Montgomery, AL (June 8, 2015) The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. hosted its 29th Annual Conference in Houston, Texas on June 3-7. The theme was “Gateways to Economic Success and Sustainable Wealth”. Thousands gathered from different corners of the country and traveled from overseas to enjoy networking and learning opportunities with some of the nation’s top mentoring experts, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives.
With a focus on economic empowerment, Houston seemed an ideal place to host the conference.
“Houston is the biggest city in the South and Southwest. It has a thriving economy” said Chairman Curley Dossman, Jr. as he was giving the welcoming address at the Opening Ceremony. “Houston is one of the ten best cities for entrepreneurs.”
The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, Congresswoman of the 18th District of Texas, showed her gratitude for the 100 Black Men and their presence in Houston. “We need the 100 more than we ever needed them before” expressed Congresswoman Lee as she touched on criminal justice reform and embracing young men. “We must adopt a legislative agenda to handle criminal justice reform.”
Economic Empowerment Chair Jerrid Douglas gave an overview of the conference theme. He talked about the importance of being career ready and how we need soft skills such as leadership. Douglass also explained how financial literacy skills are needed to build wealth and families.
Rod Paige, U.S. Secretary of Education 2001-2005 was the keynote speaker for the Salute to Youth Luncheon. He elaborated on leadership and how it will help students realize the importance of education. Conveying his passion for students, Paige said “Education must be our most important concern.”
There were different activities and workshops sessions for members, spouses, and youth. Collegiate 100 Members, in particular, had the opportunity to learn about making the transition into a lucrative career. “You’re either networking or not working” said Juanita Hines, owner of Regional Consulting in Fresno, TX. The company specializes in educational and professional empowerment. Hines and a host of panelists shared their experiences with Collegiate 100 members.
Ambassador Andrew Young was the guest speaker for the Chairman’s Luncheon. He talked about economics and how it is an issue that the 100 Black Men must address. Ambassador Young referenced back to the early years of integration. “Even though we were integrated, we weren’t treated fairly economically.”
Several award presentations were given and special guest were in attendance. Some of the guests were Jonathan Slocumb, LaToya Luckett, Evander Holyfield, and Lalah Hathaway.
The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. currently has over 116 chapters worldwide with more than 10,000 members who continue to strive to improve the quality of life in our communities and enhance the educational and economic opportunities for African Americans. 100 Black Men of America, Inc. also has more than 100,000 youth who participate in mentoring and youth development programs.
Next year’s milestone conference will be in Atlanta, Georgia June 15- 19, 2016. For more information visit www.100blackmen.com.