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National Diversity Forum

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Date: August 4, 2011
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
8:30am to 4:00pm

I'm delighted to invite you to the Add Us In National Diversity Forum, a public event aimed at bringing attention to the intersections of disability, diversity, and business.

Add Us In is a new initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The initiative seeks to identify and develop innovative strategies and models that increase the capacity of targeted small businesses to improve job opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities. Targetedsmall businesses include those owned and operated by minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; women; veterans; and people with disabilities. Those located in communities and populations with the highest rates of unemployment and under-employment are of particular interest.

Small business is a key component of national economic stability. Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms, employ half of all private sector employees and have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.1 The rapidly growing number of targeted businesses contributes significantly to our economy. For example, according to the Minority Business Development Agency, minority-owned firms generate $1 trillion in economic output to the U.S. economy and create 5.9 million jobs.2

Add Us In will develop sustainable partnerships among targeted businesses, diversity-serving organizations, youth-serving organizations and disability-serving organizations, and will build a national and local network of experts skilled in meeting the employment needs of individuals with disabilities and the hiring needs of targeted business owners.

For more information on Add Us In or the National Diversity Forum, visit If you have any questions about the National Diversity Forum or would like to be removed from this list, contact Day Al-Mohamed at

Many of you participated in our Expert Strategy Meeting (ESM) in February, 2011 which helped shape the National Diversity Forum. Thank you for your ongoing support of Add Us In. We will continue to look to you to provide comments, questions, and suggestions.

I look forward to seeing you at the National Diversity Forum!


Kathleen Martinez
Assistant Secretary, ODEP

1U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau and Intl. Trade Admin.; Advocacy-funded research by Kathryn Kobe, 2007 ( and CHI Research, 2003 (; U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, The State of Minority Businesses (January, 2010).