The Black Alumni Alliance held its first Economic Development Symposium on Sept. 26.
The symposium focused on healthy living habits, entrepreneurial skills and wealth management for the African American community. The program consisted of three workshops and a panel discussion with featured guest speakers E. Steven Collins, director of urban marketing and external relations for Radio One Philadelphia and Kenny Gamble, chairman of Philadelphia International Records.
“This symposium will focus on ways that the alumni, and by extension the African American community, can better themselves economically through better healthcare, education and a more thorough knowledge of how the economy works,” said Rich Laster, chair of the economic development committee.
“The knowledge of the African-American community has been disenfranchised in terms of not having been given a chance,” said Rashad Waleed, vice chair of the committee. “This program gives more access to resources that aren’t in the community.”
There was a large turn out for the symposium, and the attendees were very positive about their experience.
“Overall I thought the program, having been the first time, was great. It was very well organized, the speakers were very informative and experienced, and they knew what to say,” Ortandia Shepard said.
“I feel that the program not only has to do with race, but also has to do with today’s sinking economy,” Uche Anusionwu said.
“We planned this program with the economy in mind because the middle class was hurting,” Waleed said. “This informs people the right way and gives them options on what they can do.”
Emily Tenenbaum can be reached at email@example.com.