Economic & Social Equity in NY Virtual Event

August 04, 2020  
1:00PM - 4:00PM
The Path to a More Just and Equitable Place
Event Description

For many years New York has been one of most diverse and progressive cities in the world. Yet beneath those labels we see a city that has grown more and more unequal. The Covid-19 crisis and the murder of George Floyd have exposed a truth that many in power have been unwilling to confront; that years and years of systemic, racially insensitive policies have unduly harmed our communities of color. City & State is proud to present a virtual event called “Economic & Social Equity in New York”. Panelists and presenters will examine how New York can create a better culture for diversity in terms of hiring as well as procurement.

Nupol Kiazolu
President, Black Lives Matter Greater New York
Nupol Kiazolu is a powerhouse in the field of activism, from being on the front lines of the Charlottesville protests to taping "Do I look suspicious?" behind her hoodie in the wake of Travyon Martin's death. Nupol Kiazolu is the President of Black Lives Matter Greater New York and Founder/CEO of her national campaign Vote2000. The Brooklyn-native has been a leading voice among Generation Z, focusing on civil rights, domestic and sexual violence, and homelessness.
Jonnel Doris
Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services
Jonnel Doris was appointed by Mayor de Blasio as the Commissioner for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). He is responsible for running a dynamic City agency focused on equity of opportunity, that leads to economic self-sufficiency and mobility for New York City's diverse communities. SBS actively connects New Yorkers to good jobs, creates stronger businesses, and builds a thriving economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Formerly, Doris served as the City's first Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor's Office for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE). Under Doris' leadership, the City has more than doubled its certifications to 9,620 firms, tripled its utilization, and awarded more than $14.6 billion to M/WBEs. Doris also led the City's efforts to secure a $41 million investment from four city depository banks: Amalgamated, Bank of America, TD Bank, and Union Bank for low interest revolving loan funds. His engagement in business communities, city agencies, and both state and city legislatures has also influenced City efforts to pass critical state legislation that expands opportunities for M/WBEs. Doris previously served as the first Chief Diversity Officer for the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), which oversees New York State's $4.4 billion recovery allocation for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. At GOSR, Doris developed and implemented strategic initiatives resulting in increased utilization of state and federal M/WBEs and Section 3 businesses. He created the Office of Diversity and Civil Rights, and developed GOSR's award winning Local Workforce Opportunities Program and Web Portal. These two resources continue to increase employment and business opportunities, while enabling thousands of M/WBEs, small businesses, and residents to participate in New York's rebuilding efforts. His professional career includes extensive experience in the energy, utility, government, and business sectors working at Public Service Enterprise Group-Long Island, Long Island Power Authority, KeySpan and in both State and City Government. He is also a former small business owner who understands firsthand the challenges M/WBEs face. Doris has received numerous awards and recognition over his professional career. Some include, the Women Builders Council Diversity Champion Award; NYSAMC Public Sector Partner Award; City and State 40 Under 40 Award; National Minority Business Council Award; and the Hispanic Chamber MWBE Advocate Award. Doris has guest lectured at Columbia University, New York University, Medgar Evers College, City College, and frequently at Adelphi University, and Oral Roberts University School of Theology and Missions. He also serves on the Bishop's Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission for the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. Doris holds several degrees and certificates including, a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Analysis, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Stony Brook University, a Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University, and a Turner School of Construction Management Certificate. He currently resides in Queens with his wife Aisha Doris and two children.
Rodneyse Bichotte
Chairperson, Assembly Subcommittee on Oversight of MWBE's
Rodneyse Bichotte is the Assemblymember and State Committee Woman / District Leader for New York State’s 42nd Assembly District. She is also the first Haitian-American woman elected in the city of New York. Assemblymember Bichotte holds the position of Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Assemblymember Bichotte is the Co-Chair of the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators Workshops Committee, and has been appointed to Governor Cuomo’s Advisory Council on Domestic Violence, and appointed by Mayor de Blasio’s Advisory Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise. By her second legislative term, Assemblymember Bichotte introduced over 60 pieces of legislation, of which five became law. In addition, the Assemblymember co-sponsored over 200 pieces of legislation. She is notable for the High Profile Bill -The Elimination of the Personal Net Worth Cap. In addition to a business focus, Assemblymember Bichotte has given legislative attention to Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematic (STEM) and criminal justice reform as well as resolutions on international human rights reform. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, a BS in Electrical Engineering from SUNY Buffalo, a BS in Mathematics in Secondary Education and a BT in Electrical Engineering -- both from Buffalo State College.
Michael J. Garner
VP & Chief Diversity Officer, MTA
Michael J. Garner, MBA, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is a champion of the diversity market, making it his personal and professional mission to create a more diverse business industry, by empowering small businesses across New York State through educational programming and access to increased procurement opportunities. Since arriving at the MTA in 2010, Mr. Garner has designed one of the country’s leading MWDBE Business Development Programs. As architect of the MTA’s Small Business Development Program (SBDP), Mr. Garner has penetrated the largest transportation authority in North America with a pragmatic, results-driven construction mentoring program that continues to break the barriers for minority, women, disadvantaged and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses in New York, that otherwise would not have contract opportunities in transportation. Through the MTA’s program, the results speak for themselves: to date, over 290 contracts have been awarded with a project value of over $274.1 million. Over $14 million in loans have been awarded and $50 million in single capacity surety bonds have been secured for contractors participating in the program. Over its history, the program has created over 6,500 new jobs. Additionally, since Mr. Garner’s arrival, more than $2.4 billion have been paid to New York State certified MWBEs.
