Though the Black and African American population has shown the highest percentage growth rate in Arizona, Black entrepreneurship, investments in Black-owned businesses and wages have not kept pace, according to the State of Black Business report.

That’s why local organizations are working with ASU to not only provide more economic opportunity for Black Arizonans but to also fill in workforce gaps to allow Arizona’s economy to keep growing. A collaboration between Arizona State University and Arizona Public Service, the State of Black Arizona, Black Philanthropy Initiative's Social Justice Impact Fund and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will bring speakers and programming to Arizona to help grow the number of people from communities of color who are prepared to enter and succeed in an evolving workforce.

The March 2021 State of Black Arizona report found that although Black and African American Arizonans are a substantial and growing workforce, they are underrepresented in most industries in the state and overrepresented in the lowest-income earning brackets. The top five fields for Black and African American workers in Arizona are health care and social assistance; government; administration, support and waste management; retail; and food services. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated existing workforce inequities in Black and underrepresented communities through furloughs, job loss and economic disparities.

The Black Changemaker Series is a follow-up action from the State of Black Buisness report, and the event kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Phoenix. Maggie Anderson, author of “Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy,” will be featured at the inaugural event to share about the economic impact of the Black community and how everyone can advocate for and support Black-owned businesses. Registration is open for both in-person and virtual participation.

Read the full article about KEYWORD by Hannah Moulton Belec at ASU News.