Partners producing summit on economic equity


James Chapman. Courtesy Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses

A pair of local economic development organizations are hosting a summit this week on economic equity in Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses (GRABB), in partnership with the Grand Rapids Urban League Young Professionals, will host The Shift Summit from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, at Grand Valley State University’s Richard M. DeVos Center, 401 W. Fulton St in Grand Rapids.

Organizers said the second-annual event aims to create dialogue and solutions for building sustainable communities, including building “relationships and resources statewide to address the economic crisis in the city’s black communities.”

“The Shift Summit was created as a platform for community builders and entrepreneurs,” said Jamiel Robinson, GRAAB founder and CEO.

Tickets, $50, are available online.


James Chapman will keynote the event. Chapman is an entrepreneur and author of “The Hustle,” who also works for Detroit-based Rock Ventures, the holding company for billionaire Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of 100 companies.

Chapman will “educate and engage the audience” on how entrepreneurs and businesses can be catalysts for economic development and equitable community growth.


The Shift Summit also will feature several panel discussions on building neighborhood business districts, encouraging women entrepreneurs, accessing capital and creating wealth.

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