New York State Senator Kevin Parker
First Vice Chair, Association of Black, Puerto Rican and Asian Legislators
Senator Kevin Parker represents the ethnically diverse Brooklyn district comprised of sections of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Senator Parker has been recently appointed Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunication. For the 2019 Legislative Session, Senator Parker has the honor of serving on are the Senate Standing Committees on Finance; Rules; Alcoholism & Substance Abuse; Insurance; and Banks.
Magalie D. Austin
Senior Advisor and Director, NYC Mayor's Office of MWBE's
Magalie D. Austin Bio Magalie D. Austin serves as Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Minority and Business Enterprises where she is responsible for oversight, policy and accountability of the City’s M/WBE Program. Magalie previously served as the Chief Diversity and Industry Relations Officer for the New York City Department of Design and Construction where she was responsible for managing the agency’s Minority and Women Business Enterprises program and served as the Commissioner representative to the built industry. Under Magalie’s leadership, the Office of Diversity and Industry Relations created and implemented innovative solutions that increased contract opportunities for minority-and womenowned business entities, awarding over $2 billion in capital projects, making the agency one of the leading NYC agencies in contract awards to M/WBE’s. During Magalie’s tenure, DDC increased its M/WBE utilization from 9.7% to 32%. Maggie is a recognized industry leader and subject matter expert on the value of inclusion in empowering communities through economic development.
Sandra Jefferson Grannum
Esq., Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, New York State OAG
Sandra Jefferson Grannum is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Her prior positions with the OAG were as follows: Legal Recruitment Bureau Chief (February 2007- July 2019), Acting Health Care Bureau Chief (January 2007 - May 2007) and Deputy Bureau Chief in the Health Care Bureau (November 2002 – January 2007). Her professional career covers a wide spectrum of experiences including judicial clerkships, corporate in-house counsel, teaching, and government and law firm litigation positions. More specifically, Ms. Grannum had the privilege of serving as the first senior law clerk for the late Honorable George Bundy Smith, Associate Judge, New York State Court of Appeals, and as his last law secretary at the Appellate Division, First Department. Prior to that, she clerked at the Appellate Term, First Department, and the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. Some of her other professional experiences include serving as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in NYC and Washington, D.C., a litigation associate at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and Vice President of Corporate Legal Affairs at Avanti Corporate Health Systems. Ms. Grannum is admitted to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia. Ms. Grannum’s volunteer civic activities include the following: Commissioner, NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (1991 - 1995) (appointed by Mayor David Dinkins); Member, Governor’s Second Department Judicial Screening Committee (appointed by Chief Judge Judith Kaye) (1993 - 2006); Member, Appellate Division, First Department Character Committee (1996 - present); and Practicing Attorneys and Law Students (PALS). Ms. Grannum's non-legal community service activities include: Westchester County (NY) Chapter of The Links, Inc.; and Christian Children's Fund Sponsor. Ms. Grannum, a native of Washington, D.C., is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Johns Hopkins University.
Gregg Bishop
Interim Executive Director, Coro New York
Bishop has made a name for himself growing the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's), implementing sectorial workforce strategies, and building resilient technology infrastructure for media companies. He is currently the Interim Executive Director of Coro New York. He is tasked with leading a civic leadership organization that believes meaningful change comes from collaboration: people in business and communities, schools and unions, government and nonprofits, working together to find creative solutions and strengthen our democracy. Prior to this role, Bishop served as the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) where he was charged with running a dynamic City agency focused on equity of opportunity, that leads to economic self-sufficiency and mobility for New York City's diverse communities. During his tenure, he connected small businesses to over $200 million in capital, certified a record 9,000 Minority and Women business enterprises, connected over 100,000 New Yorkers to good paying jobs, and invested over $10 million in capacity building programs across the five boroughs. In addition, over 10,000 city residents were trained with new skills in the technology, healthcare, industrial and manufacturing and hospitality sectors. He also developed and launched several initiatives aimed at structural barriers minorities face, including Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC) and Women Entrepreneurs NYC (WE NYC). Bishop has a strong track record in the nonprofit and private sector. He served as the Senior Manager of Workforce Development at NPower, where he was responsible for doubling the capacity of Technology Service Corps, a nationally recognized technology training program for young adults aged 18-25. Prior to NPower, he served as the Director of Web Operations at Oxygen Media, where he helped guide the media company's web consolidation strategy. He has worked at several startups, including serving as Vice President of Technology Operations at, where he helped build and maintain the company's internal and external technology infrastructure. He also worked at VIBE Magazine where he helped establish the publication's digital brand. Born in Grenada and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Bishop received a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing and Management Communication from Florida State University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University. He studied International Management and Marketing in Tokyo, Japan, and is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School's Senior Executives in State and Local Government program, and the Coro Foundation's Leadership New York. Bishop is an adjunct professor at Baruch College's School of Public Affairs and serves on several boards including Red Hook Initiative and Junior Achievement of New York. He is also the incoming Vice President elect for the Alpha Gamma Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Suzanne S. Veira
