Supporting Minority Businesses Builds Wealth, Community

By Nithya Pramekumar – Senior Project Consultant

One of the most important things we can do to support Black people is to frequent their businesses right in our own communities. Being intentional about where we buy trickles down to the owners, their families and ultimately the places we live.

In 2016, the net worth of a typical white family was nearly 10 times greater than that of a Black family. “Gaps in wealth between Black and White households reveal the effects of accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception,” according to The Brookings Institution.

Large companies have traditionally marginalized small businesses—to the detriment of low-income, particularly Black communities.

Supporting Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs creates opportunities for savings, property ownership, credit building and generational wealth across the board. The Small Business Administration says $68 of every $100 spent at a local business stays in the local economy; only $43 of the $100 stays if spent with a large business.

Reach out to TPMA to chat about how you can bring resources and tools to stimulate your local economy.

Contact Nithya at:




The Power of Data for Equity

By Aimee Wilkinson – Senior Project Consultant & Grace Hefferman – Senior Project Manager


The adage, “What gets measured, gets done” is popular for a reason. Regular measurement and reporting are critical to improving performance and achieving goals. So, if we want to see positive change for people of color, we must rigorously evaluate programs through an equity lens.

A foundational approach in the design process is to include the people that programs are designed to serve. Who knows the needs of their community better than the very people who make it up?

Once you have engaged the community, ask for feedback on data collection tools, processes, how success is defined, and continuous improvement. Participation insures the program evolves with needs of the community. 

Tools and analysis should consider the mode of data collection (phone, in-person, online), and language that is inclusive for the audience (e.g., reading level or use of jargon).

During the analysis, it is important to look at multiple factors and break down data by characteristics of the program and participants. Stopping at the first “interesting” finding means we might lose sight of findings that could impact specific groups and communities.

Reviewing data through an equity lens and designing meaningful opportunities for community engagement can ensure that positive outcomes for people of color are prioritized in your programs.

Contact Aimee or Grace at:







Putting Equity into Practice

By Ellen M. Soyka – Project Consultant

TPMA is thrilled to begin implementing an Equity Checklist to ensure our work with clients and communities benefits as many people as possible, affirming that equitable practices are best practices. The process integrates principles of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) as central, long-term commitments.

Individuals and organizations can let “business as usual” continue to ignore and harm marginalized groups or make their actions and systems equitable. Evaluations of JEDI practices should consider individual and corporate privileges, unique spheres of influence, direct and indirect effects of projects, and how to implement JEDI to ensure consistent progress, not spurts of action after national tragedies.

Drawing from expert JEDI resources like the Diversity Style Guide, TPMA began by listing identity/status dimensions including gender identity, language and (dis)ability, and corresponding terms and definitions. The list was as exhaustive as possible to emphasize and value identities other than the “default” American identities such as being white, straight, able-bodied, and male.

We also identified often-unnoticed power dynamics by listing questions about implicit exclusion, intent and impact, guiding assumptions, and access to services and physical spaces.

As JEDI work is complex, our checklist will evolve so TPMA better serves more people. How could your organization do the same?

Contact Ellen at: