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Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Advancing the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone is our mission at Downtown Raleigh Alliance. This mission statement not only guides how our work gets done, it informs our decision making processes, including who our organization invites to the tables where impactful discussions lead to outcomes.  Building a culture of transparency and authentic engagement within Downtown Raleigh Alliance as an organization, and Downtown Raleigh’s diverse community as a whole, is critical to our mission and its effectiveness. Our track record of prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion thus far, and our commitment going forward, will continue to open tremendous opportunities for growth for downtown.

Organizational Management

Having representation of a variety of community stakeholders also has equal weight as demographic representation. Our board at DRA is composed of small business owners, nonprofit leaders, and service organization leaders, and they are imbued with the same weight and authority as leaders of larger corporations.

The senior leadership team at our organization is 60% women, and each leader has been selected because their track records demonstrate a commitment to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion both inside and outside an organization. With this wide range of viewpoints, Downtown Raleigh Alliance is positioned to holistically address challenges facing our community.

Commitment to small business and the local economy

Because of our commitment to a diverse and inclusive Downtown Raleigh, our programmatic work aims to bridge the gaps between historically marginalized communities and their entrepreneurial goals, reducing barriers to success and providing support in a variety of capacities. Through our Storefront Upfit Grant, Pop-Up Shops at Martin Street, and incentives and resources, we leverage private and public sector funds and partnerships to achieve our goals, setting high standards and seeking opportunities to push the boundaries of what was previously thought possible in maintaining a local economy. DRA offers additional grant funds to federally protected classes of as well as to groups who have yet to attain that status, such as LGBTQ+ persons and veterans.

Having a thriving and robust local economy is critical to ensuring equitable economic growth, preserving the tremendous legacies of minority contributions to the region and preserving access to legacy-building for future generations. We aim for our downtown to be a reflection of its community and believe this is truly what makes it unique, innovative, and sustainable. It drives our strategic initiatives, providing the blueprint for our events, activations, public art, and partnerships. 

Commitment to supporting the unhoused

People without homes are part of every downtown in the United States, and the factors contributing to homelessness are varied and systemic. We are committed to ensuring the dignity of this vulnerable population and remain steadfast in undermining the status quo through our Ambassador Program and partnerships.

Learn more about our commitment to supporting unhoused populations here.

Downtown Raleigh Alliance is a proud member of the Triangle DEI Alliance.

Header photo credit: Chris Facey