Event Recap | Gateway Cities Leadership Summit: Growing an Inclusive Economy II

On Tuesday, July 12th, MassINC hosted its Annual Gateway Cities Leadership Summit. The forum explored how municipal contracting can support the growth of businesses of color, a timely conversation with an unprecedented influx of federal resources flowing into Gateway Cities through ARPA and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

MassINC Research Director Ben Forman and Executive Director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, presented data from our new joint report, Empowering Cities to Accelerate Equitable Growth. This study reveals large racial and ethnic disparities in public contracting and surfaces changes in state law that will empower cities to implement effective supplier diversity policies.

The audience consisted of mayors, legislators, economic development officials, and business leaders who are committed to advancing this work. They heard opening remarks from Eastern Bank CEO Bob Rivers, and engaged with a panel of experts in the inclusive economic development field, including:

  • Moderator: Carrie Saldo, Award-winning journalist
  • Daylana Ervin-Parker, Director, Budget and Supplier Diversity, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Kareem Kibodya, Co-Lead of Policy & Advocacy, BECMA
  • Bill McAvoy, Executive Director, Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office
  • Natalia Urtubey, Foundation Fellow, Eastern Bank Foundation

Our event concluded with a legislative update from our Gateway Hubs Project Director Andre Leroux, Economic Development Committee Chair Senator Eric Lesser, and a final call to action from Dave Koffman, Legislative Director for the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

A big thank you to all of our presenters, and to all who joined us for this important discussion. Please help spread the word about this research through your networks and on social media. We welcome your feedback on both the conversation and the new study. MassINC looks forward to producing more in depth research on supplier diversity and inclusive economic development and to partnering with leaders to advance this critical policy dialog.

Watch the event recording


Dive into the report data with Ben Forman and Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal’s slides.

Relevant Materials

Read through the engaging chat for insightful resources and questions.

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