As world leaders met in Chicago May 20-21 for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit, thousands of the demonstrators also converged on the city. They collectively and over the course of four days, caused closures to downtown streets, rallied at Daley Plaza and in Grant Park, marched outside of the mayor’s home on the Northwest Side, and picketed outside the headquarters of at least one major corporation and McCormick Place where the summit was held.
But who were the demonstrators and what was their fuss about? For the most part, they opposed war and what they called corporate greed. According to the signs they carried as they marched through downtown, they want to “seize the banks. End 1 percent’s dictatorship.”
Their chants revealed their often peaceful, yet passionate, opposition to NATO. Though, for some, their taunting of police showed how fearless and raucous they could be. They were of all ages and ethnicities and appeared to be from all walks of life.
Many of the protesters were from out of town. But a number of the anti-NATO protesters were young city dwellers who oppose war and don’t support the work of the allied nations.
As the world leaders met at McCormick Place, April Friendly was outside the venue picketing “because I am part of the 99 percent.” The 35-year-old Hyde Park resident said she was expressing herself as she carried her picket sign.
“NATO world leaders are expressing their agenda (as they meet). I’m not for that,” she said.
Nick Howard didn’t have any disguise and he wasn’t carrying a sign. But the 19-year-old Hyde Park resident and the four friends with him shared the concerns of the thousands of other demonstrators in the streets. He opposes war and, all around, does not support NATO’s work.
The civic-minded teen said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show his disproval.
“I don’t agree with their (NATO leaders) politics and how they deal with things,” Howard said.
In the months leading up to the meeting of the world’s 28 military allied leaders – hosted for the first time in this country in a city outside of Washington, D.C. – the Chicago City Council passed several measures related to the NATO summit. Among the new and revised city ordinances were ones that called for demonstration groups with a certain number of participants to get a permit from the city. Three organizations secured permits. Other demonstrators held their own protests on the tail end of the other ones.
Andy Thayer organized the Coalition Against NATO/G8 (CANG8) demonstration that also included the Iraq Veterans Against the War. CANG8 said his organization “focused on the violence of NATO.” The veterans ceremoniously gave back their service medals May 20 in opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
“We were awarded these medals for serving in the global war on terror, a war based on lies and failed policies,” according to organizers of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Other unpermitted protesters created havoc downtown and made up the nearly 100 NATO-related arrests. Some people traveled from each U.S. coast to Chicago as members of the Occupy Movement and other groups, including Black Bloc which has reputation for violent demonstrations. A Black Bloc member told the Chicago Citizen during the May 20 demonstration at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road that they disguise their faces to protect them from being identified and profiled by police.
The demonstrators opposed NATO but alliance leaders said they were all for the protesters being able to speak out.
“This is part of what NATO defends; free speech and freedom of assembly,” said Obama.
Police were patient and deliberate as they dealt with protesters over the course of four days. They used a full cavalry as part of their policing strategy, with bike patrol, mounted police, officers in riot gear, ranking personnel and canine units out in force. Officers could be seen standing stone-faced as protesters hurled epithets and, in some cases, objects.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy got choked up at press conference during the summit as he talked about the work of his officers.
“If you think it’s easy to ask people to do what they did, it’s not,” the police chief said.
The official start of summer — Memorial Day weekend — was a deadly one in Chicago with 40 shootings that claimed 10 lives. At a press conference Tuesday in Washington Park, following the violent four-day holiday weekend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Supt. Garry McCarthy outlined a plan to combat the gun violence they say is mostly gang related.
The Chicago Police Department will be ramping up its Gang Violence Reduction Strategy. The mayor announced that through coordinated communications, city agencies across the board will be providing information to CPD as part of its policing efforts.
The mayor said the city would work to shut down corner and convenience stores identified as havens for gangs and criminal activity. The mayor called the stores “cancer” to the neighborhood.
McCarthy blamed, in part, a “proliferation of firearms” for the gun violence the city continues to see. He added that police would be working proactively to quash retaliation shootings by warring gangs.
“If we don’t have a method to get out in front of (retaliation shootings) … it’s just going to continue,” the police chief said Tuesday.
McCarthy, who recently marked one year on the job as Chicago’s top cop, said his department’s gang and gun violence reduction strategy also includes the use of some new technology that will put gang information, including rivals and beefs, a few mouse clicks and keystrokes away for beat cops.
