About Us

Why We Exist

Economic development plans have spurred economic growth and mobility in communities since the birth of capitalism. Elected officials, experts, and industry leaders come together to set the course for economic opportunity, claiming the rising tide from their plans will lift all ships. Yet historically and presently, Black communities remain unaccounted for in economic development plans and the growth they create.

Despite broadly-termed, minority-focused government aid programs, political representation and an ideologically aligned Democratic Colorado Black Caucus, Black poverty has decreased by only 13 percentage points since 1969, about 1% every 3.5 years and 95% of Black and Brown third graders at Denver Public Schools could not read at grade level in 2021.  In two-thirds of Colorado school districts, less than 14% of Black students meet or exceed grade level benchmarks in mathematics even with it being accepted that tech, math and reading skills are crucially important for accessing today’s living-wage jobs.

The answers for us do not rely in political affiliation, representation or welfare, but in job readiness, political education, business leadership, strong family units, and a sense of personal power that increases Black participation in the economy.

Data by McKinsey indicates that when Black businesses reach revenue parity with white-owned businesses, this will contribute over $290B toward closing the wealth gap. According to Brookings, bringing Black businesses to employee parity would bring over 13,000 new jobs to Colorado and wage parity would improve wages by over $150M.

Excluding Black populations from economic growth exacerbates historical inequities and limits economies holistically. Despite this information, communities stay their course, failing to bring along Black communities in the wealth of our nation.

Mission

The EDABC connects, convenes,  and catalyzes people, resources, and opportunities to ensure  Black communities are positioned to prosper, grow, and thrive. We provide the Black community and the region with comprehensive economic development programming, data, and strategies that develop people,  places, and businesses. We serve as a critical intermediary to amplify opportunities, access, and results across the regions where our communities reside with a focus on three crucial verticals: talent, business growth and retention, and policy.

Vision

We create thriving regions where the inclusion and the embracing of the full scope of Black participation is woven into the fabric of our economies. We pave pathways to wealth-building opportunities, regional competitiveness, power of voice and representation, and social agency.

We hold a core set of beliefs and values true in our work:

  • Acting With Integrity

    We prioritize ethical action as individuals and as a company.

  • Centering the Black Experience

    We believe that equity lives in the experience of Blackness, thus we promote solutions that improve quality of life for all Black people.

  • Focusing on Legacy

    We strive to make intergenerational impacts, continuing the legacy of leadership from emancipation, civil rights and today (economic rights) into the future.

  • Advocating for Systemic Solutions

    We aim to dismantle the oppressive systems, root causes, and beliefs at the root of inequity by providing the guidance and vision for deep change.

  • Love for Our Community

    We infuse care and love into everything that we do.