April 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Corporate diversity group honors Pelosi, Kolbe at D.C. dinner

NGLCC, gay news, Washington Blade

NGLCC CEO Chance Mitchell, left, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and NGLCC President Justin Nelson at the National Business Inclusion Consortium’s inaugural Best-of-the-Best Dinner at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. on April 26, 2016. (Photo by Robert Dodge Photography)

A group that promotes corporate diversity held its inaugural Best-of-the-Best Dinner on Tuesday at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C.

The National Business Inclusion Consortium presented awards to JPMorgan Chase and the TIAA Contingent Worker Diversity Program for their efforts in support of workplace diversity. The National Business Inclusion Consortium also acknowledged American Airlines, Comcast/NBC Universal, TD Bank Group and more than two dozen other companies as their 2016 NBIC Best-of-the-Best Top 30 Corporations for Inclusion.

“When a company’s competitors see them listed as a Best-of-the-Best company, they will immediately move to raise their own bar of diversity and inclusion,” said National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce CEO Chance Mitchell. “Being the Best-of-the-Best means pushing one another to keep innovating the ways we do business to be more inclusive and successful than ever.”

The National Business Inclusion Consortium also honored House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former Congressmen Tony Coelho (D-Calif.) and Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.)

“Diversity, innovation and success is linked,” said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) during his keynote address.

The NGLCC formed the National Business Inclusion Consortium in 2011. The National Black Justice Coalition, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council are among the organizations that are part of the group.

The dinner — which Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart emceed — took place against the national backlash over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 that prohibits transgender people from using public restrooms consistent with their gender identity and bans municipalities from implementing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination measures. A sweeping religious freedom bill that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed earlier this month has also sparked widespread outrage among LGBT rights advocates and their supporters.

Schumer suggested in his speech that North Carolina-based businesses should consider relocating to New York.

“We welcome you,” he said.

Pelosi referenced HB 2 in her remarks after she accepted her award. The California Democrat also spoke in support of the Equality Act, which would amend federal civil rights law to ban anti-LGBT discrimination.

“The time’s long overdue for something bigger,” said Pelosi, referring to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that has languished in Congress for decades.

Actress Lynda Carter also spoke in support of LGBT rights.

“I am so proud to take part in this civil rights struggle,” she said.

National Business Inclusion Consortium, gay news, Washington Blade

Lynda Carter speaks at the National Business Inclusion Consortium’s inaugural Best-of-the-Best awards at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. on April 26, 2016. (Photo by Robert Dodge Photography)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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