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Webinar brings top Cincy corporations together to discuss equity and inclusion

2021 Think Tank
Posted at 5:14 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 19:53:37-04

A day-long webinar, "The 2021 Think Tank," put on by the Abercrumbie Group, brought together some of the city's top corporations on Wednesday to discuss economic equity and inclusion for businesses.

"The racial wealth gap in the U.S. is real," said Damon Jones, CCO of Procter & Gamble. "And significantly and largely rooted in biased institutions and structures that have existed for decades."

Jones said the issue is only becoming more prominent, illuminated and made more apparent by the death of George Floyd in 2020 and drastic health disparities shown by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We've got a wealth gap, we've got a health gap, we've got an opportunity gap," said Maurice Jones, CEO of OneTen.

The 2021 Think Tank includes panels made up of local and national organizations asking businesses to step up and lead the charge toward ending systematic racism.

"Recent research shows that the average white household in the county is about ten times the net worth of the average Black household," said Damon.

Their proposed solution, called the 2/20 Solution, is twofold: It calls on corporations to, first, allocate 2% of their annual net income for the next decade to empower minority communities; second, it calls for businesses to commit to placing African Americans in 20% of their positions, from intern to board room, over the next five years.

"When you close the racial wealth gap ... you unleash the most important asset for progress in this country, talent," said Maurice. "That's why this is vital for us to support."

Wednesday's online panels operated as a call to action for businesses everywhere.

In Cincinnati, Mayor John Cranley is proposing the city invest $5 million from the American Rescue Plan to programs to help grow African American businesses. The proposal still awaits city council approval.