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2022 A.G. Gaston Conference to return in-person Feb. 22-23



The 18th annual A.G. Gaston Conference will take place February 22 – 23 at the Medical Forum in downtown Birmingham. The two-day conference will feature panels and programs open to entrepreneurs, business owners, corporate leaders and community advocates. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and protocols will be adhered to during the conference.

Featured speakers for this year’s conference will include Dr. Andre M. Perry, Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, Autumn Kyles, CEO of Detroit Dough, Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President & CEO of McKissack & McKissack, Odessa Woolfolk and many more.

To register visit www.aggastonconference.biz.

“For the better part of the last two decades our conference has been a place where conversations about economic inclusion, economic empowerment, and Black business development have taken place,” says Bob Dickerson, co-host of the A.G. Gaston Conference. “Our 2022 focus has not changed because the issues that our communities face have not changed. We hold true to our beliefs that economic empowerment through enterprise development is a key element, necessary to close the racial wealth gap, and events like the A G Gaston Conference where those topics are front, and center are vitally important.”

The theme for this year’s conference is “Navigating the Journey from Civil Rights to Economic Justice.” For the last 18 years, the conference has been empowering African Americans to excel in entrepreneurship and business ownership. The conference serves as a platform where accomplished leaders and business owners can share their experiences and fosters an environment of celebration and empowerment. It will function as a place for participants to learn and develop better business practices all while inspiring the next generation.

“We started the A.G. Gaston conference because we believed that Dr. Gaston set an example that people should follow today and that he left a legacy that must be held up for people to remember,” says Gaynelle Jackson, co-host of the A.G. Gaston Conference. “We also wanted to bring to the forefront, the plight of Black businesses in Birmingham and to start the discussion on what we collectively can do to bring about a change.  We feel that these goals are as important today as they were 18 years ago.”

The conference was inspired by the life and legacy of Arthur George (A.G) Gaston, a successful businessman in Alabama during the Jim Crow law time period. He amassed a fortune worth more than $40 million from a business empire spanning communications, real estate and insurance. Given the title “Entrepreneur of the Century” by Black Enterprise Magazine, the late A.G. Gaston was the mastermind behind the A.G. Gaston Motel, Citizen Federal Savings & Loan, Booker T. Washington Broadcasting and many more that are located in the heart of Downtown Birmingham.


Tuesday, February 22

–        3:00 – 4:10 PM

A Conversation with Dr. Odessa Woolfolk

–        4:15 – 4:45 PM

Keynote Speaker: Andre Perry, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

–        4:50 – 5:45 PM

Panel Presentation – Corporate America’s Response to Closing The Racial Wealth Gap

–        6:00 – 8:00 PM

A.G. Gaston Legacy Reception and Awards Program


Wednesday, February 23

–        10:00 – 11:10 AM

Green Power Business Corner

A Conversation with Autumn Kyles, CEO of Detroit Dough

–        11:15 – 12:00 PM

Green Power Money in Action Panel

–        12:00 – 1:30 PM

The Green Power Luncheon

Keynote Speaker: Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President & CEO, McKissack & McKissack