10:00 am EDT - 11:00 am EDT

Past Event

Supporting Black-owned businesses to drive economic development

Sustaining progress on racial equity in a rapidly changing legal environment

Friday, June 21, 2024

10:00 am - 11:00 am EDT

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave
Washington, DC

Following the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, many activists called for greater investments toward racial equity, especially in businesses, to build Black wealth and narrow the racial wealth gap. Private and public investors listened. As of October of 2022, companies pledged about $340 billion toward racial equity efforts. However, in the wake of persistent legal attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, there have been a spate of court cases across the U.S. in which litigators are challenging race-based business investment programs, including cases against the Small Business Association’s 8(a) program and the venture capital firm, The Fearless Fund.

On June 21, Brookings Metro, in collaboration with the Path to 15|55 initiative, which endeavors to grow the percentage of Black-owned employer firms, hosted an event to discuss what this proliferation of litigation means for Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship. Senior Fellow Andre Perry presented new data that demonstrates the opportunity in bolstering Black-owned businesses to drive economic development. CapEQ President and CEO Tynesia Boyea-Robinson moderated a dynamic panel that dove deeper into these challenges and discussed how policymakers and the philanthropic sector should respond to these attacks to keep Black businesses growing in a dynamically changing legal environment.

Viewers can join the conversation and ask questions of the speakers by emailing [email protected].

Registration is required to attend an event in person and guests at Brookings are required to attest to their state of health before attending. Visitors may not enter the building if they are feeling ill for any reason, have any symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and do not yet meet the criteria to resume normal activities based on current CDC guidance, or have been advised by their healthcare professional or otherwise to not enter any space where some persons may not be vaccinated.