June 3, 2020 | St. Petersburg, FL – Members of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce join our city and our nation in grieving the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and the ongoing challenge of racism these events and many like these represent. We affirm the First Amendment right of Americans to peacefully assemble and protest this and other injustices against African Americans and people of color. We affirm our focus on the fact that African Americans in the United States have suffered acts of injustice, systemic discrimination and bias for more than 400 years. We continue to see this played out in all sectors of society, and the passage of time alone has not and will not resolve these deep-rooted inequities.
As business leaders, we join and pledge to work together with leaders from our City, County, law enforcement, judicial system and neighboring communities to address racism and unequal opportunity in our business, jobs and housing sectors. We understand that our community is strengthened by its diversity. Diversity, equity and inclusion is one of the Chamber’s “Five Core Values,” and we are taking steps to understand and act on systemic injustice that blocks our ability to realize this vision.
Peaceful protests unfolding across our nation make it clear that we have much work to do in achieving our goals of a strong economy where all in our community prosper. The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce is committed to partnering with communities of color to make changes toward an inclusive economy.
To demonstrate this commitment, the Chamber will do the following:
- Listen and strive to understand the lived experiences of African Americans as they seek opportunities for economic advancement and social justice;
- Educate ourselves deeply on the challenges and issues that impede our ability to build an equitable economy;
- Sponsor ongoing conferences, like the upcoming Equity Amid Crisis 2020, which is focused on building an equitable society;
- Bring together the community and our government to seek permanent solutions through change, including but not limited to meaningful community oversight of law enforcement.
As builders of St. Petersburg businesses and jobs, we know a stronger future is possible. We understand that ultimately it will be our actions that will make the greatest difference. We have hope, and we will utilize our collective resources and strength to secure this hope and a better future for all people in our community.
About the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce®
The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce®, originally founded in 1899, now serves over 1,300 member businesses and organizations. Continually identifying ways to create and enhance opportunities to do business in St. Petersburg, the Chamber works to improve the local economic climate and to build a thriving business environment. The Chamber represents perspectives of local business in St. Petersburg, providing and fostering leadership on important business and community issues. Information is available at stpete.com.