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By the Kellogg Black Management Association  

This October, we in the Black Management Association (BMA) are proud to host our 36th Annual Black Management Association Conference (BMAC), on the theme “No Ceilings.” Taking place on October 29 at the Kellogg Global Hub, No Ceilings reimagines the way Black excellence is perceived in the business world. Despite centuries of systemic oppression, the abilities of Black businesspeople are and always have been limitless. However, many have experienced the metaphorical “ceiling” that has stripped them of activating their full potential.

There are Black leaders across all disciplines who are operating at a high level but are not receiving the recognition they should. Elevating select leaders who have risen above will provide a much-needed push to achieve a world where no ceilings exist. In short, these “ceilings” have cracks, and BMA is eager to provide the messaging to apply pressure to break them and breakthrough.

JR Reynolds ’23 MBA, a Two-Year MBA student and VP of Marketing for BMA, discusses the components of this year’s conference that drive his interest. JR provides insight on critical takeaways for each attendee to create a more equitable and accessible business world.

What is driving the excitement in the Kellogg community around this year’s BMAC?

The BMA conference is the longest-running student-led conference at Kellogg, going back 36 years. The Kellogg community honors that tradition and is eager to keep BMAC's momentum going. Additionally, the vibrancy of our exec team this year is felt at the Hub. Our classmates are excited to see what we can do this year, and BMAC represents the start of that journey.

What are some of the highlights of this year’s conference?

The versatility of this year’s conference is something that sticks out to me. Our theme, No Ceilings, pays homage to a classic mixtape by Lil Wayne. The delivery of the mixtape is concrete, energetic and uplifting, which aligns with the message of this year’s BMAC. We will authentically acknowledge historical challenges for Black professionals but also provide inspirational and unique stories on how our speakers have broken the mold. This year we’re also following up the conference with our inaugural Halloween party, Skary Hours! It’s Drake-themed, so we’re excited to see how creative people can get with their costumes. It’ll be a blast.

What do you hope attendees take away at the end?

This question makes me think about the three pillars of content that drove the structure of our planning this year: context, awareness and advocacy. There is value to take away from each bucket. For the context piece, I hope that each attendee attains a more tangible understanding of what select barriers have looked like for Black professionals in the past. Regarding awareness, I hope attendees gain inspiration from at least one story from our featured speakers. Lastly, for advocacy, I want each participant to learn a tool or framework, e.g., a specific communication tactic, to carry into future careers.

What are you looking forward to most/most excited about?

I’m excited to hear all the diverse perspectives shared at the conference this year. Industries represented include finance, consulting, education, sports, media and entertainment, law, and more. Seeing how these different insights connect to our No Ceilings vision will be fantastic. Individually, as a part of the conference this year, I’m moderating a panel consisting of creative professionals in media and entertainment. I’m excited to engage my panelists and learn about certain aspects of breaking into more creative and artistic spaces.

Learn more about the conference and buy tickets on the BMAC website.