David, prominent attorney and advocate for social and economic justice, will lead significant expansion of Forum's footprint, strategy, and programming
NEW YORK, June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Global Black Economic Forum, the world's first platform committed to redefining economic and social justice around the globe for the Black Diaspora, announced that Alphonso David will serve as President and CEO, launching a robust and ambitious strategy for expansion to serve and advocate on behalf of the economic needs of the Black community.
The Global Black Economic Forum engages business executives, policy makers, entrepreneurs, activists and consumers globally on thought leadership; corporate and entrepreneurial career development; and advancing social and economic justice for marginalized communities. Historically focused on hosting major conferences that bring together leaders across sectors to address key challenges, the Forum will expand its structure to include a global academy and technology platform to empower Black people globally, as well as launch foundation work to formulate, evaluate, and advocate on issues of social and economic justice.
"We began this journey with one sole mission — to build economic opportunity for the Black Diaspora and ensure that economic inclusion is a human right," said Richelieu Dennis, Founder and Chairman of the Global Black Economic Forum. "Without economic opportunity, no person can achieve their full potential, and no society can achieve justice."
Alphonso David, President & CEO of the Global Black Economic Forum said, "I am inspired by this opportunity to apply my life's work fighting for civil rights and inclusion to the enormous opportunity of crossing borders, breaking down barriers, and helping more people throughout the world seize opportunities and pursue their dreams. It's time we finally cast aside the shackles that hold our communities back. This is our moment. And in seizing this moment, I am looking forward to leveraging the community reach and scale of the Essence Ventures platform and I am excited to partner with Caroline Wanga, President and CEO of Essence Ventures."
The Global Black Economic Forum was founded by global entrepreneur, investor, and social commerce innovator Richelieu Dennis, who has had a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation that traces back to his family's roots in Liberia, West Africa. Dennis is well known for founding the Sundial Family of companies and building it into a billion dollar enterprise after which he acquired the legendary ESSENCE brand. Dennis currently serves as chairman for a suite of companies and is driven by a mission to lift up underserved communities by advancing the philosophy of economic inclusion as a human right.
Alphonso David brings more than two decades of experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, working to advance the rights of marginalized communities through policy, legislation, litigation and advocacy. David has a history of breaking down barriers, building systems, and transforming institutions throughout his multifaceted career. As a business leader, he was instrumental in creating one of the most sought-after addiction treatment centers in the country. In public service, David helped to transform broken systems that impeded the lives of the most vulnerable, including restructuring the workers' compensation and unemployment insurance systems in the State of New York to reduce inefficiencies and deficits that had plagued these vital social safety nets for decades. As a non-profit leader, he created and expanded groundbreaking programs for marginalized communities, including an impact litigation program to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people and an HIV & Health Equity Program to address the disproportionately high rates of HIV among black and brown communities throughout the nation. David is a trailblazer who has committed his life to actualizing a more just and equitable world.
The Global Black Economic Forum has held conferences with a diverse group of world leaders and executives that include: President of Ghana Nana Akufo Addo, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, CEO of SquareSpace Inc. and co-founder and former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, President and CEO of TIAA and former CEO of Chase Consumer Banking at JP Morgan Chase Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Walmart Doug McMillon and Bishop and Author T.D. Jakes.
The Forum will continue to host global and regional conferences — from Accra, Ghana to New Orleans, Louisiana— tailored to advance equity for the Black community and other marginalized groups. As a space to convene and unite heads of state, world leaders, business executives, policy makers, advocates and activists, the Forum curates an insightful mix of interactive panels, dynamic speakers, and immediate calls to action to advance equity for the Black community globally.
Now, the Global Black Economic Forum will expand its reach and impact with new leadership, structure and programming. In addition to its conferences, the Forum will also create a global academy and multi-prong technology platform to empower Black people and other historically underserved communities to build new and sustainable capabilities for leadership and success across industries and transform how institutions address and are held accountable on issues of equity and equality. Further, the Forum — through a partnership with New Voices Foundation — will formulate, evaluate and advocate on social and economic justice policy issues affecting Black and Brown communities and other marginalized groups. The Forum's foundation work will be focused on breaking down systemic and oppressive systems that have been created and sustained to discriminate against and further oppress marginalized communities.
In continuation of its mission to convene and unite heads of state, world leaders, business executives, policy makers, advocates and activists on issues affecting the Black Diaspora, the Forum is collaborating with its strategic and production partner MVD Inc. and it's owners Massah David and Miatta Johnson to host a conference at the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans, Louisiana which attracts more than 500,000 people. At the Festival, Vice President of the United States Kamala V. Harris will speak on Saturday, July 2 from the "power stage" in the Convention Center. Also, members of the Biden-Harris Administration including Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation; Michael Regan, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Shalanda Young, Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and Mitch Landrieu, Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator and Former New Orleans Mayor and Lt. Gov of Louisiana, will be speaking on Friday, July 1 about the administration's efforts on equity.
Further, on Thursday July 30 at the Festival, the Forum is hosting a conference addressing a range of issues including building culture in your organization, corporations and civil rights, case studies on black cities and communities and how we evaluate the impact of public & private partnerships, sustainability and scalability of the moment globally and the state of black media. Participants for the conference include Zain Asher (CNN anchor), Thusanda Brown Duckett (President & CEO of TIAA), Caroline Wanga (President & CEO of Essence Ventures), Trudy Bourgeois (Founder of the Center for Workforce Excellence), Deon Haywood (Executive Director of Women with a Vision), Derrick Johnson (President & CEO of NAACP), Marc Morial (President of the National Urban League), Akwasi Agyeman (CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority), Mayor LaToya Cantrell (Mayor of New Orleans), Troy Dennis (Senior Vice President, Head of Product, Fintech, Financial Inclusion & ESG for North America at Mastercard), Melissa Bradley (Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures), Samantha Tweedy (President of the Black Economic Alliance Foundation), Debra Langford (JP Morgan, Head of Black Wealth Initiatives), Mike Hyter (President & CEO of the Executive Leadership Council), Kirk McDonald (CEO of GroupM North America), Cynthia M. Jenkins (Head of Supplier Diversity at GroupM), Gonzalo del Fa (President GroupM MultiCultural) and Ryan Robertson (Senior Vice President for Marketing for Group Black).
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