IEDC Launches Equitable Economic Development Playbook

Race, Equity and Economic Development
Race, Equity and Economic Development
WASHINGTON - June 1, 2021 - PRLog -- Today, the International Economic Development Council announced the launch of the Equitable Economic Development Playbook, which aims to examine structural racism in economic development and promote equitable practices and standards, both in the post-pandemic recovery and over the long term.

IEDC's Equitable Economic Development Playbook Program has been made possible by The Rockefeller Foundation. "We are excited and honored to partner with The Rockefeller Foundation on the Equitable Economic Development Playbook, an initiative that will work to eliminate racial disparities, and center equity as the way forward in economic development," said Tom Kucharski, IEDC Chair and President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara. "As the largest organization of its kind, IEDC offers a unique platform to reach national scale and dramatically impact the intended results of this initiative."

"We are pleased to support IEDC in its efforts to close the racial wealth gap by supporting economic development professionals," said Otis Rolley, Senior Vice President, Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation. "Support for business owners and workers of color is not only good for communities of color, but for all communities."

Economic development professionals play a critical role in addressing the challenges presented by the ever-increasing inequities, racial prejudices, and alarming disparities in our society.  IEDC prioritizes the role economic developers can play to eliminate structural racism in our economy and support opportunities to increase wealth in communities of color. Since June 2020, IEDC has increased its work to embed racial equity in the economic development profession through projects including research on investing in entrepreneurs of color, a 'Take Action Against Racism' biweekly web series, an update of our professional development training courses to include equity curriculum and other initiatives, spearheaded by our Racism and Economic Development (RED) Committee. This diverse committee of over 50 leading economic developers has been meeting monthly to drive IEDC's racial equity initiatives and make recommendations to our Board of Directors.

"IEDC is committed to dismantling systemic and institutionalized racism that has existed for generations. We are dedicated to reflecting and advancing these values both within our organization and our contributions to the profession," says Tracye McDaniel, the President of TIP Strategies, the co-chair of the RED Committee, and IEDC's Chair of the Board of Directors in 2019 .

"I am so very grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation for this vote of confidence in IEDC!  Inclusion and economic growth go hand-in-hand; and if economic developers are to remain relevant to the discussion regarding upward mobility for everyone, responsive tools are needed to reach the communities and neighborhoods that need assistance," said Quentin Messer, Jr, President and CEO at New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) and incoming co-chair of the RED Committee. "With the Equitable Economic Development Playbook we have the capacity to effect catalytic change"  noted Kenny McDonald, President and CEO of One Columbus and past chair of IEDC.

The Equitable Economic Development Playbook kicks off a multi-year project culminating in a toolkit publication and on-the-ground technical assistance for communities to work on Equity Action Plans. The toolkit and its chapters will be disseminated in both print and digital form and will be complemented by webinars, conference sessions, and other multimedia.

With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, IEDC will produce the playbook and offer technical assistance in one pilot community. IEDC is still pursuing additional funding to scale this initiative to more communities.

Dr. Frankie Clogston
VP Knowledge Management and Development

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