By Okon Ekpenyong
Ohio Black Expo returns this Memorial Day Weekend from May 25-28 in Downtown Columbus, Ohio, at Genoa Park and Columbus Convention Center.
The event consists of the Riverfront Culture Festival and adding additional programs at the Convention Center this year. The four-day event brings together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and creators to share their knowledge and resources with the community.
It also aimed to create a vibrant and family-friendly atmosphere that would bring people together to learn, celebrate, and have fun. Last year, the festival was successful, attracting over 10,000 people.
On the event’s last day, Drummer/Singer Sheila E, known for teaming up with Prince at the beginning of his incredible career, and hip-hop legend Kris-one will perform at the riverfront culture festival. The concert will also bring out gospel singer Smokie Norful and R&B singer Kevin Ross.
The Ohio Black Expo remains committed to creating a multifamily experience, said CEO Hamilton at a press conference back in February. And the Columbus Convention Center GM added, “Here at the convention center, we are happy to be a part of an event that promotes empowerment and celebration of small businesses and so much more.”
The CEO and GM met with other partners of this year’s Ohio Black Expo in February of 2023 to discuss all the activities attendees could enjoy.
“The State has over 1.7 million black people, so coming together to celebrate African-Americans’ accomplishments and help raise money for programs and scholarships is our mission,” said one of the organizers of the Expo.
“Adelphi Bank, Central Ohio’s only Black-owned bank with 95% black board members and executives, provides various resources to help individuals expand wealth and wellness.” said Jordan Miller, Chairman & CEO of Adelphi Bank. Among the Level Up Business Conference panelists Aventi Enterprises presented were Jordan Miller and Kevin Boyce, the Franklin County Commissioner and the Bank’s Vice-Chairman of Investor Relations.
Health & Wellness, presented by Roott, kicked things off with a path to staying healthy, eating right, exercising, and sleeping better, to name a few. Next was the Level Up Business Conference, sponsored by Aventi Enterprises, featuring business leaders from various industries who provide current resources for minority-owned businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.
The inaugural Level-Up Youth Summit, organized by Onus Project, was also a part of the Ohio Black Expo. “It encouraged young people to see beyond what society tells them about themselves, and “Our goal is to listen to young people, value their opinions, and ensure that they have the opportunity and platform to have a voice.”,” said the founder of Onus Project.
Golf Classic presented by Walking in my blessings:
“The inaugural Golf Classic will grow in the coming years, and all proceeds will continue helping Men Struggling with Mental Illness men,” said a Golfer.
Chevez M. Moman founded the inaugural Ohio Black Expo Golf Classic to benefit “Walking In My Blessings. There were 31 players, and it was a beautiful day out on the Winchester Golf course.
The organization strives to end the stigma of mental health issues and provide a safe space for conversations about these issues.
They advocate for providing resources such as counseling, therapy, and support groups to give men the tools and support necessary to make it through mental health struggles.
State of Black Ohio:
The State of Black Ohio forum was another initiative that drew the biggest audience at the Columbus convention center, addressing the need to improve the criminal justice system, support small business ownership, and create better job opportunities for Black Ohioans.
The collective also prioritized increasing access to quality healthcare and mental health services and creating a more equitable education system. These long-term solutions and action steps will help to create a better future for Black Ohioans and the entire state.
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