This appeared in Start Us Up’s weekly newsletter. Sign up to stay in the loop and receive updates in real-time.
These past two weeks, people in more than 400 cities and all 50 states and Washington, D.C. joined in protest of the injustice, racism, and systemic challenges Black Americans face daily. Pain and anguish echoed across this country in response to the murder of yet another Black man in police custody in a nation that professes to be built on a foundation of equality and justice.
The opposite is true.
Across systems, structural inequities abound in America. Our policing and justice systems failed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among countless others. So too has our economy — built to preserve hierarchies and status quos — created a climate where a pandemic disproportionately devastates communities of color.
We’re just starting to see what will happen to students who attend under-resourced schools, unable to support distance learning and the wrap-around services needed in many of our neighborhoods. And, we’re seeing up close the challenges faced by small and new businesses, especially for entrepreneurs of color, who are struggling to find the resources needed to survive.
None of this is new. And repairing the damage requires more than just words, but also comprehensive and coordinated policy and community initiatives aimed at the underlying causes, rather than the symptoms.
And now more than ever, it’s incumbent upon entrepreneurial leaders to understand and act on the disparities we see in our work — from funding to healthcare.
That’s what America’s New Business Plan is about. And as more and more policymakers open their eyes to the realities of our economy and the country we live in, we’re hopeful we can make a difference in moving them toward equitable and just reforms.
We remain committed to doing our part to end these broken systems, particularly as we strive to build a fair and just economy for all.