November 21st 2020
10:00AM - 4:00PM


#TheShift Summit is a one-day experience dedicated to Empowering Black Entrepreneurs & Communities.

#TheShift Summit is an annual gathering to connect, engage and inform entrepreneurs, creatives small business owners, professionals and stakeholders about opportunities, resources and programs in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that will foster to economic empowerment and equity.

#TheShift Summit attendees will enjoy a day filled with panel discussions, workshops and networking with entrepreneurs, influencers, doers, creatives and other tri-sector leaders (Social, Public and Private).

#TheShift Summit is a critically important opportunity for attendees to gain knowledge and build networks that will help them create transformational economic development within their communities.

#TheShift Summit Featued Speakers

Andre M. Perry

Andre M. Perry is a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, a scholar-in-residence at American University, and a columnist for the Hechinger Report. He is the author of the new book Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities, which is currently available wherever books are sold.

Lynn Smith

Lynn Smith is an entrepreneur and the creator of Buy The Block, one of only Black-owned crowd-investing platform that is helping Black communities build wealth while determining the direction of development in their communities.

#TheShift Summit Registration

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Conference Room


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Registration/Pre-Summit Activities

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Welcome/Setting the Stage for the day

  • Welcome: Verizon – Brianna Ellison

  • Jamiel Robinson, Founder Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM Opening Plenary 

  • Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities

12:15 AM – 1:00 PM Lunch/Networking/Quiz

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM Breakout Sessions – Round 1

  • Generation Wealth > Generation Curses
  • Making it Through Covid-19
  • Heavy on the Digital –  E-commerce, Digital Storefronts and Social Media Marketing in the Era of Covid-19


1:45 PM – 2:00 PM Break

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Breakout Sessions – Round 2

  • Cannabis Inc. USA – Opportunities, Barriers & Equity

  • Capital BUFU (By Us For Us)

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM Break

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM Closing Plenary 

  • Buy The Block: From Mantra to Movement

3:45 PM – 4:00 PM – Closing Ceremony

Breakout Sessions Round One Descriptions

Making it Through Covid-19

It was already difficult making it as a Black Entrepreneur dealing with lack of equitable access to capital, limited access to networks and markets, racism, fighting negative perceptions and stereotypes then Covid-19 came along and compounded the difficulty. In the session we will hear from a panel of emerging and seasoned business owners about how they have pivoted and are making it through Covid-19


  • Duanta Taylor | Klassy Kidz Entertainment
  • Jovan Naves | Bare All & Bac Print
  • Ashleigh Evans | InBooze Cocktail Kits


Heavy on the Digital –  E-commerce, Digital Storefronts and Social Media Marketing in the Era of Covid-19

The digital divide for many Black businesses became even greater as a result of COVID-19 which has upended nearly every aspect of life and many small businesses have been left struggling in its wake. Join us for a panel discussion with UX, Website and  Marketing experts guiding business owners through the new digital norm on a path to success.


  • Asia Horne | Asia Does It

  • Brandon Ross | Grand Apps

Generation Wealth > Generation Curses

Establishing a financial foundation for your family and generations to come is important. In this session you will hear from these entrepreneurs on how they are creating generational wealth through entrepreneurship and other avenues while destroying generational curses that too many in our community perpetuate.


  • Darel Ross | Forty Acres Enterprises  | Forty Acres Soul Kitchen

  • Tanya Powell | Accountability Partners LLC | Legacy Homes GR

Breakout Sessions Round Two Descriptions

Cannabis Inc. USA – Opportunities, Barriers & Equity

After being over criminalized through the failed War on Drugs Black entrepreneurs have been almost completely shut out of the opportunity to participate in the multi-billion dollar legalized cannabis industry. Join us as we discuss ways Black entrepreneurs and Black businesses can participate in this multi-billion dollar industry.

Moderator –  Denavvia K. Mojet | Founder/Executive Director, Black & Brown Cannabis Guild


  • Brandon Lofton |Cultivation Technician | Cannapreneur/Lead Grower, Highjack Cannabis

  • Chris Jackson | National Cannabis Industry Association | Operator, INDICA LLC/Sticky Michigan


Capital BUFU (By Us For Us)

No, it’s not the capital of a country. Black businesses continue to struggle accessing capital for their businesses. Whether its traditional capital from banks and financial institutions or Venture Capital from investors, Black entrepreneurs and businesses receive nearly zero in funding and are denied disproportionately compared to others. Here are 3 entities whose mission is to create access to capital for Black businesses and the community.


  • Dimitrius Hutcherson | First Independence Bank

  • Kevin Davis | Rende Progress Capital

  • Skot Welch | New Community Transformation Fund

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