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Top Black Professionals’ Networks by Industry

Published: Feb 15, 2024

 Diversity       Networking       
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Welcome to our comprehensive guide highlighting the top Black professionals’ networks across various industries. These organizations provide invaluable resources, support, and networking opportunities for Black professionals, regardless of their age or skill level. In addition to this, these networks are dedicated to fostering inclusivity and empowering individuals to thrive in their respective fields.

Business

National Black MBA Association

In 1970, MBA students from the University of Chicago organized a two-day conference to address issues that Black MBA graduates face. This resulted in the formation of the NBMBAA, and its first president, Carl A. Fields, was appointed shortly after. The association’s mission is to provide educational, wealth-building, and growth opportunities for Black students, entrepreneurs, and professionals.

National Economic Association

In the late 1960s, Charles Z. “C.Z.” Wilson, Marcus Alexis, and Thaddeus Spratlen invited Black economists to attend the annual American Economic Association (AEA)/Allied Social Security Science Association (ASSA) conference in New York in order to discuss increasing concerns of Black economists’ lack of representation in the profession—thus, the NEA was formed. The organization seeks to promote the professional lives of minorities, providing support and raising awareness of issues that are of particular interest to economic growth among people of color.

Healthcare

National Black Nurses Association

In 1970, during the 47th convention of the American Nurses Association (ANA) in Miami, Florida, a group of colleagues agreed that the ANA didn’t provide an adequate platform with which to discuss and confront common interests, issues, and concerns among Black nurses. The NBNA was established in 1971 as a response to the lack of presence and leadership Black nurses had in the ANA, and since that time the NBNA has successfully influenced legislation and policies that benefit Black people, both inside and out of the healthcare industry.

National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics and Nutrition

The NOBIDAN was founded by Dr. Sarah M. Wilder, PhD, RD in 1984, and as of the present, the organization consists of nearly 600 Black dietetic and nutrition practitioners. The mission of the NOBIDAN is to provide a forum for professional development, while facilitating the growth of percentage of Black dietitians in the profession. The organization is also dedicated to providing optimal nutrition and well-being for the public, particularly those of African descent.

Finance

National Association of Black Accountants

The NABA was established in 1969 as a response to the challenges and limited opportunities Black professionals faced in the accounting profession. That same year, it was reported that of the 100,000 Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the United States, only 136 were African-American. The NABA aims to support the professional development of its members, while encouraging, assisting, and providing opportunities for Black students who are looking to start a career in the financial industry.

Education

American Association of Blacks in Higher Education

Similar to many of the organizations on this list, the AABHE was established as an offshoot of the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), with its founders looking to address issues and concerns that are specific to Black professionals in higher education. The AABHE’s mission is to provide support, aid in the development of skills, and career and networking opportunities for its members. The organization also advocates for topics in higher education that directly affect Black communities.

National Alliance of Black School Educators

The origins of the NABSE can be traced back to 1970, when Dr. Charles Moody, Sr. began organizing meetings with African-American superintendents, where attendees discussed concerns and ideas for developing a resource pool for Black school superintendents. Eventually, this led to the formation of the NABSE in 1973, and the organization opened its first office in 1979, in Washington, D.C. As of the present, the NABSE has affiliates in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean, and continues to advocate on behalf of African-American educators, both faculty and staff.

Energy

American Association of Blacks in Energy

The AABE was founded in the late 1970s by Clarke A. Watson, after a meeting at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Many of the attendees learned of Watson through his various criticisms of the Carter Administration’s approach to issues surrounding energy. In addition to this, Watson felt it was important to give Black professionals a platform with which to express their concerns, ideas, and solutions with regards to energy and the policy-making process.

For those who are seeking organizations that are specific to Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM), look no further—next time we’ll be talking about some of the best networking organizations for Black professionals and students in STEM fields, so be sure to check back soon.

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