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Business Leaders Urge Fortune 500 CEOs to Maintain and Expand Business Diversity Initiatives for the Good of Bottom Lines and the Economy

In an open letter to CEOs of the country’s largest businesses, leading business advocacy organizations cite evidence of the value of business diversity and say that opposition to diversity initiatives comes from an ideologically motivated minority that is out of step with the view of most executives, most customers, and the public at large.

Feb. 7, 2024– A dozen influential business leaders sent an open letter to Fortune 500 CEOs urging them to maintain and expand their commitments to diversity initiatives in the face of opposition from a vocal minority that is out of step with public sentiment and disregards the needs of businesses. The business leaders show that diversity initiatives create critical bottom-line benefits for companies and the economy by driving innovation, competitiveness, and contributing to stronger corporate performance.

The letter reads in part: “We know continued investments in diversity initiatives are essential to the success of your business and our country’s economy. We also understand that companies are recalculating their risk tolerance in light of these unprecedented challenges that seek to dismantle your programs. We remain steadfast in our efforts to advance economic growth, free market competition, and opportunities for individuals, including diverse entrepreneurs, to pursue the American Dream.”

It continues, “We believe it is imperative that CEOs and other company leaders are able to make strategic decisions for their companies without threats of frivolous lawsuits and political pressure, and we will be here with support, every step of the way.”

Twelve CEOs who lead business advocacy organizations that represent a broad spectrum of viewpoints and communities signed the letter including:

  • Ron Busby, Sr., President & CEO, US Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC)
  • Alphonso David, President & CEO, Global Black Economic Forum
  • Angela Dingle, President & CEO, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
  • Ying McGuire, CEO & President, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • Brigadier General (ret) Richard Miller. President, National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)
  • Marc Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
  • Justin Nelson, Co-Founder & President, The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
  • Matthew Pavelek, President & CEO, National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA)
  • Pam Prince-Eason, President & CEO, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • Chiling Tong, President & CEO, National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE)
  • Samantha Tweedy, CEO, Black Economic Alliance
  • Eboni Wimbush, President & CEO, Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC)

Here’s what some of the business leaders who signed the letter are saying:

“The majority of executives consider diversity initiatives essential to their business strategy and they must maintain and expand their commitments so their businesses can grow and thrive. The bottom line is that diversity initiatives are good for the economy, good for workers and good for businesses.”

Ron Busby, Sr.

President & CEO

US Black Chambers, Inc.

“The small but vocal opposition to business diversity initiatives is bad for business and bad for working people. We cannot cede to the demands of a select few who refuse to accept the overwhelming evidence that business diversity initiatives benefit everyone. Businesses must stay on track and continue their efforts to build a more just and inclusive economy by investing in everyone, especially the people that have been left behind.”

Alphonso David

President & CEO

Global Black Economic Forum

“Research shows that closing the disparities for women-owned and diverse-owned businesses will grow the economy, create jobs, spur innovation and improve U.S. competitiveness. The narrative against diversity initiatives is not only misguided but harmful to the progress and competitiveness of businesses.”

Angela Dingle

President & CEO

Women Impacting Public Policy

“We strongly believe CEOs and other company leaders must be able to make strategic decisions for their companies without threats of frivolous lawsuits and political pressure. And we know diverse businesses and businesses committed to diversity have better economic outcomes. That’s why NMSDC is committed to standing with our corporate partners as they build strong business and supplier diversity programs that better enable their companies and communities to thrive.”

Ying McGuire

CEO and President

National Minority Supplier Development Council

“Diversity and inclusion are the engines of innovation and growth in today’s global economy. Veterans are a unique category of diversity that cuts across almost every group. As business leaders, we have a responsibility to champion diversity and inclusion, not just within our organizations but across the business landscape. Together we can build a more inclusive and prosperous future.”

Brigadier General (ret) Richard Miller


National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)

“We must not let a small number of vocal critics keep us from our commitments to business diversity and diverse-owned businesses. Their politically motivated arguments ignore the actual experience of business leaders who see the bottomline benefits of diversity initiatives firsthand. Stopping our efforts now will erase our gains, stifle innovation and business growth, and harm the economy.”

Marc H. Morial

President & CEO

National Urban League

“The success of our companies and the health of our economy depend on our commitment to diversity. The men and women who served our nation’s military and now own businesses represent every race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation. With a significant majority of executives acknowledging its importance, the path forward is clear: maintain and deepen our diversity initiatives. This path not only leads to enhanced business performance but also to a more equitable and inclusive society.”

Matthew Pavelek

President & CEO

National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA)

“Diversity is good for business. This is as true for businesses owned by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, as for all entrepreneurs. Companies must continue to invest in these initiatives, recognizing their essential role in our strategic business objectives. Through actions, we can make a lasting impact on the business world and the economy at large.”

Chiling Tong

President & CEO

National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE)

“The evidence is clear: diversity is good for business, and we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas,” said BEA CEO Samantha Tweedy. “Anyone attempting to stand in the way is ignoring the proven positive impact that diversity has created on businesses’ profitability, talent, and innovation.”

Samantha Tweedy


Black Economic Alliance

“We call on CEOs in the aerospace and aviation industries to maintain and expand their diversity initiatives. A critical part of the ecosystem are minority and women-owned businesses that support infrastructure growth, accelerate local economic development and American global competitiveness As we face challenges, it is imperative that we advance policies and practices that ensure equitable access to resources and opportunities. Together, we are building a legacy of inclusivity and strength that will benefit generations to come.”

Eboni Wimbush

President & CEO

Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC)