Tag: President's Message

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2022 Veterans Day Message

When November 11th was officially named Veterans Day in 1952, United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower called upon all citizens to join together in “solemnly remember[ing] the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom.” As our troops continue to serve with dedication and honor, so too do we take this time to recognize the commitment and sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and all other military service members. 

And, more importantly, we use this day as a chance to say a heartfelt thank you to the brave men and women who have served our country. The United States was built on hard-won freedoms, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without heroes like our World War 2, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and Afghanistan Veterans. Their sacrifice ushered in an era of unprecedented growth and prosperity in our country, and one day alone each year will never be enough to express the deep gratitude of our thanks. 

As a supporter of minority-owned businesses and a stark advocate for supply chain diversity, we owe the crux of our work to the military servicemen and women who’ve defended our freedoms, allowing for everyone’s freedoms of speech and expression and the freedom to secure a future free from want. It’s these fundamental rights, among others, that have created an economy of acceptance and abundance, offering those from all walks of life a seat at the entrepreneurial table. The Council sees this as the embodiment of civil liberties for all, and for that, we will always owe our gratitude to our enlisted military. 

We hope to never forget to not only give thanks, but live thanks. In the words of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”

This Veterans day, be sure to appreciate your freedoms and thank all of those who have won them for you. 

Sincerely,

Terrence Clark

2022 Native American Heritage Month

The Council joyfully recognizes Native American Heritage Month this November, using this time to explore and celebrate the heritage, culture, and experiences of Indigenous peoples both historically and in American life today. Though we proudly advocate for Native American business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the year, we believe it is equally important to pay tribute to the sacrifices and achievements they continue to make toward our mission of diversity and inclusion. 

The more than five billion Native Americans in the United States belong to 574 federally recognized tribes across our country. Celebrating Native American Heritage does not mean celebrating one culture, but rather recognizing and honoring the many diverse native nations and each of their unique defining histories. It is a time to celebrate the traditions, languages, and stories of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Island communities and ensure their rich histories and contributions continue to thrive with each passing generation. And, in order to guarantee that every community has the future they deserve, November serves as a time for us as a nation to reassess our commitment to upholding the significant alliances we have with tribal nations and renew our dedication to these ties.

Further, we would be remiss to overlook the significant contributions of Native Americans to our nation and economy. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, Native American-owned businesses contribute more than $33 billion to the U.S. economy every year and employ more than 200,000 people. Native American entrepreneurs founded international restaurant chains, profitable casinos, successful financing companies, and indigenous art stores across the country. Additionally, there are tens of thousands of Native American solopreneurs who significantly impact our nation’s financial health and move our economy forward. Native American businesses had an estimated buying power of $140 billion in 2020, a number that is set to continue to grow.

This month, we ask you to take a conscious effort in supporting Native American entrepreneurs and to think deeply about the pivotal role they play in the American economy. If you haven’t yet, this is the perfect time to diversify your supply chains and connect with our Council-certified Native American MBEs. We invite you all to support, celebrate, and honor the Native American teachers, leaders, scientists, activists, and public figures this November.  

Sincerely,

Terrence Clark

2022 Hispanic Heritage Month

This Hispanic Heritage Month, The Council proudly recognizes the millions of Hispanic Americans who enrich our nation. We celebrate the prosperity of our nation’s Latinx/Hispanic businesses and business owners and applaud communities in New York and New Jersey — and around the nation — that fully commit to their growth and development. 

The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM), announced the 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Observance Theme to be: “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” We believe this theme encourages people across the country to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities — a core concept reflected in all work carried out by the NYNJMSDC.

This year is the 34th year we will recognize the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States and those American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate the extraordinary leadership shown by the Hispanic American community, including the achievements of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic-American appointed to the Supreme Court, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, a composer, actor, writer, and activist shaping modern pop culture through the re-imaging of America’s story told through the lens of people of color.  

We also take the time to remember past visionaries like Cesar Chavez, a leading advocate for Latinx and workers’ rights; Roberto Clemente, who overcame racial bias as the first Hispanic American to play major league baseball; and Selena, the pop superstar who brought Mexican Tejano music to the masses. These and many other leaders have made significant contributions to American society, transforming perceptions of Hispanic Americans and serving as shining examples of diversity’s role in modern American culture. 

This September and October, we ask you to uplift and celebrate the Hispanic American entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, teachers, athletes, and other professionals who are unabashedly sharing their heritage and culture to create a long-lasting, positive impact on our society and in our communities. 

Sincerely,

Terrence Clark

2022 National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

In a month jam-packed with diversity celebrations, the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council would also like to take a moment and recognize the contributions of Caribbean-Americans to our nation—and our economy. We hope that by commemorating National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we will remind all Americans that this country’s strength is rooted in its diversity, helping to highlight the pivotal role Caribbean immigrants play in shaping the American dream through their cultures, traditions, languages, and values. 

Historically, the Caribbean American population in the United States grows more than 50% every ten years, though the pace of growth has nearly doubled in the last 20 years. According to U.S. Census data, there are around 4.4 million people of Caribbean descent working in and contributing to the U.S. economy and culture. From their distinct cuisine to influential music and dance styles, Caribbean traditions have had a profound impact on U.S. popular culture. 

The celebration of Caribbean-American Heritage month began in June 2005 when the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, which recognized the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. In February 2006, the resolution passed the senate, with the Proclamation being ultimately issued by President George W. Bush on June 6, 2006.

This year marks the fourteenth celebration of June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. We take this time to celebrate the extraordinary leadership shown by the Caribbean American community, including the achievements of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black American of Jamaican heritage to hold this high office, and Karine Jean-Pierre, the first White House press secretary of Haitian descent. 

We also take the time to remember past visionaries like Alexander Hamilton, one of this nation’s founding fathers, and the late General Colin Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants and the first Black Secretary of State. These and many other leaders have made significant contributions to American society and forged new paths in service to the American people.

This June, we ask you to uplift and celebrate the Caribbean-American entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, artists, medical professionals, police officers, athletes, and others who are boldly sharing their heritage and culture to create a lasting positive impact on our society.

Sincerely,

Terrence Clark

A Juneteenth Message from Our President

Juneteenth, celebrated the 19th of June, is a holiday that observes the end of slavery in the U.S. and marks the day in 1865 when news of emancipation reached people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy. Though only officially declared our nation’s newest federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been celebrated for decades through family gatherings and other local celebration events, such as memorials, parades, or public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

It has been troubling to know that the holiday has only received national attention in recent years due to an onslaught of transgressions against the African American community — in particular after the global protests sparked in 2020 by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks. This Juneteenth, I want to remind you that allyship for the black community isn’t confined to a day, month, or social movement; rather, it’s an ethical and moral compass that can and should be used to guide day-to-day interactions. 

For many, celebrating Juneteenth provides the opportunity to honor Black culture and the Black experience, recognizing the depth and complexity of African American history and its implications for us all. To The Council, we believe that in celebrating Juneteenth, we are reaffirming our constant and unwavering commitment to amplifying the voices and experiences of minority communities across the globe. After all, our central mission is to help educate, develop, and uplift minority communities in business, creating systemic change in how leading corporations engage with them now and in the future. 

This year, I implore you to look within yourself and your organization, seeking out places and opportunities where you can amplify diverse thoughts and perspectives—and speak up for those otherwise silenced or overlooked. It is only together that we can work to dismantle systemic structures of oppression that have plagued African Americans and other minority communities for generations, thereby allowing them the same freedoms and opportunities enjoyed by white Americans for decades. 

Let this continue to be a movement and not just a moment.

Sincerely,

Terrence Clark

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