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If racial and gender gaps were closed, the GDP of Connecticut from 2005 to 2019 would have increased by $39B annually in earnings, employment, hours worked and educational attainment.  – Fed Reserve Bank Communities, 2021

The MetroHartford Alliance seeks to normalize social and racial equity in economic development.  The Racial Equity and Economic Development Leadership Committee (REED) was formed in 2020 to provide education and support to the business community in collaboration with experts and local organizations to implement equitable opportunities that strengthen and elevate our businesses and community partnerships in the Greater Hartford Region.

Racial Equity and Economic Development Committee Members


To help the MetroHartford Alliance progress racial equity in economic development by increasing issue awareness and developing impactful programming that results in concrete action.

4 Target Areas

  1. Business community education/Diversity awareness
    • Create awareness and opportunities to implement action
    • Keep the conversation going through various communication channels (webinars, podcasts, articles, etc.)
  2. Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certification and Development Support
    • Invest in our local socially or economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs and small businesses
    • Help create fair access and greater growth opportunities by competing for contracts.
    • Provide technical support and assistance in partnership with our local non-profit organizations and corporations. Design, build and promote tools for them and try to eliminate and streamline barriers, including access to capital.
  3. Healthcare Supplier Diversification
    • Help MWBE’s gain greater access to hospital supply chains by identifying opportunities, points of access, processes, and advocates (in partnership with the CT Health Council)
  1. Board Diversification
    • Create awareness about the lack of racial and gender representation on boards in government, non-profit organizations, and corporate boards.
    • Connect diverse leaders with resources that facilitate participation on boards

2022 Events

About this event

Companies are under increased pressure to tackle more issues that are important to their workforce, customers, and stakeholders. Oversight and counsel is often directed from the board of directors and requires a diverse range of viewpoints to be most effective. Studies continue to prove that diverse and inclusive cultures are providing companies with a competitive edge over their peers. According to a 2020 McKinsey study, “companies with the most ethnically diverse leadership teams were 36% more likely to experience higher profits and found a substantial performance differential—48%—between the most and least gender-diverse companies”.

Join us to hear from dynamic leaders and learn:

  • What it takes to join a corporate board
  • Why 17 CT corporations signed the Paradigm for Parity pledge
  • How corporate boards are addressing board diversity



8:30AM-9:00AM Registration, Breakfast, and Networking

9:00AM Program Begins:

  • Opening Remarks – Raina Giddings, Sr. Director Investor Relations, MetroHartford Alliance
  • Welcome – David Griggs, President & CEO, MetroHartford Alliance
  • Update on CT Governor’s Council on Women & Girls – Susan Bysiewicz, Lieutenant Governor, State of CT
  • Keynote: Current Landscape of Diversification on Corporate Boards – Amelia Caporale, Partner, Ernst & Young
  • Fireside Chat – Sandra Quince, CEO, Paradigm for Parity and Judy Marks, CEO, OTIS Elevator
  • Panel Moderated by Janice Ellig, CEO, Ellig Group – Panelists include Daniel Clifford, Board Readiness & Referral, Ernst & Young; Greg Jones, Board of Directors, Eversource; Peter Longo, Senior Managing Director of Investments, CT Innovations; Ayana Parsons, Senior Partner, Board & CEO Inclusion, Korn Ferry
  • Closing Remarks – Raina Giddings, Sr. Director Investor Relations, MetroHartford Alliance

11:30AM Program Ends

Register Here

2021 Events




Pulse of the Region CAST

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
January 18, 2021

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential for business success. How do we measure them and how do they fit into an organization’s overall culture and employee value proposition? On this episode of Pulse of the Region, Amy Stern, Managing Director, Research and Strategy, BI Worldwide, and Jay Williams, President, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, discuss these issues and uncover aspects of diversity and inclusion that we aren’t yet talking about.


Racial Equity & Economic Development Committee
January 21, 2021

This week’s Pulse of the Region will focus on the MetroHartford Alliance (MHA) Racial Equity and Economic Development Leadership Committee. Guests Raina Giddings, MHA Senior Director of Investor Relations; Kel Thomas, Attorney The Hartford and Chair of Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE); and Dr. Duncan Harris, CEO Capital Community College will discuss the committee’s goals and it’s first event, which will take place January 28.



Elevating Diverse Talent Within your Organization
May 7, 2021

This week, we’re getting the pulse about elevating diverse talent within your organization. Guests are David Hopkins, President and CEO of Urban League of Greater Hartford and MHA Racial Equity and Economic Development Committee member; Djuana Beamon, Chief Diversity Officer at People’s United Bank; and Joshua Hollander, CEO of Horton International.



Resources and Recommendations 

The Business Case for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Inclusive Work Culture


HR, Talent Recruitment & Employee Retention

·       Market Watch: Workplaces of the future will be multi-generational

Implicit & Unconscious Bias

Video Resources