The Global Black Economic Forum Joins Beacon of Hope Collaboration to Address Economic Inequities


The partnership will support advancing the next generation of diverse leaders in STEM and business by providing access to exclusive professional development tools through the Academy for Advancing Excellence among other support.

New Orleans, LA - The Global Black Economic Forum (GBEF) is proud to announce the organization will be joining the Beacon of Hope. In partnership with Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation, GBEF will work to address economic disparities disproportionately impacting diverse communities around the globe. 

“We’re thrilled to join the Beacon of Hope collaboration. Investing in the next generation of Black and Brown STEM leaders will be crucial to advancing economic opportunity across the globe. From research grants to scholarships, we’re thrilled to support a broad portfolio of impactful investments that will help drive structural change for a more equitable economy across the globe,” - said President and CEO of the Global Black Economic Forum Alphonso David

“The Global Black Economic Forum joining the Beacon of Hope will help accelerate our efforts to enable the next generation of diverse leaders by addressing helping address the economic disparities that are a major roadblock to equity in health and education for communities of color,” - said Vice President, US Country and IM US Head Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Novartis Marion Brooks

GBEF is the world's premier organization dedicated to advancing global economic and social justice for the Black Diaspora. These efforts are made by engaging diverse global stakeholders, from business executives and policymakers to entrepreneurs and activists, advancing thought leadership, career development, and social and economic justice for historically marginalized communities. Together, Novartis, Novartis US Foundation and GBEF aim to empower the next generation of diverse leaders in STEM and business while also working to address economic disparities impacting the Black Diaspora. With a focus on scholarships, mentorship, and research grants, this partnership will support 26 Historically Black Colleges, medical schools, and other mission-aligned organizations.

At the 2023 Essence Festival of Culture, the GBEF will host a session at the Access and Economic Opportunity Summit titled “Defining the ‘S’ in ESG” to announce this impactful initiative. The panel will feature speakers including Aaliyah Haqq, Marion Brooks, Valeisha Butterfield Jones, and Caroline Wanga.

About the Academy for Advancing Excellence

The Academy for Advancing Excellence is a subsidiary of the Global Black Economic Forum. The Academy is a global leadership development company dedicated to reimagining equity, equality and inclusion. The Academy provides training that drives behavioral transformation, coaching, consulting, thought leadership, and research. The firm has earned a reputation for advancing inclusion through innovative and positive disruptive solutions that address policies, systems and culture. At the core of the solutions is a focus on building accountability so real results can be sustained. The Academy seeks to shift how the workplace is experienced by ultimately shifting how institutions address and are held accountable on issues of equity and equality. 

About The Global Black Economic Forum 

The Global Black Economic Forum is an international enterprise focused on advancing the economic interests of the Black Diaspora and other marginalized groups through global summits, workplace training and leadership development, policy advocacy, and thought leadership. 

About Beacon of Hope

To address root causes of disparities in health and education, Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation launched, Beacon of Hope in 2021, an innovative $50 million, 10-year commitment that began as a 10-year collaboration with 26 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including Morehouse School of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, plus Merck, Sanofi, Coursera, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the National Medical Association. The partners are working collaboratively to increase diversity among clinical trial participants and investigators; improve access to high-quality education and promising jobs; examine clinical algorithms that include race as a diagnostic factor that negatively impacts patients of color; and find actionable solutions to environmental and climate issues that disproportionately affect health among communities of color. A guiding principle of Beacon of Hope is a recognition that achieving health and education equity at population scale, and addressing the systemic racism that has caused decades of disparity is a long-term endeavor that will take a sustained, collective effort from industry, academia, and the communities. For more information on Beacon of Hope programs, please visit: