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For the record, equity and equality are not the same things. If we are talking true equity, it means giving someone more than you, who has less than you, to elevate them to have the same as you. Are we all really ready to make this selfless sacrifice?

Well, if 2020 has shown us one thing, it is that we are all truly in this together. There is an African quote that says, "The wealth of a family/community is measured by the state of the poorest group/member and not the richest one," meaning we are measured by the level of lack in our society.

When I started my business in 2014, I found myself wrestling with how to incorporate my philanthropic mindset with my business goals. In the traditional capitalist model, we're conditioned to produce something—whether it's a product, a service, or a platform—from concrete thoughts and actions. Once we've met quarterly and annual revenue goals, any extra time or money that we happen to have leftover can be donated to an organization for a gold star of participation. This typical model, which leaves philanthropy as an afterthought, has never been enough for me. In my personal life, I have always thought about treating people with kindness, respect, and empathy or about lending a hand when and where I can, so why are these values being overlooked in the business world? Or, even worse, why are they considered a weakness?

For many Black professionals, it's an unspoken rule never to discuss race or politics at work. But the murder of George Floyd has opened the floodgates. Suddenly, race is dominating conversations. Black people are being bombarded with questions. They're publicly sharing their pain at company town halls and team meetings, leading to more exhaustion.

Race is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, especially in "mixed company." That's why my market research team at Driven to Succeed sponsored two closed-door, tell-all Community Dialogues via Zoom to talk about race—one with Black professionals and the other with white professionals, from Director to C-Suite plus a few entrepreneurs. Our goal was to build more empathy and understanding and to take steps toward healing to help end institutional racism. There were no right or wrong answers. Just an honest dialogue and diversity of opinions.

Hello, everyone. I'm Jamie Joslin King, and I own a multimillion dollar business as The Slay Coach that helps women business leaders and entrepreneurs scale their businesses and make their dreams happen!

We all have non-glamorous, humble beginnings, so, of course, things weren't always like this. Like many successful entrepreneurs, I had to start somewhere. I was broke and pregnant at 19, dropped out of school, and derailed my dreams several times before getting here. But the journey was well worth it.

In case you hadn't already heard, August is National Black Business Month. (Although, we think you should be supporting Black businesses all year round.) There are an incredible amount of Black business owners who are worthy of support, but we wanted to highlight a few that not only operate their own businesses but find time to support others in their communities as well.

Le'Kiesha French, Carmen Mays, and Makisha Boothe are all members of the Black Innovation Alliance, a group that seeks to support Black innovators and strives towards equity in the innovation economy. Now more than ever, it is crucial that Black businesses are not only receiving the support from customers and consumers but from entities such as the BIA for direct, structural resources and support from the ground up.

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