Wesley Bell Prosecuting Attorney for St. Louis (AI 2023)

State of the Black Professional 2024 Saint Louis


THE STATE OF THE BLACK PROFESSIONALS 2024 SAINT LOUIS EVENT will include News Anchor Rene Knot as Keynote Speaker, Community Correspondent Gabrielle Elizabeth as the Host and Vice Provost Kia Caldwell as the Moderator. Watch the promo video on YouTube

Don’t miss out on this transformative event. Join us for the 2024 State of the Black Professional Symposium.

๐Ÿ—“Save the Date: May 31st, 2024
๐Ÿ•’ Time: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
๐Ÿข In-Person: Washington University in St. Louis – Charles F Knight Hall (Emerson Auditorium)
๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Spots are filling up fast!
๐ŸŽซ Register here:

INAUGERAL EVENT SPONSORS: Olin Business School Washington University, iHeartRadio, CISCO African American Partner Community

SPONSORS: Operation Food Search, STLBPA, Majic 104.9, Black Information Network, Hallelujah AM 1600, 100.3 The BEAT, Leaders of Tomorrow STL Chapter.

To: State of the Black Professional Participant
From: National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), St. Louis Chapter
cc: NBMBAA Director of Professional Development
Date: May 1, 2024
Re: State of the Black Professional Event Briefing
Thank you for agreeing to participate. This memo will provide you with details for the event.

The State of the Black Professional is an event created to engage, educate, and enlist the community to improve diversity and inclusion environment to promote more opportunities with entrepreneurship, C-Suite, and key business industries opportunities.

2024 Theme – Disruptor or Disrupted – Game Changers in Industry
In an era marked by shifting paradigms and emergent voices, the narrative of Black professionals as disruptors and game-changers in various industries has gained undeniable momentum. From technology to finance, entertainment to healthcare, these individuals are not just challenging the status quo; they are reshaping it, bringing forth innovation, and driving
inclusive growth. They are disrupting industries not just by breaking barriers but by building bridges, fostering collaboration, and amplifying diverse perspectives. As we celebrate their achievements and explore their journeys, we uncover a tapestry of resilience, creativity, and unwavering determination.

For more than 30 years, the St. Louis Chapter of the National Black MBA Association, Inc. (NBMBAA) has played a crucial role in the development and progression of business professionals in the St. Louis community. As one of the 47 professional chapters located across the United States and Canada, the NBMBAA-St. Louis Chapter offers various professional development programs, community outreach initiatives, and signature events to contribute
significantly to this cause. The chapter has also been able to provide scholarships to local high school seniors and undergraduate and graduate students, thanks to the support received from fundraising initiatives. Additionally, for over 15 years, the Leaders of Tomorrow program has been positively impacting the lives of participating students.

Event Details
Event Date: Friday, May 31, 2024
Event Time: 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Event Location: Emerson Auditorium, Knight Hall, Olin Building

Washington University St. Louis
1 Snow Way Dr, St. Louis, MO 63130

Parking: The Charles F. Knight Center is located on the north side of the Danforth Campus at the intersection of Throop Drive and Snow Way, directly
across from the Millbrook Garage. Knight Hall, which is connected to the
Knight Center, is situated to the left as you approach the Knight Center
from the Millbrook Garage. Bauer Hall is accessible from the Knight Hall
entrance. Parking is free.

Audience: We are expecting 150 to 200 in attendance. Our current Program
partners include Washington University Business School, Cisco,
and iHeart Media St. Louis

Run of Show:
4:00pm-5:00 pm Event Setup
5:00pm-6:00 pm Doors open to the Public
Welcome Network Reception
6:00pm Program begins. Introduction of Host

Host: Gabrielle Hays – PBS, Communities Correspondent
6:00 pm-6:20 pm Welcome – Ken Franklin, President NBMBAA, St. Louis

Opening Remarks: Michael J. Mazzeo – Washington University, Dean
6:20pm- 6:35pm Fireside Leadership Chat – Moderator Ken Franklin, President NBMBAA

Fireside Panelists:
โ— Latonya AnNoor – Walmart (intro video)5
โ— Dr. Kelvyn A. Moore – Alabama A&M University, Professor
โ— Dr. A. Wayne Jones – Full Spectrum Energy Consultants
โ— Carrie Sanders – Strategic Home Healthcare, CEO
6:35pm -6:50pm Keynote Speaker: Rene Knots – KSDK Channel 5, News Anchor

6:50pm to 7:30pm Corporate Panel

Moderator: Kia Caldwell – Washington University, Vice Provost
โ— Jessica Tucker – SWAGGAS, Founder & Software Engineer
โ— Jordyn Norde – St. Louis Black Pharmacists Association, President
โ— Carlton Adams – Operation Food Search, COO

โ— Joshua Peters – Nike, Manager, Social and Community Impact (promo
โ— Ryan Griffin – World Wide Technology
โ— Brandon Williams – Battlehawks
โ— Danielle Martin – National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), President
โ— Andrico Spates – Cisco, Senior Manager Global Partner Sales & Business
โ— Sylvester Chisom – Global CTE Learning

7:00pm – 7:30pm Audience Q&A to Panelists
7:30pm – 7:40pm About Leaders of Tomorrow
7:40pm – 8:00pm Closing
8:00pm – 10:00pm Empowerment Networking Event sponsored by Cisco (food and beverages)

The state of the Black professional, overall, is a complex and multifaceted issue. While there have been significant strides in representation and achievement, Black professionals continue to face unique challenges and disparities in the workplace.

Positive Developments:

  • Increased Representation: There has been a slow but steady increase in the number of Black professionals in various fields, including medicine, law, business, and technology.
  • Visibility of Black Leaders: High-profile Black executives and entrepreneurs serve as role models and inspiration for aspiring Black professionals.
  • Growing Awareness of DEI: Many companies are actively working to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, recognizing the value of a diverse workforce.

Challenges and Disparities:

  • Underrepresentation in Leadership: Black professionals remain underrepresented in senior leadership and executive roles, often facing a “glass ceiling.”
  • Pay Gap: The wage gap between Black and white professionals persists, with Black workers earning less than their white counterparts for similar positions.
  • Microaggressions and Bias: Black professionals may experience subtle forms of discrimination and bias in the workplace, which can affect their career advancement and well-being.
  • Limited Access to Networks: Black professionals may have less access to professional networks and mentorship opportunities, hindering their career growth.

Recent Research and Reports:

  • State of Black America (National Urban League): This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of the economic, social, and political status of Black Americans, including data on employment and income.
  • State of the Black Professional (NBMBAA): This report focuses on the experiences of Black professionals, particularly in the corporate world, highlighting the challenges they face and strategies for success.
  • State of the Black Workforce (OneTen): This report examines the experiences of Black workers across various industries, addressing issues such as wage inequality, career advancement, and workplace culture.

Additional Resources:

  • Professional Associations for Black Professionals: Organizations like the National Black MBA Association and the National Society of Black Engineers offer networking, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: Many companies have dedicated DEI programs that aim to create more inclusive workplaces and support the advancement of Black professionals.

Overall, the state of the Black professional is a dynamic landscape with both progress and ongoing challenges. By acknowledging the disparities and actively working towards solutions, we can create a more equitable and inclusive professional environment for everyone.