Equity & Inclusion​

GCP Equity & Inclusion, formerly the Commission on Economic Inclusion, works to close the racial disparities in jobs, income and wealth by both growing businesses owned by people of color and increasing workforce diversity, equity and inclusion. This work is driven by the belief that businesses and the region are stronger with greater racial equity.

Interested in learning more about our work? Check out the 2020 E&I annual report.

Growing Minority Business Enterprises

GCP Equity & Inclusion is focused on increasing the number, scope and scale of minority-owned businesses through efforts such as:

  • CommitCLE: A supplier diversity program in which 16 corporations have committed to significantly increase supplier diversity spend. This is enhanced by events for businesses to learn best practices to build organizational capacity to achieve equity & inclusion goals.
  • Business Growth Collaborative: A partnership of technical assistance organizations that provide services to minority-owned businesses. The Collaborative is simplifying the process of connecting entrepreneurs of color to resources that will grow their businesses.
  • The Marketplace: An online portal connecting minority-owned businesses with demand for goods and services. It is a virtual space that serves as a searchable database allowing buyers and MBEs to accelerate each of their respective activities. 
  • Boardroom to Boardroom: Connecting minority-owned businesses with expertise from local industry executives for strategic guidance.

Increasing Workforce Diversity

Acting as a convener, an advocate and a resource, GCP Equity & Inclusion engages the region’s employers to address the systemic inequalities which hinder economic growth in our region. Clients include executives, chief procurement officers, diversity and human resource professionals, small and minority-owned businesses and civic organizations. GCP convenes and leads workshops, conferences, and consulting including:

  • Diversity Professionals Group: Quarterly workshops on D&I topics, including diversity recruiting, creating inclusive cultures and many others.
  • GCP Inclusion Conference: An annual conference on the latest trends to effectively capitalize on diversity in the workplace. More than 200 GCP members attend this conference to learn from regional, national and international speakers. 
  • CEO Forum: Top leadership commitment is essential to creating an inclusive culture. GCP Equity & Inclusion encourages leaders to sign a pledge committing action and resources to increase diversity at all levels of their organizations. The annual CEO Forum provides a venue to engage top leaders in a conversation about racial equity and inclusion. 

Ensuring Digital Equity

GCP leads the device donation and advocacy efforts for the Greater Cleveland Digital Equity Coalition, a collective initiative by Cleveland’s corporate, philanthropic, governmental, K-12 and higher education, health care, workforce, and community-based organizations. The coalition 1) secures device donations, 2) convenes and advocates for affordable, high-quality broadband, and 3) promotes digital navigators to assist residents in accessing these resources and learning how to use the internet for learning, working, and living. In addition, it fosters public-private partnerships towards the goal of 100% of residents being connected. Get more information about our work on the digital divide.

GCP E&I in the news

WKYC’s Tiffany Tarpley talks with Brian Hall, GCP’s Senior VP of Equity & Inclusion, about E&I in the workforce today.

“We’ve seen. We’ve known. It’s part of our history. But there’s an elevated sense that now is the time that we can change the game.”

>> Watch the segment. 

Now is the time to act. Racism is a public health crisis and rectifying a system of structural racism will take much more than words.

“Systemic racism is everyone’s problem. In Cleveland’s continuing fight for racial equity and inclusion, we have a singular history and have played a progressive role on a national stage… What we have learned over time is that this is not a fight of one race but rather a fight of one community – our Cleveland community.”

— excerpt from The Cleveland Pledge, adopted June 4, 2020 (download it here)