Professional Development and Networking Forum to Foster Black Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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Babson will host its 16th annual  on Feb. 27-28, 2015.

The two-day celebration during Black History month was created to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurial leadership among Babson’s alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

Successful entrepreneurs will share their visions, and a series of interactiv​​e workshops and panel discussions are planned to help build entrepreneurial skills and raise diversity awareness.

Registration and Full Conference Schedule  » ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Keynote Speakers   

Liz Walker will welcome and address the Saturday morning session. Walker is an award-winning television journalist, a documentary film producer, an entrepreneur and a humanitarian currently working in the war-torn country of Sudan. She is on the ministerial staff of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain, where she works with young people. She is the founder and principal of The Walker Group LLC, Communications Specialists, focused on non-profit capacity building and corporate public engagement.






Richelieu Denn​is '91​ is the Founder and CEO of the Sundial Group and will share the evolution of his entrepreneurial journey. Sundial is a leading maker of natural skincare products that includes the 20-year old SheaMoisture brand. Dennis will be the keynote speaker for the afternoon session on Saturday.








  • Principles of Objectivity− Babson Professor Elizabeth R. Thornton will coach participants to better understand how objectivity, the most critical management skill, can help entrepreneurial leaders make smarter decisions for better results. This action-based curriculum is based on Thornton’s recently published book, The Objective Leader: How to Leverage the Power of Seeing Things as They Are.
  • Color Brave Action Workshop – Babson Professor of Management, Tina Opie, will ask participants to consider how to make themselves and their organizations more “Color Brave” as suggested in a TED Talk by Dreamworks Animation Chairman, Mellody Hobson. Opie will lead a compassionate workshop about a conversation that is uncomfortable for most.
  • Circles of Influence – Babson Associate Professor of Management, Wendy Murphy, will explore how positive relationships across the work-life-interface facilitates career success. Murphy recently coauthored  ,which applies the scholarship of mentoring to help everyone become an entrepreneurial protégé.

Film Screening, Award Presentation

The conference will screen the award-winning documentary by Gary Ford, Justice Is A Black Woman: The Life & Work Of Constance Baker Motley. The film chronicles the inspirational life of Constance Baker Motley who became the lead lawyer in desegregation and trespass prosecution cases throughout the South after 1954, and won nine of ten cases before the U.S. Supreme Court from 1961-1965. She was also the only female attorney of the legal team that won the landmark desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education.

The production team for the documentary included Professor Michael Calia, director of the Quinnipiac University Ed McMahon Mass Communications Center, director/producer of the film, Ms. Susan Bailey, script writer, Ms. Lynn Bushnell, executive producer, and Dr. Gary Ford who wrote his dissertation on Judge Motley and was also a producer.

Rounding out the conference events is the presentation of . Established in 2004, the award recognizes alumni who distinguish themselves in their given field and support the college community around issues of diversity.

Black Alumni Affinity

 strives to maintain the bond between the alumni, the current students, and the college community. The group works closely with the Black Student Union (BSU), the Office of Diversity, and the  and the larger community to offer networking, mentoring, and programs, including the annual Black Alumni Affinity Conference.

To learn more about the conference, please contact Katrina Fludd, ’08 M ’10, Chair, Babson 2015 Black Affinity Conference at

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for . The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society—while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance  as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. ​​​​​​​​​​​​

By Barbara Spies Blair,, 781-239-4621 | 02/20/2015 02:30