McCarthy and one of his deputies walked reporters through a demo of the new Caboodle software CPD is rolling out. The “groundbreaking” and interactive database of fingertip-pertinent information on known gang members, drug dealers, and their associates allows police to quickly call up mug shots, arrest information, outstanding warrants and other data. Police would then be able to move quickly to try to diffuse or intercept payback attacks.
The violence stretched into Tuesday morning where a teen on the North Side was shot in the face while eating pizza with his sister. He died at the hospital shortly after being shot.
By Rhonda Gillespie
Dee Alexander is one of Chicago’s most gifted and respected female vocalist/songwriters. Her talents span every music genre, from Gospel to R&B, from Blues to Neo-Soul. Yet her true heart and soul are experienced in their purest form through her performance of Jazz music. From a soft, sultry traditional ballad, to a contemporary Jazz-Funk groove; from a high flying swing, to a scat-filled romp, Dee Alexander delivers each style with a passion and love of music that comes across in each and every note, and with a style and grace that is truly her own.
Date: May 30, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Contact: (773) 752-3955
World Music Wednesdays: Chicago Afro-Puerto Rican Ensemble
In 2011, SRBCC began the avant-garde and innovative project CAPRE — Chicago’s first Afro-Puerto Rican Orchestra. There are very few Bomba and Plena orchestras in Puerto Rico and abroad and most of them have fused these genres with the Salsa sound and orchestration and other Latin-American rhythms. Be ready for the true evolution of Bomba and Plena using familiar elements of genres like jazz, blues, rock, gospel, West African, and more, while the ancestral rhythms and songs of the island stand strong as the driving force of this new and historically innovative Boricua musical concept.
Date: May 30, 2012
Time: 8:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Contact: (773) 728-6000
The church is a place of faith and refuge, salvation and hope, support and nurturing. The religion oils the machine, but it’s the people—the Reverend, his wife, the deacons and the sisters–who makes sure that it runs. But, the New Light Missionary Baptist Church with church heads the Rev. Joseph Black and his wife Corena Black are different. When it comes to dealing with family, well it’s a bit more complicated. The reverend’s brother Calvin has encountered a few troubles. Ten Years ago his marriage ended abruptly leaving him to raise his young daughter alone. As questions of his sexuality begin to surface, Rev. Joseph thinks the answer is for his brother to marry a woman from the church, but Corena, begins to think there are other questions to be asked and she finds herself confronting the lengths she’ll go to maintain her niece’s well-being.
Date: May 31, 2012
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
In the Continuum
Named by The New York Times as one of the top ten plays of 2005, In The Continuum follows the lives of Abigail and Nia, one from South Central LA and the other from Harare, Zimbabwe, as each one learns that they have contracted HIV. As the story unfolds, these two women take parallel and darkly comic journeys as they confront family and friends with their tragic news, learning to navigate the new course set before them.
Date: May 31, 2012
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Location: Pegasus Players, 4520 N. Beacon, Chicago
The Tipping Point of Me and We
The Tipping Point of Me and We, the latest call-and-response exhibition from the Contemporary Arts Council, brings together seasoned and ascending artists and writers then asks them to speak to what they are seeing, living and experiencing in the tumultuous moments of the present human experience. Featurnig the Work of: Michael Dinges, EJ Hill, Honey Pot Performance, Peter Kepha, Nicolas Lampert & Paul Kjelland, Kenrick Mcfarlane, Mark Moleski, Sarah Ross, South Side Projections, and Jabari Zuberi. The Words Of: Allison Glenn, Joseph D. Jordan, Patrick Lichty, Jennifer Patiño, and Rebecca Zorach.
Date: June 1, 2012
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Contact: (773) 285-1211
Hyde Park Community Art Fair
The Hyde Park Community Art Fair (CAF) is an annual arts and crafts fair that runs concurrently with the 57th Street Art Fair. CAF is part of the City of Chicago’s Neighborhood Festival Progam and is an integral part of the Harper Court Arts Council.
Date: SJune 2, 2012
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Bixler Park, E 57th St & S Kenwood Ave., Chicago
Members of the Chatham Business Association (CBA) received a wealth of information on Thursday afternoon from Esther H. Vassar, U.S. Small Business Administration National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator of Regulatory Enforcement Fairness.
