The week preceding the first Saturday in May, known to those in the know as "Derby Week," attracts more than 1.5 million visitors to Louisville, KY, making it a premier spot to meet business and community leaders, celebrities, politicians, and just about everyone who is anyone. People come together to enjoy numerous related galas, parties, and concerts.
We believe that Derby Week is more than just a place and time. It's an opportunity for growth, both personally and professionally. A chance to not only make beautiful memories to cherish and have a fantastic amount of fun but to connect with people that can truly enrich your life in so many ways.
But for too long, minorities have not had easy access to all the Derby season has to offer, despite having had a long historical contribution. Of the first fifteen Derby races, thirteen were won by Black sportsmen. They were then banished from the sport, destroying income streams for many Black families committed to the horse racing industry. Across decades, the Latinx community has made outstanding but unheralded contributions to the sport, including roles in backside maintenance and as prominent jockeys.
Derby Diversity Week is the vehicle that allows us to participate and make an impact our way. With business by day and festival by night. Derby Diversity Week is the flagship fundraiser for the Global Economic Diversity Development Initiative (GEDDI) a 501c3 organization with a mission to reduce the wealth gap in the black community.
We want to help you- and everyone- find a home here with us.
"When we started years ago, we were operating with the intent to bring racially diverse groups together to enjoy fellowship, network, and enjoy the Derby," says Tawana Bain, entrepreneur and founder of our event. "Our purpose has since changed. We are doubling down on building a vehicle to reconnect the Black and Latino community to the tourism dollars generated by a sport they helped create and sustain. We recognize that they cannot accomplish this alone, so we come together as one to make this happen through allyship from all diverse sectors. Derby Diversity Week promotes understanding and cooperation among entrepreneurs, influencers, athletes, entertainers, thought leaders, students, and allies who want to lean into the culture."
Derby Diversity Week offers professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, and students of all backgrounds a space to meet, share their stories, develop leadership skills, and build a continuous pipeline of opportunities while reshaping how the world thinks of this annual event.
By attending, guests will engage and participate in professional development, networking, competitions, retail therapy, entertainment, and so much more. Along with networking opportunities available at the business sessions, guests will also have the chance to attend A-list celebrity events and Derby festivities with their peers. We have no chill, so come prepared to celebrate and just generally have the time of your life!
Our goal is to become a global destination event for people and organizations who are leading by example to accomplish real inclusion and prosperity for all. We want you to come be a part.
meet the DDW team
FOUNDER AND CEO
meet the DDW ADVISORY team
- ADVISORS NOT PICTURED -
Supplies Over Seas
Select | Curaleaf
Fifth Third Bank
Women's Business Enterprise Council - West
6 Days of Business & Networking...On and off the track
panels, marketplace & fashion
panels, marketplace & block party
panels, marketplace, awards and derby sneaker ball
Day 5 & 6