Culture, community, curriculum, commerce.
RICE is building a comprehensive supply chain and retail management learning experience that will change the trajectory of Black entrepreneurs being exposed to new business opportunities.
On January 19, over 40 Senior Executives from Walmart and UPS visited the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs for Walmart’s Business Leadership Experience (BLX). Several RICE stakeholders in the retail product space were invited to connect with Walmart & UPS executives to discuss their business and how to prepare to work with large corporations. Deep transformation is happening at RICE and we’re excited to develop meaningful relationships that help raise awareness on the importance of Black entrepreneurship and economic development. Stakeholders that took part in the intimate conversations included:
- BLENDZ APPAREL, CEO Jamia Ramsey
- COUNTIFI INC, Founder David Hailey
- EVA JANE BEAUTY, Founder Eva Jane
- HONEYSUCKLE MOON, LLC CEO L’Angela Lee
- METRIC MATE, Founder MT STRICKLAND
- POSITIVITY WATER, Founder David Walker
- SIMPHONY CHIPS, Owner Dondre Anderson
Walmart’s BLX program immerses its next generation leaders in experiences that build cohesion, invests in Walmart’s culture, and prepares participants to lead the company through the opportunities and challenges of the future. Principally, BLX is intended to target Walmart’s most critical senior talent and focus their mindsets and competencies to support business transformation. Through a series of immersive learning experiences focused on the company’s strategy, this program serves to enable participants’ to be a part of current and emerging challenges, while still being forward leaning on where the company is to go in the future.
Over the course of three days, the BLX program physically and virtually immersed itself into various types of communities in the Atlanta area to help its future leaders imagine – and in some cases, reimagine – community. Along with other ventures, the participants partnered with UPS and RICE to understand community and small business investment. This included understanding how inequity and disparity can be created in the mere designing of cities and communities, and how the inverse is true when thoughtful consideration is given to human experience wherever we commune. Additionally, participants were afforded an opportunity to sit with Black entrepreneurs from RICE to give business insights and create lasting relationships.
“It’s a movement, not a moment” were sentiments shared by the participants as they reflected on their time spent in Atlanta, and how they envision future investments into community. Each walked away with challenged schemas, illuminated perspectives and a deeper appreciation of why community matters now and into the future.
We are grateful for our corporate partners like UPS for making this connection with Walmart — these types of collaborations are so meaningful in helping RICE stakeholders to feel seen, heard, valued and supported. Learn more about how you can become a stakeholder and build connections and community by registering for our upcoming Stakeholder Info Sessions on Feb.21st or Feb 24th here .