Organizers of the Indy Racial Equity Pledge and Business Equity for Indy initiative say they are encouraged by the early support they are seeing for the efforts. Last week, some of the biggest employers and most recognized names in the central Indiana business community announced plans they say are aimed at generating “meaningful change and meaningful action” toward racial equity and inclusion.
“It’s really energizing, the amount of alignment around wanting to address opportunities as a collective community,” said Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) Chief Financial Officer Josh Smiley.
Smiley and Citizens Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Jeff Harrison talked about the efforts on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“I’ve been amazed at how receptive each of the companies has been to trying to work together on things like more hiring opportunities for African Americans or spending more with black-owned businesses,” Smiley continued. “We can do much more together, if we work together on these things rather than as each individual company, so it’s really an exciting time.”
Organizers say by signing the pledge, companies commit to using their resources and influence to accelerate progress on racial equity in four key areas: health, prosperity, education and criminal justice.
The inaugural group of participants includes Lilly, Anthem, Inc., Citizens Energy Group, Cummins Inc., IU Health, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Roche Diagnostics, Salesforce and the Indy Chamber.
Smiley and Harrison tell Inside INdiana Business the effort has attracted interest from around the state.