03/18/19: Ashford Hughes, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County

In February Nashville became the first city in the South to say it would track the amount of money it spends with businesses owned by members of the LGBT community. In January, after literal decades of advocacy, the Metro Nashville Council unanimously voted to install the Equal Business Opportunity Program. This legislation begins to address the equity and inclusion of minority and women owned businesses and allows Metro Nashville to implement race and gender conscious subcontracting goals, based on market availability, for all public contracts.

Ashford Hughes Sr. was appointed by Mayor David Briley to serve in his administration as the first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.  He is  charged with guiding and implementing government procurement policy and process that will lead to economic inclusion for ethnic minority and women owned businesses. Ashford will discuss the Mayor’s vison for economic inclusion as a business imperative, what the recently passed inclusive policies mean for business owners and the greater Nashville business ecosystem.