GCP's Equity & Inclusion division, formerly the Commission on Economic Inclusion, has been working since 2001 to close the racial disparities in jobs, income and wealth, by growing businesses owned by people of color and increasing workforce diversity, equity and inclusion. Ultimately, this work is fueled by the belief that businesses and the region are stronger with greater racial equity.

Acting as a convener, an advocate, and a resource, GCP's Equity & Inclusion engages the region’s employers to address the systemic racial inequalities which hinder economic growth in our region. Hundreds of professionals, top leaders, volunteers, businesses and community organizations are engaged with GCP's Equity & Inclusion each year to accomplish these goals. 

GCP's Equity & Inclusion has focused on two parallel and equally important areas: growing businesses owned by people of color and increasing workforce diversity, equity and inclusion through high-quality and effective initiatives, workshops, conferences, and consulting to stimulate minority business growth and increase workforce inclusion. Clients include executives, chief procurement officers, diversity and human resource professionals, small and minority-owned businesses, and regional and national economic development organizations.  

Now is the time to act.

Racism is a public health crisis.

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. Prominent African American leaders throughout Cleveland’s history and today, have been instrumental in pushing us into the forefront. 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.

Standing united, we are today voicing our strong support of recent legislation passed by Cleveland City Council to declare Racism a Public Health Crisis. Still, this is not enough." 

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


As part of GCP's ongoing commitment to Equity & Inclusion, we will:

— Continuously examine and take action towards a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace by using the Diversity & Inclusion Organization Assessment each year as a means of continually enhancing our culture and performance.

 — Advance recommendations finalized with an external consultant commissioned in 2019 to enhance in-house GCP practices directly related to the D&I Assessment (e.g. revising DEI statement, communicating plan for staff and external stakeholders, supporting the organizational creation and use of equity primes, crafting a plan for  analyzing turnover by staff, etc.).

— Advocate actively with public and private partners for anti-racist policies, funding, research and programs in Northeast Ohio

— Utilize our Real Estate division to focus investments in Cleveland neighborhoods by connecting with members to develop new sources of capital and provide a pathway for emerging developers of color.

— Advocate, collaborate and engage on talent and workforce initiatives with a goal for closing the economic income, employment and wealth gaps through Workforce Connect and other regional initiatives.

— Engage the Large, Middle Market and Small Business communities to increase economic activity and purchasing to grow businesses owned by people of color.

— Lobby for federal and state resources to address broadband and computer affordability and accessibility, also referenced as the “digital divide,” that is disproportionately impacting communities of color.

— Link businesses owned by people of color to the most appropriate economic and business development resources and advisory services via The Inclusion Marketplace, GCP’s INGEAR, and The Business Growth Compass.

— Engage the region’s minority population to develop strategies that define and advance support for a more efficient tax structure.

Need assistance with your Equity & Inclusion strategy? Contact us at equity@gcpartnership.com

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.