Chief Diversity Officer, NYC School Construction Authority
Suzanne Veira is the New York City School Construction Authority’s (SCA) first Chief Diversity Officer. As the Agency’s Chief Diversity Officer, Ms. Veira is responsible for delivering innovative solutions to increase contract opportunities for minorities, women and local business enterprise. In this capacity, she is responsible for the Business Development Division (BDD) in the management of the SCA's Minority, Women and Locally Based Enterprise (MWLBE) programs; oversight and enforcement of compliance with the SCA’s MWLBE participation goals; the management of the Agency’s Internship programs; capacity building and technical assistance services for MWLBE firms; and in coordination with the Construction Management Division the oversight of the Agency's Mentor and Graduate Mentor Programs. Since joining the SCA in 2007, as the Director of Operations, Suzanne has been instrumental in developing new systems and procedures to streamline and improve accountability and transparency in the Division’s implementation and oversight of the SCA’s Business Development programs. Suzanne’s experience prior to joining the SCA includes over thirty (30) years of government experience in roles as Executive Director of Procurement Initiatives for the NYC Department of Small Business Services, the Director of Capital Budget for the NYC Department of Corrections and an Audit Analyst for the Mayor’s Office of Operations. She received her BA from the University of Maryland and Long Island University for her MPA.
Kyana Beckles
President & CEO, Leverage Assessments
Kyana Beckles is the CEO of Leverage Assessments which is a City Certified MWBE firm. Leverage received their first city contract award through the MWBE Innovative Procurement Method shortly after certification. They have now completed contracts for pre-employment testing with NYPD, and HRA. Leverage has been featured by the Small Business Solutions office as a success story. Kyana supports other MWBEs and works to connect them with resources as well as opportunities. Kyana is currently launching a nonprofit; Leverage Homes, which will support affordable housing opportunities for entrepreneurs. She supports her local community based organizations, public representatives and churches. Kyana completed two Bachelor’s Degrees at Coppin State University in Management, and Psychology. She has a Master’s in Industrial Psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Kyana is a member of SIOP, PTCMW, Certification Network Group (CNG), the Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the NAACP, CUNY on the Concourse Incubator and a number of other associations. Kyana will complete the Goldman’s Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program in the Spring of 2020.
Sheryl Huggins Salomon
Comm. Dir., NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research
Sheryl Huggins Salomon is Director of Communications at the McSilver Institute, where she oversees internal and external communications, events and policy initiative promotion. Prior to joining the McSilver Institute, Huggins Salomon was the Principal of Media Adept, a communications consultancy through which she served as Communications Lead for the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, among other roles in the non-profit and corporate sectors. Also, she has been Editorial Director of; Managing Editor of The Root; Managing Editor of Black Voices (at AOL); and held prior roles in digital and traditional news media at the Washington Post Company, Time Inc., Dow Jones Newswires, and other outlets. She is a Contributor to Everyday Health, where she reports about diabetes, nutrition and other physical health conditions. She was an Adjunct Lecturer for journalism at York College – The City University of New York. Huggins Salomon holds a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS degree from Columbia Journalism School.
Yvonne Riley-Tepie
VP, Sr Regional Giving Manager, TD Charitable Foundation
As Vice President, | Senior Regional Giving Manager at TD Bank since 2019, Yvonne Riley-Tepie oversees the philanthropic giving in New York State, Northern New Jersey and Fairfield County, Ct. and is responsible for partnering with organizations that can help open doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. She began her career in marketing in 1998 as director of membership, marketing and special events at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Four years later, Riley-Tepie joined Health Plus, a provider of free and low-cost health insurance, where she served as assistant director of marketing and business development. In 2005, Riley-Tepie went to work for Commerce Bank, which was then acquired by TD Bank. An active member of the community, she served for 6 years as President of the New York City College of Technology Alumni Association and President of the Board of Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. She currently sits on the Foundation Board for New York City College of Technology, and the Queens Museum. Riley-Tepie graduated from City Tech’s award-winning hospitality management program in 1992 and earned a master’s degree in Food Service Management from New York University in 1994, serving as valedictorian for both graduating classes. She holds a Doctorate Degree In Higher Education Administration from St. John's University, where her research focused on equity in educaton and the academic success of Black men. Several years ago, she was named one of the 40 most influential business people of African descent under the age of 40 by The Network Journal and received the YWCA’s Woman of Influence Award in 2010, the Queens Courier’s Top Woman in Business in 2011 among many other awards. In 2016, Ms. Tepie received the CEO Leadership Award for Marketing at TD Bank. This year she was presented with the Corporate Partnership award by YGB (Young Gifted and Black) and the Community Service Award by the Brooklyn Hospital Foundation. She is a resident of Brooklyn, where she lives with her son, Zachry.
Lindsay Greene
Chief Strategy Officer, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Lindsay serves as Chief Strategy Officer of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she guides corporate strategy and oversees economic analysis, business development, inclusive job growth and innovation strategies. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Lindsay Greene was Chief Strategy Officer for Economic Development & Housing in the New York City Mayor’s office, focusing on industry and job growth strategies, inclusive economic development and creating constructive regulatory systems (i.e. new industries like legal cannabis or certain tech fields). Prior to working for the City, she spent 4 years in senior management at food startups and 6 years in banking and private equity at Goldman Sachs. Lindsay holds a BA in economics from Harvard and an MBA from Yale School of Management. Outside of work, Lindsay also advises early-stage CPG and regulated-tech companies, mentors young women of color and, enjoys cooking and movies. She lives in Brooklyn with her wife and daughter.

