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Tech investor, Hollywood studio execs and more will convene in Atlanta

Tech investor, Hollywood studio execs and more will convene in Atlanta
Rev. Jesse Jackson and Kadeem at Rainbow PUSH Money Matters series at the Hyatt in Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. (Photo by Sistarazzi for Steed Media Service)

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition will host its 18th Annual Creating Opportunity Conference, October 12 – 13, 2017. This conference is a continuation of Reverend Jesse L. Jackson’s 51-year legacy of work and his commitment to economic equity. It is an informative event that supports the Rainbow PUSH Peach Street Project launched in 2000 to work for justice and equality in education, youth development, financial literacy, business formation and growth.  This year’s conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta located at 265 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303. Interested attendees may register at

Calvin Vismale, executive director of Rainbow PUSH Atlanta, says in a statement, “We continue to do ‘the work’ that supports our current economic environment. Our conference is an excellent avenue for presenting various opportunities that will continue to grow and impact our communities.”

The Creating Opportunity Conference focuses on the continued Civil Rights struggle of today, defined as the need for economic equity. Hence, the conference theme is “The Fourth Movement in the Journey toward Economic Equity: On the Right Road to Sustainable Prosperity.” Slated for the event, are sessions and activities that will provide its attendees with the following:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mandate for an Inclusive Tech Ecosystem: Myth or Reality, Where is the Money
A panel discussion of entrepreneurial development executives and professors about creating the right environment for a digital business.
Moderator: Marcus Shaw, Executive Director, The Company Lab (CO.LAB)

  • Ashlee Ammons, Cofounder/Chief Operations Officer (COO), Mixtroz
  • Bruce D. Berger, Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development, and Associate Professor, Clark Atlanta University School of Business
  • Lakweshia J. Ewing, Owner, Bix Boom APPS, LLC; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Unlearn Everything; and Live Partner, Black Wall Street Tour, LLC
  • Ken Grimes, Managing Director, Black Angel Tech Fund and Principal, True Alpha Partners, LLC
  • Dar’shun Kendrick, Diversity Activist and Advisor, Kendrick Advisor and Advocacy Group
  • Kerry E. Schrader, Cofounder/CEO, Mixtroz

Film, TV, and Digital Entertainment: Opportunities for Inclusion
Moderator: Jovita Moore, News Anchor for WSB TV
A panel discussion of entertainment executives and producers who will provide insight on diversity in the world of media.

  • Frank Patterson, President, Pinewood Studios
  • Shay Bennett, Founder, Shay Bennett Studios
  • Andre’ Lamont, Producer, Director, and Interviewer, Depth of Field Productions
  • April Lundy, Writer, Producer, Director and Assistant Professor of Film and Television Studies, Clark Atlanta University
  • Shaun Mathis, Vice President (VP) and COO, Laconic Productions
  • Mike Ray, Actor, Writer, Director, and Voice Over Coach, Mike Ray Vision
  • Charles West, Executive Producer, CW Studios

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things Luncheon: How the Next Wave Will Affect You
This topic focuses on the use of technology to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making and translation between languages.
Moderator: Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, Fellow – Governance Studies, the Center for Technology Innovation
Presentation: Anthony M. Cooper, VP of Strategic Communications and Technology Evangelist, TAG

  • Lonnie Johnson, Inventor of the Super Soaker
  • Dr. John Terry, President and Founder, Espire Tech
  • Al White, CEO, Polaris

International Workshop: Africa Next
This panel is a follow-up to previous Investment Forums in Chicago and New York. Panelists will discuss the availability of business opportunities and the power of social capital for economic growth. This includes other areas of investment in the Diaspora (Caribbean, Americas, etc.).
Moderator: Matilda Arhin, President, Ghana International Chamber of Commerce

  • Honorable Kayode Laro, Consulate General of Nigeria, Atlanta
  • His Excellency Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, Ambassador, The Republic of Ghana
  • Emmanuel K. Yuh, P.E., President and CEO, Key Engineering Group, LLC
  • Segun Adesanya, COO of Sanya Airways

Business Pitch Competition Finals: PUSHTech 2020 Think Tank
Features innovative entrepreneurs who will compete to win up to $5,000.
Emcee: Kunbi Tinuoye, Founder and CEO,; and the 2016 Business Pitch Competition Finals winner

  • Maurice Coleman, Sr. VP Relationship Manager, Global Banking and Markets
  • Christopher Stubbs, VP, Community Banking District Manager, Wells Fargo City of Atlanta
  • Dr. Thomas Mensah, President and CEO, Georgia Aerospace Systems
  • Mike Ross, President and CEO, MHR International
  • Dana Weeks Ugwonali, President, Black Angel Technology Innovation Foundation

Candidate Mayoral Forum: Shaping The Future of the Public Sector and conversation with Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.
Moderator: Rashad Richey, Talk Radio Personality, CBS Atlanta’s 1380 WAOK.
This event is an opportunity for City of Atlanta Mayoral candidates to engage in a discussion on Civil Rights and their respective vision for Atlanta.

