The Seattle University Supplier Diversification Program will both direct wealth to local diverse businesses and engage our local BIPOC and especially Black communities and businesses. The program will also support the uptake of local BIPOC-owned businesses among peer anchor institutions, using our academic resources and relationships to meet the needs on both sides, thus leveraging our initial investments. Over time, we plan to share our findings with peer universities and anchor institutions, creating a model that can be replicated broadly. We plan to:
Amelia Marckworth of the Albers Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) will lead the program in close collaboration with Directors of the Sunborg Center for Community Engagement, the SU Procurement Office, and other campus partners. This grant extends the Albers IEC’s previous work – also supported by JP Morgan Chase Foundation - in the Resource Amplification & Management Program (RAMP.up). The new supplier diversification program builds on RAMP.up's foundation to support potential institutional vendors in local neighborhood and develop procurement-readiness among local businesses owned by BIPOC community members, prioritizing the Black-owned businesses in the community surrounding the Seattle U campus.
Supplier Diversity Program Fellows provide input and recommendations to inform the development and implementation of our supplier diversity initiative. Fellows are highly credentialed local diversity experts and Black business professionals who primarily work outside the University but are connected or familiar with to Seattle University. Fellows regularly share their experiences, opinions, and perspectives to inform the development, design, and implementation of the Supplier DiversityProgram. Fellows receive a stipend.