On October 25, 2016, in response to reports of racial tension and discrimination within Philadelphia’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) population, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) held a public hearing. Based on the hearing, the PCHR issued a Report on Racism and Discrimination in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ Community in January 2017, to present its ﬁndings and oﬀer recommendations.
The ﬁndings show that marginalization, on the basis of race, class, and gender identity, is a disturbing reality for many, particularly when experienced in spaces that should be considered safe for these very individuals.
As part of its recommendations to reshape the Gayborhood and nonprofits serving the LGBTQ community, the PCHR recommended that the Independence Business Alliance (IBA)create a training program that provides leadership development for prospective and/or new board members:
“A training modeled after the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s Arts and Business Council’s ‘Business on Board‘ program would provide necessary tools and resources to ﬁrst time board members and allow the non-proﬁt boards to become more diverse.”
The IBA has proudly committed to implementing PCHR’s recommendation. As the only non-city-funded chamber of commerce, we will be relying on partner organizations to help us create a valuable and efficient training program that will benefit the other LGBTQ non-profit boards. We also know that a putting together a program like this will take time if it’s going to be done correctly.
To do so, the IBA had identified that the first step in creating an impactful training program will be convening roundtables of community stakeholders and leaders to discuss the state of LGBTQ Boards and their compositions. These roundtable sessions will gather the appropriate input that will enable us to create an effective training program designed to address the issues raised in the PCHR report. While we are still in talks with the PCHR to nail down specifics, we expect to begin assembling roundtables near the beginning of the summer.