Since 1977, Black Agency Executives organizes an annual luncheon in January that honors the life and achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and pays tribute to individuals and organizations with an outstanding track record for serving the community.  The MLK Luncheon is BAE’s signature event and a major fundraiser for the organization.  It is a great networking opportunity attracting more than 250 guests and investors each year.

Luncheon Highlights

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Maurice A. Stinnett

Dr. Maurice A. Stinnett is an experienced leader and expert in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and equity across nonprofit, education, and corporate sectors. He serves as the inaugural Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for BSE Global, which owns and operates state-of-the-art venues such as the Barclays Center, and premier sports franchises including the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. In his role at BSE Global, he creates innovative programming tailored for inclusion and cultural competence and provides leadership and support across BSE’s brands. Dr. Stinnett was the first Black man to be appointed Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for an NBA team.


Dr. Stinnett’s prior experience includes roles in higher education and nonprofit leadership. He most recently served as Vice President of Engagement and Chief Diversity Officer at Cleveland State University, where he successfully led the institution’s response to a university crisis that received national attention and ignited debates regarding the distinction between free speech and hate speech. Prior to joining CSU, his experience included serving as Dean of Students at Central State University, as the Sr. Director of Community Engagement and Education at CentroNia, a multicultural, bilingual education nonprofit located in Washington, DC; and as Chairman for the World Leadership Program, a White House initiative under the Obama administration that sought to spark learning and dialogue between graduate students and universities in the Middle East and the United States. 


Dr. Stinnett is an energetic presenter who is a fierce advocate for equity and inclusion. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Central State University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Master of Education and Doctor of Education and Organizational Leadership from Columbia University.

Emcee

Sandra Bookman

Sandra joined Eyewitness News in 1998 as a reporter and shortly after was named as a weekend anchor of Eyewitness News. Previously, she worked at WSB-TV in Atlanta, another dominant ABC affiliate, where she worked for nine years and served as the weekend anchor.

Prior to WSB-TV, she worked as a weekend anchor at both WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina and KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas.

Sandra served as an Olympic Reporter for seven years. She was the only local TV reporter to cover the games from before Atlanta won the bid, until the Olympic bombing in 1996. Sandra covered the '92 games in Barcelona, Spain as well.

She has also reported internationally, including a series of reports from South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela from a South African prison in 1990.

Sandra has been honored with three local Emmy's including statues for her Olympic coverage and reporting in the aftermath of the fatal Valuejet Airlines crash in the Everglades.

She graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in journalism.

Honoree

Sheena Wright

Sheena Wright is the first woman to lead United Way of New York City (UWNYC) in its nearly 80-year history. Part of the United Way worldwide network, UWNYC is a trusted partner to more than 300 community-based organizations, foundations, corporations, and city and state government agencies and aligns and activates them around a shared agenda to tackle the complex challenges of low-income New Yorkers.

 

 

Sheena took the reins at UWNYC the day that Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012. She met that challenge, raising $11 million in disaster relief. In her tenure as President and CEO, Sheena has lead a transformation of the organization—actualizing a Collective Impact strategy, and refocusing UWNYC’s support of low-income New Yorkers towards self-sufficiency. In 2013, Wright spearheaded ReadNYC, the flagship initiative of UWNYC to strengthen families and improve grade-level reading by third grade in our City’s most-challenged communities.

 

Prior to joining UWNYC, she served as President and CEO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation. Sheena is a graduate of Columbia University, received her law degree from Columbia Law School. She was born and raised in the South Bronx and now lives in Harlem, New York with her 3 sons and daughter.

Honoree

Kevin Livingston

Kevin Livingston was inspired by the notion that if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. So, he opted to be part of the solution by creating 100 Suits, a community-centered non-profit organization that is making positive changes in the lives of men and women in the New York City area. Founded in 2011, 100 Suits has served the needs of underprivileged men and women in need of business attire to enter the workforce. The primary focus of the organization is providing solutions to help individuals get to a place of economic freedom and to reduce recidivism rates. Through a variety of programs, 100 Suits has been able to connect to and assist formerly incarcerated individuals, those experienced or threatened with homelessness, gang members and survivors of domestic violence. Starting his personal campaign to impact and improve the day-to-day lives of community people in Jamaica, New York by offering free suits and business attire, his efforts were soon observed to be of significant value to those seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce. Believing that his passion would guide his work and create a monetary return, Mr. Livingston stepped out on faith developing and creating a platform for redemption and engagement that supports the realization of one's potential.

 

With a broad mission to help disconnected men and women improve their role in society, build dignity and self-esteem, foster self-sufficiency, dispel stereotypes, and promote community involvement in order to build each other up, Mr. Livingston meets community residents-- young men and women where they are and provides immediate impact. It doesn't take long for Mr. Livingston's contagious energy, positive affirmations and authentic commitment to become your personal ambassador and make you feel more confident about accomplishing the job search process to become apparent. His easy-going mannerism and reassuring smile are relatable to all with whom he comes into contact. Mr. Livingston believes that building a foundation of constantly reaffirming your vision, keeping your passion ignited, staying focused, being willing to make adjustments and being intentional and goal-oriented will put you in a position to realize your goals. During workshop presentations, 100 Suits stresses the importance of professionalism, striving for excellence and identifying key stakeholders who can provide meaningful insight, support and technical assistance to manage your vision. When visiting one of its boutiques that can be found in busy local business areas or services provided on Riker's Island  “men walk in one way and walk out another.”  (click on photo for more info)

Honoree

The name Diageo was coined as the result of a merger in 1997, and it links Latin and Greek words to deliver the message “Celebrating Life, Every Day, Everywhere.”

 

It might well include the word “Every-ONE.” Diageo has forged a remarkable record of achievement in making diversity and inclusion part of its business and its culture. As an example, it has created the Diageo Multicultural Marketing Advisory Group to advise on issues that drive diversity, inclusion and marketing across all cultures.

 

It’s impressive to note that, four years ago – when Thomson Reuters created a Diversity & Inclusion Index for international business – Diageo ranked 11th out 4,255 worldwide companies.

Special Performance

AIN'T TOO PROUD: The Life and Times of The Temptations

AIN'T TOO PROUD is the electrifying hit musical that follows The Temptations' extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. The rest is history — how they met, the groundbreaking heights they hit and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the United States fell into civil unrest. This thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty and betrayal is set to the beat of the group's treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and so many more.

 

After breaking house records at both Berkeley Rep and The Kennedy Center, AIN'T TOO PROUD, written by three‑time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two‑time Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), and featuring choreography by AIN'T TOO PROUD Tony Award® winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet), now brings the untold story of this legendary quintet to irresistible life on Broadway. Get ready — 'cause here they come!

 

Entertainment

Chuck Nice

Chuck Nice is a Philadelphia native and a 18 year veteran of stand up comedy with a rich history in television and radio. For eight years he provided comic relief to the Radio Chick show, bringing the funny to New York’s radio air waves. From that time until present, Chuck has been equally busy making a name for himself on the small screen. He is the host of Buy Like A Mega Millionaire on HGTV, The Juice on Veria Living and The Hot Ten on Centric. Chuck is seen regularly on the Today Show, has guest hosted Joy Behar’s Say Anything and Co-hosted The View. Chuck maintains his radio presence as the co-host of Star Talk Radio with Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson where he provides humorous commentary on one his favorite subjects...science.

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