For years, diverse business communities have all said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” However, we often said that from the safety of our own boat, across a very large harbor, far from one another. As corporations and government agencies increasingly recognize inclusion and opportunity for all as a nonnegotiable economic imperative, both within the company and in the marketplace, we are reminded that we only succeed when those boats are tied together.
There has never been a more important time than right now to ensure every community has an equal seat at the table. And we are seeing unprecedented levels of collaboration between our communities. Whether it is organizations like the NGLCC helping facilitate essential and often long-overdue conversations about LGBT inclusion within other communities at conferences around the globe; job creating; or industry-innovating partnerships between business owners from different diverse groups, we are seeing progress like never before.
In order for all of us to achieve our maximum potential as business owners, advocates, and citizens, we must grapple with historic racial and social biases that have kept us apart. By embracing our intersections and committing ourselves to an economy that works for all of us, we will create new alliances and partnerships, share resources and innovations that strengthen all of our networks, and affirm that we are, truly, stronger together.
Doing better together
Together we prove that when communities of color do better, so do we all. When women do better, so do we all. When people with disabilities and veterans do better, so do we all. And when LGBT communities do better, so do they. We will not stand by and allow walls to be built between our communities when we should continue building bridges of inclusion and opportunity.
Among the tools we have to fight discrimination and defend inclusive American ideals is economics. The collective economic might of the LGBT community and its allies in diverse business organizations like the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) represent nearly $10 trillion in economic power. That kind of leverage should put those who seek to discriminate on notice that our communities stand united for the brightest possible future for diversity in business.