Reminding the Rivers Casino that others in the Black community are watching, members of the NAACP Pittsburgh Unit met with casino executives to discuss issues of inclusion and equity.

“This has been an ongoing issue for us,” said Pittsburgh Unit President Connie Parker. “With respect to complaints about lack of employment and advancement. The top people seem to understand the problem, but it’s getting lost in the middle. We are working together to address that.”

While acknowledging the casino’s contributions to community development, Parker said she, NAACP member Chase Patterson and unit Labor and Industry Chair Billy Joe Jordan made several recommendations on ensuring culturally sensitive policies and procedures are in place to foster an inclusive atmosphere for all guests, employees and local businesses.

“They knew when we came to the table, it was for no other reason than seeing people are treated fairly, so I am pleased with our meeting and believe we have made important strides toward establishing lines of open communication between our organizations,” she said. “There is important work to be done at the casino as they work to create a more open and inclusive environment, and our organization is committed to monitoring and supporting the casino’s growth and commitment to community.”

Casino spokesman Craig Clark said The Rivers welcomed the conversation with the NAACP.

“We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues at the NAACP to advance our ongoing diversity programs,” he said. “We are proud of our diversity track records regarding employment, service providers and community outreach.”

Parker said there will be ongoing dialog and discussions.

“The casino has value for the community and we want to keep it that way,” she said.


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