Black Business Association President and CEO Sarah Harris

Opinion: California Must Ensure the Participation of Black Businesses in Upcoming Global Events

Sarah R. Harris | Special to California Black Media Partners

OPINION (CBM) – The upcoming 2026 Men’s FIFA World Cup and the 2028 Summer Olympics and Summer Paralympic Games present Los Angeles with remarkable opportunities.

These world sports events are not only a celebration of athletic excellence, but also a unique opportunity to stimulate economic growth, cultivate cultural pride, and advance social equity. To fully capitalize on the economic boom these opportunities could bring to our state and communities, it is imperative that we ensure the inclusion of Black businesses in every facet of the preparations and operations.

Reflecting on history, we must acknowledge the significant legacy of former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. His tireless efforts, in collaboration with Peter Ueberroth, the chairman of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, and businessman, Dr. William (Bill) Burke, were instrumental in bringing the 1984 Summer Olympics to our state. Bradley’s determination and vision transformed Los Angeles, and its surrounding areas, into an international hub of economic dynamism. The 1984 Olympics demonstrated the power of inclusive leadership and strategic planning.

Bradley’s commitment to inclusivity and economic empowerment remains a guiding light for us today. His success in the 1984 Games was not just a personal triumph but a victory for the community. The economic uplift and international recognition that Los Angeles received were a direct result of his unwavering dedication and strategic alliances with key leaders. Bradley, Ueberroth, and their team embodied what was called the “Dream Business Team,” a model of collaboration and innovative thinking that we must aspire to replicate.

As we approach the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup and the 2028 Summer Olympics, we must build on Bradley’s legacy. The inclusion of Black businesses in these global events is not just a matter of equity; it is an economic imperative. Studies consistently show that diverse and inclusive business practices drive innovation and economic growth. By actively including Black businesses, we ensure that the economic benefits of these events are broadly shared, fostering a more robust and resilient local economy.


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