Gainesville Black Professionals

Showcasing the Talents, Expertise, Contributions and Impact of Black Professionals

In a society where topics of race relations, economic gaps, equity and disparity become too sensitive to talk about, a local organization has found a way to spotlight shining examples of achievement, success and prosperity in the community.

Gainesville Black Professionals (GBP) is a non profit organization that was founded in 2016 by Virginia Grant. It was originally organized to give black professionals a space to connect, collaborate and exchange thoughts, ideas and resources. GBP began by hosting quarterly networking events that were well attended, well received by the community and full of energy.

The Movers & Shakers Mixer is held at various restaurants and usually have about 150 or more professionals in attendance. The events are free and open to the public. The mixers are upscale and professional but with a relaxed atmosphere that supports networking and fosters relationship building. Virginia says that she wants every guest to feel like they are at home.

She has brought together a team of ambassadors to help her do this. “I think that it is important that we do not become cliquish and that everyone feels welcome and leaves the event with at least one new contact.” To ensure that this happens, ambassadors intentionally greet every guest with a handshake, a thank you for coming out and often a hug. They assertively work the room and introduce guests to other guests throughout the night.

Though these events are successful, Virginia quickly realized that GBP has a larger purpose. She realized that there was a need to create platforms to showcase the talents, expertise, contributions and impact of Black Professionals. GBP now has a weekly podcast, monthly newsletter, a leadership conference, presents annual community awards and in 2019 launched a magazine, “SYNERGY: A Collaborative Guide to Economic Discovery.”

These platforms serve to showcase professionals and at the same time gives the community access to black professionals. Many times, organizations, boards, city officials and even employers will say that their organizations are not diverse because they do not know where to find minorities. Creating a network of black professionals resolves this issue. If you are an HR manager and want to expand your pool of potential employees, you can find over 150 black professionals at any GBP event. If you are searching for minorities to serve on a board or committee you can post a request in our monthly newsletters or thumb through the pages of SYNERGY.

In 2017, the Men of Vision and Purpose award was introduced. This award is presented annually to a male who has a true desire to make a difference in the community and his profession. He has a clear course of action to accomplish this and works on achieving it daily. The black male is often criticized and rarely celebrated in our society. The MVP award is an opportunity to celebrate those men who are making a positive difference.

 

Gainesville Black Professionals

www.gbpinc.org
352 208 4894
PO Box 140371
Gainesville, FL 32608
info@gbpinc.org

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