Robert Shegog: Sustained investment needed for equity programs

Keywords Opinion / Viewpoint
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In central Indiana, our business community responded to the pandemic and the racial reckoning during the summer of 2020 with initiatives such as the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council’s Accelerate 100+ program, Business Equity for Indy, and the Indiana Latino Institute’s Latino Leadership Circle. These endeavors were created, and in some instances realigned, to provide essential resources, education and networks to empower Black and brown business owners, fostering an environment where they can launch, grow and scale their enterprises while cultivating a network of support across Indiana.

And while the surge of awareness provided more intentional corporate action to address equity and inclusion, the reality is that nationally, we’re seeing disinvestment in diversity, equity and inclusion commitments.

As we celebrate the strides made, it is crucial to recognize that our success is contingent on the sustained investment in these initiatives. True progress requires ongoing commitment and the recognition that diversity and inclusion are not mere trends but enduring values that strengthen our business community.

The commitment to equity must extend beyond temporary initiatives and evolve into a lasting, measurable impact on the business landscape. Recognizing this imperative, the Recorder Media Group and the Minority Business Review are proud on Friday to host the 17th annual Champions of Diversity, an event designed to acknowledge and celebrate the individuals, companies and corporations that are prioritizing diversity through tangible and measurable actions.

The Champions of Diversity Awards serve as a beacon, shining a light on those who exemplify these values. It is an opportunity to celebrate those who go beyond rhetoric, taking measurable steps toward creating an inclusive business environment. By attending this event, community leaders actively contribute to the momentum driving central Indiana toward a future where diversity is not just acknowledged but embedded in the fabric of our business ecosystem.

This year, Champions of Diversity will celebrate the highest number of honorees to date with new awards that include various industry awards, the Emerald Leadership Award, the Sapphire Diversity Maverick, the Stewardship Young Leader Award, and the Amos Brown Community Advocate Award.

These awards will be presented alongside the prestigious Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award, William G. Mays Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award, Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award, President’s Choice Award and Lifetime Education Advocate Award.

Purchasing a ticket to the 17th annual Champions of Diversity is not merely an invitation; it is a commitment to being part of a community dedicated to fostering genuine change. Join us in recognizing and celebrating the individuals and organizations leading the charge toward a more equitable and inclusive central Indiana. Together, let’s build a business landscape that reflects the richness of our community and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.•

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Shegog is president and CEO of Recorder Media Group and Minority Business Review.

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