The Black Boss Summit powered by the Black Business Initiative, was held September 10 at Le Méridien Denver Downtown. The summit offered an opportunity for entrepreneurs to mingle and learn how to be better in business.
Kicking off the event was Sebrina Hillard of Insurance Design and Placement. During her presentation on building wealth through successful succession she shared how she initially emulated what her boss had shown her because of the fear of messing up what was in place before her.
However, Hillard’s growth came when she decided to make changes. She explained that you will have a lot on your shoulders as a boss, and that change is okay. “Do something with the trust that has been given to you. It is not gratitude to stay the same,” said Hillard.
Hillard’s presentation consisted of key points on building a Black business. That includes having a plan, creating and meeting deadlines, and having written agreements. She closed by saying it’s important to have your paperwork in order but also your mind. Not only that but treat your agreements as living documents but reclusive living documents, said Hillard, who serves as a risk management advisor and commercial insurance broker specializing in food, non-profit, and technology industries.
The summit also featured a panel focused on Sankofa, self-care and healers. Led by Cynthia Fes, the panel started the discussion with the question: “Who is a healer?” Panelist Euda Best responded by saying that everyone is a healer, and that each person is responsible for their own healing. Fellow panelist Morgynne said that each person has a mirror that reflects on the collective and impacts people in separate ways. DJ K Tone responded that he was a healer through his craft which is music.
The panel discussed Sankofa, a word in the Twi language that means to “go back and get.” Sankofa is also symbolized by a Bono Adinkra symbol – stylized heart shape or a bird with its head turned backwards. Fes added, “the exact interpretation of that word is, it is not taboo to fetch what is risk of being left behind, thus go back and fetch it.”
Trauma was also up for discussion. Morgynne said that when trauma is mentioned, she sees inadequacy. “Not believing that we match up or are deserving of the place and positions that we are in, even if we have all our white man paperwork.” she said.
Best added, “Even when you just say the word trauma, when I am really focusing on helping a person I’m trying to be as present as possible. I always keep a part of my awareness in my heart, so even when you say the word trauma, I feel constriction in my heart.”
Full of dynamic presentations, the summit also featured the G.P.S. Podcast, hosted by D.L. Pos Ryant and Tonoa Manuel. The podcast supports the planning and execution of business objectives and targets. Their on-site guest was Kenneth Crowley, founder of the Crowley Foundation that provides leadership development programs for young men of color. The main topic of the podcast was success pivot, and what you can do to be successful.
“What is it that you need to change or add or whatever that thing is, a lot of time we think it is something big. It might be something as simple as getting up early,” Ryant said. “There is only two ways to get more time out of your day. Stay awake or get up early.”
He said the key to that is you must find that magic time. The time when no one is texting you, no one is asking for anything. This is the time that would set precedence for your entire day. Just imagine the perfect day for you and try to make that day every day. Taking care of your wellbeing, your spirit, your energy. All of that is as important as success itself.
Ryant also said to avoid excuses, pointing out that if you give yourself one it will lead to another one every time.
Having numerous people in your circle in the same industry is no reason to give up. Manuel said, “Two non-profits, everybody is eating though. Like it is not a battle…we can all eat, there can be a thousand nonprofits, but the benefit of this relationship is when it is time for the bigger opportunity, they are going to always use each other.
Black Boss Summit founder Jice Johnson put into perspective the significance of the summit.
“The Civil Rights era spanned nearly two decades, moving a significant amount of key legislation targeted towards ending legal discrimination and disenfranchisement of Black people. Our country is finally acknowledging the next phase in our fight for equality, justice and agency is the fight for economic equity.”
BBI has been holding training classes for eight years on crucial skills in institution building. This year they are having a class on business risk management and insurance. This class is held on zoom and BBI posts updates about it on their Instagram to keep their followers in the loop.
Next year’s summit is slated for Sept. 15-17, 2023.
Editor’s note: For more information, about the Black Business Initiative, visit www.bbiprofessional.com or follow on Instagram@bbiprofessional.