Making history for over 50 years

For over 50 years, DIR has stood against racial and social injustice by providing information and resources needed to enhance and support the growth of diverse-owned businesses and improve economic disparities. 

In 1968, Peter and Rose Meyerhoff founded DIR in Minneapolis for the sole purpose of advancing race relations and improving economic opportunities for the Black community following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Meyerhoff’s were European Jews who were all too familiar with the barriers and limitations erected by discrimination. Dr. King’s untimely death inspired them to launch the “Buy Black” directory, a 10-page index of local, Black-owned businesses. The couple went door-to-door asking people to “buy black,” and a year later the Buy Black directory was published nationally. 

What started with two passionate people and a 10-page directory has since developed into a global database of diverse-owned businesses. DIR continues to advocate and support diverse-owned businesses and diverse communities by facilitating relationships with corporations through our sourcing, data management services, diversity seminars and printed resources. 

We continue to honor DIR’s original vision of advancing race relations and improving economic opportunities to foster the positive change and racial reconciliation that are still so sorely needed, but with more vigor.

Throughout the years, DIR has archived its people, progress and celebrations. View this video for a visual history of what we do, who we know and how we continue to impact the supplier diversity industry.