African American Leadership Conference

The 2020 African-American Leadership Conference will be VIRTUAL.

Thank you to our amazing sponsors that help make the AALC possible.



THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2020:  7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

7:00 pm  The State of African-Americans: 
The Turning Point and A New Path Forward

The Potential of an Equitable and Racially Diverse City, Region & Nation

The Business Case for Racial Diversity: 
Dr. Randal

Panel 1:  Omaha Panel
Progress, Remaining Gaps and the Next Five Years

Panel 2:  Midwest Perspective
Addressing the Racial Disparities in the Midwest

Panel 3:  National Strategists
Leadership, Innovation, Diversity and Ownership

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020:  7:00 am to 4:00 pm

7:00 am  
Open:  Networking Rooms and Revive! Black Business Expo

8:00 am 
Welcome and State of African-Americans in Omaha and America
How did we get here and where do we go next?
Race, Place & Economic Policy

8:30 am 
Wealth and Ownership: 
The Fourth Movement for African-Americans:
Saving, Investing, Entrepreneurship, Home Ownership, Transferring Wealth
Dr. Pamela Jolly and Local Leaders

9:00 am 
Black Business Ownership:
Taking Black Businesses to Scale

Local Entrepreneurs and Black Business Owners

9:30 am 
Career Advancement:
Putting Your Identity & Cultural Capital to Work for You

Dr. Randal Pinkett and Local Leaders

10:00 am 
BREAK – Virtual Revive! Black Business Expo
& Networking Connections

10:15 am 
Allies in the Movement: 
Advance Omaha!  Racial Diversity Initiative
CEO Big & Bold Transformation 2025 Commitments

10:45 am  
Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: 
Moving from Vision to Action & Results

11:30 am 
BREAK – Virtual Revive! Black Business Expo
& Networking Connections

Lunch Break (Pre-order from Black Businesses)

1:00 pm
Legends Award
Presentation to John Beasley
Special Leadership Program

1:30 pm Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

Health and Healthy Families: 
Improving Black Health in the Midst of a Pandemic
Shawn Dove and Local Leaders

Preparing the Next Generation: 
Youth Engagement, Youth Voice and Leadership
Jaylen Bledsoe and Local Leaders

Mixed-Income Housing and Strategic Revitalization: 
A New Model for Development
that Builds Black Wealth

Creating a District to Celebrate Black Culture:
Revitalization, Arts & Entertainment

Moving from Protest to Polls & Policy:
Mobilizing the Vote and Working with Elected Officials to Get Things Done

2:45 pm
Launch Transformation Big & Bold 2025: 
Collective Economics & Policy Change
Marshawn Evans-Daniels with Local and National Leaders

Close w/ Drawing for Tickets for
Magic Johnson Keynote Speaker – 2021 Leadership Conference




A world-class event featuring some of the nation’s top strategists and thought leaders, now attracts over 600 attendees.

Magic Johnson will now be the keynote speaker in September 2021.

Since 2012, the Empowerment Network has presented the African-American Leadership Conference. 

The AALC is held during the month of September and features some of America’s top African-American leaders as keynote speakers.  Past speakers have included: Soledad O’Brien, Dr. Randal Pinkett, George Fraser, Pamela Jolly, Sondra Samuels, Eric Mahmoud, Shawn Dove, Denise Gilmore, Adewale Adeyemo (President of the Obama Foundation), along with local business executives and community leaders.

National leaders speak from the main stage on topics including: Career Advancement, Leadership Development, Equity and Diversity, Business Ownership and Community Building.  Legacy Wealth and Redefining the Game provide annual updates on cohort progress.

Local and national leaders conduct workshops and breakout sessions on timely topics.   Past speakers include:  Soledad O’Brien, Dr. George Fraser, Simon T. Bailey, Dr. Randal Pinkett, Dr. Pamela Jolly, Michael Roberts, Dr. Will Moreland and Jaylen Bledsoe.

10 CEO’s from corporations in Omaha have agreed to participate with the Empowerment Network’s Advance Omaha Initiative focused on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion including a comprehensive scorecard.  CEO’s provide an annual update at the conference.

Local and regional leaders participate on panels from the main stage and present during breakout sessions.

The AALC works to include the rich history of African-Americans in Omaha and specifically the area once referred to as the Northside.  Internationally known business leaders, athletes, entertainers, educators and many others were born and raised in North Omaha.

The AALC Leadership Luncheon attracts over 600 African-American leaders and community partners for a keynote presentation or interview with nationally recognized thought leaders.  The conference continues to grow and we expect over 1,000 to attend in 2020.

Afternoon keynote sessions include interviews with nationally known business leaders and entertainers.  Teddy Riley was the afternoon keynote in 2018.

Revive! Omaha hosts the Black Business Expo.  It’s one of the region’s largest special events featuring African-American entrepreneurs.

In addition to the conference, the Empowerment Network hosts a special reception in the Historic 24th and Lake Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Business District.  The Network has consistently presented the event to provide a “Taste of 24th and Lake” allowing attendees to envision what is possible in the reemerging area.  

The reception includes events at various venues, with special guests and different forms of music and entertainment.  Attendees are treated to multiple events within the event featuring jazz, gospel, R&B, theater, interviews and excellent food celebrating African-American culture.