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Contact(s):Scott Carter
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Friday, April 18, 2008

LITTLE ROCK HOSTS NATIONAL FORUM FOR BLACK PUBLIC ADMINISTRATORS

25TH Anniversary National Conference Highlights Vision, Integrity, and Accountability

(April 18, 2008 -- Little Rock, AR) A MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant recipient, a former US Surgeon General, a noted civil rights attorney, and the creator of the 50 Million Pound Challenge are just some of the speakers who will be participating as the City of Little Rock is playing host to FORUM 2008 of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators from April 19-23. Under the theme “Vision, Integrity, Accountability: Rock-Solid Public Service for 25 Years” the 25th Anniversary FORUM will see over 1,000 guests gather to celebrate NFBPA’s past and to look forward to the future.

According to Deborah E. Morton of Norfolk, VA, who serves as Chair of the Conference Planning & Evaluation Committee, “In the balance between the past and future lie many of the issues we will address during FORUM 2008—mastery of our profession, principles of global leadership, and effective use of technology. As we look to the next 25 years, we must also focus on the future of our profession.”

“FORUM 2008 will feature a week of informative, educational, and inspiring workshops, speakers, and special forums,” said Anita R. Favors Thompson of Tallahassee, FL, who is President of the NFBPA Board of Directors. “Each year, the FORUM helps us rededicate ourselves not only to building strong professional careers, but also to seeking new ways to focus on the service that we render to the public.”

John E. Saunders, III, of Washington, DC, the NFBPA Executive Director, echoes this. “Each year we seek to have the very best speakers, panelists, topic experts and presenters to help us strategize and prepare for the future.”

Little Rock City Manager Bruce T. Moore, a member of the NFBPA National Board of Directors, stated, “We are proud to have been selected to host the 25th anniversary FORUM for NFBPA. The members of the Greater Little Rock chapter of NFBPA, have been working together with the City, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and area businesses to ensure that this is a memorable experience for all of the attendees. "

FORUM 2008 will take place at the Statehouse Convention Center and the Peabody Hotel. Among the highlights of FORUM 2008 will be:

Sunday, April 20
Ecumenical Service – 8:30am – 10:30am. Featuring Rev. William Robinson, Rev. Truman Tolefree, Rev. Logan Hampton, Rev. Chris Fifer, Rev. J. Barrington Minix, Ambassador Brenda Jefferson, Imam Johnny Hasan, Rev. Rickey Hicks, and Bishop Kenneth Robinson. Music will be provided by the recording artist Nicky Parrish, and the Arkansas Baptist College Choir under the direction of Rev. Henry Parker.

Executive Leadership Institute and Mentor Graduation – 11am – 1:30pm

Public Policy Forum: A Town Hall Meeting Looking Beyond Tomorrow: Will Our Communities Survive or Thrive in 2025? – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. In recognition of NFBP A’s 25th anniversary, this year’s Public Policy Forum uses the past 25 years as a barometer by which to view the future of the areas that matter most—the health and welfare of our communities. Will Black families thrive or just survive in terms of education, employment, income, savings/wealth, homeownership and health-related issues as we approach the year 2025 and beyond?

The discussion will be led by Dr. Nat Irvin, founder and president of Future Focus 2020 and chair of the 2008 World Future Society Meeting, as he examines the significant social, political, economic, technological and environmental trends that will have the greatest impact on communities going forward. He and a distinguished panel of public and private sector professionals will then discuss the outlook for the next generation of African Americans. Open & Free to the public.

Among the panelists participating will be two people with Little Rock connections: Ernest Green, the first African American graduate of Little Rock Central High School who is now Managing Director of Lehman Brothers in Washington, DC, and Lottie Shackleford, the 68th Mayor of Little Rock and Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Joining them will be Vincent C. Gray the Chair of the Washington DC City Council.

Monday, April 21
Opening Plenary – 8:00am – 9:30 am. Keynote speaker: Thomas N. Todd, Esq., noted civil rights attorney and activist.

Workshops – 10:00am – 1:15pm. Topics include: The Green Technology Agenda, Attracting New Development and Retail to Urban Markets, the Black Brain Drain in the Public Sector, , Using Performance Measures to Succeed, An Inside Look at the Economy, Documentation in Post-Disaster Recovery, the Role of Public Administrators in Developing Youth, Houston’s Response to the HIV Epidemic Among African Americans, Building an Art Legacy One Piece at a Time, Managing Others and Ourselves, Changing Trends in Employee Benefits, Addressing Homelessness Through Strategic Partnering and Planning, Strategic International Alliances, and Serving Latino Communities

Luncheon – 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Keynote speaker: Bill Strickland, President/CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA, and a 1996 MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant recipient.

Future Focus Roundtable – 3:00pm – 5:00 pm

Tuesday, April 22
Opening Plenary – 8:00am – 9:30 am. Keynote speaker: Dr. Ian Smith, creator/founder of The 50 Million Pound Challenge

Workshops – 10:00am – 1:15pm. Topics include: Leadership Skills to Increase Small Business Opportunities, Succession Planning, the State of Black Leadership in the Public Sector, Unleashing Mastery Performance in Organizations, Small Business Development, Successful Strategies for Financing, Implementing, and Evaluating Community-Based Programs, Implementing the Green Agenda, Moving A Community from Good to Great, the Impact of Globalization on Public Administration, Keys to Curing Aging Infrastructure, the Future of Federal Funding, Wellness in the Workplace, Managing an Organization in a Changing Technical Environment

Luncheon – 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Keynote speaker: Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders, 15th US Surgeon General; Distinguished Professor, University of Arkansas School of Public Health and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service

Future Focus Roundtable – 3:00pm – 5:00 pm


Wednesday, April 23
There will be meetings, tours, and a public administration panel at Philander Smith College during the day.

Marks of Excellence Awards Banquet – featuring Grammy winner Oleta Adams.

Founded in 1983, the NFBPA membership consists of over 2,600 individuals representing more than 350 jurisdictions, in 40 states. NFBPA members manage over $60 billion in public funds and are responsible for making critical product and service purchasing decisions.

Established as a support organization for an increasing number of Black public managers and administrators, the NFBPA mission is: To increase the number of African-Americans and minorities appointed to executive positions in state and local government agencies; To enhance the capacity of currently positioned minorities in public service; and To groom younger, emerging administrators for the challenges of executive management positions in the future.

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