The staff of the Denver South Economic Development Partnership is committed to advancing diversity, inclusion and, ultimately, equity in our community and our country. Given the position of influence we hold as an economic development organization—and the responsibility that entails—we have begun the complex and at times challenging examination of our work and how it impacts communities of color.
While we do not have all the answers and can only be part of the solution; we are committed to listening, learning and being a positive force in the sustained effort we face as a society.
Our first discussions as a staff on this topic were productive and focused not on words but action. We quickly identified some meaningful things we can do:
- As a thought leader and event planner in our community, we can endeavor to amplify diverse voices from the business community, seek to engage minority-owned vendors, and ensure our events are welcoming and inclusive to communities of color.
- As a regional transportation and mobility advocate, we can be an active voice for greater access to transit in our region, which disproportionately impacts transit-dependent and disadvantaged communities.
- As an economic development agency, we will strive to promote companies that are seeking to address socioeconomic inequity; promote workforce development programs including apprenticeships, internships, and training programs that seek to achieve racial equity; and strive to create fair opportunity for all in our work to support job and wealth creation.
- As a regional marketer, we can work to ensure our marketing and communications utilize equitable language and convey our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, while avoiding inauthentic representation of our communities.
As long as our friends and colleagues encounter systemic discrimination, we have a responsibility to do our part. As such, we are committed to working to identify and address inequity in the systems and initiatives that we participate in.
Denver South Economic Development Staff