Black Chamber of Commerce Formed in San Leandro

By SLNext
In Uncategorized
Jul 13th, 2022
3 Comments
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Photo of Chamber Ribbon Cutting
Dewayne Cornelius, SL Black Chamber of Commerce President, cuts ribbon

The San Leandro African American Business Council has formed a new organization to serve and advocate for local Black-owned businesses. On June 25th, the San Leandro Black Chamber held a small ceremonial ribbon cutting at which the new board members including youth representatives met with representatives from the Black Chambers in Northern California. San Leandro’s Black Chamber is partnering with the regional group to share resources and funding.

African American Business Council Logo

The African American Business Council (AABC) has been an advocate for San Leandro Black Owned Businesses for over 20 years. Its mission is to be an advocate for and eliminate obstacles in the path of black-owned business success, while developing future business-owners and leaders. These goals have been achieved by hosting business development workshops, providing public agency certification assistance, assisting in formulating San Leandro business policies and creating business-to-business opportunities.

To develop future leaders, the AABC hosted Career Day for over 15 years. The Career Day program was originally designed to help African-American students to reach their career goals. The program provided African-American students with an opportunity to interact with career African-American professionals in a formal setting. Over the last 5 plus years the Career Day program was offered to all San Leandro High School Students grades 10-12.

Ribbon cutting attendees laugh at story from Bernard Ashcraft, early African American Business Council leader.
Ribbon cutting attendees respond to story from Bernard Ashcraft

The AABC, along with other African-American Community Leaders, also supported the successful campaign to elect Surlene Grant as the first African-American to serve as councilmember in San Leandro. Surlene Grant’s successful election opened the door for other African-Americans to serve in various offices as well as become employed by the city.

The African American Business Council will continue to exist as the non-profit foundation for the Black Chamber and focus on community and youth development.

Emily Griego, president of SL Chamber of Commerce, speaks to attendees
Emily Griego, president of SL Chamber of Commerce, speaks to attendees

The Black Chamber will carry on the Business Council’s more than 20 years of work to support Black-owned business success while developing future business owners and leaders. The group will also maintain the Business Council’s collaboration with the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and the two chambers will work together to bring programs and resources to the business community.

More work is underway and the Black Chamber will release additional information about its plans in the coming months. Members of the community interested in supporting the San Leandro Black Chamber of Commerce or volunteering may contact the group at info@slaabc.comm.

3 Responses to “Black Chamber of Commerce Formed in San Leandro”

  1. Cate Larsen says:

    I’m very pleased to see that we finally have a thriving Black community within the city of San Leandro. It’s about time!

  2. Regina Cunningham says:

    This is great news and long overdue!!

  3. Carrie Polk says:

    Yes this is wonderful! I would love to get involved I’m a realtor and native of San Leandro and want to dig even deeper roots in my community.

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