Fifty Greater Boston executives will embark on a trip to Washington, D.C. on May 24 to visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture, part of a one-day learning excursion planned by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce under its City to City Boston program and in collaboration with the leadership of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA).
The business delegation, led by Chamber President & CEO James E. Rooney and joined by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, will visit the museum followed by a discussion on the topic of race and economic opportunity with a diverse group of Washington D.C. business leaders. The trip will culminate with a visit to Capitol Hill for a conversation, arranged by Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal, with Congressmen John Lewis on the economic impacts of historical and current racial inequalities and the role of the business community.
The visit is designed to gain a better understanding of America’s historical enmity between blacks and whites, with the goal of using that knowledge and sensitivity to transcend racial problems in Boston; reduce the economic, educational, and political disparity between races; and to forge new and stronger bridges of understanding and cooperation between races in Boston.
Included in the delegation are 20 Chamber Board Members including Chairman Nav Singh, Anne Bailey Berman, Geri Denterlein, Darren Donovan, Gerald Francis, Andrew Graff, Paul Jakubowski, Sandy Lish, Katherine Perrelli, Colette Philips, Walter Prince, Robert Rivers, Jerry Sargent, Darryl Settles, Richard Snyder, Corey Thomas, Sushil Tuli, Flash Wiley, and Steve Wright as well as Richard Taylor, Glynn Lloyd and Darryl Settles from the BECMA Board.
Race plays a crucial role in our policy work around economic mobility, a top five policy priority for our membership at the Greater Boston Chamber. To fully address this important issue, we know we need to first explore the historical experience of people of color not just in Boston, but throughout the United States, to help us better understand how it intersects with access to opportunities in the private sector. I am overwhelmingly proud of the response we received to this invitation from our Chamber membership, and I am looking forward to a productive and enlightening trip. - Chamber President, Jim Rooney
“This special trip is just one aspect of our ongoing work around the important issues of race and economic mobility,” said Chamber Board Chairman and Managing Partner at McKinsey & Co, Navjot Singh. “I am particularly grateful to our Executive Committee leaders Steve Wright, Bob Rivers and Flash Wiley for their brain power and drive to engage the rest of our Board and membership to think creatively about initiatives that create economic opportunities for all.”
“Business leaders play an important role in moving the needle on racial and economic disparities," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "I am excited to join with members of the business community for this opportunity, and look forward to continuing our work to advance racial equity in Boston."
A full list of delegation participants can be found here (PDF).