Breaking the Chains: Birmingham’s Urgent Call for Construction Equity


Birmingham, Alabama, a city poised for progress and inclusivity, grapples with a dire issue within its construction industry – the stark absence of equitable opportunities for Black-owned businesses and other minority groups. The conventional reliance on ‘good faith efforts’ to ensure fair representation and inclusion has proven inadequate, leaving a community in need of urgent change. In the realm of public-bid construction projects, attempts to foster the inclusion of Black construction professionals and other minorities have fallen short. This approach, heavily dependent on established, predominantly white-owned construction companies, has not delivered the promised equity and representation. As a result, no capacity building takes place. That is where we find ourselves today. There is an unequivocal need for a significant overhaul in the strategies employed by agencies and entities involved in public projects. Relying on goodwill and voluntary inclusion by established contractors has proven ineffective, demanding a transformative shift. The call for proactive leadership to drive this much-needed change is becoming increasingly urgent. #Black construction dollars in Birmingham, AL should be treated as investments, not expenses. The responsibility for this transformation lies in identifying and empowering leaders committed to dismantling the barriers obstructing the participation of Black-owned businesses and minority groups in construction projects. It’s a pivotal moment calling for resolute action. The time has come to prioritize the utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses, steering away from archaic approaches that have hindered the progress of the city’s diverse business communities.

The critical question remains: Who will take the helm and drive this much-needed transformation? Birmingham urgently needs a new breed of leadership – one dissatisfied with the status quo and eager to step forward, enacting fundamental changes necessary to create an environment where all businesses, especially those owned by minorities, can thrive. #No matter how hard we try, approaches relying on goodwill and voluntary inclusion in construction projects in Birmingham, AL rarely deliver the desired results.

In conclusion, Birmingham stands at a turning point in its construction industry. The time is ripe for a profound shift towards inclusivity, equity, and economic growth. The demand is not merely for words but for resolute, innovative, and deliberate action to ensure that Black-owned General Contractors and minority professionals receive the opportunities and representation they rightfully deserve. The urgency for change is palpable, and the call for decisive leadership cannot be ignored. Moreover, why have we, as a community and elected officials, allowed this systematic holding back of Black general contractors in Birmingham, AL to persist? We are in a state of emergency. After all, we are all equal, and yet, systematically, Black general contractors in Birmingham have been denied their fair share of opportunities. It’s time to question why this has been allowed to stand when, after all, we bear 100% of the tax burden. The urgency for change is clear, and Birmingham is overdue for a comprehensive reckoning with its historical inequalities. As we move forward, we must ensure that our city’s growth benefits all, not just a privileged few.

We Ask Birmingham’s Leaders – What Cha Gon Do? -Jim Brown , NFL- HOF, Actor, Activist, Humanitarian

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