FWD Collective Summit Chicago ‘17


True to its name FWD Collective, For Women and Diversity, was a sight to see and a joy to experience in person. This year’s summit showcased Chicago’s most diverse and emerging leaders, entrepreneurs and business professionals all in one location for one purpose, diversity and inclusion.  I’m not ashamed to say I came down with a major case of the  “warm and fuzzies”, the energy in the room was filled with purpose, receptiveness and determination to create change.


Attendees were treated to a day full of workshops and highly interactive conversations around breaking barriers and clearing hurdles in every industry.  The midday award ceremony honored Chicago’s movemakers, community leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals, all from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities. Topics ranged from the power of influence to the impact of technology or lack there of in the 2016 presidential election.


One of the major highlights was a powerful presentation from our Founder of ImBlackInTech, Thomas K.R. Stovall. This wasn’t just your ordinary presentation, this segment was an inspirational and literal call to action. All of the attendees we asked to abandon their chairs and form groups to brainstorm actual solutions to combat diversity issues. At the end of the interactive exercise, Thomas asked each attendee in the room one simple question, “What are you going to do tomorrow to bring actionable and measurable impact right here in Chicago?”. I pose this same question to my readers, tell me on Twitter!

Jamila ParhamComment