2022 Pride Awards E-Magazine

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T H E W E S T I N C H A R LOT T E I N - P E R S O N L U N C H E O N 11: 1 5 N E T W O R K I N G - 1 2 N O O N P R O G R A M

T H U R S D A Y, F E B R U A R Y 2 4, 2 0 2 2

“The biggest obstacles in our lives are the barriers our mind creates” - Jake Ducey << 2 >>

2022 PRIDE AWARDS S P O N S O R S Presenting sponsors

Premium sponsors

Supporting sponsors

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Hello! We’ve talked about bridging the racial wealth gap at Pride extensively. We know this is a pervasive problem that won’t be easily solved. One line of thought that bares examination is that business ownership for people of color will close the racial wealth gap. Unfortunately, research does not support this notion, nor do I as a minority business owner. A report by the UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute (2021) states that although small business ownership is key to financial wellbeing, stark racial differences prevail.



Think about it. Black businesses have been around for some time, originating during slavery and throughout the Reconstruction Era from 1863 -1877. Blacks have owned and operated just about every kind of business, including insurance companies, banks, funeral parlors, barbershops, hair salons and restaurants. Yet, as a whole, minority-owned businesses struggle to survive.

“When minority-owned businesses are located in underserved neighborhoods, it limits outside clientele and negatively impacts their ability Without question, barriers of an overwhelming magnitude have plagued to gain contacts, acquire Black business owners throughout time and still prevail today right here in customers or participate in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The above mentioned UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute city procurement plans.” - UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute study

study makes it crystal clear what these barriers include, and I quote: “racial inequity, access to capital, access to markets, marketing and operations, regulations and capacity.”

What You Can Expect at Pride Awards 2022 We are planning several key components for your experience this year: •

Attendees will be able to interact with several businesses on display from Charlotte’s “opportunity zones” during the networking portion of the luncheon (11:15 – 12 noon).

These businesses will participate in a high-energy, creative pitch contest on stage during the actual program. Attendees will decide on the winner who will receive a valuable marketing package to help move their business forward.

Pride Awards 2022 will also give accolades to its major sponsors for their support and commitment to supply chain diversity.

Kieth Cockrell, Bank of America Charlotte President, will be the recipient of this year’s prestigious Pride Award and will engage in a fun Q&A, while PEEP (Pride Educational Empowerment Program) will receive this year’s monetary donation.

That’s it for now. While we certainly hope and pray to see you in-person this year, know that live streaming is also in the cards. Tickets and tables are still available, so call 704-375-9553 or email us at info@pridemagazine.net to reserve your seat! << 3 >>


Kieth Cockrell

President of Bank of America Charlotte Head of Executive Escalations Kieth Cockrell is President of Bank of America Charlotte. He also serves as the head of Executive Escalations for the company. As President of Bank of America Charlotte, he is responsible for connecting banking and investment resources offered through eight lines of business to people and companies across the region, deploying Bank of America’s resources to address social and economic concerns, and helping the local community thrive. Kieth recently served as the Global Technology & Operations chief operating officer with responsibility for Programs, Business Controls, Oversight and Operations as well as external relationships, for nearly 95,000 employees and contractors in more than 35 countries. Prior to that, Kieth served as head of Specialty Client Services for Consumer & Small Business and President of Bank of America Michigan. During his 38-year career in financial services, Kieth has held a number of key executive roles including COO for Consumer & Small Business, National Community Markets executive responsible for 1,800 financial centers, President, Customer Service and Support responsible for all call center operations, and the executive leading the debit card and ATM businesses. He has also led Specialty Clients Services, Life Services, Employee Financial Services and Client Escalations. Kieth is a passionate ally and advocate for a diverse and inclusive workplace. Previously, he served as vice chair of the Global Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Council. In this role, he was instrumental in establishing several employee networks, including the Black Professional Group; the Hispanic/Latino

Organization for Leadership and Advancement; the Military Support and Assistance Group; and the Black Executive Advisory Council. In 2019, he received two D&I awards, the Root Award and the Vanguard Award, for his role promoting equality, unity and multiculturalism. He is an active member and advisor in several employee networks. Active in the community, he co-chaired the 2020 Charlotte City Bond Campaign. He plays a vital role on various boards with local organizations, including board chair of the Levine Museum of the New South, the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, Foundation for the Carolinas Community Real Property Holdings, Inc., My Brother’s Keeper Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Providence Day School, and Davidson College. Also, he has served on the boards of United Way, Goodwill Industries, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and the American Diabetes Association, which previously named him Father of the Year. Kieth is a Michigan Chronicle Men of Excellence honoree and received the Excellence in Economic Development award from the 100 Black Men of Detroit.


PEEP (Pride Educational Empowerment Program) PEEP Launches FGI (First Generation Investors Program)

After Pride Magazine produced a feature story, “Who Will Save Our Children,” in a 2006 issue that told the daunting story of how many Black children in the Charlotte area were severely neglected, Dee Dixon, Pride Magazine’s CEO and Publisher founded PEEP - originally called the Pride Entrepreneur Education Program-in 2007. Currently, PEEP has relaunched with a new name (Pride Educational Empowerment Program) and a powerful new core, dedicated to helping students of color begin to overcome the racial wealth gap with a focus on wealth creation. In addition to exposing students to entrepreneurship and career mentoring, PEEP now provides the opportunity for Black and Brown students to understand the need to build generational wealth by learning about capital markets and how to invest in them via a nationally recognized model called First Generation Investors (FGI). In collaboration with Cochrane Collegiate Academy, PEEP has launched the first FGI program in Charlotte, utilizing college volunteers from Johnson C. Smith and UNC-Charlotte to implement an already established national curriculum to teach the students about the stock market. The truly unique part of this program is that students will actually receive funding to set up their own individual portfolios.

Note, PEEP has provided over $100,000 in scholarships to local Charlotte students over the years and plans are in place for the organization to continue to be a valuable financial resource with regard to helping young folk move forward with their careers.

Expected outcomes of PEEP/FGI include more students developing a strong grasp of how capital markets work so that they can use investing as tool to create wealth for themselves, their families and the community as a whole. Also, it is anticipated that more students of color will develop a desire to pursue careers in the investment, finance and asset management industries.

If you are interested in making a charitable donation, joining the PEEP board of directors, or volunteering, please email dee@pridecommunications.net or call 704-375-9553.

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PEEP is calling on the entire Charlotte community to support PEEP’s exciting new initiative and other programing so that we can we can begin to help students understand the importance of building generational wealth and the need for creating better financial outcomes for all.


THE WESTIN CHARLOTTE Reserve tickets or tables at PrideAwards.net or call 704.375.9553

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall” - Confucius

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