Black Prosperity Rochester Levine Center

Wednesday, June 15, 2022
8:00-10:00 AM
Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music
26 Gibbs Street, Rochester, NY

More than 60 years ago, Rochester embarked on a bold experiment to create companies owned, managed, and staffed largely by African Americans that would uplift the broader community, but the promise of “Black capitalism” fell short.


Join the Levine Center to End Hate for Black Prosperity: a two-part panel (moderated by our Steering Committee member Adrian Hale) examining Rochester’s history of discrimination and exploring the ways in which we can ensure equity for African American workers, business owners, and entrepreneurs.

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Adrian Hale

Director of Economic & 

Community Development

at Foundry

"We are all born with limitless potential, but we live in a world where some of us can realize and cultivate that potential and others are denied the ability to do so.”
                                    

     -Excerpt from I Heart Roc Interview

Adrian Hale​

Director of Economic &

Community Development 

at Foundry

Meet our panelists

Panel 1: Examining Rochester's History of Discrimination

Dennis Bassett Black Prosperity Levine Center

Dennis Basset

Former Assistant to the Corporate VP of Kodak

Kodak “did a good job putting people of color in executive positions,” Mr. Bassett said. But those hiring initiatives did not always reach down into the company’s middle management, where many key decisions were made, he said. Read his full bio.
                                               
                                                                                                                                                -Excerpt from New York Times 

Dennis Basset

Former Assistant to the Corporate VP of Kodak

David Powe Black Prosperity Levine Center Rochester

David Powe

President of the Greater Rochester Black

Business Alliance

David Powe says fostering economic activity is part of an overall effort to eliminate racism and poverty within the Black community, and [Black Business Alliance] welcomes others who want to collaborate for the success of its business members. “As business people, we know that we can do that through growing our businesses. And if those are issues that people care about in our community, then we have to support our Black businesses." Read his full bio.

                                                                                                                                                            -Excerpt from WXXI News

David Powe

President of the Greater Rochester 

Black Business Alliance

Bob Duffy Black Prosperity Rochester Levine

Bob Duffy

President & CEO of Greater Rochester

Chamber of Commerce 

“If all of us including government, community and business leaders look inside our own organizations to create system changes and a greater sense of opportunity and equality for everyone, we can make great advances.” Read his full bio.
                                    

                                -Excerpt from News Release from

                                                              City of Rochester

Bob Duffy

President & CEO of Greater

Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Dr Ruth Scott Black Prosperity Levine Center Rochester

Dr. Ruth Scott

Former Rochester City Council President, Member of Rochester Business Opportunity Center Board

"I think more than anything else, job opportunities will break up the poverty. People have to have some place to work; they have to have skills. ...the answer to a lot of problems in the city. It's going to have to grow from the neighborhoods. Nothing ever grows from the center out." Read her full bio.

                                                                                                                             -Excerpt from Rochester City Newspaper

Dr. Ruth Scott

Former Rochester City Council President,

Member of Rochester Business Opportunity

Center Board

Panel 2: Exploring Ways to Ensure Equity

Geska_Melissa Black Prosperity Levine Center Rochester

Melissa James Geska

President of US Ceiling Corporation

Passionate about bridging the labor gap and promoting diversity in construction, Melissa works to provide practical experience and employment opportunities through her firm’s skilled trades training and workforce development program, USC Academy. Most recently, she was appointed chairwoman of the Builders Exchange of Rochester and is the first woman and person of color to serve in such a capacity in the organization’s 133- year history. Read her full bio.

Melissa James Geska​

President of US Ceiling Corporation

Christopher Santana Black Prosperity Levine Center Rochester

Christopher Santana (AKA Richie)

Apparel Entrepreneur &

Owner of RIXICH EXCHANGE

When Richie was young, he had a run-in with the law that gave him pause and caused him to think about life differently. He would go on to change his environment, finding himself in the presence of other entrepreneurs, inspired to take a different path. Read his full bio.

Christopher Santana (AKA Richie)​

Apparel Entrepreneur & Owner of RIXICH EXCHANGE

Tim Taylor Black Prosperity Levine Center Rochester

Timothy Taylor

CEO & Founder of

Data Brilliance Software, LLC

With continuous growth in sales and currently 60 employees, Data Brilliance has stepped into business with local and federal government contraction in Information Technology.  Timothy is very active in the community. His latest efforts include donating over 800 meals to essential workers at Strong Hospital. Read his full bio.

Timothy Taylor

CEO & Founder of

Data Brilliance Software, LLC

Thank you to our Signature Sponsor

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Thank you to our Partners

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