Diversity & Inclusion
DEI / Events / Leadership

Civil rights meets networking at this conference celebrating young Black professionals

What to know about NULYP #bEastCon, which lands in Wilmington April 26 to 28 with a theme of “Onwards and Upwards: Building the Next Generation of Leaders.”

Young professionals at #bEastCon 2023 in Richmond, Virginia. (Courtesy NULYP)
Later this month, National Urban League Young Professionals (NULYP) members and others from all over the Eastern United States will come to the First State’s biggest city for a weekend of festivities dedicated to developing the leaders of tomorrow.

The 5th Annual NULYP Eastern Regional Conference, also known as #bEastCon (the nickname for the Eastern Conference, or “East Con” with a b), takes place from April 26 to 28. It’s civil rights meets networking and professional development, as well as introducing young professionals from surrounding regions to the city of Wilmington.

Register for #bEastCon2024 here

NULYP, as the name suggests, is the young adult version of the historic civil rights organization Urban League, which focuses on financial empowerment for Black Americans and other underserved communities. This year’s host chapter is The Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and its volunteer auxiliary, The Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP).

#bEastCon 2024 spokesperson Logan White highlighted the host site’s rising profile as a major asset for this year’s convening.

“A big focus is how Wilmington is very up and coming,” White told Technical.ly. “It’s being increasingly recognized for its revitalized riverfront, the art scene and the growing financial sector.”

Wilmington does have a lot going for it, including professional workforce development tech programs that aim to diversify the pipeline in this majority Black city. There are community development initiatives throughout the city. There’s a media channel, DETV, that covers the local communities with a neighborhood-centric point of view, and lots of community collaboration.

Economically, Delaware is a center for finance, chemistry, manufacturing and precision medicine, as well as green tech and blue tech. Equity remains central to much of the state’s economic and workforce development.

Onwards and Upwards

The fifth #bEastCon overlaps NULYP’s 25th anniversary. This year’s event looks toward the organization’s future with the theme “Onwards and Upwards: Building the Next Generation of Leaders.”

The conference starts on the evening of Friday, April 26 with an opening reception from the Tech Council of Delaware. The big event, for which DuPont is a sponsor, takes place on Saturday, April 27 at DuPont’s Chestnut Run Plaza campus, beginning with an opening plenary sponsored by the City of Wilmington and a discussion about the 2024 elections. After lunch, attendees can select from different workshops, including:

  • A LinkenIn workshop
  • The BluePrint to Financial Wellness
  • Leading with Empathy — Conflict Resolution
  • Navigating the YP Movement Panel

The day will finish with a 25th anniversary celebration, followed by a #bEastCon Saturday night afterparty. The event concludes on Sunday, April 28 with a morning wellness activity and a farewell brunch.

The weekend will include lots of networking, of course, as well as a focus on both personal and professional growth.

“Growth is a big piece of it, in addition to community service,” White said. “[Young professionals] should come if they’re looking to connect with other like minded young professionals who are passionate about community issues, passionate about social justice — not only passionate, but want to do what’s necessary to actually make change.”

Kenyon Wilson, President of the Metropolitan Washington Urban League Young Professionals, expects the event to be high impact. “With a diverse range of events designed to cater to various interests and backgrounds,” he said, “BeastCon2024 in Wilmington promises to be an experience that leaves a lasting impression on all who participate.”

You don’t have to be a member of NULYP to attend. Register for #bEastCon 2024 here.

Coming to Wilmington for #bEastCon 2024?

If you plan to attend #bEastCon and have some time to see the sights, here are a few places to check out:

Art Galleries

Sold Firm

Lafate Gallery

The Delaware Contemporary

Delaware Art Museum

 

Restaurants, cafes, lounges

Green Box Kitchen

Milk & Honey 

Lounge at 8th

Pure Flavor Lounge

Drop Squad Kitchen

DE Slider Co.

DECO

 

History

Tubman/Garret statue and park

Mitchell Center for African American Heritage

Louis L. Redding statue

Judy Johnson statue

Wilmington Underground Railroad Walking Tour

1968

 

Check out this bEastCon 2024 short, highlighting Wilmington’s offerings for young professionals:

Janiece_Interview(REELS) from Gregory Wayne on Vimeo.


Updated April 17 

Companies: Tech Council of Delaware / City of Wilmington

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