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MBDA Emphasizes Importance of Diversity, Inclusion during Louisiana Diversity Forum

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Created on November 18, 2014

The Southern University Law Center and Kean Miller, LLP, hosted the Louisiana Diversity Forum on Oct. 30 in Baton Rouge, La. The forum included several panel discussions and speaker presentations focused on diversity and inclusion with respect to commerce, business, workplaces, and legal education.

Candace Shiver, Special Advisor to the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) participated as a panelist during the event. Her panel, where she was joined by representatives from Exxon Mobil Corporation and GE Foundation, had a special emphasis on corporate supplier diversity. Together, the panelists discussed and provided critical insight and perspectives on why and how more U.S businesses are achieving diversity and inclusion by building strategic inclusive business models.

Providing context during the panel discussion to the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Shiver stated “At the time of MBDA’s founding in 1969, and for a number of years thereafter, many argued for minority inclusion as a matter of right or equal opportunity.”  “Fast forward 45 years, and today we’re recognizing at MBDA how much of a business imperative it is to engage minority-owned companies – to not only open the door, but to also keep the door open - in order for corporations to remain viable and grow increasingly competitive worldwide.”

Shiver and her panelists also discussed the significance of the undeniably growing minority community, and how as the demographic shift in America is taking place, these changes call for a whole new strategy or approach to principles of diversity and inclusion and supplier diversity. 

“We believe that if minorities are not contributing fully, U.S. corporations will not be able to keep up with emerging markets. The corporations that are consciously aware of this imperative will continue to be global market leaders, and their bottom line profitability and shareholder value will continue to be reflective of this strategic approach,” she said.

Through its national network of business centers, MBDA assists minority-owned businesses in gaining access to the supply chains and global supply chains of large corporations, including Fortune 500 Corporations. For more information on MBDA, please visit

MBDA Agency

MBDA Agency