Black Enterprise, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund join forces to uplift the community economically through the 18th Annual Wall Street Project (WSP) Economic Summit. Taking place Tuesday January, 13 through Thursday January 15, 2015, at the Sheraton, New York Times Square Hotel, the event works to ensure equality for women, business owners of color, and those who work for them. Black Enterprise will present “The 40 Best Companies for Diversity” during the opening day’s joint Wall Street Project/Black Enterprise luncheon. “While many strides have been made in America,” says Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and organizer of the Wall Street Project, “the leadership and workforce of too many corporations still don’t look like America or reflect the population and consumers they rely on for success.”
2015’s theme, “Where Wall Street, Main Street & Silicon Valley Converge” updates the vision of the summit established in 1997 on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Pushing King’s dream of combining justice and economics, the yearly conference teaches and engages conversation through esteemed lists of moderators and panelists speaking on everything from technology and faith to hip hop and strategic corporate partnerships. Some of those confirmed for 2015 include Black Enterprise’s President & CEO, Earl G. (Butch) Graves, Jr., moderating “The Role of Corporate Boards When Driving Diversity.” Newark, NJ Mayor Ras Baraka is featured on the panel, “Investing in Communities.” While a panel titled, “The Business of Hip Hop,” features rappers Rakim Allah, Rah Digga, Rick Ross, and Erick Sermon.
To further the goal of corporate diversity in all industries, WSP works to report on inroads people of color have made in business. Earlier this year, WSP published its first study titled, “Minority Inclusion in Debt Capital Markets: A Ranking of Corporate Issuers.” The upcoming conference will unveil the second study on the utilization of minority asset managers by corporations and foundations.
Working to bring more awareness and understanding to the issue, WSP plans a series of teleconferences with its founder Jesse Jackson to clearly explain and spread plans for 2015’s summit. This teleconference includes a multitude of entrepreneurial heavyweights like Graves, Baraka, Chief Executive Officer and President, Radio One, Inc./TV One, LLC, Alfred C. Liggins; Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, and even hip hop royalty Rakim Allah and Erick Sermon.