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July 14, 2016

Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce: Inclusive Economic Development forumOn July 13, more than 75 people gathered at the Neighborhood House to attend the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce (CSDBCC) Talk Series titled “Inclusive Economic Development.”

CSDBCC Inclusive Economic Development forumThe panelists included:

The panel discussed how “inclusive economic development” is a high-growth strategy for the San Diego region including the urban community and diverse businesses throughout the region. Topics ranged from what can be done immediately to create opportunity, how we could better inform underserved communities of work opportunities and resources to get the skills needed to fill the jobs, what the trends are in San Diego for inclusion and how we compare to other metro regions.

All panelists agreed that a vibrant economy requires all ZIP codes to reap the rewards, not just a few.

Johnson said that we need to have diverse leadership and boards, and commitment to recruiting to make inclusive change happen now. “When I sit a group of men and women who are diverse around the table, I get the most successful decisions,” he said.

Callstrom focused on the need to address the issue of youth unemployment, which is impacting workforce growth for San Diego businesses across all industries. “An inclusive economy means aggressively helping reattach the 53,000 disconnected youth in our region to work or school,” says Callstrom.

“The Inclusive Economic Development Panel Discussion is the start of the larger vision of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce,” says Roxanne Petteway, Board Member of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and co-moderator of the panel discussion, “whereby all members of the San Diego region, including the African-American members, will be included in the rapid growth and development in the San Diego region and participate in the rise of high-tech industries in the Smartest City in North America.”

Jerry Robinson, President of the Chamber, added, “We were very encouraged to see the enthusiasm from key leaders in San Diego to participate on the panel and commit to supporting our vision of ‘inclusive economic development’ in the San Diego region. We look forward to many others to join this effort.”

The vision of the CSDBCC is to create generational wealth for the Black Community through business enterprise, employment, education and investments. Visit the Chamber website for more information at

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