Purchased by Well Done Marketing for $12 for Indy Racial Equity Pledge project, Sept-Oct 2020

Committing to the Indy Racial Equity Pledge

Dave Ricks  | October 8, 2020

The events of 2020 have sparked long-overdue conversations on racism and injustice against African Americans. But we can’t just talk – we must act, and confront racial inequities head-on.

Today, Lilly and a coalition of leading corporate and civic organizations across Central Indiana is taking action – committing our resources and influence to accelerate progress. By signing the Indy Racial Equity Pledge, we’re holding our organizations publicly accountable for driving measurable progress in advancing racial equity for African Americans. 

You can see the initial commitments from all participating organizations on IndyRacialEquityPledge.com, where progress will be tracked and reported publicly. We encourage more Central Indiana organizations to join us. 

The coalition’s commitments are focused on four key areas – health, prosperity, education and criminal justice – where African Americans face systemic disparities. Commitments include financial investments, community initiatives, in-kind donations, advocacy and volunteerism. They also include internal efforts such as diverse hiring and advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

For our part, Lilly and the Lilly Foundation announced four new commitments:

  • Further increasing the current representation of African Americans in our U.S. workforce, from approximately 10% to 13%, to align more closely with national demographics of the patients and communities we serve. This won’t happen overnight, but we have the strategies in place – and are accelerating progress – to get there.  

  • Doubling the company’s annualized spend with African American suppliers and vendors over the next two years.  

  • Supporting the Indianapolis Urban League through a $500,000 commitment from the Lilly Foundation and the Cummins Foundation to invest in African American-owned businesses and entrepreneurship.

  • Providing $1 million to Lynx Capital Corporation for growth capital for African American-owned businesses.

Corporations and the civic community must actively join the fight for racial justice. By using our collective voice and influence, we can be part of the solution -- and help create the change we want to see within our own organizations and within our communities.

Now is the time for action. Let’s hold ourselves accountable for progress.

This article also appears on Dave Ricks' LinkedIn profile.