The Office of the National Ombudsman assists small businesses when they experience excessive or unfair federal regulatory enforcement actions, such as repetitive audits or excessive fines and other unfair actions by a federal agency. Established in 1996 with the passage of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, the National Ombudsman’s office collaborates with 10 regional fairness boards, served by 50 small business owners from across the country.
Vassar was appointed National Ombudsman in August 2009. In her former roles as director of a state regulatory agency and Virginia’s Department of Minority Business Enterprise and her prominent roles working with businesses and community organizations, Vassar brings first hand experiences that enhance the communication and relationships between small businesses and federal regulatory agencies.
Vassar was in Chicago as part of her on-going journey around the country speaking with community stakeholders and entrepreneurs.
The roundtable discussion was held at the QBG Foundation building located at 806 E. 78th Street.
“An ombudsman serves as kind of a liaison between two points,” Vassar said during the meeting. “It also offers a service too, in this case small businesses and it has an element of community service. I managed throughout my life to work in community service throughout every job I occupied.”
The national ombudsman is familiar with the challenges small business owners face; she owned two small businesses over the course of a decade.
Vassar encouraged business owners to write down their concerns on a comment form so that she can find solutions to their questions and issues. The comment form is also located online at www.sba.gov/ombudsman.
Vassar is passionate about her job and wants small business owners to know that she is working on their behalf. In order to be accessible to the many entrepreneurs she meets, Vassar takes one of her assistants with her as she travels the country; not only to take notes but she also wants them to meet the business owners face to face.
“I look at my staff and say you all are the people who really handle the problems as they come in,” Vassar said. “In order to develop sensitivity to these problems I’m going to take one person from the staff with me everywhere I go.”
Vassar said her first year on the job she traveled alone but quickly found out she wasn’t able to engage with entrepreneurs and take notes at the same time.
“It’s very difficult to talk and take notes,” she said. “It’s almost impossible. So I said no matter what, I’m going to make the budget work. So one person accompanies me everywhere I go. Not only for them to take notes but for them to see you. And they go back with a different sense of their job.”
Melinda Kelly, executive director of the CBA moderated the forum and thanked Vassar sharing the useful and vital advice with the CBA Membership.
William Garth, CEO of the Chicago Citizen Newspaper Group and chairman of the CBA also thanked Vassar for meeting with local business owners.
“I just want to thank you for coming out and explaining to us how to deal with the governmental side of business.”
Coincidently, May 20-26 is National Small Business Week for more information visit www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com.
By Thelma Sardin
Chatham Business Association (CBA) and Black Contractors United hosted Suburban Minority Contractors Association’s (SMCA) monthly meeting on Thursday morning at the QBG Foundation.
Earlier this month, at CBA’s monthly meeting, Rev. Larry S. Bullock, SMCA’s president/CEO announced a “strategic alliance” with the CBA.
Thursday’s meeting at the QBG Foundation was the first of many projects for the two organizations.
Bullock told the Chicago Citizen at the CBA meeting that the new partnership will allow both organizations to have “open communication and dialogue” so they can monitor opportunities together.
“We decided that we would have a strategic alliance,” Bullock said Thursday speaking of Kelly and the new alliance CBA and SMCA has formed. “She (Kelly) has a strategy, we have a strategy and some of our partners here today have strategies. At some point all of those strategies have to intersect and so I thank her.”
Kelly echoed Bullock’s remarks and reminded the business owners that cooperation is key, especially when economic development is involved.
“With these partnerships and alliances we’ve got to work together,” Kelly said. “We’ve got to be strategic. This city is going to develop economically the question is will we be ready to participate. We don’t want it to be that it’s done and we look around and had nothing to do with it.”
Ulice Payne, Jr., president/CEO of Sasafrasnet, LLC, one of many keynote speakers at the meeting discussed how his company is changing the oil industry.
Sasafrasnet is the only African American distributor for BP and Exxon Mobil in the United States.
The company is a licensed, world-class wholesaler distributor of petroleum products for the business industry and transportation sectors.
John Donato, chief procurement officer for the Illinois Tollway from the Illinois Tollway was also present at the meeting and discussed minority procurement opportunities.
