While the Daytona Regional Chamber has believed in the importance of diversity and inclusion as a business organization, we have never clearly outlined and publicly displayed our beliefs as it relates to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). At the August Board meeting, Chairperson of the Board, Bob Lloyd presented the following DEI statement for approval.
We, the business community of the greater Daytona Beach area, are united in our mission for equity, access and opportunity in all commercial activity. The Daytona Beach community has a proud and progressive history, which includes the home and life’s work of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, the birthplace of Bethune-Cookman University, the ballpark where Jackie Robinson broke the “color barrier” in Major League Baseball, one of the first integrated beaches in the Deep South and the home of Dr. Josie Rogers, the first woman elected mayor of Daytona Beach two years after women in the United States won the right to vote. However, the Daytona Beach area also has a history of intolerance, bias and racism that threatens to overwhelm its progressive past and imperil its bright future. The Chamber likewise has a history of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness in its past century but, like the community it serves, the Chamber can be better.
“While a part of our culture, it was important to put in words our belief in how we conduct business. We will be following up with specific initiatives that clearly align with this statement so that the affirmations lead to successful outcomes” stated Chamber President & CEO, Nancy Keefer.