Partnership Drive Still Collecting Donations

Have your heard the Black Chamber of Commerce – Metro OKC had a partnership drive on November 17, 2017. We’re on a mission to be the premier resource for Black Businesses & those who want to do business in the Oklahoma City Metropolitan area. It was an opportunity to learn more about the Black Chamber of Commerce and meet the Board Members. The chamber collected donations for some amazing local charities. We partnered with

  • Teachers Appreciation Foundation
  • Sox of Love
  • Wonderfully Made Foundation/WMF Homeless Home
  • We are still collecting donations, if your were not able to attend the event stop by our office during office hours to drop off your donations.

    Suggested Donations

  • Sock
  • School Supplies
  • Tolietries
  • It was and evening of networking and giving. If you are ready to build a partnership with your Black Chamber of Commerce – Metro OKC? Contact our office today. Want more information call 405-595-4874 or email our office at info@okcblackchamber.com

    November 2017

    Greetings,

    The 2017 holiday season is officially here and 2018 is quickly bearing down on us. Wow, it is hard to believe! I am sure that many are starting to do of all that cleaning, shopping, and cooking in preparation for friends and family to come over. As we begin to look forward to the upcoming year, I want to take some time to talk about what is currently happening in the OKC Black Chamber, and discuss what you can expect in the near future.

    As many of you know, I spent the first part of this year deployed to Ukraine, located in far eastern Europe. My duties as a soldier in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, sent me to the freezing cold and snow, to work with several different countries as part of a NATO mission. I want to publicly say that I appreciate the patience that our partners and the community showed during that time. I also want to thank the Board of Directors and our administrative staff for the extra time spent each week, making sure the chamber was strong and running in my absence.

    Within the last couple of months, the OKC Black Chamber has ramped up our commitment to being the solidified entity that provides a critical, positive impact to the community and businesses in the Oklahoma City area. There are plenty of things which play into this happening, and many of these are coming soon. From our Community Education Series, focus on real economic development, and launching a scholarship program, it is just the beginning of the excitement.

    November will be a packed month that you will want to take advantage of. On the 7th, at 8:00 am, we will be holding the chamber monthly premier networking breakfast. It will be held on the Springlake Metro Tech campus. The sponsoring host is Riverside Garden Cemetery, who has been an invaluable partner since coming on board with the OKC Black Chamber recently.

    Directly following the Fresh Start breakfast, there will be an insurance seminar to kick off the Community Education Series. It will be the first of a two-part seminar, with the next course being held the following week.

    Our Partnership Drive launches this month on November 17th, at 5:30pm. It will be held at the Bryant Event Center, and feature food, fun, and music. You will have a chance to hear from the OKC Black Chamber leadership, key current partners, ambassadors, and elected officials, on what it means to establish a partnership with the chamber and the importance of having the community’s backing. It will also be an opportunity to support 3 local charities, as they in turn give to those amongst us who are less fortunate. You can read more about them on our website. So please, mark your calendars and plan to be there.

    I have briefly shared just a small piece of all the OKC Black Chamber has going on. Be sure to stay connected on our social media and website for the latest information. Every other Thursday, I am on the ‘Open Mic Show’ on 92.1 and 1140am. I will be on between 9:30 and 10:00am. The segment is small but impactful, so please, tune it. Remember, the OKC Black Chamber of Commerce exists to serve you, something we cannot do without you. So, come. Let’s make history – together.

    Respectfully,
    Eran Harrill – Chief Executive Officer

    Eran Harrill

    FOX 25 NEWS: Revitalization efforts begin in northeast Oklahoma City

    Original story found at http://okcfox.com/news/local/revitalization-efforts-begin-in-northeast-oklahoma-city


    OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — The revitalization of the metro’s northeast side officially kicked off Wednesday.
    A groundbreaking ceremony was held in front of the old, abandoned building at 1708 NE 23rd Street. The building doesn’t look like much now but it’ll soon take on a new facade.

    OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — The revitalization of the metro’s northeast side officially kicked off Wednesday.
    A groundbreaking ceremony was held in front of the old, abandoned building at 1708 NE 23rd Street. The building doesn’t look like much now but it’ll soon take on a new facade.

    “The entire project itself is going to be about 19,000 square feet of medical and retail and restaurant space,” said Eran Harrill, CEO of the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce.

    Taking up space first is the Oklahoma City Clinic, which broke ground just one day following the Oklahoma City Council’s approval of the $1.3 million project. Clinic COO Scott Potter says the move has been long anticipated.
    “The majority of our patients do come from northeast Oklahoma City,” Potter said. “So it was important to us to be right in the middle of that neighborhood.”

    Better access to health care is exactly what those living in the neighborhood want, according to Jonathan Dodson with Pivot Project.
    “We had been part of a thing called MAPS for Neighborhoods, where we were going out and seeing what the community needed and wanted, and the overwhelming consensus we heard from the east community, the northeast community, was we needed access to healthcare,” Dodson said.
    This development is going to give them that and more, something Harrill says is much needed.

    “It’s really easy to drive around northwest Oklahoma City, moving through Edmond and even some of the other districts that have come up. And you see great development. You look down northeast Oklahoma City and it hasn’t been that way. And there’s been a reason that it hasn’t been that way. We’re trying to turn the corner of that and really build up, so as a city, we can rise together,” Harrill said.
    The project is slated to be finished sometime in late spring or early summer of 2018.

