Chamber event highlights state of DE&I in NJ (slideshow)
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The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce hosted an event Aug. 4 on the State of DE&I in New Jersey.
The event was a town hall, open forum-style discussion with Black business members and leaders from around the Garden State as well as other stakeholders and the media, which was held at the APA Hotel Woodbridge. It included panel discussions on the value proposition of DE&I and media engagement of the issue, while featuring remarks from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka; AACCNJ founder, President and CEO John Harmon; NJ Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Bracken and others.
“We’re just extremely delighted to have you all here today for what we all believe is the most important event to be held in New Jersey,” Harmon said at the top of the program. “It is time for us to step up and do what we believe is right, inclusive and transformational.”
“There is no better time to introduce a reignited diversity initiative in the state than right now, because we are going to start to promote the state like it’s never been promoted since the governor’s taken office,” said Bracken. “What we need to do is take the enormous assets we have in the state and leverage those assets. And one of those assets – and maybe the most prominent asset we have in the State of New Jersey – is diversity. We are the most diverse state in the country. And utilizing that asset, promoting that asset, and leveraging that asset is going to have great benefits for our state.”
“Inequity is a problem in New Jersey. It’s also a problem in America – a problem we have not been able to deal with,” said Baraka. “Once we deal with inequity, then all the other problems will be less severe – problems of unemployment, problems for education, problems of growth, of crime and violence. All these problems begin to dissipate when we deal with inequity.”