Focus On Empowerment can be heard every Thursday at 1pm Eastern.
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You’re smart, ambitious and “qualified”... but that’s no longer enough to take you to the top. Fresh from the 35th Annual Conference of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) former NBMBAA Board Chair William Wells, Jr. (Bill) discusses the highlights of the yearly event of nearly 10,000 attendees. With hundreds of top corporations sponsoring the event held recently in Houston, Texas, Bill will give us the inside track and will share key findings that are changing the career dynamics across the United States.
As part of Carole’s new “Kitchen Cabinet Leadership Team,” Bill delivers a healthy dose of reality for listeners who are just starting their careers to emerging leaders to seasoned veterans. He’ll regularly join Focus On Empowerment with new data, surveys and tangible insights pertaining to the world of work for people of color.
About The National Black MBA Association
The genesis of the NBMBAA can be traced back to an historical 1970, two-day conference held at the renowned University of Chicago in which a group of dynamic African-American MBA students, faculty advisors and businessmen, compelled by feelings of social and political unrest, convened to discuss and examine whether to establish a professional organization of Black MBAs. The momentous conference represented some of the most illustrious academic institutions including Harvard, northwestern, University of Southern California, Cornell University, Indiana University, Wayne State, Loyola University and a host of others. In the end, it was determined that a professional organization which celebrated and promoted African-American economic sustenance and empowerment was not only needed buy long overdue, thereby paving the way for the formation of the NBMBAA.
The two-day conference entitled, "Survival of Minority Business Students and Graduates in the Business World" was held April 3-4, in the auditorium of the University of Chicago's Center for Continuing Education (UIC). It was funded by a $10,000 grant from Metropolitan Applied Research Center Foundation (MARC), a subsidiary of the Ford Foundation. The purpose of the conference was to explore avenues for professional advancement and economic empowerment among Black MBAs, exchange ideas and information and determine whether there was a need for an organization that would serve as a nucleus for Black business professionals and MBA candidates. Approximately 34 universities were represented and over 150 minority students, faculty members, a distinguished minority businessmen from across the country were in attendance. There were participants from Howard, Purdue, the Wharton School of Business, Colombia, The University of Rochester, Stanford, Dartmouth, Loyola, Harvard, Cornell University, Berkeley, and a host of other schools. Businesses that were represented included DeValco, Inc. Management Information, Inc., Quaker Oats, Bank One, Chase Manhattan Bank and many more.
Several questions were raised at the conference. Are graduate schools of business geared to the needs and interests of Black students? Where can a Black with an advanced degree go in corporate management? What are his alternatives to corporate employment? These questions remain relevant today. As the conference neared an end, it was unanimously determined that a national organization, which embraced and espoused the economic advancement of Black MBA candidates, professionals and entrepreneurs, was not only needed buy mandatory in order to satisfy and accomplish the diverse tasks which the conferees had designated for themselves and to address the growing needs and objectives of Black professionals. The country was then divided into regions - East, Midwest, and West in order to formulate proposals for the development of the national organization.
On April 2, 1971, nine delegates from across the country returned to the UIC's Center for Continuing Education charged with the responsibility of collaborating and finalizing plans for the national organization. The end result of their collaboration was the genesis for what became the National Black MBA Association, Inc. (NBMBAA or "The Association"), a premier non-profit organization designed to embrace and encourage Black economic empowerment and independence.
Today the NBMBAA is a tour-de-force, non-profit organization that boasts members and corporate partners throughout the United States and abroad. Its novel scholarship program has awarded over $5million to deserving minority students in undergraduate and graduate programs. The NBMBAA has expanded its outreach to include 45 chapters and 27 collegiate chapters.
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.