A Celebration of Global Black Culture, Talent & Innovation

BlackStars leads the charge in harnessing the boundless talent and innovation within the modern Black Diaspora. The annual conference brings together professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs across industries to learn, connect, and inspire excellence!

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2,000+ Attendees
20+ Sessions
60+ Speakers/
Honorees
100+ Companies
Represented

THE SUMMIT

The BlackStars Summit offers a morning and afternoon packed with inspiring sessions, workshops, exhibition, networking, and recruitment opportunities.

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THE GALA

A night of excellence and inspiration, the BlackStars Awards Gala honors trailblazing African-American leaders at the forefront of innovation and transformation in their respective industries.

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2024 honorees

CEO / Co-Founder

Aaron Walton

CEO / Co-Founder

Walton Isaacson (WI)

Aaron Walton

Aaron Walton

Job Title

CEO / Co-Founder

Company

Walton Isaacson (WI)

Full Bio
SVP & Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer

Rose Stuckey Kirk

SVP & Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer

Verizon

Rose Stuckey Kirk

Rose Stuckey Kirk

Job Title

SVP & Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer

Company

Verizon

Full Bio
East Region Market Leader New York Managing Partner

Roger G. Arrieux, Jr.

East Region Market Leader New York Managing Partner

Deloitte LLP

Roger G. Arrieux, Jr.

Roger G. Arrieux, Jr.

Job Title

East Region Market Leader New York Managing Partner

Company

Deloitte LLP

Full Bio
Chief Technology Officer

Lakecia Gunter

Chief Technology Officer

Microsoft

Lakecia Gunter

Lakecia Gunter

Job Title

Chief Technology Officer

Company

Microsoft

Full Bio
SVP, Strategic Alliances and Outreach

Rick C. Wade

SVP, Strategic Alliances and Outreach

United States Chamber of Commerce

Rick C. Wade

Rick C. Wade

Job Title

SVP, Strategic Alliances and Outreach

Company

United States Chamber of Commerce

Full Bio
VP & Chief Diversity Officer

Quita Beeler Highsmith

VP & Chief Diversity Officer

Genentech

Quita Beeler Highsmith

Quita Beeler Highsmith

Job Title

VP & Chief Diversity Officer

Company

Genentech

Full Bio
VP, People eXperience & Technology, Global Operations

J. Ofori Agboka

VP, People eXperience & Technology, Global Operations

Amazon

J. Ofori Agboka

J. Ofori Agboka

Job Title

VP, People eXperience & Technology, Global Operations

Company

Amazon

Full Bio
SVP, Head of Business Operations

Kori Davis Porter

SVP, Head of Business Operations

National Basketball Association (NBA)

Kori Davis Porter

Kori Davis Porter

Job Title

SVP, Head of Business Operations

Company

National Basketball Association (NBA)

