The Global Black Economic Forum appoints Alphonso David President & CEO

David, a prominent attorney and advocate for social and economic justice, will lead significant expansion of Forum’s footprint, strategy, and programming

The Global Black Economic Forum, the world’s first platform committed to redefining economic and social justice around the globe for the Black Diaspora, announced that Alphonso David will serve as President and CEO, launching a robust and ambitious strategy for expansion to serve and advocate on behalf of the economic needs of the Black community.

The Global Black Economic Forum engages business executives, policy makers, entrepreneurs, activists and consumers globally on thought leadership; corporate and entrepreneurial career development; and advancing social and economic justice for marginalized communities. Historically focused on hosting major conferences that bring together leaders across sectors to address key challenges, the Forum will expand its structure to include a global academy and technology platform to empower Black people globally, as well as launch foundation work to formulate, evaluate, and advocate on issues of social and economic justice.

“We began this journey with one sole mission — to build economic opportunity for the Black Diaspora and ensure that economic inclusion is a human right,” said Richelieu Dennis, Founder and Chairman of the Global Black Economic Forum. “Without economic opportunity, no person can achieve their full potential, and no society can achieve justice.”

Alphonso David, President & CEO of the Global Black Economic Forum said: “I am inspired by this opportunity to apply my life’s work fighting for civil rights and inclusion to the enormous opportunity of crossing borders, breaking down barriers, and helping more people throughout the world seize opportunities and pursue their dreams. It’s time we finally cast aside the shackles that hold our communities back. This is our moment. And in seizing this moment, I am looking forward to leveraging the community reach and scale of the Essence Ventures platform and I am excited to partner with Caroline Wanga, President and CEO of Essence Ventures.”

Founder and Chairman Richelieu Dennis: A History of Innovating and Empowering

The Global Black Economic Forum was founded by global entrepreneur, investor, and social commerce innovator Richelieu Dennis, who has had a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation that traces back to his family’s roots in Liberia, West Africa. Dennis is well known for founding the Sundial Family of companies and building it into a billion-dollar enterprise after which he acquired the legendary ESSENCE brand.  Dennis currently serves as chairman for a suite of companies and is driven by a mission to lift up underserved communities by advancing the philosophy of economic inclusion as a human right. 

New President and CEO Alphonso David: Leadership for the Forum’s Next Chapter

Alphonso David brings more than two decades of experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, working to advance the rights of marginalized communities through policy, legislation, litigation and advocacy.  David has a history of breaking down barriers, building systems, and transforming institutions throughout his multifaceted career.  As a business leader, he was instrumental in creating one of the most sought-after addiction treatment centres in the country. In public service, David helped to transform broken systems that impeded the lives of the most vulnerable, including restructuring the workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance systems in the State of New York to reduce inefficiencies and deficits that had plagued these vital social safety nets for decades. As a non-profit leader, he created and expanded ground-breaking programs for marginalized communities, including an impact litigation program to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people and an HIV & Health Equity Program to address the disproportionately high rates of HIV among black and brown communities throughout the nation.  David is a trailblazer who has committed his life to actualizing a more just and equitable world.

Conferences with Global Impact

The Global Black Economic Forum has held conferences with a diverse group of world leaders and executives that include: President of Ghana Nana Akufo Addo, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, CEO of Square, Inc. and co-founder and former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, President and CEO of TIAA and former CEO of Chase Consumer Banking at JP Morgan Chase Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Walmart Doug McMillon and Bishop and Author T.D. Jakes. 

The Forum will continue to host global and regional conferences — from Accra, Ghana to New Orleans, Louisiana— tailored to advance equity for the Black community and other marginalized groups. As a space to convene and unite heads of state, world leaders, business executives, policy makers, advocates and activists, the Forum curates an insightful mix of interactive panels, dynamic speakers, and immediate calls to action to advance equity for the Black community globally.

What’s Next: A Global Academy, Tech Platform, and Foundation

Now, the Global Black Economic Forum will expand its reach and impact with new leadership, structure and programming. In addition to its conferences, the Forum will also create a global academy and multi-prong technology platform to empower Black people and other historically underserved communities to build new and sustainable capabilities for leadership and success across industries and transform how institutions address and are held accountable on issues of equity and equality.  Further, the Forum — through a partnership with New Voices Foundation — will formulate, evaluate and advocate on social and economic justice policy issues affecting Black and Brown communities and other marginalized groups.  The Forum’s foundation work will be focused on breaking down systemic and oppressive systems that have been created and sustained to discriminate against and further oppress marginalized communities.