Your Chamber of Commerce is in the business of economic development. But perhaps more importantly, we are in the business of working to leave this community better for the next generation of leaders. To serve that mission, it requires a belief in being better.

It means a belief in having hard community conversations; a belief in respecting the dignity and intrinsic value of each person; a belief that leaders lead in good times and times of strife; a belief that we are all equal before the law; and a belief that each person is granted the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Recent protests in Decatur-Morgan County and across our country responding to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others have brought front and center an understanding that for some, equality before the law is not always the case. We recognize that many people of color in our community are hurting right now, and countless others empathize with their suffering. They are understandably angry and frustrated, and we share those emotions.

As people exercise their rights of free speech and assembly on this critical issue, your Chamber of Commerce commits to being an agent of positive change to make sure each resident of Decatur-Morgan County has the king jr. blogopportunity for a clear future and can contribute to the health of our community.

That commitment can be seen in our leadership programs for students, young professionals and executive leaders. It can be seen in our workforce training and education partnerships to make sure each person can develop the career skills to chase their dreams. It can be seen in extending our regional collaborations where we work with our neighboring communities to advocate for legislation that improves the quality of life for our entire area. It can be seen in our relationship building with local elected officials, law enforcement, non-profit agencies, faith communities and residents who are committed to “liberty and justice for all.”

The Rev. Dr. King taught that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." When there is injustice, individuals from all walks of life must come together, stand firm and say “not in my community.” As your Chamber of Commerce, that is our commitment to Decatur-Morgan County.