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Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Vince Jackson, executive director of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, was recognized last week with the Black Excellence Award, given by the Massachusetts Legislature’s Black and Latino Legislative Caucus.

Jackson was nominated by state Sen. Jo Comerford to receive the award as part of the third annual Black Excellence on the Hill event, a celebration of black culture, excellence, and achievement in the Commonwealth organized by the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus.

As executive director of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce and the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council, Jackson brings nearly two decades of experience in business, including as the founder, president, and CEO of Marketing Moves Inc., as well as a successful career at PepsiCo, Kraft, and Procter & Gamble. His background also includes an appointment as lecturer of marketing courses at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

“Vince has led the chamber and council throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis with grace and grit,” Comerford said. “I am humbled by his generosity and passion to help Main Street businesses, his unparalleled willingness to collaborate, and his commitment to and leadership focused on equity. I am beyond proud to honor Vince and celebrate his impact on our community.”

Jackson has diversified the chamber’s board of directors, which now more closely reflects the broader community. Under his leadership, the chamber revised its mission statement based on a diversity training by Human in Common. The chamber is also conducting a survey to identify businesses that are owned by black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), intending to maintain a listing and encourage the community to increase their support of these businesses.

Jackson has an MBA in marketing and finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in information systems and accounting from Grambling State University.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Learning to be an active bystander and interrupting racism before it escalates is critical to creating cultural change in the workplace, schools, and communities. Human in Common is poised and ready to help. This innovative business teaches individuals to effectively interrupt bias and discrimination and create policies and practices that amplify racial equity.

The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce has invited Human in Common to offer its timely training, “Interrupting Racism: Policies, Practices, and Everyday Acts of Solidarity for Businesses and Nonprofits.” This two-part Zoom training will occur on Thursday, June 25 from 1 to 4 p.m., and Monday, June 29 from 1 to 4 p.m.

This training begins with a timeline of the history of racism in the U.S. to bring awareness to the conditions that have led to systemic racism. Participants will develop a diversity mission statement, practice six ‘ethical upstander’ methods for interrupting racism in the workplace, explore policies and practices to amplify racial equity, and engage in small breakout groups to practice anti-racism skills using real-life scenarios.

Human in Common Director Deborah Cohen noted that the Harvard Business Review and the Equal Opportunity Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that, after 30 years of legislation, racial and sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace are still at epicemic levels, and traditional diversity trainings don’t seem to be working. The EEOC, Harvard Business Review, and now Forbes are recommending active bystander training to prepare workers with the skills to appropriately intervene.

“Too often, well-intentioned people want to do the right thing, but are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, and as a result remain silent,” Cohen said. “This workshop breaks it down, teaching specific skills and providing opportunities to practice in a supportive environment. The result is greater awareness, confidence, and ability to nip problems in the bud. Participants leave with a diversity mission statement, language for effectively and respectfully interrupting bias, and specific policies and practices to amplify racial equity.”

The event webpage is bit.ly/2MMrNmr, or visit www.facebook.com/events/193655011884223.