MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On the day after the 2012 Presidential Election, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and BLACK ENTERPRISE are set to present a symposium on an issue most critical to America's health and economic competitiveness: education reform. On Wednesday, November 7, from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. the Gates Foundation and BLACK ENTERPRISE will host "Today's Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow's Workforce," in the Grand Ballroom of the Peabody Memphis Hotel, 149 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee.
The invitation-only symposium will bring together top leaders in business, philanthropy and education to discuss the critical challenges facing American education and the role business leaders can play in education reform in Memphis and in public schools across the nation. Confirmed speakers for the forum include: BLACK ENTERPRISE President & CEO Earl "Butch" Graves Jr.; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation U.S. Program Chief of Staff Dawn Chirwa; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Deputy Director of Education Irvin Scott; Stand for Children Executive Director Kenya Bradshaw; Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash; Universal Companies Founder & Chairman Kenneth Gamble; Universal Companies President & CEO dur- Rahim Islam; Former NBA All Star and Memphis Grizzlies Co-Owner Penny Hardaway; Gestalt Community Schools Chief Academic Officer Yetta Lewis; and Memphis Chief of School Operations, Academic Operations, Technology & Innovation Dr. Roderick Richmond. The sessions will be moderated by BLACK ENTERPRISE SVP/Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle and BLACK ENTERPRISE Editorial Director Alan Hughes.
"America's education crisis is not a future threat to the competitiveness of our businesses, but a clear and present danger to the economic security of our nation," says BLACK ENTERPRISE CEO Earl "Butch" Graves Jr. "BLACK ENTERPRISE has consistently sounded the call to address this crisis, and never more than in the past several years, as the system even more egregiously fails the children it is charged with educating and preparing for productive lives. We are proud to join with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase the focus on solutions that can ultimately resolve this crisis, solutions that cannot be successfully executed without business leaders being fully invested in the battle to reform public education."