February , 2019

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“Today’s Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce,” is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Orlando, FL (BlackNews.com) — Black Enterprise, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, presented “Today’s Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce,” Thursday. The symposium and featured dinner was part of the Black Enterprise signature event, Women of Power, where more than a thousand leading African American women from across the nation met to rejuvenate and discuss their business, career, life and family challenges and solutions.

“This was the perfect venue,” says Sonia Alleyne, Black Enterprise Multimedia Editorial Director, Co-Editorial Director, Women of Power Summit. “We’re on the cutting edge and forefront for African Americans to meet today’s challenges and we must guarantee the next generation of powerful women is prepared academically for success.”

The Gates Foundation was a sponsor of the event, which was created by Black Enterprise to cultivate a conversation between top leaders in business, philanthropy and education about the critical challenges facing American education. The symposium analyzed and illustrated the role business leaders can play in education reform in Florida and in public schools across the nation. “By increasing the quality of education, we increase the quality of our workforce,” says Heather Hiles, Founder & CEO, Pathbrite, Inc.

Moderator: Sonia Alleyne, Black Enterprise Multimedia Editorial Dir./Co-Editorial Dir., Women of Power Summit

Speakers Included:

* Tracye H. Brown, Director of Communications & Project Manager, Empowering Effective Teaching, Hillsborough County Public Schools/Tampa, Florida

* Felecia Cummings Smith, Associate Commissioner of Education, State of Kentucky

* Heather Hiles, Founder & CEO, Pathbrite, Inc.

* Suzanne Walsh, Senior Program Officer, Postsecondary Success, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

“It is imperative that business leaders join forces with the academic community ensuring our schools are competitive,” says Black Enterprise CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. “Black Enterprise has consistently sounded the call to address this crisis as the system even more egregiously fails the children it’s charged with educating and preparing for productive lives. If we are to have a strong workforce; we must have strong schools. We are proud to have the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase the focus on solutions that can ultimately resolve this crisis, solutions that cannot be successfully executed without business leaders being fully committed to reform public education.” The Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring all students in America have access to a great education.

BLACK ENTERPRISE is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine provides 4.1 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, BE also produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. BLACK ENTERPRISE is the definitive source of information for and about African American business markets and leaders, and the authority on black business news and trends.

Photo Caption: 

Panelists address questions from the audience. Moderator Sonia Alleyne, Black Enterprise Editor engaged Tracye Brown, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Felecia Cummings Smith, State of Kentucky; Heather Hiles, Pathbrite in a discussion. Suzanne Walsh, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation open the program.




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