Black EOE Journal www.blackeoejournal.com 125
his past November, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), along with its partners in the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), hosted hun- dreds of diverse and allied small business owners, corporate representatives and supplier diversity thought leaders at NBIC Unity Week 2022 (visit nglcc.org for more information). Convening in person for the first time since its inception in 2020, Unity Week serves as a hub of connection and education surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion in business. NBIC Unity Week kicked off at Washington, D.C.s Grand Hyatt with educational program- ming presented by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). Attendees learned about the importance of business storytelling, elevator pitches, and networking best practices. The evening closed out at the Mayflower Hotel with the Thriving with Capital One Unity Reception hosted by WBENC, NGLCC and WIPP.
NBIC Unity Week 2022
Elevating DEI in the Business World
By Sarah Jester
The panel answered questions about the future of diversity in business and how diverse busi- ness communities and corporate America can work together to back mutually beneficial poli- cies and reforms. The remainder of the afternoons program- ming included the NGLCC TGX Town Hall, the Absolut Out & Open Succession Planning Workshop and an intimate evening reception. On Friday, November 18, attendees gath- ered at the National Building Museum for an evening of food, drinks, celebration and remembrance at the NGLCC National Dinner and 20th Anniversary Celebration. Awards were presented to the 2022 Dinner Honorees and guests were treated to a special perfor- mance from the Be A Friend Project (bea- friendproject.org), an organization of student Upstanders working to save the lives of their bullied peers and build kinder communities. Participants began the morning of Wed- nesday, November 16 bright and early with Business Impact Table Topics covering the SBA Clinic and strategic access to fund- ing. Attendees then rotated between a series of curated Ted-Style Talks and the popular Matchmakers series, which paired corporate representatives and diverse business owners for brief meetings. Entrepreneurs pitched their services to supplier diversity professionals, sparking new relationships and conversations. The following morning, Unity Week attendees met with Congressional leaders for a roundtable dialogue. Philadelphias Representative Dwight Evans joined other officials to share thoughts on the importance of advocacy for the small business community. Participants then attended the annual NBIC Best-of-the-Best Awards luncheon, where the top 50 corporations committed to diversity and inclusion received the designation. Attendees were treated to a special surprise guest - 2022 NBIC Public Sector Champion honoree and SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman participated in a fireside chat about the SBA's advocacy for small diverse business own- ers. NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson and WBENC President & CEO Pamela Prince-Eason shared exciting news about NBICs plans to launch an all-encompassing diverse supplier database to increase ease of access for procurement officials in 2023! But thats not all the evening had in store - surprise guests Debbie Gibson, Martha Wash and Pepper Mashay wowed the crowd with stunning performances that lit up the museum. The NGLCC family danced the rest of the night away at the official After-Party, which featured exclusive drag performances from Rupauls Drag Race winners Symone and Kylie Sonique Love!
Sarah Jester (they/them) is the Senior Manager of Digital Media at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Jester works to create dynamic digital content to connect NGLCC with its audience and NGLCC members with each other.
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