HUSTLE Winston-Salem Releases its Black History Think Tank “2019 Black Highlight” focusing on Winston-Salem’s Black Entrepreneurial Experience- A Tale of the Twin City
Winston-Salem, NC- June 26, 2019, Hustle Winston-Salem (Hustle WS) releases its Black History Think Tank overview, the 2019 Black Highlight- A Tale of the Twin City, an interactive guide giving prominence to the black entrepreneurial experience while outlining: 7 key focus areas for a Black Policy Agenda; recommendations for black leadership and the community; and HUSTLE’s recommendation addressing a variety of inequities facing minority business owners including the loophole that defines ‘female’ in the Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program.
During the Think Tank session held on February 21, 2019, Kellie P. Easton, Board Vice Chair of HUSTLE WS, President of the Young Adult Committee of the Winston-Salem Chapter of NAACP, and Cofounder and COO of the Easton Reid Group, facilitated a challenging discussion about the black entrepreneurial experience in a city listed among the nation’s best places for businesses and careers in Forbes Magazine, while also being ranked by Brookings Institution as 2476th out of 2478 counties in terms of income mobility for children of working class parents.
The 2019 Black Highlight paints a compelling story of the history and state of the black community in relation to politics, entrepreneurship, education and the arts. A section titled, The (Black) Innovation Quarter, links readers to a news clipping of a panel discussion featuring Michael Suggs, President of the Goler Community Development Corporation, about what was once the thriving heart of the black community along Depot Street. Visitors will also find data from local research, including the Black Philanthropy Initiative’s report, “Rethinking Philanthropy: An Exploration of Black Communities in Forsyth County”, along with citations from organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that warns of the impact of an uneducated workforce.
Embedded with storytelling videos, and punctuated with quotes from black thought-leaders like Malcolm X, the 2019 Black Highlight is a carefully curated compilation that gives insight to Winston-Salem’s economic development and political struggle utilizing news clippings, statistics, resources and even a nod to longtime Council Member Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Burke for her work centered on economic development that aided minorities and the black community. The section, Celebrating Black-In-Business, spotlights the diversity of black entrepreneurship that graces the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and serves as a micro business directory leading visitors to the Triad Minority Business Connector, a project spearheaded by the leadership of the Triad Women and Minority Expo in partnership with the Easton Reid Group (who prepared the report).
One of the objectives of the guide is to invoke a spirit of pride among black entrepreneurs while also providing resources to empower the community to take action that will cultivate a more inclusive economy. This objective supports HUSTLE’s mission to help grow the local economy by accelerating underrepresented entrepreneurs, with a focus on women, people of color and marginalized business districts.
“We owe it to ourselves as a community to move past lip service when it comes to being inclusive” states Kellie P. Easton, Principal Owner of Easton Reid. “… policymakers and community leaders must ensure equitable access to resources and programs if we are going to cultivate an economy that is inclusive of all” adds Magalie Yacinthe, Board Chair of HUSTLE WS and Owner of YES Event Strategy and SO-IN Forsyth.
HUSTLE Board members Lea Metz, HUSTLE WS Board Treasurer and an Independent Nonprofit Consultant and Allan Younger, Director of the Small Business Center at Forsyth Technical Community College have not only been vocal about the need for an inclusive economy, but in the words of Allan Younger, “As a board we are passionate about being the change required for both the health and wealth of our collective community.”
The HUSTLE Winston-Salem 2019 Black Highlight- A Tale of the Twin City can be found here:
HUSTLE WS will host a Hispanic Think Tank during the 4th quarter of 2019.
February 21, 2019 HUSTLE Think Tank Panelists:
LaTasha Barr– Owner of Cam’s Coffee
Eric Green– Founder of OpinShop, a local Geo-Marketplace for Small Businesses
Tiesha Hinton– Asst. Director of the City of Winston-Salem’s Office of Business Inclusion and Advancement
Nadiyah Quander–Project Manager for the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and former owner of O Baby Organics
Dana Suggs–Owner of Body and Soul, a downtown retailer specializing in cultural gifts
HUSTLE Winston-Salem originally launched as a prototype of the Inclusive Entrepreneurship cluster, a part of the EmcArts Community Innovation Lab convened by the Kenan Institute for the Arts, the Winston-Salem Foundation, and the Arts Council of WS/FC. At the end of the lab, it was determined by cluster participants that, due to the tremendous response from the community and a continuing need, the work of HUSTLE Winston-Salem should and would continue. In the spirit of its roots, the organization exists for a diverse community of entrepreneurs by a diverse entrepreneurial thought-force. For more information visit: www.hustlews.org.
Easton Reid Group is a next generation strategic planning and project management firm specializing in business and marketing strategy, brand and association management, and government and community relations. For more information visit: www.eastonreidgroup.com