A message from The Connection Exchange founders.
The Connection Exchange has always and will continue to stand with the Black community. It has always been and remains our mission and vision to create better communities through better connections. Community collaboration and unity is at the heart of this mission. And that means for all people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. We have served thousands of entrepreneurs across the state of Missouri including black entrepreneurs who we acknowledge have faced unequal treatment and increased barriers to small business ownership. But it is no longer enough to support and connect quietly. We want to join in on this movement of change, lift our voices in support, and lend our connections, social reach and knowledge to our Black business colleagues.
We have been inspired by the movement of Black Lives Matter and we have been listening and learning. Together, we have decided that saying “Black Lives Matter” is just the first small step, but committing to organizational change is our true desire.
So yes, Black lives matter. Black businesses matter. And here is how we plan to make progress on those words:
- We will start by purposely reaching out to black entrepreneurs with the intent of having conversations about how we can better connect them to resources, networking opportunities and business services that are meaningful and valuable to them.
- We commit to intentionally reaching new black business owners through more diverse advertisements and community partners so we can serve them as they start their businesses.
- We will share on our social media the stories of Black business owners in our community on social media and other communications in honor of Juneteenth and beyond.
- We commit to bring on a more diverse community of members so that our resource connections can better serve people of color.
- We intentionally will make a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion – at ALL levels. And that includes within our own team.
- We will also continue to learn, ask the hard questions of ourselves and seek to be involved in our communities’ initiatives to do the same. And we invite your accountability and participation in our journey.
Cara Owings and Jennifer Schenck, The Connection Exchange