Thousands of participants have joined BLACK COMPANY for the 4th annual Black Men XCEL Summit, which included a variety of sessions, workshops, coaching, and virtual activities to train, equip, develop, and inspire Black men in a wide range of endeavors.
Black Men XCEL (BMX) was sponsored by FedEx Express to provide Black men with the tools and resources they need to advance in their respective careers and industries, acquire generational wealth, and maintain spiritual well-being. Attendees were also granted access to some of today's most successful business leaders such as Walker Co. & Brands Founder and CEO Tristan Walker, athletes such as former NFL player Tiki Barber, and executives such as PayPal, Head of Global Financial Compliance Investigations Art Taylor. In addition, the summit, which was also hosted in collaboration with sponsors AT&T and JPMorgan Chase, gave attendees the opportunity to chat live with speakers, experts and mentors.
"The theme for this year's BMX is to celebrate the best of us," he said BLACK COMPANY President and CEO Earl "Butch" Graves Jr. in his opening addresses. "It is a celebration of the collective achievement, determination and resilience of black men in one of the most challenging periods in our history. We meet under the cloud of COVID-19 and a crippled economy. We are nearing the end of a divisive, racially motivated election, and black men are attacked on all levels. "
Thriving amid COVID
Walker Co. & Brands founder and CEO Tristan Walker opened the summit with an in-depth session on how he built and positioned Walker Co. & Brands for the merger with Procter & Gamble. Walker, who moved to the corporate boards of Footlocker and Shake Shack from a Twitter intern, also shared on how his company has grown amid COVID.
"The reason I think we have been successful as Walker and Company is because we built that relationship from the start. We were digital native from the start. When COVID hit we were prepared for that outcome," said Walker.
At another point during his meeting, he admitted that his company would likely have run out of money had it not been acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2018.
Make triumph of trials
Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick opened his path to salvation after serving his 21-month prison sentence in 2007 for his involvement in a dog fight ring during a panel on empowering the next generation of black men.
“When I got home from prison, I felt the pressure. It felt like I was living in a bubble, ”the FOX Sports analyst and activist admitted of the infamous incident that overshadowed the rest of his football career.
Instead of succumbing to the pressure he was feeling, Vick said he used the tools he developed behind bars to persevere.
“I set goals for myself in prison. I've achieved almost everything I wanted to achieve and more. Right there was the ultimate confirmation that I could do anything I wanted to do in my life. "
Vick added that he is now using the adversity he has overcome as an educational moment for younger black men and women.
"I preach a harsh message when speaking to the youth about responsibility, character, their beliefs, values and morals," said the NFL legend. “I try to explain to young men and women the pain and agony I have experienced in order to get stronger and where I am today. I want my message to be at all costs: You will not get through perfectly Lives go, there will be some ups and downs, but it all depends on how you hold out. "
Black men and the ballot
Former US attorney general Eric Holder stressed the importance of exercising the right to vote and overcoming voter suppression during his performance. He particularly urged young people to make their voices heard in the elections.
"For young people who are disaffected or don't trust the system, take it from someone who is a little older and has seen a lot. Your future is on the ballot. And the world you want to live in is on the ballot "Said Holder BLACK COMPANY SVP and Chief Content Officer Derek T. Dingle. “If you want to shape this world, you have to participate in this process by voting on November 3rd. But then you need to keep being civic and doing the things that people did before. Fight not just for your generation, but for generations that will come after you. "
Build wealth that lasts
In a panel sponsored by JP Morgan Chase, Barber, the former NFL who spent 10 seasons with the New York Giants and the co-founder of Thuzio, shared one of the biggest financial mistakes he had made in his career.
“The worst mistake I personally made was buying a very expensive apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was over $ 6 million. I've been there for a long time, but the timing in the market was wrong. And I haven't looked at the market. I didn't look at the economic trends, ”he admitted. "And we know what happened in 2008, the world corrected itself."
Not only did he lose money on his property, but he divorced two years later. "Everything started to tighten," he added. "Timing is absolutely important when you make such big purchases."