3 reasons why you need to be at the Magic City HBCU Breakfast Oct. 27, including NASCAR’s VP of DE&I

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The Magic City HBCU Breakfast, Brandon Thompson will be the speaker
Brandon Thompson is NASCAR’s VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. (NASCAR)

Internships are a great way to create diversity in the workplace—just ask Brandon Thompson, NASCAR’s VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I). He’s an HBCU grad who started at NASCAR as an intern, then rose through the ranks to become an executive officer of the company. He’ll be the keynote speaker at this year’s Magic City HBCU Breakfast, which is all about creating a diverse talent pipeline in our city. Get your ticket now.

1. It’s the perfect way to kick off the biggest HBCU football weekend in the country

Magic City Classic
Getting ready for kickoff. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

ICYMI, the last weekend in October is a huge deal in Birmingham. That’s when rivals Alabama A&M and Alabama State come together for the largest historically black college and university (HBCU) football game in the country.

For years now, the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) has hosted an annual kickoff breakfast before the weekend to bring HBCU grads and Birmingham’s business community together.

This event is presented by Spire Energy and driven by NASCAR.

2. You’ll hear Brandon Thompson, NASCAR’s first-ever VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Brandon Thomspon, HBCU grad
Brandon Thomspon staretd as a diversity intern at the Nashville Superspeedway in 2003. (NASCAR)

While Brandon Thompson may not be as much of a household name as NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, his work plays an essential role in making NASCAR more inclusive.

The 17-year motorsports industry veteran is a graduate of Clark University Atlanta, and he’ll speak about the importance of giving HBCU students and alumni the opportunity to gain real world experience. He knows firsthand what a powerful tool internships are to create diversity in the workplace—in 2003, he became an intern at the Nashville Superspeedway through NASCAR’s Diversity Internship Program.

Under Thompson’s leadership, NASCAR is doing the following in terms of DE&I:

You just know he’s going to have some great stories to tell.

Reserve your spot at the Magic City HBCU Breakfast today.

3. It’s an opportunity to build a strong talent pipeline between businesses + HBCUs

Nan Baldwin, BBA Chamber President
Nan Baldwin, Chamber President, BBA (BBA)

Nan Baldwin is the Birmingham Business Alliance’s Chamber President. A graduate of Parker High School and the University of Alabama, she’s passionate about opening doors for young people while building local businesses. Here’s why she’s excited about the Magic City HBCU Breakfast:

“For years, the Chamber has been synonymous with hosting a Magic City Scholarship Breakfast. We’ve changed the name to Magic City HBCU Breakfast to reflect our desire to build a long-lasting pipeline to bridge businesses with local HBCUs.

As companies begin to create DE&I strategies, many don’t yet have a sound mechanism to go after diversity—they don’t have have strong relationships with organizations or schools with diverse candidates. There seems to be a gap between encouraging students to get internships and the relationships that make that possible.

The breakfast will be a celebration. Then, companies that sponsor or buy a table will become part of an ongoing program that provides HR managers with the opportunity to meet regularly with representatives from the six participating HBCUs.

We see this as a win-win for this community—connecting businesses and schools while creating jobs for HBCU grads in our state to live, work and change the culture here.”

The Magic City HBCU Breakfast is October 27—you don’t want to miss it. Get your ticket today.

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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