E5: Inviting Black Men to the C-Suite and Why Inclusion Matters Most

Area of Focus: Workforce Resilience and Leadership

A study reported by The Washington Post in January 2021 revealed that Black employees represent a strikingly small percentage (8%) of top executives and the professionals responsible to boost inclusion often struggle. Despite variations of individual success in overcoming racial disparities and divisive narratives, Black male nonprofit leaders often experience personal frustration and psychological fatigue due to unwarranted impediments in exercising their full leadership capacity, creative potential, and organizational impact (Pickett, 2020).

In response to this daunting reality, a group of nonprofit executives from around the country formed a safe, culturally responsive space for Black male leaders nearly 10 years ago. Utilizing a barbershop format where everyone is welcome, they will share individual narratives, collective perspectives, and unique recommendations with the goal to diversify the C-suite.

Research suggests that inclusive workplaces drive employee productivity, foster creativity, improve problem solving, and increase profitability. During this presentation, these social service executives will advance the conversation by emphasizing the organizational significance and business advantage of moving past diversification to authentic inclusion.

Learning Objectives

  • The prevalence and impact of psychological adversity many Black male leaders face throughout their professional journey
  • Best practices for engaging, recruiting, and supporting black males in C-suite positions while transitioning from diversity to inclusion
  • Success stories, positive outcomes, and organizational impact from retaining Black men in high-level leadership roles


Julius Mullen, Ed.D
Chief Inclusion Officer
Children & Families First of Delaware

Romero Davis
Senior Program Manager for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Practice Excellence
Social Current

Raphael Holloway, MA
Gateway Center

Undraye P. Howard, Ph. D.
VP of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Engagement
Social Current

Reyahd D.J. Kazmi, Esq.
Director of Business and Government Strategies
National Youth Advocate Program

Claude A. Robinson
Founder & President
Onyx Strategic Partners, LLC.

Jonathan Palmer, MS
Executive Director
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center

George Winn, MA
Chief Strategy Officer
Judson Center

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