NASCAR and a North Carolina-based LGBTQ+ organization announced on Wednesday a new partnership to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion training.
The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest LGBTQ+ chambers within the region advocating for equitable change within the workplace and economy, said that NASCAR will become the group's DE&I partner for 2022, according to a press release.
"NASCAR has a rich history in our region and continues to be one of the most popular sports in the nation," Tiffany Keaton, the vice-chair of the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, said. "The intentionality of their partnership will allow the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber to leverage relationships and increase our work in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Keaton added that the partnership with NASCAR shows the race car league's "commitment to equality and non-discrimination both on and off the track."
"NASCAR is excited to partner with the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce," Brandon Thompson, NASCAR's vice president of diversity and inclusion, said in the release. "With NASCAR offices and much of our industry based in the Carolinas, we look forward to working with CLGBTCC in support of its mission to foster equity, inclusion, and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community."
Last month, NASCAR made a major donation to the chamber, according to local public radio station WFAE. It's just the latest move as NASCAR works to reinvent itself as a more inclusive league. The station noted that NASCAR has previously given to The Trevor Project and, in June, NASCAR employees raise money for a charity run in support of the One Pulse Foundation in Orlando.
"We know that fans of NASCAR look different, they love different, they're differently able," Thompson told WFAE. "This gives us an opportunity to let them know that we see them as well as support them."
NASCAR and the chamber said the undisclosed donation would be used to provide diversity and inclusion training to businesses in North and South Carolina.
The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce is made up of LGBTQ-owned and allied businesses, corporations, and professionals throughout western North Carolina and most of South Carolina.