The Black Professionals Network (BPN) Chicago Chapter has taken a bold step in recognizing the outstanding achievements of Black men in various fields—career, business, and social good. This year’s honorees showcase the city’s diverse talent pool and the positive impact they have made in their respective spheres. Let’s dive into the remarkable stories of these ten individuals who are leaving an indelible mark on their communities.
Brandon Pope – Journalist and Mentor: Emmy-winning journalist, media critic, and host of “On The Block.” President of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, he focuses on mentoring the next generation of journalists and fundraising for scholarships. Also, an adjunct professor and recipient of the Ball State University “Hall Of Beneficence” award.
Jahmal Cole – Community Leader and Philanthropist: Founder and CEO of My Block My Hood My City, dedicated to social justice, education, and community service. Awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities from DePaul University, recognized as the 2022 Activist of the Year by Chicago Reader, and named one of the 25 Most Powerful Chicagoans by Crain’s Magazine.
Alan B. Conley – Faith Based and Community Leader: A 21st-century communicator of “Good news,” Alan is the Director of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives in the third largest school district in the U.S. Instrumental in cultivating faith-based partnerships city-wide, impacting the lives of over 60,000 students. Also, an actor, producer, and writer, contributing to local film and theater productions.
Zack Day – Entrepreneurship and Mentorship: Senior Counselor for Youth Guidance’s BAM program by day, and Director of Brewing Operations at Funkytown Brewery by night. A recipient of the 2022 Michael Jackson Foundation Scholarship for brewing, Zack focuses on mentoring youth and bringing diversity to the craft beer industry.
Christian Harris – Entrepreneurship and Community Leader: Entrepreneur, coach, and consultant, Christian has a diverse background, from founding MS Clean and Sons LLC to serving as Director of DEI and Operations for marketing firm DM Burton LLC. Passionate about community work, Christian co-founded the group Walk the Walk and established the Oak Park Reparations Task force in 2021.
Rich Bloomfield – Business Leader: CEO and co-founder of Funkytown Brewery, Rich has over 10 years of project management experience, specializing in education equity. Holding certifications in project management and cloud computing, his current role at Funkytown Brewery focuses on bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion to the beer industry.
Delante Greer – Wealth Advisor and Mentor: Investment Advisor Representative with Opulentia, Delante has over 10 years of experience in self-directed investments. A TEDx speaker and founder of a nonprofit, Delante is committed to equipping the younger generation with vital financial tools and knowledge, actively participating in various community and industry roles.
Anthony Curtis, Jr. – Advocate for Education and Mentorship: Senior Manager of Volunteer Programs Manager and Organizational Culture at NFTE, Anthony leads initiatives devoted to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. As a coach affiliate at Developing Capacity Coaching, LLC, he coaches people to effectively lead for equity and justice, emphasizing his commitment to empowering marginalized communities.
Gregory Williams – Business Leader: Program Manager at Wesco-Anixter and Co-Founder/Sales Director of Funkytown Brewery, Gregory combines over 15 years of business management experience. A key figure in Funkytown’s brand expansion, he actively supports Diversity and Inclusion efforts within the craft beer industry.
Dr. Lawrence A. White, DDS – Health Advocate and Business Leader: Dentist and practice owner on Chicago’s south side for over 30 years, Dr. White serves diverse communities. Currently the Vice Speaker of the House of Illinois State Dental Society Board of Trustees, he continues to contribute to the field of dentistry and community health.
BPN Chicago Chapter’s Black Men in Excellence honorees represent the best in their fields, embodying resilience, leadership, and a commitment to positive change. Their stories inspire us to strive for greatness, leaving a lasting legacy for the generations to come. As we celebrate their achievements, let us also recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in fostering a vibrant and successful community.
WHO: Black Professionals Network (BPN) Chicago Chapter
WHAT: 2024 Black Men in Excellence Networking Mixer
WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 6:00PM to 9:00PM
WHERE: (Chicago) – Hue Chicago, 67 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616
Register to attend here