Forbes Launches ForbesBLK, A Community and Platform That Amplifies The Voices of Black Entrepreneurs, Professionals, Leaders And Creators
With An Advisory Council of Influential Voices
Forbes launches ForbesBLK, a global community of Black entrepreneurs, professionals, leaders and creators who are driving systemic change in business, culture and society. ForbesBLK announces strategic plans for growth, new leadership and an Advisory Council of diverse and influential leaders. With new leadership and plans for expansion in 2023, ForbesBLK (BEE-EL-KAY) is focused on best-in-class editorial content and community experiences to advance representation and inclusion.
Building off the success of Forbes’s groundbreaking For(bes) the Culture initiative, over the past several months Forbes has substantially increased its focus on supporting Black business leaders and creators. These efforts, and the plans in place for strategic expansion for ForbesBLK community, will provide unmatched value to its members.
Forbes announces an official ForbesBLK advisory council that consists of diverse voices who will all play a pivotal role in influencing and advancing the community. ForbesBLK Advisory Council members will serve as strategic thought partners for ForbesBLK and help to identify and prioritize key issues and challenges affecting the planning and development of local, national and global ForbesBLK initiatives. Advisory Council members include:
- Grant Hill, Business leader, Former NBA Player and Co-Owner of the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association
- Jacqueline Jones, Dean of the School of Global Journalism & Communication at Morgan State University
- Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, Grammy Award Winning Broadway Actor and Singer
- Nikki Bethel, President & CEO of Emma Bowen Foundation
- Andre “Dre” Lyon, Grammy Award Winning Producer/Songwriter
- Ingrid Sturgis, Department Chair of Journalism at Howard University
- Isiah Thomas, Chairman & CEO of Isiah International LLC
- Emily Graham, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Omnicom
- Len Elmore, Basketball Analyst
- Roger Mason Jr., Former NBA Player & CEO of VAUNT
- Rhonesha Byng, Founder & CEO, Her Agenda
- Dr. Lisa Coleman, Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation at NYU
- Kelly Beaty English, Communications Specialist and Nonprofit leader
- Tamira Chapman, Entrepreneur, Attorney & Philanthropist
- Darius Jones, Founder & President of the National Black Empowerment Council (NBEC)
- Giselle Phelps, Founder & CEO of Grant Rising Talent
- Kasim Reed, Attorney and Former Two-Term Mayor of Atlanta
- Terri Broussard Williams, Award Winning Non-Profit Executive, Author & Lobbyist
- Raven Robinson, CEO of PR2Politics
On the editorial side, there will be an increase in coverage of topics relevant to the community as well as new lists, profiles, content strategies and a new newsletter. There are plans in place to drive and create even more inspiring content, curate in-person events and develop digitally based networking opportunities that foster professional development, entrepreneurship and cultural change. New ForbesBLK editorial initiatives include: #CultureTalks and the first-ever ForbesBLK Top Creators List.
Members of ForbesBLK are incorporated into every aspect of the community, including having access to networking and mentorship opportunities with other like-minded professionals across a variety of organizations; invitations to member-only platforms where they can engage in one-on-one conversations with community members and Forbes leadership; early and discounted access to a variety of Forbes virtual and in-person events; and access to thought leadership content from leaders across industries via the Forbes YouTube platform. Members joined the Forbes Under 30 Africa Summit in Botswana last week and participated in world-class social and cultural opportunities.
Forbes also hired its first full time community manager to support the growth of ForbesBLK, Ayisha Mendez. Ayisha will help guide the platform and foster community with its members.
The ForbesBLK Newsletter, the Hub for Black Business Trailblazers, is dedicated to elevating and empowering Black professionals around the World. The monthly newsletter offers stories from underrepresented communities and perspectives from cultural leaders who are inspiring change.
“We’re excited to utilize our newsletter as a platform for sharing the latest news through a Black lens and are energized by the rapid growth in our subscribers and community members who are deeply engaged in the content we’re sharing,” said Ayisha Mendez, Community Manager, ForbesBLK.
“Forbes will continue to invest in the growth and success of the ForbesBLK community and its members,” said Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer, Forbes. “We are committed to using our platforms to drive meaningful change in business, culture and society.”
ForbesBLK has a robust lineup of networking opportunities and events planned for the year ahead. Recent Forbes events focused on empowering Black leaders, included:
- Tulsa: Journeys to Wealth Series: Forbes hosted a three-day immersive experience for members and leadership professionals that took a trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma to connect, rejoice and reflect on the resilience of Black business and entrepreneurship.
- Forbes partnered with Times Square Live Media and the African American Mayors Association to host the FYI x AAMA Economic Development Summit in Los Angeles, an event aimed at amplifying Black voices and transforming how we work and create our cities.
- The AfroFuture Summit Awards Gala was an exclusive gathering of 150 top influencers within the black community. The Summit was produced by Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE) and hosted by Forbes. Invited delegates included well known celebrities, cultural influencers, media, sports players, tech moguls and more. The gala served to not only convene the leaders of black communities in America and across the globe but also highlight up and coming influencers who are trailblazing development for the future in their respective fields.
- Creating Inclusive Economies Reception at SXSW: ForbesBLK and Forbes Impact Lab teamed up with Nextdoor to host the Creating Inclusive Economies reception at SXSW in Austin, TX. The event gathered a diverse group of entrepreneurs, investors and creators for panels and conversation focused on building inclusive economies on a local, national, and global level.
Follow along with ForbesBLK on social: