A message from CNHED President and CEO, Stephen Glaude:
Last week, the District released results from its Disparity Impact Study, which provided a comprehensive overview of whether a disparity exists between the availability and utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses as part of the District’s contracting processes. The study, championed by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (At-Large), examined both prime and subcontracts awarded between October 2016, through September 2020, with an analysis of approximately $8in contracts across DC government, Events DC, and the University of District of Columbia.
First and foremost, CNHED applauds Councilmember McDuffie’s continued pursuit of racial equity for all District Residents. Councilmember McDuffie has a long legacy of championing racial equity from his seat as Chairman of the Council Committee on Business and Economic Development, with impactful accomplishments such as creating the Council Office on Racial Equity (CORE), the Commerical Property Acquisition Fund, the Baby Bonds Program, and robust support for the DC Community Anchor Partnership Program (DCAP). Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie has relentlessly pursued effort after effort to uplift racial equity, holding all of us accountable to new standards of engagement and heightened political will.
CNHED also applauds Mayor Muriel Bowsers’ Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs (OPLA) for the study implementation, as there are significant challenges and barriers to conducting a study of this nature.
So what’s next?
Simply finishing the Disparity Study is another phase completed in the work toward a more equitable procurement landscape. Now, we’re faced with the challenge of re-engineering systems, policies, and practices, coupled with measurable goals, to create the progress and accountability that will really begin to move the needle on these issues.
Shortly after the release of the study, DMPED announced the creation of an interagency working group that will develop a District procurement action plan to guide ways that the District can increase contracting opportunities for person of color (POC) and woman-owned businesses.
The Disparity Study and the actions that spur as a result of it greatly impact CNHED’s mission and work; most notably our DC Community Anchor Partnership (DCAP). DCAP is a collaborative of DC-based “anchor institutions” committed to using their procurement power to support District-Based MBEs. The 11 anchors are fighting racial disparities in the District with resounding dedication and intention. By focusing on the redesign of policies and processes as well as outcomes, these anchor institutions are ensuring MBEs are not disproportionately left
DCAP presents a sustainable approach to leveling the racial disparities identified in the District’s study. CNHED will leverage the findings in the study to identify other innovative, high-impact solutions that work to dissolve these disparities and work to create a District of Columbia that is racially, economically, and socially just.