Welcome and Introduction By Emcee Gregg Bishop, Interim Executive Director, Coro New York 


Keynote Remarks Nupol Kiazolu, President, Black Lives Matter Greater New York


Introduction By Yvonne Riley-Tepie, VP, Senior Regional Manager, Giving, TD Charitable Foundation


Building a Better New York

For many years New York has been one of most diverse and progressive cities in the world. Yet beneath those labels we see a city that has grown more and more unequal. From policies related to housing, education, health, policing, economic opportunities, and more, these vibrant and valuable communities have been disadvantaged and left behind. Our panel of experts will analyze strategies for creating a culture of diversity through recruitment and hiring strategies, social media campaigns, corporate diversity programs, and more. We will also examine public and private investment and new ideas that will better the community for communities of color.


  • Sheryl Huggins Salomon, Communications Director, NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research (moderator)
  • Sandra Jefferson Grannum, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, New York State Office of the Attorney General
  • Michael Garner, Chief Diversity Officer, MTA
  • Senator Kevin Parker, First Vice Chair, Association of Black, Puerto Rican & Asian Legislators 
  • Lindsay Greene, Chief Strategy Officer, NYC Economic Development Corp

Networking Q&A and Chat Opportunities for Attendees


Striving for Parity in New York

In every category – cases, hospitalization & deaths – COVID-19 hit African Americans & Latinos much harder than any other group in New York. COVID-19 also showcased the unequal impact on public schooling including lack of technology access and availability to lower income communities. What those in low-income communities of color have claimed all along – that there is a tremendous racial disparity- is finally out in the open. Movements like the #15PercentPledge are calling on major corporations to commit to making 15% of the products they stock come from black businesses. How can we make sure to conquer and support issues and movements like this? How can we make sure all procurement is equitable and fair? How can we make sure MWBE’s and small business services and products are utilized and taken advantage of?


  • Kyana Beckles, President & CEO, Leverage Assessments, Inc. (moderator)
  • Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, Chair, Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and WomenOwned Business Enterprises
  • Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services
  • Suzanne Veira, Chief Diversity Officer, New York City School Construction Authority
  • Magalie Austin, Senior Advisor and Director, Mayor's Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

Networking Q&A and Chat Opportunities for Attendees

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