BBA STATEMENT AGAINST HATE

The Black Business Association Launches BBA Against Hate Webinar Series during United Against Hate Week in LA

For more than fifty years, the Black Business Association (BBA) has been a loud, steady voice of diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more than fifty years, the BBA has created platforms for the world to see the brilliance and innovation of Black businesses at work. For more than fifty years, the BBA has spread the gospel of peace while never bowing down to hate . . . and we aren’t going to start now. 

Like so many others, we have taken notice of the hate plaguing our city and country. We are well aware of the anti-racist policies being enacted to disrupt and deter the momentum and progress people of color have made and continue to make. We, too, are concerned about the rhetoric, lies, doubt and conspiracy theories being espoused by people masquerading as leaders. But more importantly, we are invigorated in our stance to help create better environments, both in the community and in the workplace, for our members to conduct business on a level playing field.

The good news is we are not alone in our efforts. We have allies with whom we share solidarity. There are organizations throughout the city of Los Angeles and across the state of California who are also determined to not let hate win. To this end, we are honored to partner with Our Weekly Newspaper on their #StopTheHate campaign which seeks to call out and dismantle hate in all of its forms while promoting safety for all citizens. 

Like other marginalized communities, Black people know how dangerous racism and hate can be. For centuries, in America, we have built families, communities, and businesses against the backdrop of nonstop vitriol constructed to break us. We have taken five, ten, fifteen steps forward only to be pushed two, three, four steps back by the same ilk of people who are now trying to destroy the fabric of our democracy. But hate won’t win. Hate can’t win when there are more of us than there are of them. 

As a non-partisan organization, BBA’s alignment with Our Weekly is layered from the perspective of combating hate. Because we believe that our approach must be as multi-pronged as the forces working against us, we are happy to announce the launch of our BBA Against Hate Webinar Series hosted by BBA President and CEO, Sarah R. Harris – designed to focus on how hate affects Blacks in business. Webinars will stream LIVE monthly on Facebook and YouTube @blackbusinessassociation beginning (TODAY) November 14, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. (PST) with special guest Curtis R. Silvers, Jr., Executive Vice President of Brotherhood Crusade, who is simultaneously participating in LA vs. Hate’s United Against Hate Week, November 13 -19 (LAVSHATE.org).

Additional guest speakers in our series will be: DEC 5: Dr. Stephanie E. Myers, Co-Founder, Black Women for Positive Change WDC; JAN 19: Darrell R. Brown, Retired Bank Executive/Consultant/Board Member; and FEB 16: Hyepin Im, Founder & President, Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE).

In addition to our talks, the BBA also acknowledges the power of representation to fight discrimination. From the movies to books to innovations in industries, Black representation matters. As we know, after the death of George Floyd there was an influx of goodwill dollars flowing into the Black community as a gesture to right the wrongs of inequity. These dollars came from those who wanted to invest in and strengthen Black enterprise. Some of those dollars have found their way to Black organizations and some have not. Either way, it is the BBA’s position that for the same amount of time it took to devastate Black communities, it is going to take exponentially more time and effort to repair the damage. For this reason, a priority for the BBA will be to advocate for Black Representation, in all forms, at all times.

And as we listen to our members and their concerns; we believe that rebuilding starts with fighting against policies and practices that keep Black businesses locked out. Practices such as redistricting, loan discrimination, and inadequate contracting opportunities, to name a few. There are also the disconcerting actions of political officials like we witnessed just recently here in the Los Angeles City Council and in Washington, DC with the Supreme Court’s decision to role back abortion rights and perhaps affirmative action. We know that all of these practices have a ripple effect that more immediately and more adversely impact communities of color.  

Here again, the BBA stands ready to oppose deviant behavior with bold good works that celebrate our members and tell their incredible stories of achievement. We believe that our stories are everything. We believe that there’s power in lifting up what makes us different while calling for unity. We believe we can advocate and unapologetically work toward the advancement of our people while celebrating the diverse world in which we live. Furthermore, we believe that it is important to not become what afflicts us by leading with love, compassion, and excellence. Black excellence is at the heart of Black America’s stories, in general, and at the core of our members’ stories, in particular, and we plan on telling those stories at every turn.

Essentially, our partnership with Our Weekly’s #StopTheHate campaign is the BBA’s way of saying, come what may, we will not be intimidated by hate nor defeated by fear. Instead, we will press forward as our ancestors did with optimism that represents hope. We will continue to provide support to standing Black businesses and encourage the generation of entrepreneurs in the pipeline. Relationships and connections are essential for success, which is why it is our goal to deepen current relationships and garner new connections by strengthening our ties in the community.

We are not naïve. We know that racism and hate is our eternal human frailty. This reality, however, does not negate the responsibility we have to always stand vigilant in proclaiming that, at the end of the day, it is wrong to hate our fellowman.

If you are interested to learn more about the Black Business Association or to donate or join, visit the BBA at www.bbala.org or email to mail@bbala.org or call (323) 291-9334. Stay in touch with the BBA by following us on all social media platforms @blackbusinessassociation. 

In solidarity,

Sarah R. Harris
President and CEO, Black Business Association

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This webinar is a part of a series of talks for Our Weekly's #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. #NoPlaceForHateCA, #StopAAPIHate, #CaliforniaForAll



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