“I want everyone in this room business to grow and prosper,” said Donato. “This is the key to success. If you don’t know how to use solicitation and opportunities you’re never going to win.”
Donato directed the business owners to the Illinois Procurement Bulletin www.purchase.state.il.us to sign up for automated emails regarding Tollway solicitation announcement.
“We’re not getting that many bids and we’re trying to do as much outreach as possible to get some competition and make sure we’re getting fair prices.”
By Thelma Sardin
The hearts of music fans are heavy following the death of Donna Summer, the “Queen of Disco.”
Summer died in Naples, Fla. after losing a battle with lung cancer. She was 63.
The singer’s family issued a statement saying they “are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.”
Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, December 31, 1948 in Boston, Summer grew up singing in her church choir. She became the choir’s soloist at age 10.
“There was no question I would be a singer, I just always knew. I had credit in my neighborhood, people would lend me money and tell me to pay it back when I got famous,” Summer said in a 1989 interview with The Associated Press.
“Love to Love You” was Summer’s U.S. chart debut and the first of 19 No. 1 dance hits between 1975 and 2008 second only to Madonna.
The song is laced with sensual lyrics and a bluesy composition and Summer was afraid it was too edgy for her to sing—especially with her religious upbringing.
Although she was uneasy, the song proved to be a strong debut for the budding talent.
Released in 1975, a breakthrough hit for Summer and for disco, it was a legend of studio ecstasy and the genre’s ultimate sexual anthem. Summer came up with the idea of the song and first recorded it as a demo in 1975, on the condition that another singer perform it commercially. But Casablanca Records president Neil Bogart liked the track so much that he suggested to producer Giorgio Morodor they re-record it, and make it longer what would come to be known as a “disco disc.”
Summer had reservations about the lyrics “Do it to me again and again” but imagined herself as a movie star playing a part as if she were Marilyn Monroe. So she agreed to sing, lying down on the studio floor, in darkness, and letting her imagination take over.
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Summer was an idol.
The song was later sampled by several artist including Beyonce who interpolated the hit for her jam “Naughty Girl.”
Beyonce penned an open letter to Summer on her website thanking the disco legend for her music and talent.
“Donna Summer made music that moved me both emotionally and physically to get up and dance,” Beyonce wrote. “You could always hear the deep passion in her voice. She was so much more than the queen of disco she became known for, she was an honest and gifted singer with flawless vocal talent. I’ve always been a huge fan and was honored to sample one of her songs. She touched many generations and will be so sadly missed.”
Yolanda Bailey, a resident of Chicago’s South Side recently recalled her favorite Donna Summer tune.
“ ‘She Works Hard for the Money’ was the single woman’s anthem,” Bailey told the Chicago Citizen. “Rest in Peace Donna Summer, for you have brought so much joy in the lives of others!”
President Barack Obama said that he and First Lady Michelle Obama are both fans of Summer. He said she was “truly the ‘Queen of Disco’.”
“Her voice was unforgettable, and the music industry has lost a legend far too soon,” Obama said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Donna’s family and her dedicated fans.”
Religion played an important role in Summer’s later life, said Michael Levine, who briefly worked as her publicist.
“Her passion in her life, besides music, was God, spirituality and religion. She held a bible study class at her home every week,” he said.
Summer released her last album, “Crayons,” in 2008. It was her first full studio album in 17 years. She also performed on “American Idol” that year with its top female contestants.
Summer is survived by her husband, Bruce Sudano, and three daughters, Brooklyn, Mimi and Amanda. A private funeral has been planned and there is not any immediate information on when or where the service will be held.
By Thelma Sardin
The Associated Press Contributed to this report.
Last year, a U.S. Appeals Court ruled in favor of Black Chicago Fire Department (CFD) applicants who said the way the CFD used application test results was discriminatory. As a result, the court ruled that the city had to hire 111 Black firefighters and pay damages to at least 6,000 other applicants who were denied employment following a 1995 exam.
Earlier this month, a group of Black firefighter trainees were out for a morning run through the South Loop. They are among the group of newly hired firemen, as a result of the lawsuit.
The 1995 application included a firefighting aptitude test. A score of 64 or better was required to qualify to be a fireman. But the city chose to hire applicants who scored an 89 or better on the test. The court ruled that the city’s choice was discriminatory because there was no evidence that an applicant who scored an 89 or higher would be a better fireman than an applicant who scored between 64 and 88.
