An inside look at Kellogg’s 2016 BMA Conference

By Jessica Pawlarczyk

On Saturday, October 29, the Kellogg Black Management Association (BMA) will hold its 30th annual BMA Conference to discuss the power of diversity though the lens of business.

This year’s theme, “The Blueprint: Designing the Foundation for our Tomorrow”, focuses on leveraging learnings from the past three decades to envision a blueprint for a future of success.

Over the last 30 years, the BMA has brought several influential speakers to campus, including President Barack Obama, CNN Reporter Soledad O’Brien and Kraft’s first-ever CMO Deanie Elsner. This year’s conference will build upon the wisdom and frameworks for success that these distinguished speakers shared.

Kellogg is excited to welcome two keynote speakers this year: Wendy Lewis, global chief diversity officer of McDonald’s Corporation and Troy Carter, global head of creator services of Spotify and founder of Atom Factory. They will be joined by 15 panelists that represent a variety of notable corporations, including Starbucks, Google, ESPN and more.

This year, attendees will have the opportunity to attend four panel discussions:

  • Breaking new ground: A women-focused discussion on how underrepresented groups of business leaders can break through the glass ceiling.
  • Structural integrity: A discussion on maintaining authenticity in the corporate environment.
  • Investing in the next level: A conversation about the key issues affecting minority communities. Panelists will share their initiatives that embolden future generations, unite minority communities, build wealth and spread knowledge.
  • Wireframing for connectivity: Wireframes are crucial to a building’s infrastructure, arranging elements to best accomplish a specific strategic purpose. This session explores how to apply the art of wireframing to any goal by cultivating and leveraging allies to increase impact.

Through these discussions, the BMA Student Exec Team hopes to engage attendees in meaningful conversations and inspire a further refined “blueprint” that will empower generations to come.

“We are proud of the progress that Black leaders have made in various industries over the past couple of decades, and seek to highlight that success,” say Conference Chair Fama Longjohn and Conference Vice Chair Anthony Gonzalez.

“We also know that continued progress, especially in these challenging times, will require us to grow the next generation by sharing learnings… and strengthen our relationships with other groups from different backgrounds so that we can benefit from the each other’s experiences and develop allies to move forward together. Having a blueprint – an idea of what the future could be – no matter how rough or messy, is essential to take the first step forward.”

The conference will close with its first-ever startup pitch competition, which invites U.S. underrepresented minority founders to share their entrepreneurial endeavors in front of an esteemed panel of judges. The competition is presented in partnership with WeSolv and tech incubator 1871, and a cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the winning startup.

The day before the conference, Kellogg will welcome approximately 170 prospective students to campus as part of the school’s Diversity Preview Day. The BMA Student Exec Team welcomes prospective students to attend the conference and learn more about Kellogg’s vibrant and diverse academic community.

Interested in attending Kellogg’s 2016 BMA Conference? Register now and join us in designing the foundation for our tomorrow!

Can’t make the conference? Follow #KelloggBMAC on Twitter and Instagram for event coverage!