At ASSETS, we have a vision of an equitable, ethical and prosperous community.
Our goals include working toward parity in business ownership for people of color, who are significantly underrepresented in Lancaster’s economy and would need to start more than 1,000 businesses to reach parity. We also know this disparity is systemic in nature – people of color have less personal wealth and access to capital, creating significant disadvantages when starting and growing a business. This systemic inequality informs our programs, our investments and our work at ASSETS every day.
So when white supremacy reared its head in Virginia a few days ago, it hits squarely against our mission. In the spirit of building a more equitable, ethical and prosperous community, we think there is so much more we can do here, and across the country.
If you want to join us in building an equitable economy, one easy step is to support local businesses owned by people of color. We have a directory that allows you to search for businesses owned by people of color, women and social enterprises so you can be intentional with your purchasing. This by no means discredits businesses owned by white people – it just names the inequity and some of the root causes of it, and seeks to repair it through intentional investment. We work with entrepreneurs – people of color, refugees, white folks – who are seeking to use their business for as much good as they can, including hiring people with barriers to employment, improving employment practices and reducing their environmental impact. The opportunities for us to do better – no matter our background – are endless!
So while we denounce white supremacy and racist acts, we know that standing up for a diverse community requires more than words – we need to work together to support these diverse businesses so our economy can better reflect our community.
-Tina Campbell and Jonathan Coleman, Co-Executive Directors