dennis_kennedy Welcome to the Birmingham Initiative website. In 2004, I walked away from my job to follow my vision of establishing the Texas Diversity Council. My hope was to create a statewide organization that would promote diversity and inclusion. I saw the need for an organization that would take a leadership role in championing diversity throughout Texas. Five years later, I launched the National Diversity Council, an umbrella organization dedicated to diversity efforts through the work of local councils. Currently, we have councils functioning in 25 states.

For nearly a decade, I have developed partnerships and collaborated with many organizations committed to diversity and inclusion. I have also observed a significant number of Fortune 1000 companies that have made no efforts to embrace diversity within their boardroom or executive ranks. With the hope of effecting change in these areas, I launched the Birmingham Initiative in 2013.

Mirroring the sentiments and ethos of the 1963 Birmingham Campaign led by civil rights leaders, the mission of the Birmingham Initiative is to raise awareness of the growth in purchasing power of women and people of color, and to collaborate with these communities to make a fundamental shift in current business practices that exclude them from leadership and board positions. The long-term economic sustainability of these companies is tied to these communities’ purchasing power. Data show that women control more than 60 percent of all personal wealth in the United States and account for $7 trillion in consumer and business spending. By 2015, it is estimated that the total buying power of racial and ethnic groups alone will reach $3.6 trillion.

The changing demographics of the United States represent a change in the purchasing power of diverse communities. Revealing the lack of diversity in corporate boardrooms and executive ranks can drastically influence where diverse communities spend their dollars. With a collective voice, I believe we can hold corporations and their leaders accountable for diversifying their boardroom and executive ranks.

For the Birmingham Initiative to succeed, we need the involvement of organizations and individuals that believe in diversity as a competitive advantage. I invite you to be part of this initiative and to join us today.


Dennis Kennedy
The Birmingham Initiative

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