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Derby Diversity Week Promises Business By Day, Festival By Night for Successful and Aspiring Leaders Across the Nation
All-star lineup of keynote speakers, extended calendar of events and networking with well-known, powerful corporations and executives featuring inaugural $50,000 Ideathon tech competition, DDW Marketplace and Block Party
LOUISVILLE, KY (April 11, 2022) – In the same city where people of all backgrounds, like-minded businesses and the entire community came together to “say her name” and stand up against centuries-old injustices that still impact far too many Americans, Derby Diversity Week (DDW) is excited to announce the 2022 edition of one of America’s most highly-anticipated minority business development-economic empowerment meets entertainment forums from May 2 through May 7, 2022. Now in its fourth year, DDW continues to attract some of the world’s top suppliers, buyers, executives and business leaders for four action packed conference days of networking and excitement, featuring the inaugural $50,000 Ideathon tech competition and Derby Sneaker Ball and two days at the track to enjoy the KY Oaks and KY Derby races.
“Every year, on the first Saturday in May, Louisville becomes the international epicenter of fortune, fashion, food and fun,” Tawana Bain, DDW founder said. “What better opportunity to expand economic opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs of color, the LGTBQ+ community and other diverse groups than by providing unequalled access to national and international titans of industry – and, at the same time, enjoying the sights and sounds of the Kentucky Derby.”
In addition to powerful plenaries and sessions, DDW will host even more electrifying events over more days, including the brand new Ideathon competition. The tech competition will give entrepreneurs a unique chance to partner with tech designers to build out a tech-based prototype and compete for a $50,000 investment, made possible by Curaleaf and Churchill Downs Inc., to launch their product. Moreover, new this year is the Block Party. Finally, DDW invites merchants to showcase their business at the all-new Marketplace, which will be open to attendees and FREE to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (May 3rd – May 5th).
Guests can attend DDW with a 4-Day Summit Pass only available at $795. The Summit Pass provides admittance to all daytime conference activities, including scheduled meals, opening reception, Ideathon, and Brims, Bowties, Bourbon and Buyers. or a Summit Fest pass which which also includes the nightime festivities inclusive of the Block Party, Isaac Murphy Legacy Awards and the International Derby Travels the Runway Fashion Show. Tickets are also on sale now for the popular Derby Gala and Derby Sneaker Ball, which will take place on Thursday, May 5th at the Muhammad Ali Center, as well as other DDW exclusive evening parties.
“I love the energy of Derby,” said Susan Elkington, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Kentucky. “DDW builds on this energy to have important conversations on diversity and inclusion while making connections that last beyond the race.”
DDW is made possible through the generous support of Sustainable Metal Solutions, Curaleaf, Churchill Downs,4th Street Live, iHeart Louisville, Marriott, Kentucky International Convention Center, Grand Island Resources, Louisville Tourism, Greaters Louisville Inc., JP Davis Partners, Kentucky Tourism, the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) ORV, WBEC South, Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance, and many more.
Registration is now open for all activities and events. For more information, and to purchase a Summit or Summit Fest pass, please visit www.derbydiversity.com.
About Derby Diversity Week (DDW)
The mission of DDW is to drive innovative strategies to attract diverse consumers while promoting the utilization of best-in-class diverse business leaders within the Executive Workforce and Global Supply Chain and sports. A portion of DDW 2022 proceeds will be donated to GEDDI in support of black owned businesses.
About Global Economic Diversity Development Initiative (GEDDI)
DDW is presented by the GEDDI, a Black-founded and predominantly Black-led 501 (c) 3 nonprofit foundation started in June 2020 to further diversity, equity, and inclusion. GEDDI’s mission is to create generational wealth that meets present and future needs in the Black community through creative and well-thought-out, perpetual grant-making practices.
ANNUAL DIVERSITY CONFERENCE EXPANDS TO ACCOMMODATE MORE SPEAKERS, TOPICS AND EVENING FESTIVITIES MAY 2-7, 2022
2022 Derby Diversity Week will feature Business by Day, Festival by Night, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in a Post-Pandemic World
Formerly known as the Derby Diversity Business Summit (DDBS), this year’s Derby Diversity Week (DDW) brings together the world’s top suppliers, buyers, executives, and business leaders, inclusive of all diverse groups (minorities, women, LGBTQ+, Veterans and disabled) to network, develop, and enjoy the Kentucky Derby. By attending, guests will have the ability to participate in panel discussions, hear keynotes from highly sought-after speakers, and engage in networking opportunities.
