LIVE BLOG: Building Black Cultural Entrepreneruship Networks

Carl Williams

Networking is the poor people's way of accomplishing things. Carl started thinking about the International Cultural Parade about five years ago. Various groups have helped him to strengthen his vision.

So many people have contributed because of their passionate support. It is amazing to understand what can happen when people come together and contribute to get things accomplished.

A review of the 2005 Parade: Tri-C Professor

many different organizations were represented: Cleveland Ventures Bureau, Million More Movement...

Many performers performed from all across the country and many generations represented and theater.

This year will host a three day conference beginning August 10: International Business Conference

A new way to support this activity is to slowly build network social connectivity. Huge funders and large sponsorships are helpful, but there are few opportunities to explore this. There is a need to expand our horizons and leverage the opportunities. An example of this is to apply resources and capabilities that are not used here in other parts of the world

An objective of the conference is to ask anyone of African descent to share skills, talents and money with Africa. Different Ambassadors will be visiting. The Counselor from Zambia - this is a connection shared through Baldwin Wallace College - will come, as will many others, to talk about opportunities in Africa.

Kiosks will also be displayed to present ideas and intercontinental opportunities.

This will be followed by the Ambassadors Ball. This will be an opportunity for people to come in their best. The Cuyahoga County Library has partnered with this initiative for the summer. Each library will study one country in Africa and engage in mask making projects. Many children have not left their neighborhoods and is an opportunity for them to meet and explore.

The Parade theme will honor our African ancestors. Last year featured XXXXX who was a leader who stepped forward to engage others and who built business.

We need to change the way we operate: literacy levels are low, high levels of African American males are incarcerated.

Carl envisons a highly level exchange of international exchange and interaction.

This year Queen Nzinga is the focus this year and was from the present day Angola. Shew made a treaty with the Dutch to fight the Portegese and then made a treaty with the Porteguese to fight the Dutch.

We need to support self image in cultures to prevent enslavement and strengthen personal initiative.

The initiative is asking for Wards to enage 50 children from each district to learn about mask and costume making. This teaches children about their cultural heritage and roots. Eventually competitions can be created and engage families. In putting together presentations for the parade, families will need to come together and talk. This will help to build linkages in families where there are none today.

Everyone should be involved. The Carnaval in Brazil is a powerful model to celebrate culture. Last year 400 vendors participated from all over the county. The festival presents an opportunity to raise awareness and strengthen connectivity in all communities.

Poverty is only a mental state. If activity continues, people will connect and over time enagage.

Carl participated in the first Brooklyn parade - just a couple of fellows playing steel drums, and now millions of people participate. The San Francisco parade evolved the same way.

Efforts that make change start small; but with relentless optimism activity will build. To engage the community is the most important piece, more important than having large corporate funding. The valuable lesson is to learn to develop our own resources.

Comments: target the groups that are interested: the NCA, Community Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Wards. Developing an international exchange program. Get the children from here out to Africa for education and experience.

Pre-identify what African American companies that might be interested, Dept of Defense match making. A trade show arrrangement.

How are the Colleges and Universities helping? CSU. Tri-C and Baldwin Wallace College
Urban League Young Professionals

Looking for:
CIA marketing strategy and plan ?
Technology integration and citizen journalists?
International Exchange
International Entrepreneurship program


Library partners could develop sister cities in Africa. Make the linkage. The Ohio Dept of Economic Development

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