September 17, 2019
Over a year ago, we at the National Main Street Center began a process to develop a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement for the organization. This has provided our staff and board with the opportunity to look critically at our own work and our role in advancing these important values. Our statement, which was unanimously adopted by the National Main Street Center board of directors, reads:
We believe Main Streets are for everyone. At the core of our approach to revitalization is a commitment to creating places of shared prosperity, equal access to opportunity, and inclusive engagement. The National Main Street Center models and champions this vision through our actions and programs.
Main Streets don’t exist in a vacuum. Our downtowns and commercial corridors are the heart of our communities and over the decades, they have been shaped by the forces of history. Main Streets have been sites of growth, hope, and promise for a better future.
We also know that in many places, this history has been marked with struggle, exclusion, violence, and discrimination. This history, and our collective role in shaping the future of communities, positions our movement at the center of these issues. While one statement can’t fully address these challenges, we hope that ours will serve as a guidepost for the National Main Street Center’s work and as a catalyst for conversation for Main Street programs across the country. This statement represents an ideal: it offers a vision of who we as an organization aspire to be, and how we as a movement can aspire to lead in communities. There’s important work for us to do to fully realize this vision. We’re excited to share more about this work and to hear from you about your own efforts.
The Staff and Board of the National Main Street Center