  • Peter Aman, COO, City of Atlanta
  • Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta City Councilwoman
  • John Eaves, Commission Chairman, Fulton County
  • Vincent Fort, State Senator
  • Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman
  • Ceasar Mitchell, President, Atlanta City Council
  • Mary Norwood, Atlanta City Councilwoman
  • Michael T. Sterling, Former Executive Director, City of Atlanta Workforce Development Agency
  • Cathy Woolard, Former Atlanta City Council President

Friday, October 13, 2017

Women in Leadership Breakfast: Your Seat at the Table featuring the HUD Southeast Region
Emcee: Madison James, Multi-Media Personality and Lifestyle Enthusiast, V98.5 FM
Keynote Speaker: Denise Cleveland-Leggett, Region IV Administrator, US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Honoree and Feature Remarks: Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, President and Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine
Featured Guests:

  • Ryshonda Harper-Beecham, Mayor, Pelahatchie, MS
  • Keyra Lynn Johnson, District Attorney, Glyn County, GA
  • Lynneice Washington, Bessemer District Attorney, Jefferson County, AL

Supplier Diversity: Contract in the Private Sector
A panel discussion that focuses on developing corporate relations that leads to contracts. Attendees will gain tools to leverage experience attained in the public sector to do business in the private sector.
Moderator: Tricia “CK” Hoffler, Partner, Edmond, Lindsay and Hoffler, LLP

  • Karmetria Dunham Burton, General Manager of Strategic Programs and Corporate Supplier Diversity, Delta Air Lines
  • Germaine Reece, Manager of Supplier Diversity, Home Depot
  • Frantz Tiffeau, Director of Supplier Diversity, Nationwide
  • Felix Turner, Corporate Affairs District Manager, Kroger

Philanthropy and Technology: Accelerating Social Impact and Outcomes in Our Communities
The focus of this panel is the exploration of how technology can accelerate work in philanthropy by measuring impact, managing ‘crowds” of donors via crowd funding, and optimizing operations for grant makers and grantees.
Moderators: Quinetha Fraiser, CEO, MyPledger

  • Curley Dossman, President, Georgia-Pacific Foundation
  • Dr. Bennie Harris, Sr. VP, Morehouse Medical School
  • Will Lambe, Sr. Community and Economic Development Adviser, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Helen Price, President, Coca-Cola Foundation

The Business of Sports: Exploring the Impact, Influence & Opportunities on & off the Field
This panel will engage in an informative session that focuses on keys to economic growth in the sports industry.
Moderator: Pastor Joseph Bryant, National Sports Director, Rainbow PUSH

  • Rushia Brown, Alumni President, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Ambassador, National Basketball Association (NBA) Cares
  • Kandi Conda, Entrepreneur and WNBA Hall of Famer
  • Bernard King, NBA Hall of Famer, Sports Consultant, Broadcaster, and Author
  • Robert Littal, Founder and Editor in Chief, Black Sports Online
  • Shavannia Williams, Marketing Manager, Atlanta Falcons

Gentrification, Displacement, and Urban Economic Development: Who Benefits, Who Suffers and Who Pays
A discussion of panelist from the government, education, public and private sectors who will provide an overview of gentrification and urban renewal from a national perspective. In addition, the panel will discuss gentrification that is happening locally and how to help citizens become informed on what they can do about the issue.
Moderator: Djuan Coleon, CEO, Project Urban Renewal Energy

  • Derrick Boazman, President and CEO, Facilitation Strategies, Inc.
  • Cardell Davis, VP Municipal and Governmental Affairs, Economic Development Strategies of America
  • Sherman E. Golden, Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP
  • Dan Immergluck, Professor, Georgia State University Institute of Urban Studies
  • Gwen Marshall, Chair, Westside Atlanta Land Trust Program

Hope is Alive Awards Gala: Blockbuster Annual Hope is Alive Awards Gala celebrating the 76th Birthday of Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.
Emcee: Gloria Neal, Writer and Producer

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