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Black professionals to gather next week

Banner Staff
Black professionals to gather next week
Sheena Collier COURTESY PHOTO

While Boston has a growing number of Black professionals, many face daunting odds in obtaining the basic things professionals need to thrive: support, mentorship and community.

Sheena Collier made her own way in the city after moving here from Atlanta. Her “How to Boston While Black” summit is aimed at ensuring others don’t have to do the same.

On Thursday and Friday, April 13 and 14, hundreds of Black professionals will gather at Collier’s annual summit at the Westin Copley Place hotel. The two-day summit will feature entrepreneurs, business leaders, DEI experts and students participating in keynote addresses and networking sessions focused on community, civic and corporate life in Boston.

“We are excited to be convening over 700 young Black professionals for the second year at our summit,” Collier said. “BWB continues to partner with the city and corporations to curate these needed spaces to shape city and corporate culture for Black people and provide access to resources for professional and personal growth. We will continue to grow this as a platform that highlights the Black people who are powering the future of the region.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Pinky Cole, a serial entrepreneur, brand strategist and television producer whose Atlanta-based vegan restaurant chain, Slutty Vegan, is expanding into New York, Alabama and other cities and towns in Georgia.

Sessions during the event include “From Initiative to Action: Does DEI still matter for Corporations?” “Biotech and Life Sciences is the Future of Boston,” and “The Complexity of Black Identities Across the Diaspora.”

Collier and Boston’s new director of nightlife economy, Corean Reynolds, will conclude the speaking portion of the conference with a closing session: “Reimagining Boston as a Fun City.”

The conference features a four-hour job fair on Thursday and Friday afternoons with recruiters from firms including State Street, Fidelity, CarGurus, Bain Capital, Data Dog and Vertex scheduled to attend.

Networking receptions will follow both days’ events.