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Our Commitment

Image by Tim Mossholder

British-American Business Connections - Pacific Northwest (BABC-PNW) envisions a world where every Trade Association organization has the leadership it needs to fulfill its mission and advance the public good. While many factors contribute to a strong and effective board and staff leadership, we believe that a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is essential to making this vision a reality.

As stewards of the public good, all Industry Trade Associations, regardless of mission, are called on to embrace and celebrate our common humanity, and the inherent worth of all people. In doing so, we must also acknowledge that a climate of growing intolerance and inequity is a challenge to our democratic values and ideals. Divisions along economic, racial, religious, and political lines have created an increasingly polarized society in need of healing. And the complex issues and dynamics at the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality call for deeper thinking as we seek to understand each other.

Nonprofit business organizations like our BABC-PNW play a unique role in bridging these divides and brokering solutions. As a sector, we have the power to bring together communities, speak out against, and change, longstanding systems and policies designed to benefit some groups while marginalizing, excluding, or harming others.

For some organizations, creating a more inclusive and equitable society is at the core of their missions and the reason they do their work. For others, a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging reflects the context in which their organizations are working — an acknowledgment that to fulfill their missions, they must understand and embrace the full diversity of their community and the societal realities that affect all of us, and welcome a broad array of ideas, input, opinion, and leadership that encourage broad participation and belonging within organizations and the communities they serve.

We believe that Industry Trade organizations are better able to do this work effectively and with authenticity when they are led by boards that are intentionally diverse, inclusive, and focused on equity and belonging:

  • Diverse: The individual leaders who compose nonprofit boards are each unique in their backgrounds, experience, and personality, coming together to reflect an organization’s well-rounded values and beliefs about who should be empowered and entrusted with its most important decisions. We believe that Trade Associations can better achieve their missions by drawing on the skills, talents, and perspectives of a broader and more diverse range of leaders and that the diversity of viewpoints that comes from different life experiences and cultural backgrounds strengthens board deliberations and decision making.

  • Inclusive: The most effective boards work to build a culture of trust, candor, and respect — none of which is possible without a culture of inclusion. Boards that cultivate an inclusive culture ensure that all board members are encouraged to bring their perspectives, identity, and life experience to their board service. An inclusive board culture welcomes and celebrates differences and ensures that all board members are equally engaged and invested, sharing power and responsibility for the organization’s mission and the board’s work.

  • Equity-Focused: Boards play a critical role in helping organizations understand the context in which they work and how best to prioritize resources and strategies based on that reality. An awareness of how systemic inequities have affected our society, and those an organization serves, enables boards to avoid blind spots that can lead to flawed strategies and creates powerful opportunities to deepen the organization’s impact, relevance, and advancement of the public good.

  • Belonging: That through diversity, inclusion, and equity actions Boards are enabled with the grace to evolve with humanity, creating a welcoming organization that is supportive, nurturing, and encourages participation and success.


We at BABC-PNW are committed to strengthening our board based on diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging both within our Trade Association and in the work our organization does. We will achieve this by:

  • Being more intentional about board recruitment that results in diverse board composition and to build a culture of inclusion within our board.

  • Advocating for, and supporting, board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.

  • Focus effort to address issues of racial and structural inequity within our Association and through the activities, communications, and other work.

  • Challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong board leader, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership as a board member.

  • Continue to be intentional about our own board and staff diversity, our internal work to cultivate a culture of inclusion and accountability, and our actions to support equity and positive participation.

  • Aspire to help unleash the full potential of our Trade Association and the wider business community we operate in to be a force for a more just society and world.

  • Ensure that our board articulates and upholds its purpose, its values, and its responsibility to advance the public good.  

Through 2020-2021, mechanisms will be put in place by our leadership to track our progress in this important area of our organization’s continued development and growth. We look forward to sharing updates with you as we further this initiative.

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