Not only were the applicants who scored between 64 and 88 hired to be firemen, the city had to adjust their pensions as if they had been with the CFD for the last 16 years.
By Rhonda Gillespie
Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) has sponsored a measure to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
House Bill 4453 requires the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) to develop a procedure for notifying people who have had contact with an inmate who has been diagnosed with an STD, according to a news release.
“It’s an unfortunate truth that people who are sent to prison are more than twice as likely as the general populace to have a sexually transmitted disease,” Lightford said. “The Department of Public Health already has the authority to test and treat inmates for STDs, but we don’t have a plan in place for notifying the people they may have infected. That needs to change.”
HB 4453 calls for the IDPH and the IDOC to find a way to notify the public and other prisoners who may have had contact with an inmate diagnosed with an STD. Moreover, the agencies are required to inform the inmate and their sexual partners about testing, treatment, and counseling without disclosing the infected person’s identity, the release stated.
“Even though these people are in prison, they still have the right to privacy,” Lightford said. “Having an STD is a very private thing that many people find embarrassing. However, when STDs go untreated, they can have serious consequences. We need to make sure we don’t put personal privacy ahead of public safety.”
In a statement to the Chicago Citizen, Dr. Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, IDPH Director is confident both the IDPH and IDOC can work together to inform partners of inmates diagnosed with STDs.
“There is a fine line when it comes to maintaining confidentiality, while still providing notification to someone who may have become infected with a sexually transmitted disease,” Hasbrouck said. “In a prison population with a higher infection rate for STDs, it is important we take action to try to stop the spread of disease, both inside and outside the prison system. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Department of Corrections can work together to develop a process to identify and confidentially inform sexual partners of inmates infected with STDs.”
Stacey Solano, IDOC spokeswoman said the department will continue to work with the IDPH to notify partners and maintain confidentiality.
“The health, safety and security of inmates is of upmost importance and always the Department of Corrections’ top priority,” Solano said. “The department will continue to work with the Illinois Department of Public Health, as it does currently, to ensure that proper notifications are made when an inmate tests positive for an STD while at the same time taking the appropriate measures to protect confidentiality. IDOC strives to ensure that proper treatment and education are received by those in its custody.”
Sen. Lightford told the Chicago Citizen she decided to champion the measure because government should take an active role in promoting good health.
“Most STDs are highly treatable, but can have extremely negative consequences if they go undiagnosed,” Lightford said. “The state already tests inmates for these diseases, and I think we have an obligation to find a way to inform the people they may have been infected.”
The senator also said she believes the IDPH and IDOC will work together to inform partners of inmates diagnosed with STDs.
“I have faith that these two state agencies will work together to find a solution,” she said. “The reason we left it up to the agencies to come up with a plan is that they have a great deal of experience working with sensitive situations like informing someone that they may have contracted an STD from contact with an inmate.”
HB 4453 has passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and now awaits the governor’s signature.
Lightford is confident Gov. Pat Quinn will sign the legislation.
“I believe the governor supports protecting public health and that the privacy rules in the legislation should address any concerns he might have,” the senator said.
By Thelma Sardin
Until a recent school project, 15-year-old Rod Hodge had no idea what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was.
Hodge and several other students at South Shore International High School (SSIHS) participated in a six-weeklong project that brought college professors, a journalist and several other guest speakers to the school to teach the students about NATO’s historical role in the world.
So now the 15-year-old freshman not only knows that NATO is a more than six-decades-old alliance of 28 nations, through research and study he explored what he would do as an economist if France – a NATO country – were struck by a weapon of mass destruction.
The students put what they learned about NATO countries on display during a Youth Summit held at the school on May 16. In addition to local elected officials and civic leaders, including Aldermen Michelle Harris (8th), Leslie Hairston (5th), Sandi Jackson (7th), State Sen. Mattie Hunter and Rev. Willie T. Barrow, the event brought international leaders to the brand new school in the South Shore neighborhood. Consuls from Canada, Germany, France and Italy were in attendance.
The summit was also an opportunity for SSIHS Principal Beryl Shingles to show off her new $94 million school building. Through the efforts, in part, of a community-based planning community, SSIHS opened its doors starting this school year and currently has only freshmen.
