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I Vote for Dr. King’s Economic Rules

Posted by: Nika White on Wednesday, August 21, 2013
As a society, we are perceptive of the great intellect Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gifted us with. The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington evokes reminders of Dr. King’s philosophies and forces reflection. Most often, when commemorating the legacy of Dr. King, people naturally recall his advocacy of equality, his volunteerism, his high regard for education, family, and faith and his commitment to non-violence. It’s not as frequent people recall how acutely determined Dr. King was regarding economic concerns. This is particularly evidenced through King’s activity the last year of his life. Dr. King’s final book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community was dedicated to this topic. Dr. King insisted that a strategic approach to economic growth involves investments in vulnerable populations like underrepresented and disadvantaged communities. Dr. King’s intellect ascertained that a strong economic climate requires all disparities to be addressed to reach full potential of prosperity. Rodney Sampson summarized it best in his book titled, Kingonomics, “King was acutely aware that without change in the economic rules none of the other changes he envisioned would have a fighting chance in the long term.” Fifty years later, Dr. King’s economic agenda is still relevant. Transformation has occurred, but change doesn’t always mean growth and movement doesn’t always signify forward. This conversation must continue and I am glad to be a part of an organization that sees the importance of economic inclusion as a significant stepping stone to our community’s prosperity. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington to be observed on August 28th, I want to share three ways the Greenville Chamber has chosen to advance Dr. King’s economic principles to make a difference right here in our community:
  1. CAPACITY Goal Setters. CAPACITY is the Greenville Chamber’s initiative to foster economic development through diversity and inclusion. The Goal Setters program is designed to track and help facilitate the development of goals for spending with minority and women-owned businesses. The Chamber is working with Upstate companies committed to increasing supplier diversity with qualified minority-owned suppliers.
  2. Minority Business Resource Collaborative exists among approximately 20 organizations engaged in providing support to minority businesses in Upstate SC. The Collaborative is a way for existing organizations to work more effectively together. The purpose of the Collaborative is to maximize the collective capability to positively impact the growth, development and success of minority firms in the upstate. The Collaborative’ s objectives are to systematically support more minority businesses and produce better outcomes in the areas of economic development, minority business growth, job creation and wealth creation.
  3. Minority Business Accelerator program prepares minority-owned businesses for growth and expansion to create a competitive advantage for Upstate, SC to become the most inclusive business community in the world. The MBA program grows the economic success of disadvantaged organizations through business development services, mentoring, and access to large corporations for partnership opportunities. The program is focused on reducing disparity in the region's business community by driving economic activity for high-potential minority owned firms. The MBA's mission is to help accelerate the development of high potential minority business enterprises (MBEs) and to strengthen and expand the regional minority entrepreneurial community. The MBA delivers on its mission by using a two-pronged strategy: improving the readiness of local MBEs to serve as effective engines for economic development, and engaging the corporate community to more effectively utilize MBEs through local supplier diversity efforts.

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