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Wayne, Pa.’s B Lab is taking a stand against North Carolina’s HB2

Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab cofounder, at the group's Main Line offices. April 15, 2016 Category: PurposeShort
When you’re a socially minded business, your actions had better reflect your mission statement.

B Lab, the Wayne, Pa.-based nonprofit that certifies companies as B Corps, had planned for its 2016 B Corp Champions Retreat to be held in North Carolina this October. The event is an international gathering of B Corp CEOs and other leaders.

But in light of the state’s passage of House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which bars transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that do not match the sex noted on their birth certificates, B Lab’s plans have changed: The retreat and all related activities are being relocated.

Here’s B Lab’s rationale for the decision, according to a statement on its blog:

  • “HB2 is contrary to our B Corp values” — B Lab values inclusivity and community, and this bill aligns itself against both.
  • “Relocating and engaging can have a direct impact on creating the change we seek” — Retreat attendees will represent almost 1,700 international companies. Word about North Carolina’s bill and B Lab’s successive protest will travel.
  • “Safety & Comfort” — All members of the B Corp community deserve to feel safe, and transgender community members may not feel safe under these circumstances.

In a 2012 interview with Generocity, B Lab cofounder Jay Coen Gilbert told us he was passionate about B Corps because “The only hope we have of addressing our most challenging problems is if we use business to do that.” By protesting North Carolina’s law, B Lab is practicing what it’s preaching by actively fighting the challenging problem of discrimination.

Read the full statement

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