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Community and Business Leaders Commit to Dismantle Systemic Racism

The newly launched initiative, A Better Wake, seeks to gain community members, organizations, businesses, and the community-at-large to commit to dismantling systemic racism.

Raleigh, N.C. (February 2, 2021) – Local leaders are banning together to ask community members, businesses and organizations to commit to dismantling systemic racism. This initiative, known as A Better Wake, includes lead partners from Wake County Government, City of Raleigh, Raleigh Chamber, the Triangle DEI Alliance and the Raleigh-Apex NAACP, along with a coalition of leaders from the public and private sectors.

 “It is critical for our corporate community to lead efforts to end systemic racism,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, who helped initiate this effort. “In order to make change, we need to take responsibility as individuals, as businesses, as educators, as community leaders and as government officials. The City of Raleigh is proud to be part of this effort and we thank the Chamber for their leadership.”

Matt Calabria, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, said, “Systemic racism remains one of our most complex and pernicious problems. We are committed to working together to develop community-based solutions that will close racial equity gaps.”

A Better Wake seeks to galvanize the community around efforts to address racism. “We must learn to see beyond race and treat everyone with dignity and respect,” states Gerald Givens Jr., president of the Apex-Raleigh NAACP. “A Better Wake seeks to address both elements of interpersonal and infrastructure to eradicate racism.”

This coalition acknowledges that not all residents share the high quality of life in this region. That reality is rooted in systemic racism, which negatively affects black and brown Americans and creates disparities in education, health outcomes, wealth creation, and the criminal justice system. A Better Wake, convened by the Triangle Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Alliance (TDEIA), powered by the Raleigh Chamber, believes in collective impact to address this issue.

Adrienne Cole, president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber said it clearly, “There is no place in our community or society for systemic racism. We will continue to raise awareness and stand up for inclusive prosperity.”

The initiative calls for community members and organizations to visit www.abetterwake.com to join in committing to end racism. The website includes an action guide on practices and policies to aid collective efforts. Additionally, the website has a curated list of books, videos, and other resources to aid individuals in learning more about anti-racist concepts.

“Part of dismantling the systems of racism start with individuals changing their attitudes and behaviors, which leads to dissecting how infrastructures that are built with inherent bias,” says Danya Perry, director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity with the Raleigh Chamber.

A Better Wake seeks to support the community in advocating and building fluency in the areas of anti-racist practices, programs, and policies. To learn more about A Better Wake, you can visit www.abetterwake.com and commit to the initiative.

About A Better Wake Initiative

A Better Wake started with a collection of leaders from a diverse cross-section of organizations – all with the desire to address racism and dismantle any systems that negatively impact black and brown residents. Participating leaders believe that this renewed energy for change is more than a moment, but rather a movement. A Better Wake is now calling for your help. As community members and organizations, we ask for your support of our collective commitment to dismantle systemic racism.

About the Raleigh Chamber

The Raleigh Chamber is the Triangle’s largest nonprofit business membership organization made up of more than 1,800 member firms, representing two-thirds of the private sector employment in Wake County. The Chamber builds a thriving regional economy, enhances the community’s quality of life, and strengthens member businesses.

About the Wake County Government

Home to the State Capital, Wake County is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation and the most populous county in the state, with more than 1.1 million residents. The County has received national and international rankings and accolades from publications such as Money, Fortune, and Time magazines as being one of the best places to live, work and play.

About the City of Raleigh

The City of Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, home to several colleges and universities, with a vibrant performing arts community. Fueled by an impressive mix of education, ingenuity and collaboration, North Carolina’s capital city has become an internationally recognized leader in life science and technology innovation.

Media Contacts:

Jen Miller, Raleigh Chamber, jmiller@raleighchamber.org

Dara Demi, Wake County, Dara.Demi@wakegov.com

Julia Milstead, City of Raleigh, Julia.Milstead@raleighnc.gov

Raleigh-Apex NAACP

Raleigh-Apex NAACP
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