by Iman Milner
November 15, 2023
The actor will speak on the importance of Black-owned business and entrepreneurs in the quest for sustainable Black wealth
Actor and Rebuilding Black Wall Street host Morris Chestnut has been tapped to deliver the keynote speech at the 2023 BizTech Challenge, a STEM-based competition for students attending Louisiana Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), on Nov. 24. The event will allow seven student teams to pitch their business ideas for a chance to win up to $20,000 in prize money.
Chestnut will speak on the importance of Black-owned business and entrepreneurs in the quest for sustainable Black wealth, Nexus Louisiana reported. Students from Dillard University, Southern University Law Center, Grambling State University, Southern University at New Orleans, Southern University, and Xavier University will each be allotted five minutes to present their ideas, and an additional two minutes to field questions from the distinguished panelists. The top three teams will be awarded a total of $20,000, while the team with the highest score will be awarded $10,000.
A winner will be selected based on proof of innovation, a clear business model, as well as technical achievement. The challenge is presented in partnership with Louisiana Economic Development and is sponsored by Block Inc. and Innovation Catalyst. Block, Inc., which includes the companies Square, TIDAL, Cash App, and Spiral, launched a $100 million social justice impact fund in 2020 to support minority and underserved communities in an effort to cement the company’s commitment to economic empowerment and racial equality. $10 million of the fund was also invested into international communities.
Chestnut’s hosting duties on OWN’s Rebuilding Black Wall Street have taken him through the historic neighborhoods of Tulsa, OK, alongside designers Jon Pierre and Mary Tjon-Joe-Pin, where the trio meet with descendants of the 1921 race massacre who are making strides in the legendary Greenwood District. The show has covered everything from the creation of North Tulsa’s only natural birthing center to the construction of a haven for recently incarcerated women reintegrating back into society.
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