A Statement From the IBA on Pride Month and Solidarity

 

Dear IBA Family,

As LGBTQ+ Pride month begins, our city and region join with others nationwide in outrage, sorrow, and righteous indignation against racism. We know, of course, that history rarely repeats itself, but it does echo, and the protests and riots we are seeing today recall the beginning of the LGBTQ+ Pride movement,  including Stonewall and Dewey’s more than 50 years ago. Our community understands what it means to speak out about inequality and discrimination and to deny those that would say that our lives don’t matter.

We must acknowledge that systemic racism is pervasive in our country, and as an organization whose mission is economic inclusion, we recognize the tremendous costs of institutional discrimination, particularly to communities of color, and especially the African American and Black community. We know that this systemic racism plays out in the lives of non-white LGBTQ+ business owners who are denied equal opportunity and a seat at the “economic opportunity” table because of their race and ethnic background.

Yes, we know that violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community continues, but even within the LGBTQ+ community, it is people of color and our trans individuals who face the greatest threats and fight hardest to continue breathing.  We talk about allyship and how important it is to work for human rights for all, but it is essential that we understand true allyship must be loud and visible, even when it is uncomfortable.

The IBA condemns the senseless killings and acts of violence that are repeatedly directed at the African American community, all communities of color and LGBTQ+ people. We grieve the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the countless others who have lost their lives. 

Philadelphia will rebuild, and we will be there to help as it does. The LGBTQ+ community has always excelled at movement building, and we will come together once again around this. Please contact the IBA if there’s anything we can do to connect your business with resources. We encourage you, if you have the capacity, to reach out to businesses involved with our sibling chamber, the African American Chamber of Commerce, that you can help at this time.

As an organization, our board, staff, and members recognize the importance of intersectionality and economic inclusion and the power of our collective voices when we unite. Racism is deadly, discrimination crushes our souls, and at this very moment it is being fed by those in power, so we must find ways to stop its growing boldness. We will work to do even more in the months and years ahead, even more intentionally and even more committed. 

Be safe and be well.

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