October 20, 2019 at 6:39 pm EDT | by Justin G. Nelson and Chance Mitchell
NGLCC celebrates 50 years of the Washington Blade
NGLCC, gay news, Washington Blade
Chance E. Mitchell and Justin G. Nelson at the 2018 NGLCC National Dinner. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

In the nearly 20 years that the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) has been the business voice of the LGBT community, the Washington Blade has been by our side telling our story and the stories of our communities’ successes.

The Blade has helped us move corporations and governments to the side of LGBT inclusion by showcasing the $1.7 trillion power that LGBT-owned businesses, like the Blade, add to the U.S. economy every year. As we celebrate the Washington Blade’s 50th anniversary, we offer the gratitude and appreciation of our NGLCC network, including the 1.4 million LGBT business owners we represent in the U.S. and around the globe.

The Blade’s profiles on our signature events, on our advocacy positions, and on the heroes of our business community have not just helped ensure our community’s place at the table of opportunity, but has elevated the discussion of the role LGBT people play in business, government, and society by ensuring our voice is present at every major event in DC. The Blade’s exceptional journalists and editors have amplified the message of NGLCC in White House and Hill briefings, leading to powerful commitments from government leaders to recognize, include, and promote our community’s economic interests.  

As the NGLCC global network expands to five continents, the Blade’s international team has been a treasured partner in highlighting the strength and resilience of LGBT business owners around the world. Together, we are telling the stories that prove that being out and successful, regardless of geography or background, will never be mutually exclusive again.

Since 1969, the Washington Blade has covered the LGBTQ community of the metro D.C. area, nationally, and internationally and has been an ardent supporter of the NGLCC’s mission to create economic inclusion and prosperity for the LGBT business community. As a longstanding certified LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE), the Blade is a role model to LGBT-owned and operated companies throughout the nation.

As one of our LGBTBE owners said, “NGLCC certification creates visibility for LGBT businesses; visibility creates awareness; awareness leads to acceptance; and widespread acceptance ends discrimination. You can’t change hearts, minds and attitudes if you’re invisible.”  The Blade has ensured countless hearts and minds are changed by keeping our communities’ successes more visible than ever.

In recognition for 50 years of leadership in our communities, and in anticipation of decades more of success ahead, the NGLCC looks forward to bestowing our Pinnacle Award to the Washington Blade on Nov. 22, 2019 at our NGLCC National Dinner. The Pinnacle Award is one of highest and most rarely bestowed honors at the NGLCC.

This award recognizes an LGBT or allied person, persons, or organization that has gone above and beyond to promote LGBT equality and opportunity. Needless to say, the Washington Blade is at the pinnacle of LGBT storytelling, representation, and success. The NGLCC is proud to be a close partner in the Washington Blade’s work, and we look forward to the next 50 years working together.

Justin Nelson is co-founder and president of NGLCC; Chance Mitchell is co-founder and CEO.

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