December 15, 2011
I appreciate your publication's continued effort to enlighten and encourage thoughtful consideration on issues that impact us all. I have been following information about MSD and its response to increase minority inclusion. Though MSD has been a good corporate citizen in many ways, they should readily serve as a model by becoming seamlessly proactive in their minority inclusion strategy.
MSD's reference to waiting for a disparity study is a deliberate step, but raises concern. The cost of another disparity study could be substituted with a proactive commitment to existing mandates, laws and programs that already exist. St. Louis has an excellent pool of qualified minority and women-owned companies credentialed and ready to be included. It is unfortunate that after so many reports over the years that we once again find minority issues being studied, rather than automatically becoming routinely business as usual across the board.
WashingtonUniversity recently conducted a study, which identified that one of the key obstacles in race relations is trust. It was not too long ago that BJC conducted a Health Disparity Study and identified that the health conditions in North St. Louis are comparable to Third World countries. Currently, there is a professor at the St. Louis Community College District at Forest Park who has written countless papers on the historic racial divide in St. Louis.
Paying for more studies can not address the issue at hand and can only contribute to the sluggish economy. When the Board of Aldermen sponsored a 25/5 MBE contract participation goal, we thought this would inspire inclusiveness. Unfortunately minority inclusion in the construction industry continues to be a dismal percentage of the gross available revenue share in our community. By all reports, we still struggle with that.
Everyone must have a seat at the table of economic opportunities and growth. For St. Louis to grow, opportunities must increase for everyone. This is not the St. Louis that we deserve. History has shown that what is good for African Americans, other minorities and women has always been good for America. I join the many voices of reason making an appeal to MSD for immediate proactive solutions for minority and women inclusion.
License Collectorcc: MSD Board of Trustees