    Democrats celebrate Black History Month

    ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MARCH 3, 2017 BY DURANT DEMOCRAT (http://durantdemocrat.com/news/local-news-1/10802/democrats-celebrate-black-history-month)

    The lives of two great African-Americans as vividly depicted by speakers from the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce formed the centerpiece for a Feb. 28 Community Celebration of Black History Month. The event was sponsored by the Bryan County Democratic Party at Roma Italian Restaurant.

    Cindy Van Kley and April Moaning of the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce explained the civil rights accomplishments of Roscoe Dunjee and Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher. Van Kley told the crowd packed into the east dining room of the restaurant that Dunjee founded the long-running African-American newspaper Black Dispatch and ran it from 1917 until his death in 1965. According to Van Kley, he funded many of Oklahoma’s important civil-rights cases and died penniless from giving his all to the cause.

    Moaning recounted the struggle of Fisher to gain admission to the University of Oklahoma Law School. At the time, 1946, African-Americans were not allowed in the Law School. Fisher sued. When the University lost the lawsuit Fisher brought against them, it threw together a separate law school for her and other Blacks. She sued again on the basis that the quickly-assembled Black law school was separate but not equal, and the Supreme Court agreed. In response, the Law School admitted Fisher in 1949, but seated her separate from the White students in a roped-off area labeled “Colored.” Instructors and many of the students helped Fisher when she had to miss sessions because she was pregnant. Thus, Fisher moved ahead, became the University Law School’s first Black graduate, and went into practice as an attorney in her hometown, Chickasha. In 1992, Governor David Walters appointed Fisher to the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma.

    Leslie Parker, a member of the Democratic Party’s Outreach task force planned the event. Table decorations, designed and made by fellow member Judy Grace, were three-faced placards displaying pictures and brief accounts of famous African-Americans such as Rosa Parks, Marian Anderson, Shirley Chisholm, Colin Powell, Jesse Owens, and George Washington Carver. Handouts were also available with information about such important Blacks as Clara Luper, who started the peaceful 1958 sit-ins at an Oklahoma City drugstore lunch counter that led to the integration of the state’s restaurants. Others were the first Black winner of the Pulitzer Prize for literature, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Gordon Parks, the first Black Hollywood film director.

    Additional information about eminent Oklahoma African-Americans is available in The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.

    Submitted by the Bryan County Democratic Party.

    Black Chamber of Commerce fosters long-term community and business growth

    ORIGINALLY POSTED By Laura Eastes on February 22, 2017 (http://okgazette.com/2017/02/22/a-local-chamber-of-commerce-focuses-on-economic-development/)

    Since rebranding the Capitol Chamber of Commerce to become the Black Chamber of Commerce Metro Oklahoma City in late 2011, the organization has soared into a community-driven entity focused on economic development.

    “Being the Black Chamber and ensuring we understand the needs of the minority and black community, we don’t have the luxury of just being centered on economic development and entrepreneurship,” explained Eran Harrill, who was influential in the rebranding campaign and rose to the position of executive officer two years ago.

    Oklahoma Gazette recently spoke to Harrill by phone about the chamber’s recent efforts. A member of the Oklahoma National Guard, Harrill is deployed in Ukraine.

    Oklahoma Gazette: What is Black Chamber of Commerce Metro OKC’s role?

    Eran Harrill: We create an atmosphere for people to be able to network and make business connections, make personal connections. A good example of that is working with a few entities, one being the Oklahoma branch of the FBI. They were looking for recruits with an emphasis on minority recruits. The fighting force didn’t look like the communities it served — not just on the agent level, but also in other positions. We have relationships with UCO (the University of Central Oklahoma) and OCCC (Oklahoma City Community College). We hand-provided the FBI with quality applicants.

    OKG: Tell me more about the chamber’s efforts to help minority youth gain career experience.

    Harrill: With chambers … you always want to ensure strong memberships with corporations. It takes that to really thrive and help the small business members. In the past, we’ve never supported the youth, who we know will eventually be at those companies. Why not empower kids in their high school and college years [through internships and mentorships]? By the time they are juniors in college, you’ve invested in them. It’s a win-win for chambers and the businesses, as you’ve helped businesses get quality interns and, later, employees but at the same time kept talent in Oklahoma.

    Eran Harrill and Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora at a Black Chamber of Commerce Metro Oklahoma City event (Provided)
    Eran Harrill and Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora at a Black Chamber of Commerce Metro Oklahoma City event (Provided)

    OKG: Thirty-eight percent of chamber members are startup businesses. Is startup activity by minority-owned businesses on the rise?

    Harrill: We do a program called Meet the Lenders. Think [ABC’s] Shark Tank. … We put entrepreneurs in a room, and they pitch their ideas to different organizations like the SBC Foundation and the Community Action Agency. Those entities specifically help entrepreneurs and startup businesses. After, we evaluate the participants’ goals and where they want to take their business. On that same day, we get them in front of lenders who specialize in startup businesses.

    Does this mean that every single one who comes through later starts a business and is successful years later? I would love to tell you yes, but it’s not and never will be. We keep the door revolving for people who have dreams and want to see if it can become a reality.

    OKG: What is the vision for the chamber’s future?

    Harrill: I always say, “We are building something that is 10 years ahead.” … We want to be a resource on a greater scale than what anybody ever expected. Last year, we hosted two election forums: House District 97 (northeast Oklahoma City) and the state questions. It was not geared toward endorsing a candidate or policy, but giving the community that education. The chamber had never done that before. Some people who came had never heard of us or had ever considered coming to a chamber forum before.