Ready to R3think Everything?
The Berkshire Black Economic Council Presents
a Report Of Black Economic Empowerment in the Berkshires
The Berkshires’ vision as a safe and prosperous community for all has to be the vision for our county’s future. Claiming this vision for our own North Star in Berkshire County is not only the path of righteousness and altruism; it is a sound economic policy for the upliftment and resilience of the county.
A recent study by Citigroup Bank states that racism has cost the US 16 trillion dollars. Our country could have been 16 trillion dollars richer if structural racism did not exist over the past 20 years.
The study further states, “What’s more, the U.S. could have $5 trillion in gross domestic product over the next five years if those gaps and others were closed today,”
America is becoming a more diverse population where people of color will represent the majority by 2050.
The economic opportunity for adopting a robust Inclusive Economic Strategy, along with a Black Empowerment Blueprint, will attract more African American and Black talent to the region and drive revenue and new investments to Berkshire County as a whole.
Black Americans spend 1 trillion on consumer goods in American. That is the size of the 11th largest country in the world. African Americans’ entrepreneurship is up by 34%, with Black women leading the charge–a 67% increase. In 2019 alone, Black Cultural Heritage Tourism brought over $60 Billion to the US economy. The National Minority Supplier Diversity Council reports that certified MBEs generate $400 billion in economic output, leading to the creation or preservation of 2.2 million jobs and $49 billion in annual revenue for local, state, and federal tax authorities. And those numbers are steadily increasing.
As emerging demographics are changing rapidly across our nation, we as a region must adjust our vision and strategy to be more inclusive to not only survive but thrive in the coming future. That future is now. Therefore, we must adapt to the changing environment and reset ourselves to a new paradigm of r3thinking everything, especially diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The vision for change is not going to come from our government or national politicians; it will come from local communities just like the Berkshires.
The BEC Idea Jam experience was a culmination of stakeholders joining together to support change in our community. From bankers and political folks to a broad base of our beautiful Black residents of the Berkshires. All were investing their time and thoughts to visualize the strategies that will make their lives better for themselves, their families, and their communities. It is time to make this vision a reality by setting the example. Join us in rising up.
Our mantra, “Success is for Everyone,” is the vision for a fully engaged Inclusive Economy. Now let’s build it together.
John Lewis, CEO of R3SET Enterprises, Chairman of the Berkshire Black Economic Council
Warren Dews Jr., Dews Management
Auric Enchill, Elegant Stitches
Alfred Enchill, Elegant Stitches
John Lewis, R3SET
Kamaar Taliaferro, R3SET
Patrick Danahey, R3SET
Devin Shea, R3SET
Alyssa Mack, SP3AK EASY Studio
Kamaar Taliaferro, R3SET
Segun Idawoo, BECMA
Malia Lazu, MIT
The 2020 Berkshire County SUCC3SS Idea Jam was a community event series designed to create a holistic, collaborative framework for a successful ecosystem for Berkshire Black businesses, community members, and the Berkshire County community at large.
The community came together using an Idea Jam methodology to est a vision of establishing the Berkshires as a model for Black Economic empowerment for counties across the North East.
The jams were held at the beginning of COVID-19, after transitioning the series from an in-person experience.