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T HE D IVERSE B OARD Does your chamber board reflect the demographic and industry mix of your community?
2 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 THE DIVERSE BOARD History Many Chambers of Commerce were established in the 1800’s. Their purpose was to make their local jurisdictions highly livable cities, with a strong business environment that afforded their citizens with a high quality of life. Chambers of Commerce have traditionally been white male organizations that have not reflected the cultural, racial, or gender demographics of the areas that they serve. This misalignment of homogenous chambers and a diverse constituencies has led to mistrust, misconceptions, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities. The Atlanta story of successes, near successes, and disappointments
3 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 THE DIVERSE BOARD: HEALTH CARE Opened in 1892 and named for Henry W. Grady, editor of the "Atlanta Constitution," who worried about the lack of quality health care for Atlanta's poor. Grady now stands as one of the largest health systems in the United States. Grady serves over 1 million residents per year, about 30% are indigent or charity cases, 7% privately insured. Today continues to maintain its strong commitment to the health-care needs of Fulton and DeKalb counties underserved, while offering a full-range of specialized medical services for all segments of the community.
4 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 THE DIVERSE BOARD: HEALTHCARE Challenges: Grady was on the verge of closing in 2007, operated in the red for 9 of previous 10 years. The closing of Grady would have put a strain on the health care system of Metro Atlanta. The perception that the white business community was coming in and telling the Black elected officials and the Black hospital how it should be run. Strategies/Solutions The Grady Task Force was formed in 2007, a diverse group with everyone at the table. Biracial Co-Chairs announced: Pete Correll and Michael Russell, noted businessmen. Realizing that the Chamber lacked relationships with local elected officials, they created an External Affairs position so they could maintain the relationships they were building with the Grady project. A non-profit corporation was established in 2008, that comprised of business and civic leaders. Since 2008, $300 million have been raised for capital improvement.
5 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 T HE D IVERSE B OARD : H EALTH C ARE “Some black activists and elected officials had warned that the governance change would shift control of the hospital from black political leaders to white business leaders. The hospital’s problems, they said, are financial and not political. Chamber of Commerce officials, white and black, have responded that the only color that matters in the campaign to save Grady is green.” NY Times, Nov. 26, 2007
6 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 T HE D IVERSE B OARD : EDUCATION
7 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 THE DIVERSE BOARD For the past 30 years, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) has also worked with the Atlanta Public Schools in a joint program called the Atlanta Partners for Education (APFE). APFE has brought over 400 partners into the Atlanta Public Schools. These partners have contributed more than $5 million in human and financial support to the Atlanta Public Schools. APFE's focus is directly on the students and student achievement through mentoring, tutoring, and building playgrounds. MAC supports APS by presenting the Superintendent’s Annual State of the Schools Address MAC celebrates its outstanding business partners during its annual Partnership Awards Luncheon attended by more than 900 people and co-hosted by the Mayor and corporate sponsors. The Metro Atlanta Chamber created EduPAC to screen and endorse school board candidates. EduPAC is a nonpartisan, independent political organization representing more than 30 of Atlanta’s most influential and engaged individuals in the civic and business community. EduPAC has an 18 year history of bringing Atlanta’s most respected leaders in the community together to assess school board candidates qualifications The EduPAC boards members come with diverse talents, backgrounds and perspectives.
8 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 T HE DIVERSE BOARD : TRANSPORTATION
9 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 T HE D IVERSE B OARD : T RANSPORTATION MAVEN is a broad-based group of civic coalitions, business organizations and concerned citizens working to provide the public with information on transportation issues that affect the entire 10-County Atlanta region. The non-partisan organization is engaged in educational activities and will not advocate for or against passage of the sales tax referendum. MAVEN citizens live and work in every county and city of our region. If you agree that citizens in our region are entitled to the maximum amount of information to evaluate the options to address and solve metropolitan Atlanta transportation needs and challenges, join us today. Raised 7 million dollar for an educational, media, grassroots campaign
10 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 T HE D IVERSE B OARD : T RANSPORTATION Challenges: Atlanta Region one of the most congested regions in the US. Metro region consisted of 10 counties, numerous cities from diverse racial, political, economic persuasions Over $50 billion infrastructure needs for roads, bridges, highways, and transit #1 complain among residents is traffic, but there is an anti-tax sentiment Solutions: Very early on in the process, the Chamber recognized that a huge coalition would be needed to pass the referendum. The bill passed in April, 2010 and thereafter a big tent meeting was held diverse organizations. Monthly meetings were held each first Friday. The only criteria for joining the group was that you could not be an individual company. The grassroots organizations were sought out early to reflect diversity of the region. Resolutions were passed addressing workforce development and inclusionary policies for procurement. The referendum did not pass on July 31 st, 66% opposed; 34% in favor
11 | The Diverse Board © TalentQuest 2012 T HE D IVERSE B OARD : L ESSONS L EARNED The Sequoia Tree Questions/Answers
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