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IFEL CEO Jill Johnson Moderates Panel on Activating the Black Community

9th Annual State of African American Small Businesses: Activating the Black Community to Build Wealth through Entrepreneurship

The Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) announced today that CEO Jill Johnson will moderate Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.’s business issues forum, “Activating the Black Community” at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 52nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Washington, DC Convention Center.


“I’m honored to return to the Annual Legislative Conference for the ninth year to guide this important conversation of how the business founders of color can get the capital and resources they need to thrive from the greater business community,” said Johnson. “It starts with growing our personal networks and expanding the list of people we know and trust within the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem. I want to thank Congressman Payne, Jr. for his leadership in this area.”


The panelists for this year’s forum include Hugh W. Allen, Regional President, TD Bank; Devon Oakley, CEO of Gymble, Inc.; Dr. Randal Pinkett, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners; John Robinson, CEO of Gotta Go Gaming; Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer of Google; and Danyel Surrency Jones, Director, Black Business Accelerator at Amazon.


"I host this forum because we need to have a better understanding of the capital constraints Black business owners face as they try to grow their businesses,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “One of the most important factors for this growth is community ownership of our local businesses. When the Black community supports Black Businesses, it helps these businesses grow and helps put more wealth into Black communities. My issue forum helps start and continue the conversation to

encourage more support for Black Businesses in the Black community as a way to bring out positive, long-term change in the Black Business community. "


Johnson is a nationally-recognized and award-winning business leader who is dedicated to cultivating an inclusive entrepreneurial environment for individuals from historically-marginalized communities. For more than 20 years, IFEL has leveraged the power of relationship capital to create pathways of success for minority entrepreneurs and small business owners.


The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is committed to developing leaders, informing policy, and educating the public to advance the global Black community. Those interested in participating in the conference can secure their spot from September 20-24 at the Annual Legislative Conference website here: Annual Legislative Conference website.


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