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Home News 2016 Clark Atlanta University to Host Nation’s First Economic Inclusion and Competitiveness Summit

Clark Atlanta University to Host Nation’s First Economic Inclusion and Competitiveness Summit

Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2016


Contact: Donna L. Brock

ATLANTA (April 7, 2016) -Clark Atlanta University (CAU) President Ronald A. Johnson April 22-23 will convene local, regional and national leaders at the nation’s first Economic Inclusion and Competitiveness Summit April 22-23 in the Thomas W. Cole Jr. Center for Research in Science and Technology on the University’s campus, 223 James P. Brawley Drive, S.W.  Registration for the event is free and open to the public:  '

“This Summit is a first step on the path toward developing a national vision and strategy of inclusive competitiveness that will empower the next generation of job creators,” Johnson said.  In addition to illuminating key efforts across the United States, the Summit will also provide critical insight and information on three necessary elements in creating and sustaining the climate for inclusive competitiveness:  entrepreneurial education, scalable minority ventures and impact investing.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams, administrator of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) will deliver the Summit’s opening address Friday, April 22. Prior to Williams’ keynote, Johnathan Holifield, author of “The Future Economy and Inclusive Competitiveness” and co-founder of ScaleUp Partners LLC, will share his expertise on developing inclusive economic ecosystems, including a presentation on the growing national movement of inclusive competitiveness. Retired NASA Director Julian Earls, Ph.D., will introduce the afternoon town hall meeting on Economic Inclusion and Competitiveness featuring a showcase of successful entrepreneurs and innovators from 1:15-2:45 p.m.

“Although not a new issue, this particular conversation is overdue,” Johnson said. “Discussions of economic inclusion and empowering underrepresented populations in today’s economy have traditionally centered upon workforce development while overlooking the extraordinary inherent value, unparalleled momentum and segmented growth of entrepreneurship among African Americans and other peoples of color.

On April 23, CAU students, alongside students from other Atlanta University Center institutions and area high schools, will participate in a hack-a-thon addressing issues of economic competitiveness. Additionally, CAU student entrepreneurs will present their ventures and compete in “The Panther’s Den,” a judged business pitch competition.

Johnson added that the convening of this national conversation at the University is intentional and strategic. “It is important to include students in this Summit,” he said, “because the question of who will create the jobs of tomorrow must also encompass access to market resources for young minority entrepreneurs who, in order to be successful in the 21st century global economy, must redefine their role in the economic landscape as job creators in addition to job applicants. This discussion of economic inclusion not only connects directly to the ongoing discourse around bolstering America’s global competitiveness, but, more importantly, connects those traditionally excluded from the conversation.”

For the full CAU Economic Inclusion and Competitiveness Summit schedule, speakers and registration site, visit www.cau.edu/inclusion. For more information on the Summit or Clark Atlanta University, contact Rita Hardy,

Category: Students, Alumni, Staff, Administration, Faculty
Keywords: Economic Inclusion Summit