Full Bio
SVP Region Manager - EAST Veteran | Leader | Girl Dad

J.D. Myers, II

SVP Region Manager - EAST Veteran | Leader | Girl Dad

Cox Communications

J.D. Myers, II

J.D. Myers, II

Job Title

SVP Region Manager - EAST Veteran | Leader | Girl Dad

Company

Cox Communications

Full Bio
VP, Product Access, Global Health & Social Impact

Niesha Foster

VP, Product Access, Global Health & Social Impact

Pfizer

Niesha Foster

Niesha Foster

Job Title

VP, Product Access, Global Health & Social Impact

Company

Pfizer

Full Bio
Senior Partner

Shelley Stewart III

Senior Partner

McKinsey & Company

Shelley Stewart III

Shelley Stewart III

Job Title

Senior Partner

Company

McKinsey & Company

Full Bio
VP, Data & AI Education

Ronke Ekwensi

VP, Data & AI Education

T-Mobile

Ronke Ekwensi

Ronke Ekwensi

Job Title

VP, Data & AI Education

Company

T-Mobile

Full Bio

Past speakers

2024 Speakers To Be Announced.

Mayor

Eric Adams

Mayor

New York City

Eric Adams

Eric Adams

Job title

Mayor

Company

New York City

Speaking on

Gala Speaker

Full Bio
EVP, Head of Branch and Small Business Banking

Sekou Kaalund

EVP, Head of Branch and Small Business Banking

US Bank

Sekou Kaalund

Sekou Kaalund

Job title

EVP, Head of Branch and Small Business Banking

Company

US Bank

Full Bio
CEO

Michele Thornton Ghee

CEO

Expectant Media

Michele Thornton Ghee

Michele Thornton Ghee

Job title

CEO

Company

Expectant Media

Full Bio
Executive Vice President, General Counsel

Doug Lankler

Executive Vice President, General Counsel

Pfizer

Doug Lankler

Doug Lankler

Job title

Executive Vice President, General Counsel

Company

Pfizer

Full Bio
Bronx Borough President

Vanessa L. Gibson

Bronx Borough President

Bronx Borough

Vanessa L. Gibson

Vanessa L. Gibson

Job title

Bronx Borough President

Company

Bronx Borough

Speaking on

Gala Speaker

Full Bio
Chair Americas Advisory Council & Managing Director

Duane L. Hughes

Chair Americas Advisory Council & Managing Director

UBS Financial Services

Duane L. Hughes

Duane L. Hughes

Job title

Chair Americas Advisory Council & Managing Director

Company

UBS Financial Services

Full Bio
Partner

Omosede Ogiamien

Partner

Deloitte

Omosede Ogiamien

Omosede Ogiamien

Job title

Partner

Company

Deloitte

Full Bio
Executive Director, Global Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

Franklin Reed

Executive Director, Global Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

TEKsystems

Franklin Reed

Franklin Reed

Job title

Executive Director, Global Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

Company

TEKsystems

Full Bio

Schedule overview

Day 1
CHECK-IN/WELCOME

Conference check-in/badge pick-up (optional)

1pm-4pm
Metropolitan Pavillion

Afrobeats & Network Conference Kick-off Party

6pm-9pm

Day 2
SUMMIT

BLACKSTARS SUMMIT
Sessions/Speakers – TBA

9am-4pm
Metopolitan Pavillion

BlackStars Connect
Industry Networking Mixer
5pm-9pm

VIP/Honoree Reception 
6pm-8pm

Day 3
CUSTOM + AWARDS GALA

Custom/Private Events
9am-1pm

BlackStars Awards Gala
Honoring 2024 Honorees
6pm-10pm 

Day 4
FAREWELL

End of Conference 

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Our partners

_Ronald Taylor

In my 22-year DEI career, I’ve attended and been part of many award ceremonies, galas, and fundraisers. BlackStars was by far the best one yet. I’m still buzzing. What the PanaGenius team has put together here will forever define the meaning of Black Excellence!

Ron Taylor

EVP and Chief Diversity Officer
Natixis
Jamila Abston

Thank you for this extraordinary celebration of Black Excellence! I am truly humbled to be one of the 2023 honorees, and I am inspired by all of the other amazing leaders in my cohort and those before me. Thank you again for your commitment to sharing the brilliance of our stories in such a powerful way!

Jamila Abston Mayfield

Partner
Ernest & Young
Sea_Nexus

It was powerful to see so many Black professionals across different industries. You had folks from tech, finance, law, healthcare…never before have I been to a conference like BlackStars! The synergy was amazing, talk about opportunities for client development, opportunity to mentor others and to be mentored. It was amazing!

Nexus Sea

Partner
O’Melveny & Myers
Tony Effik

I loved the spirit and energy of the BlackStars conference, as much as the professional organization, effortless style, and ideas and insights that were shared. It was a wonderful event with great speakers and a warm and collaborative atmosphere. Everybody there was there to win and help each other. And the organization was fantastic! There was a huge amount of joy, openness, and positivity.

Tony Effik

Managing Director
Google

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