The latest installment of BLACK ENTERPRISE’s Economic Equity and Racial Justice Town Hall Series will focus on how Black students can leverage post-secondary education to succeed in today’s workforce.
The town hall will take place Tuesday, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST. The virtual town hall series is produced in partnership with host sponsor the Executive Leadership Council and presenting sponsor Walmart. CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers will serve as moderator.
Panelists for the Education Town Hall include Opportunity@Work CEO and Co-Founder Byron Auguste, Google LLC Bonita Stewart, and Bennett College President Suzanne Walsh. Remarks will also be given by BLACK ENTERPRISE’s CEO Earl ‘Butch’ Graves Jr., and Executive Leadership Council President and CEO Michael Hyter.
The town hall will address complex issues confronting Generation Z as they plan for college and their professional careers. Panelists will offer advice and commentary on how Black students can take advantage of educational and occupational opportunities and develop the skills and critical thinking necessary to join and excel in today’s workforce.
“Inequities in access to higher education on the front end, and the disproportionate student loan burden on Black families on the back end, are major contributors to the nation’s racial wealth gap,” Graves said.
“Access to higher education is still a key to long-term earning power in the workplace. However, we must stop requiring young African Americans to mortgage their futures—while also facing racial discrimination in hiring and advancement—to get that degree.”
Our expert panelists will highlight and discuss action plans that address preparing students for post-secondary education to get them career-ready; increasing the flow of Black students to HBCUs; making college affordable; and recruitment and retention of Black college graduates.
According to the Washington Post, the Black unemployment rate at 8.8% is double the rate for White unemployment. Additionally, the unemployment rate for Black Americans with bachelor’s and advanced degrees is higher than White high school graduates. Across all groups, employment among Black women is the last to recover from the pandemic. Currently, 550,000 fewer Black women are working compared to last February.