Local corporate leaders form Business Equity for Indy initiative to address racial inequities in Central IndianaOctober 8, 2020
INDIANAPOLIS – A collection of leaders from the corporate and non-profit communities in Central Indiana have formed the Business Equity for Indy Committee. The committee, a joint venture of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and Indy Chamber, with support from the Indianapolis Urban League, is comprised of a group of Indianapolis-based corporate leaders committed to advancing a fairer and more inclusive future for the city’s Black population and other peoples of color.
Informed by community input, the Business Equity for Indy Committee will develop a set of proposed business actions and engagements to address inequities in business opportunities for communities of color.
“We are seeing a strong group of corporate leaders in Central Indiana come forward with a shared passion and determination to move the needle on racial inequity,” said David Johnson, president and CEO of CICP. “It is a great opportunity for CICP and the Indy Chamber to join together in a historic way and to work collaboratively on issues that strike the heart of our city and region, by leveraging these organizations’ drive while drawing input and support from our local communities to make sure this Committee’s work is collaborative, responsive and outcome-driven.”
The committee has already identified several priorities for immediate action through specific activities, with key leaders in the community coming forward to drive responsive investments and programs in the following areas:
- Expanded hiring, promotion and leadership opportunities for the region’s Black population and other peoples of color;
- Expansion of minority-owned business enterprise (MBE) participation and procurement opportunities in the regional economy for businesses owned by Blacks and other peoples of color; and
- Addressing healthcare disparities, including maternal and child health, flu vaccinations for vulnerable populations, and food insecurity.
“These early agenda priorities represent a confluence of insights from our local community in which Central Indiana businesses can actively drive change,” said Jeffrey Harrison, president and CEO of Citizens Energy Group and chair of the Business Equity for Indy Committee. “The potential of this committee and the breadth of the business community coming together to be a part of this is extraordinary and seeing this drive and passion for change and service is unique.”
In addition to the supporting organizations of CICP and Indy Chamber, represented by their respective presidents and CEOs, the members of the committee include the following:
- Gail Boudreaux, president and CEO, Anthem
- Michael Canada, CEO, EnerDel
- Justin Christian, president and CEO, BCforward
- Scott Davison, president and CEO, OneAmerica
- Rajan Gajaria, executive vice president, Business Platforms; Corteva Agriscience
- Jeffrey Harrison, president and CEO, Citizens Energy Group; Chair, Business Equity for Indy Committee
- Kristin Mays-Corbitt, president, Mays Chemical Company
- Dennis Murphy, president and CEO, IU Health
- Mamon Powers III, executive vice president, President – Indianapolis office; Powers & Sons Construction Company
- Mario Rodriguez, executive director, Indianapolis International Airport
- Josh Smiley, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Eli Lilly and Company
- Connie Bond Stuart, regional president, Central and Southern Indiana; PNC Bank
- John Thompson, CEO, Thompson Distribution
“This agenda – and these organizations – represent just the beginning of what will be a sustained effort, and we continue to seek other organizations to join us in making Central Indiana a place where we can join forces and invest our efforts in our own backyard,” said Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “This committee can serve as a network for other organizations and companies to identify, develop, scale and align programs across the City of Indianapolis and Central Indiana, aimed at increasing the fair and equitable participation in our economy of all our citizens, especially the Black community and other communities of color.”
About Central Indiana Corporate Partnership: The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) was formed in 1999 to bring together the chief executives of Central Indiana’s prominent corporations, foundations and universities in a strategic and collaborative effort dedicated to the region’s continued prosperity and growth. To advance this mission, CICP sponsors six key talent and industry sector initiatives, AgriNovus Indiana, Ascend Indiana, BioCrossroads, Conexus Indiana, Energy Systems Network and TechPoint, each of which addresses challenges and opportunities unique to its respective area: agbiosciences, talent and workforce development, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and logistics, energy technology and technology. To learn more about CICP, visit www.cicpindiana.com.
About Indy Chamber: The Indy Chamber empowers business to assure all have the opportunity to succeed in the Indianapolis region by connecting, convening, and taking action to move our region forward. Through membership, economic development, entrepreneur services, and advocacy, the Indy Chamber and its 2,000+ member network strive for inclusive economic growth and mobility. For more information, please visit IndyChamber.com.