DDW’s name change reflects an expanded schedule to four full days of business and festival activities beginning on Monday, May 2, 2022 and lasting through the Thursday before Derby. The increase in days includes the addition of the Ideathon, an opportunity for entrepreneurs to partner with tech designers, build out a prototype of a tech-based products and compete for funding to launch the product. Curaleaf, a Superfecta sponsor, and Churchill Downs, a Trifecta sponsor, along with several other sponsor contributions affords Derby Diversity Week the ability to invest $50,000 with three lucky businesses that win, place or show in the Ideathon Competition.
DDW organizers are excited to bring this event back as a predominantly live experience.Officials will continue to monitor CDC guidelines in order to provide a safe and comfortable event for all attendees. For those who are unable to attend in person, an option for virtual attendance to a majority of the daily sessions will be made available.
DDW Founder Tawana Bain says, “Our organization is unique as we have built our event to ensure the economic impact that the Kentucky Derby has on our city is inclusive of more small minority businesses. With DDW, Louisville has an opportunity to ensure that we are making an economic impact with more sustainability and equity.We have a deep-rooted history of segregating both our dollars and our time during the Kentucky Derby. DDW exists to drive intentionality to change this.”
Bain goes on to say that, “Being intentional about bringing all groups together enables our attendees, community, and corporate allies to have honest conversations about our differences, as well as our similarities, to strengthen solidarity across race, gender, age, and ability. In an atmosphere geared toward growing your business economically, we bring an understanding of culture and inclusion to the forefront, while also tearing down the stereotypes and prejudices held against different groups. Ongoing events across the nation have made these conversations more important than ever to have.”
Organizers of the event are soliciting nationally known speakers related to the themes of each day: entrepreneurship and technology, workforce diversity, sports, entertainment and consumer marketing and global supply chain.
Guests can attend Derby Diversity Week with a 4-Day Summit Pass for the early bird rate of $695, with a regular Summit Pass rate of $795. The Summit Pass will include all daytime conference activities including scheduled meals, the opening reception, Ideathon, and the ever-popular Brims, Bowties, Bourbon and Buyers. Tickets are also on sale for the popular Derby gala, the Derby Sneaker Ball, which will take place on Thursday, May 5that the Muhammad Ali Center, as well as other planned evening events.
Merchants are invited to showcase their business at the all-new Marketplace, which will be open to attendees and FREE to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.Prices for exhibiting in the Marketplace are as follows: diverse businesses $495, non-diverse business $695, corporations $1,095 and non-profit $295. Businesses as well as business owners with disabilities are encouraged to register.
Additional partners of the event include Sustainable Metal Solutions, Grand Island Resources, Marriott, Kentucky International Convention Center, Leadership Louisville, Greater Louisville Inc, JP Davis Partners, Proctor and Gamble, Humana, Black Equity Business Alliance, HarperSlade, WBEC ORV, WBEC South, WBEA and many more. Registration is now open and early-bird rates apply for all activities and opportunities.For more information, visit www.derbydiversity.com.
Derby Diversity Week is presented by the Global Economic Diversity Development Initiative (GEDDI), a Black-founded and predominantly Black-led 501 (c) 3 non-profit foundation started in June 2020 to further the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work started back in 2017 with the first Derby Diversity Business Summit. GEDDI serves as a worldwide giving choice for racial equity and economic justice initiatives with a specific emphasis on addressing the systemic issues within the Black Community. The foundation’s mission is to create generational wealth that meets present and future needs in the black community through creative and well-thought-out, perpetual grant-making practices.
About Derby Diversity Week
The mission of the Derby Diversity Week (DDW) is to drive innovative strategies to attract diverse consumers while promoting the utilization of best in class diverse business leaders within the Executive Workforce and Global Supply Chain and Sports.
DDW has an international draw and exists to bring together the world’s top, diverse suppliers and executives-inclusive of ALL diverse groups (Minority, Women, LGBTQ, Veteran & Disabled) on a national scale to network, develop and enjoy the Derby. A portion of the 2022 proceeds will be donated to GEDDI in support of black owned businesses. By attending, guests will have the ability to participate in development seminars, panel discussions, and even hear from highly sought after speakers to share their experiences in the business world of Supplier Diversity & Diversity and Inclusion. Along with networking opportunities that will be available at the business sessions, guests will also have the chance to attend A-list celebrity events with their peers.