Opportunity, prosperity focus of Black Changemaker Series Nov. 9

ASU, State of Black Arizona to host 3rd installment of series

Arizona State University, in conjunction with the State of Black Arizona, will be hosting the third installment of the Black Changemaker Series on Nov. 9 at Junior Achievement in Tempe.

A collaboration between ASU and local organizations and sponsors including the State of Black Arizona, Arizona Public Service, Black Philanthropy Initiative's Social Justice Impact Fund and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Black Changemaker Series has helped bring nationally recognized speakers and programming to Arizona to help increase the number of people from underrepresented and underserved communities who are prepared to enter and succeed in an evolving workforce. 

Portrait of Velma Trayham
Velma Trayham

The overall effort has resulted in a multifaceted approach to topics and issues that can have a significant effect on not only individuals’ livelihoods but on Arizona’s economy overall, said Teniqua Broughton, executive director of the State of Black Arizona.

“Investing in Black Arizonans is critical to the future of Arizona’s economy. The Grand Canyon state cannot reach its full growth and development potential without understanding and acting upon the merits of inclusive prosperity,” Broughton said.

The keynote speaker for the event is Velma Trayham, CEO of ThinkZILLA Consulting Group and founder of Millionaire Mastermind Academy, who said she is excited to take part because she sees the impact the Changemaker Series has made in its short time.

“The Black Changemaker Series is already making waves and sparking change for young entrepreneurs across Arizona, and I am honored to share my insights on the ability to build wealth through entrepreneurship,” said Trayham. “When we share our wisdom and pool our strengths, we build stronger individuals, businesses and communities.”

Trayham is an award-winning entrepreneur, sought-after speaker and economic empowerment specialist who believes that inclusive, equitable businesses and communities are what create opportunity and drive prosperity. Through ThinkZILLA Consulting Group, Trayham builds, manages and helps bring greater awareness to programs and initiatives that are vital to supporting all kinds of communities around the U.S.

In the past three years, Trayham has mentored more than 8,000 minority women business owners. She has also developed programs for notable fortune 500 organizations and enterprises such as University of Phoenix, T. D. Jakes Enterprises and Fiji Water, among others, and was recently featured in Forbes November 2020 issue as a top business consultant.

Along with a keynote address from Trayham, the event will feature a panel discussion including Joseph Early of Main Strategies, Jay Hutchins of Allied Help and Adylia Gutierrez of Yhor Life.

With all the recognized speakers on board, ASU and the State of Black Arizona have also partnered with the not-for-profit Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) to put on the event this fall.

For more than 60 years, JA has been preparing millions of Arizona students to succeed in work and life. JA has served over 2 million students since its founding, and is set to serve more than 85,000 this year. Their programs help students connect what they learn in the classroom to the real world.

ASU Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Engagement Kenja Hassan said it’s thrilling to be partnering with JA because the event will provide more to families than just information on building generational wealth.

“Junior Achievement is a treasure trove of experiential learning for young people to plan for their future careers,” said Hassan. “As the site of the next Black Changemaker Series, families will not only receive information about building generational wealth, but also find an inspirational organization that helps schools and other entities put children on a path to boost their lifetime earning potential."

Junior Achievement of Arizona President Katherine Cecala sees this partnership as a continued effort to inspire the entire community.

"We're looking forward to hosting influential decision-makers at ASU's Black Changemakers event," Cecala said. "It's a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together and embrace diversity. Each month, JA works with thousands of diverse K–12 students, and we want to inspire them to be our next leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners. JA is proud to play a role in elevating their voices throughout our community and advocating for students to pursue their dreams and financial freedom." 

The event will take place at Junior Achievement of Arizona, located at 636 W. Southern Ave. in Tempe, in the JA BizTown Learning Lab, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 9. (registration and networking will begin at 5:30 p.m.).

Early registration is available now

For sponsor or media inquiries, email Teniqua Broughton at teniqua@stateofblackarizona.org or Roger Fisher at roger.f.fisher@asu.edu.

More Business and entrepreneurship


Portrait of Pei-yu (Sharon) Chen

The business of ethically using artificial intelligence

Editor's note: This expert Q&A is part of our “AI is everywhere ... now what?” special project exploring the potential (and…

A silver umbrella on a flat maroon background

Assessing AI readiness

Editor's note: This expert Q&A is part of our “AI is everywhere ... now what?” special project exploring the potential (and…

Person looking at a computer screen.

ASU’s AZNext Program aims to shore up IT, business workforces with free virtual developmental courses

By Georgann YaraAfter he retired from the Marine Corps, John Black decided to tackle the business world. He formed an LLC…