Activation & Exposure
As part of our Black History Month activities, we held our first ever Black Agenda panel discussion on February 19th, 2020 at the University of Detroit Mercy.
It is even more important this year, being the presidential election year following years of Black millennial awakening around our socio-economic status, that we have candid conversations about our community. This event served as a forum where young, local activists and political aides were able to field questions from their young professional contemporaries on what we can do now.
The panel included:
New Era Detroit
- Branden Snyder
- Kortni Malone
Michigan for Elizabeth Warren
- Jarod Page
Lasting for nearly two hours, the panelists accepted questions from both the audience and our moderator, Kevin Jackon, Director for Black Young Professionals of Metro Detroit. They were asked questions pertaining specifically to the current state of affairs in Detroit, as well as national Black issues. Topics were selected by Black Young Professionals’ planning team and included the following:
- Top 3 issues for Detroit’s Black population right now
- Economic inclusion for Black businesses and community members
- The connection between insurance rates and politics
- Black household wealth under Obama versus under Trump
- Criminal justice system disparities
- Unity within the Black community
- The electoral college and how to find the motivation to still vote
- Local hands-on opportunities to get involved, and recommendations to make an impact
Each of the panelists represented different strategies but discovered they have the same end-game: Enable the economic independence of the Black community. The three major strategies discussed included:
- Grass-roots work to support the immediate needs of our communities,
- Political work within campaigns to promote allies as candidates and create policy which addresses our community specifically,
- And organizing direct action to lobby existing politicians
The overriding intention of this event was to expose young professionals to different ways they could be more engaged in the uplift of our community and to know what those uplift priorities are. Although we are not a political organization and our hosting of this event or these panelists is neither an endorsement nor an association, we as Black Young Professionals in 2020 are now at the forefront of making progress for our community. Therefore this event was held to active and expose potential leaders.
We will continue to hold other activation and exposure activities this year and into the future.
If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to reach out to us.