Dear BOC Members and Colleagues,

Like all of you, we at the Back Office Cooperative have been deeply saddened and angered by the recent racist killings and attacks targeting Black people. Directly or indirectly, so many of our members’ missions are dedicated to advancing racial equity and justice. We stand with you and are proud to support you in this work. This anti-Black violence must stop.

As they have for so many, the death of George Floyd, one month ago today, and the uprising that followed have spurred us at BOC to think more critically about the role that we play in advancing racial justice and how we can do better – not only as your supporter but as agents of change ourselves. One of the ways we are best positioned to make a real, positive impact on Black and minority communities is by having a dedicated business and supplier diversity program.

We know that many of you share a desire for this, both from BOC and for your own organizations. Encouraged by your voices, we began our effort last fall with a nonprofit community educational event and further strengthened our RFP processes for inclusiveness. While there is much more work to do, today we are announcing our overall commitment to supplier diversity with the following actions:

  • Program Partner Diversity: Wherever available, we will invite minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs), including businesses with Black, indigenous, and people-of-color owners (BIPOC), to participate in a BOC program RFP.
  • Partner Supplier Diversity: We will also ensure that all new program partners adhere to a commitment to supplier diversity, which is now part of our RFP process. We will highlight these commitments of current partners like Staples and Sysco, and we will assist other partners in determining how they can develop such a commitment.
  • Inclusive Individual Member RFPs: When a member uses BOC procurement services, we will encourage them to incorporate their commitment to supplier diversity into the process. Members can also request any supplier responding to provide a statement of their own commitment.
  • Education and Resources: As a partner to the nonprofit community, we will make supplier diversity a key theme in our content. We will devote seminars to this topic, develop resources to help your organization improve its supplier diversity, and work to connect our members with more MWBEs whom you can contract with directly.

Our mission is and has always been to increase our members’ impact in the communities they serve through a focus on optimizing cash flow. Improving and increasing opportunities for our diverse business community will only enhance our ability to maintain the goal of our mission.

I look forward to sharing our continued progress with you. If you have any questions or are interested in taking a more active role in this endeavor, I invite you to contact me.

Linda Zager
President & CEO
The Back Office Cooperative