coverage has reminded all of us of the reality our African American/ Black colleagues face each day. Racism poisons the American dream and threatens our humanity.

Grow Cedar Valley's Economic Inclusion Partnership stands in solidarity with efforts that are addressing systemic racism. The Economic Inclusion Partnership works to ensure everyone has access to the economy if they so choose. This unapologetically includes people who are African American/Black. Although all lives matter, to achieve universal equality and address our deeply rooted systems of oppression in a meaningful way, we must target our efforts and resources.

We will commence this record celebrating the efforts initiated by our business community. In just a couple of short weeks, we have seen businesses radically change how they operate. When faced with the division of racism the Cedar Valley has united in our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Employers have taken innovative and proactive approaches to create inclusive environments, rethink how they interact with the public and, how they engage their workforce.

The role our Economic Inclusion Partnership plays in talent development in the Cedar Valley has never been more intrinsic to the vitality of our workforce. Grow Cedar Valley remains committed to employing every known resource as we lead the march towards fair and equitable treatment for the entire workforce in the Cedar Valley. But, there is more work to be done.

We applaud those who are using their influence to shape a more equitable world. One where the color of your skin does not inherit generations of undue encumbrances. Where our differences are celebrated and not used to disqualify. This idea must reverberate throughout everyone in unison. Remaining silent or neutral is not an option.

The Economic Inclusion Partnership will continue to inspire and lead our business community and, engage in difficult discussions revolving race and inclusion. We will provide answers to common questions as well as objective perspectives to unique ones. We will be your partner in helping navigate the path forward.

Thank you to our African American/Black colleagues who bravely choose to speak up and make your stories known. Thank you to the allies who choose to walk the more difficult path in someone else's shoes. Thank you to everyone who is choosing to stand for the right-thing even if it means risking everything.

Reflecting on how every one of us contributes to the narrative is not only good for our personal growth, it is also good for our businesses. We must realize that when striving for understanding we must avoid the pitfall of using ourselves as the constant. Taking the time to become aware of our unconscious bias helps us identify and evade those danger zones. We can help heal the landscape and serve as an ally to our African American/Black colleagues and show that Black Lives Matter.

Moving forward, many things may change, but the one thing that will always be the same is our commitment to helping Grow the Cedar Valley.