Join the Movement

February 28, 2023 | By

Tivi Jones

This story is adapted from the BWSF e-newsletter. To stay updated on The Black Wall Street Forward initiative and the various opportunities to get involved with the initiative, subscribe to the newsletter!



What we've been up to...

Click here to support our Black Wall Street Pilots
Our Ecosystem Builders in Residence and Councils have been working hard on their pilots, creative projects designed to catalyze a thriving Black business culture. Forward Cities has jumpstarted each project with a seed fund, and now local leaders are inviting you to join the effort. Your contribution today is an invaluable investment supporting the reimagination of Black Wall Street and generational wealth in communities.
Join Our Crowdfunding Campaign

Join the Movement

Social media is a powerful storytelling tool. We collectively work to share, post and celebrate positive stories, features and articles that reinforce the strength, power and success of Black entrepreneurs. Our Black Wall Street Forward Facebook page is full of these positive stories. Like us on Facebook and join the conversation!
Follow BWSF on Facebook

Our Engagement Highlights

Our councils working together
Looking to the Past 

We began this work by empowering our EBIRs to building Stewardship councils of local Black business leaders. These power councils have been working tirelessly to bring our pilots to life. Want to see who’s on our councils? Check our Instagram collection of council highlights.
Leveraging the Present

Our Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Raleigh councils recently hosted successful pilot launch events in each of their respective cities. In addition to sharing our work with the community, these events were our chance to fellowship and collaborate with the local community about Black business success.
Building Our Future

Our Fayetteville and Durham councils have upcoming pilot launch events, that we’re looking forward to. These unique events present opportunities for each community to support Black businesses, amplify the work of Black artists, and shift their mindset from employee to entrepreneur.

Our Black Wall Street Forward Pillars

There are 6 pillars of success from Durham’s historical Black Wall Street. We previously shared videos for pillar 1 and pillar 2, learn more about pillars 3 and 4 below.
Pillar 3: Ally Investment & Partnership – In this video, we explore how although racial tension was at an all-time high in the South during the pre-Black Wall Street era, in Durham, many prominent white businessmen, including Julian Carr, Washington Duke, and James Duke, supported black businesses through financial investment and racial tolerance. Our current Black Wall Street Forward councils are Black-led with the intentional inclusion of trusted allies - deepening their cultural sensitivity and reframing their narrative about Black business investment and partnership, which is core to the 3rd pillar of our work.
Watch Video
Pillar 4: Self-Perpetuating funding engine – In addition to the other pillars that made Durham’s Black Wall Street successful, its sustainability was also due to the nature of its ‘closed’ economy. As Blacks were largely unable to – due to Jim Crow laws – patron white businesses, creating and patroning their own businesses was crucial to their survival. That meant that the consumer dollar at that time was maintained in the Black community and was the cause of its unprecedented economic growth. Between 1890 and 1910, Durham saw a 200% increase in the population of black residents — and by 1920, black-owned businesses and property totaled more than $4 million (that’s $51 million in 2020 dollars). As Black Wall Street expanded and the number of successful Black-owned businesses grew, Durham’s business leaders and financial institutions invested in the community.
Watch Video

We're grateful to the following funding partners for catalyzing Black-centric Entrepreneurial Ecosystems.

Our BWSF Communities

We’re working deeply in 5 communities in NC to change the narrative of Black businesses. Each city is developing pilot projects to catalyze Black enterprise in their areas. Learn more about each pilot program below.


Our Charlotte team, completed their pilot project, “Ubuntu, Legacy, and Growth: Reimagining Charlotte's Black Wall Street” on Thursday, February 23 as part of Charlotte’s Black Wealth week. 

Learn more about BWSF-Charlotte


The Durham pilot features “Black Wall Street Mindset” an interactive event with incredible speakers and entrepreneurs in an environment conducive to collaboration and the creation of a Black-focused community hub located in the heart of Durham, NC.

Learn more about BWSF-Durham
Make a contribution to BWSF-Durham


Our team in Fayetteville has two powerful pilots. The first is “Black Business Connect,” an innovative expo to bring the black business community together through informative workshops, panels, speakers, networking, food, and music. The second pilot is Black Artist Forum, which will offer guidance, support, and tools to become a successful black artist. The Black Artist Forum is a three-hour workshop, networking event, and Q&A panel with some of the most successful local black artists and art organizations. 

Register for Fayetteville’s Black Business Connect
Register for Fayetteville’s  Black Artist Forum


The BWSF Raleigh pilot is a two-parter including a Small Business Success Academy, a 4.5-day program to support business growth through client acquisition and access to capital, and a BWSF comprehensive directory of Black small business owners in North Carolina.

Learn more about BWSF-Raleigh
Make a contribution to BWSF-Raleigh


In Winston-Salem, we hosted a great presentation on then/now/future for city officials, philanthropic individuals, and entrepreneurs - to shape Black Wall Street. Additionally, they are creating a comprehensive annual city-wide campaign called the “Black Wall Street Experience (BWSX)”

Learn more about BWSF-Winston-Salem
Make a contribution to BWSF-Winston-Salem


We can’t do this work without the support of our communities. Know any aspiring entrepreneurs, existing business owners, or professionals working to support Black businesses thrive in North Carolina? If so, please consider forwarding this email to them.
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