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Building Community Through the Black Boardroom

Community building is often an inferior or minimized discourse within the business

boardroom. The lack of discourse further extends the disconnect between business and

community. Starting a business serves the business owner and the individuals within the

community; both parties become interdependent of one another. It is important to understand that business creation and sustainability directly strengthens the community. Black businesses serve and strengthen by impacting disparities. The results of the impact are lowered crime rates, increased literacy, expanded educational options, increased social-economic status, stronger households, better health maintenance, improved mental and emotional wellness, etc. Black- owned and black-led businesses are imperative to the hope and outcome of stronger and safer majority-black communities. Boardrooms are the necessary meeting place to strategize programs, products, representation, and services that are needed within the community.

Communities are dependent on commerce creation. Communities will remain unchanged

unless there is a buy-in to the proposed change from black business owners, because

representation is vital. This buy-in is discussed in the boardroom, which deeply involves

empowering individuals to create commerce and economic options in their community. Creating opportunities requires shifting the cultural and ethnic makeup of the boardroom. This shift looks like black-owned businesses collectively sitting around the table in the boardroom, discussing community needs and proposing initiatives. Initiatives that are developed to foster change management within the Black community. Change that is governed and funded by business owners and reflects the community's racial makeup. Local businesses can provide education, jobs, entrepreneurship training, and resources. The power of Black business has the transformational stamina to change the deep dynamics of black households and underserved communities. Owning thriving businesses is the catapult to higher social-economic status and wellness promotion within the Black household. Ownership bridges the gaps and creates stronger and safer communities.

The post-covid era continues to highlight racial disparities. Thousands of Black-owned

businesses collapsed during and post-COVID, significantly more than any other racial group.

COVID exposed the lack of preparation, planning, and structure. A genuine lack of boardroom mechanics and business knowledge was revealed. The sudden unearthing of stability in Black business created more disruption and desperation within families. The interdependence of business and community requires conversations in the boardroom that supports families during catastrophic seasons, such as the post-COVID era. Strong business decision-making results in unity and growth everywhere. It also helps if the people in the boardroom mirror the people living in the area. Urgency is placed on representation. There is a critical need and a desire to build, support, and empower change. Measurable change can happen in the Black Boardroom.

Written by Shekita Jackson

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