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Partnership For Econ. Development Kicks Off Nat. Campaign With Local Black Business Owners, City & State Officials, Community & Educational Leaders

Media Executive & Entrepreneur Oscar Joyner Inspired Crowd to Take Ownership of Their Economic Future

A national movement designed to grow Black businesses and boost economic development in urban communities recently kicked off with an inspiring speech from media executive and entrepreneur Oscar Joyner at the Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University.

Some of Mississippi's most influential business and government leaders, the city's acting mayor, several candidates running for mayor of Jackson, city council members, and other community leaders attended the launch of the Partnership For Economic Development (PED). The launch is the beginning of a national tour to other cities, especially those in the south where African-Americans oversee billions in public dollars.

Kathy Y. Times, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and entrepreneur and author, James Covington launched PED and its companion website,, to connect African-American businesses to local and national buyers.

"People are still euphoric after the event, because they hadn't seen anything quite like it. Now, we must engage them in this process because it's about fulfilling our generational challenge of moving from political power to economic power," said Covington, president of

Participants in the April event will have a chance to become founding partners of PED, a national collaboration of African-American organizations and economic engines, including governmental entities, colleges and universities, faith-based institutions, businesses, and non-profits working to stimulate economic development in the African-American community.

"Imagine the possibilities for change if every city and county had an aggressive plan for including African-American businesses in the procurement process," said Times, vice president of

At the event, there were leaders from all segments of the community, including local businesses, education, churches, community and civic groups, fraternities, sororities and local and state elected officials as well as chief financial and administrative officers from public agencies.

During his keynote speech, Joyner, president of the nationally syndicated, "Tom Joyner Morning Show," shared his journey as a business executive, and strategies he and his company used to build the radio show into the nation's top ranked morning syndicated entertainment show.  "My father instilled in me the need to super-serve our audience - and our community," Joyner said. "We have to make sure every marketer knows that African-Americans have more than $1 trillion in consumer buying power that can not be overlooked."

PED is designed to complement, an economic development tool and national online marketplace that connects Black businesses to local and national buyers. Mississippi's public universities are among buyers using the online interactive marketplace to reach Black businesses.

For any questions about bringing PED to your city or organization or, please call (769) 553-1978 or email Kathy at .

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