Blog

Updates and announcements


Women’s Brunch

On Sunday, June 24th, Black Young Professionals, in partnership with Women of Distinction, hosted Brunch & Blazers, a ladies only event where attendees discussed what it means to be a woman in the workplace. The event was held at Red Dunn Kitchen, which is attached to the Trumbull-Porter hotel, just outside of Corktown in Detroit. We are always excited to reach different audiences by collaborating with other organizations, and Women of Distinction was the perfect partner for this event — brunch and conversation are their bread and butter! Women of Distinction hosts a brunch every month; aiming to provide a positive and empowering space for women to share their goals and learn from others.

The ladies did not disappoint, everyone looked great in their blazers — in hue, after each gorgeous hue! The overarching theme was equity for women in the workplace, while the underlying theme was solidarity. Each attendee was given a green asymmetrical ribbon to wear on their lapels. The asymmetry of the ribbon symbolizes the pay disparities between women and men. According to this Huffington Post article, white women are paid about 20 percent less than men. Sadly, women of color fare worst by a considerable amount. Black women are paid 40 percent less than men, while our Latina sisters are paid 45 percent less. During brunch, we broke out into groups for discussion. Breaking into smaller groups allowed everyone the opportunity to dig deeper and participate.

After the breakout group discussions, we were delighted to have founder of Jackets for Jobs, Ms. Alison Vaughn join us. We all have had or will have moments that will define us. Ms. Vaughn’s moment came when she learned her sister had cancer. The cancer proved to be terminal; her sister succumbed to her illness just six months after announcing to Ms. Vaughn that she was living with the disease. As Ms. Vaughn was dealing with the heartbreak of losing her sister as well as still repairing the wound left by losing her father who passed not too long before her sister, she worked tirelessly to get her sister’s affairs in order and plan her funeral. While making arrangements, she discovered that her sister was a recipient of public assistance. Learning this made her think about the quality of life her sister endured and what opportunities may or may not have been available to her. Ms. Vaughn turned tragedy and adversity into purpose. Her story was a call to action to help other women in similar circumstances.

Jackets for Jobs assists women and men in need of clothing for interviews. Every $50.00 Jackets for Jobs receives in donations, means one suit and a second chance for either a woman or man. Our event registration fee was a donation to Jackets for Jobs, which also has amazing volunteer opportunities. You can interact with jobseekers by helping them pick out clothing and giving them words of encouragement for their interviews.

If you are interested in donating dry-cleaned and ironed mens or womens clothing fit for interviewing to Jackets for Jobs, please click here to learn more.

If you would like to learn more about and/or connect with our event partners, please feel free to click on the links below:

 


Spring General Body Meeting

 

 

On May 15th2018, Black Young Professionals of Detroit held its bi-annual General Body meeting. Our General Body Meetings serve as an integral part of Black Young Professional’s communications to its members. At each meeting we strive to reiterate our “Why”, highlight past events and make members aware of our future plans.

During this meeting we had two guest speakers. Our first guest speaker was Danielle Flint from the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan. The Student Advocacy Center of Michigan provides support to students who may be facing obstacles that are impeding their growth and access to education. The center educates and empowers both student and parent on their students’ right to an education and offers mentoring and support to families to ensure the success of each student. Ms. Flint spoke on the dire and systemic nature of school suspensions and expulsions in Michigan and gave a brief background on what policies may have lead to the current landscape. Please click this link to learn more about the center’s work and learn about ways to get involved. We are proud to partner with Student Advocacy Center of Michigan and are excited for where our partnership may lead in the future.

In commemoration of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, our second guest speaker was, Mr. Napoleon Harrington, Founder of Ambassador Counseling and Resource Group.
Mr. Harrington addressed the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness in the Black community, as well as how we should prioritize taking care of our mental health just as we do our physical health.

The key topic of discussion was communication, primarily workplace communication— understanding how you communicate and how others may

perceive it. Mr. Harrington broke down communication into three parts or “The Three V’s.” The three V’s are: vocal, verbal and visual communication. Meaning, communication is broken down by what you say (verbal), how you say it (vocal) and finally your body language (visual).  Our speaker also explained the importance of taking sick and vacation days to take care of your mental health.

 

As always, our General Body meetings are open to the public, as well as existing and new members. Anyone interested in learning more general information about the organization, but missed this spring meeting, should plan to attend our next one coming in the late fall.


Spring Mix(up)

On May 3, 2018 Black Young Professionals of Detroit hosted a Spring Mixer at the Motor Bar inside of the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Downtown Detroit. This event was a great way to unwind from the workday and mix and mingle with young professionals as well as learn more about the organization and our upcoming events. The Westin graciously hosted Black Young Professionals of Detroit with just over 60 attendees.

 

In the spirit of connecting, we instituted a unique icebreaker. Instead of simply writing a name on a nametag, attendees were identified by the adjective that describes them. This activity served two purposes: first, reaching back into the recesses of your mind to remember what exactly an adjective is and finding a word that truly captures your essence flexes your mental acuity and creativity—who doesn’t want to feel smart when meeting new people? Second, explaining to someone why you are quirky, dope, AWKWARD or fabulous is a great way to start a conversation and find common ground. It is always our intention to make sure that at each event you have expanded your knowledge by learning something new or have expanded your network by meeting someone new and we hope that this activity and event accomplished these goals.

In case you missed any of the announcements, we have a few events coming up in May and June. We would love to see you at our Spring General Body meeting on May 15th so you can learn more about the mission of this organization and get a recap of what we have been up to and what we are planning for the future. Also, May 17th Black Young Professionals of Detroit will enjoy a night of performances by Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians at Orchestra Hall for one of their signature events, Mysterium. Mysterium promises to be a great opportunity to meet other young professionals in the area. Food and drink will be provided within the ticket cost. Lastly, keep your eyes peeled for our summer charity fundraiser with serveral of Detroit’s top Black professional associations.