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These injustices—and more—demonstrate that the criminal justice system is broken. More than any other group in this nation, African Americans have been brutalized, disenfranchised, and impoverished by different aspects of this system—from law enforcement to penal institutions. As a result, Black Americans continue to face harsh economic, financial, and political realities that include lack of career and entrepreneurial opportunities, disruption to financial security and wealth-building, and above all else, loss of life.
The pandemic has intensified long-standing inequities that continue to make it challenging for Black-owned businesses to endure this ongoing crisis and gain pathways for recovery. Despite the wave of announced corporate commitments and government initiatives designed to bolster Black business over the past year, African American-owned companies, large and small, still grapple with a lack of capital access, business-building relationships, and growth opportunities. As such, financing and procurement opportunities must be expanded and accelerated to launch, scale, and sustain their enterprises.