WELCOME

A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER
The 2020 State of Black North Carolina Conference promises to be as impactful as any of the previous ones we have produced since our first one in 2003. Historically, the conference has welcomed scores of speakers who paneled workshops and seminars to discuss issues of concern in Black and Brown communities and to seek ways of redress. The 2020 conference will highlight some of those issues as well, but in a more compact way.
February 21-22, 2020, will be filled with praise and purpose. Some of the highlights include a Black History Month Gospel Concert on Friday, February 21, at St. Peter’s Church & World Outreach Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Pastor John P. Kee & The New Life Community Choir, Dionn Owen and Renaissance, and the much-celebrated Winston-Salem State University Choir.

On Saturday evening, February 22, there will be an Awards Gala to honor 40 outstanding business and community leaders from across the Piedmont Triad. These persons make up the first assemblage of the Black Business Ink 40 Under 40 Most Influential African Americans in the Piedmont Triad. The gala will be held at 7 p.m. at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Sandwiched between those activities will be another major highpoint of the conference – the 2020 Presidential Candidates Forum Presented by Black Business Ink magazine. The candidates forum will be a national conversation on Criminal Justice Reform and will be held at the N.C. A&T University Alumni-Foundation Event Center in Greensboro, N.C., on the morning and afternoon of Saturday, February 22. The event center is located on the historic campus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University – the largest historically black college or university in the U.S.

Our first State of Black North Carolina Conference was held in Winston-Salem nearly 17 years ago, in May 2003. At that conference, Black Business Ink magazine was introduced into the marketplace, filling a print media void that was much-needed to champion minority-owned businesses across the Piedmont Triad and throughout North Carolina. All these years later, Black Business Ink is still telling your stories, championing minority-owned businesses.

We hope that you will take a break from your busy schedule and come fellowship with us at the Black History Month Gospel Concert, help us honor the 40 Under 40 Most Influential African Americans in the Triad, and be a part of a national dialogue on Criminal Justice Reform at the 2020 Presidential Candidates Forum Presented by Black Business Ink magazine. As founder and convener of the State of Black North Carolina Conference and publisher of Black Business Ink, I look forward to seeing you in February.

Richard L. Williams
Founder & Convener
State of Black North Carolina Conference