At the youth summit, leaders talked about the importance of introducing the students to global issues, which they said often have a local impact.
“I studied in France,” Hairston said at the summit. “It changed my perception of the world.”
A principle on the planning committee also spoke of the school having an international impact on the students.
“Our goal is to help our new school build the capacity it needs to launch a robust, world class, sustainable international program for our children,” said Henry English, the planning committee president. “Our intention is to build upon the NATO event to create an ongoing dialogue with national consulates to build a cooperative relationship between students, educators and administrators among participating countries.”
Hodge made his own discovery about France, finding through the school project that the European nation was quite sophisticated and would more than likely be able to detect a dirty attack, lessening any financial impact to the country.
“It was very exciting. It was very information-filled,” he said about doing the research for the project.
He was able to tell the French consul all about it.
Jamese Kane took on the role of a scientist as she researched how an arsenic-filled bomb would impact the French. She learned what antidote she would need to treat people affected by the bomb and how long she had to get the treatment to them.
“As a scientist you have to know exactly what you’re doing because one mistake could mess everything up,” the 15-year-old said.
Like her partner in this project, Kane had never heard of NATO either.
Chicago was the first U.S. city outside of Washington, D.C. to host the NATO summit. The annual meeting of military allied countries deals with matters of world defense and security. NATO oppositionists accuse the alliance organization of being a warmonger. NATO considers itself vital to world security, even as it works to redefine itself in the new millennium.
The NATO summit ran May 20-21 at McCormick Place.
“Often times we talk about the globalization of America and the globalization of the job market. What’s happening here today with our children … is an example of that globalization,” said Ald. Jackson.
By Rhonda Gillespie
CHICAGO — BLACK ENTERPRISE will kick off its 2012 Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo today at the Chicago Hilton located 720 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago with a powerhouse line-up of some of the nation’s most accomplished and celebrated entrepreneurs, including ABC’s Shark Tank co-star Daymond John.
The three-day power conference, which brings together more than 1,200 of the country’s leading entrepreneurs and corporate executives, is designed to provide attendees with the newest and most innovative strategies from today’s top business minds.
Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson, founder and Executive Director of BE SOMEONE will bring his A Game to the conference as well as his very large chess board and pieces. Participants and attendees will be able to challenge him to a friendly game of chess and see why his work has been featured nationally. Orrin’s message is “brains before bullets; think it out, don’t shoot it out; push pawns not drugs.”
BE SOMEONE is an Atlanta-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that focuses on helping youth, particularly at-risk youth, in the community discover their potential and learn the skills necessary to win in any situation. Since BE SOMEONE opened more than a decade ago, thousands of children have proven to themselves and others that they can achieve anything they set their minds to by learning the game of chess.
As a former state trooper Hudson believes prevention is better than detention so he is taking a proactive approach to teaching teens. He states, “Every move you make has a consequence just like in the game of chess. You can make one move in life and never recover, so think things through because one move could cause you the game!”
Daymond John, founder and CEO of the urban clothing line FUBU and CEO of Shark Branding, will help kick-off the opening event, “Equity Date With An Angel,” during which attendees will gain insights into how to position their business and craft their pitch to secure capital from angel investors. Select participants of the session will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a private investor during business coaching sessions held throughout the conference.
Other confirmed speakers include:
Tavis Smiley, President & CEO, The Smiley Group Inc.
- Michael Baisden, Author, Activist & Host of The Michael Baisden Show
- Sree Sreenivasan, Journalism Educator at Columbia University
- Kim Coles, Comedian & TV Personality
- Chris Genteel, Business Development Manager, Global Diversity Program, Google, Inc.
The 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference hosted boasts high-powered sessions on critical industry topics such as international business, finding angel investors, social media marketing, the art of creative partnerships, and more.
For the aspiring entrepreneur, The Small Business Success(TM) Bootcamp will offer a step-by-step approach to kick-starting a new enterprise. Plus, the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition will award $10,000 for the best new business idea and the Teenpreneur program will teach business fundamentals to youths, ages 13-17.
For additional information on the BLACK ENTERPRISE conference, call l 800-209-7229. For additional information on BE SOMEONE, contact Orrin Checkmate Hudson at 678-526-0292or visit their website at http://www.besomeone.org.