NBC-LEO 2017 Summer Conference

Jul 19 - Jul 22, 2017
Birmingham, Alabama
Registration Rates and Information

NBC-LEO Member Registration Rates

  • Advance Registration:  $150.00 Until July 12
  • Onsite Registration:  $200.00 After July 12

NBC-LEO Non-Member Registration Rates

  • Advance Registration:  $250.00 Until July 12
  • Onsite Registration:  $350.00 After July 12


  • Advance Registration:  $100.00 Until July 12
  • Onsite Registration:  $150.00 After July 12

Youth Registration Rates*

  • Advance Registration:  $85.00 Until July 12
  • Onsite Registration:  $95.00 After July 12

*Spouse/Guest/Youth/Student Attendance
In order for individual spouses/guests/youth/students to attend any or all NBC-LEO Annual Summer Conference activities and meal functions, each individual must be officially registered for the conference and wear registration badges at all times for admittance to sessions/meals.

Event Cancellation Policy
Any registration cancellations occurring after June 30, 2017, will be subject to a $50 cancellation fee. Requests for cancellations must be made in writing and sent via email to constituencygroups@nlc.org.


Schedule at a Glance

Wednesday, July 19  
12:00 - 5:00 pm Conference Registration
10:00 pm - 12:00 am President's Hospitality Reception
Thursday, July 20  
8:00 am - 6:00 pm Conference Registration
8:30 am - 12:00 pm NBC-LEO Working Session
12:15 - 1:30 pm Opening Luncheon Plenary: Economic Mobility and Opportunity
2:00 - 3:00 pm NBC-LEO Committee Meetings
Membership | Policy | Finance
3:30 - 5:30 pm NLC University Seminar: Youth Master Planning: Achieving Collective Impact for Children and Youth
6:30 - 8:00 pm Opening Reception: Member Networking Opportunity
Uptown District in Birmingham, AL
10:00 pm - 12:00 am President's Hospitality Reception
Friday, July 21  
7:30 am - 2:00 pm Conference Registration
8:00 - 9:00 am General Membership Meeting (Breakfast served)
9:30 - 11:00 am Session: Making Social Media Matter
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Luncheon Plenary

Keynote: Bakari Sellers, CNN Contributor

2:00 - 6:00 pm Mobile Tour: Showcase Bessemer and Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Tour & Economic Development in Bessemer
8:00 - 12:00 pm White Linen Affair in Birmingham
Saturday, July 22  
8:00 - 11:00 am Conference Registration
8:00 - 9:00 am Session: Community and Police Relations - The Role of Municipal Leaders in Bridging the Divide (Breakfast served)
9:30 am - 11:30 am 
Build Your Best Practices Toolkit Presentations:
  • Neighbors Building Neighborhoods (NBN): Creating Neighborhoods of Choice
  • The Fight Against Poverty: Winston-Salem’s Story
  • E3p3 Model Cities: Learn How to Expand Environmental Infrastructure Using City Coordinated Public Private Partnerships
  • Growing Small Minority Women Business Enterprises In Your City 
11:30 am - 12:00 pm Break - Hotel Checkout
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Closing Plenary Luncheon 

Keynote: Hon. Quinton Ross, Jr | Senator 26 District Alabama



Elizabeth Gaines


Elizabeth Gaines, Senior Fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment, helps policymakers improve youth outcomes around the country. Over the past decade she has developed and grown the Children’s Cabinet Network and is the nation’s leading expert on children’s cabinets and councils. Overseeing the Forum’s state and local policy efforts keeps her abreast of innovations around the country so she can share ideas with other local, state and national organizations. From this unique vantage point she has helped policy leaders develop tools and techniques to improve their use of data, increase their policy alignment, and more efficiently apply resources toward greater impact. Her publications include The Adding It Up Guide to Mapping Public Resources for Children, Youth and Families, the Forum papers on state children’s cabinets and councils; and How Public Policy Can Support Collective Impact, co-authored with FSG. Most recently, she developed the Children’s Funding Project to help local leaders find, align, generate, and evaluate funding to improve kid outcomes, including creating new local, dedicated funding streams.

When she joined the Forum in 2005, Elizabeth had already built a youth advocacy career; her commitment began with seven years leading after-school and community-based youth programs at the Atwood Community Center in Madison, Wis. She later served as youth policy analyst for Citizens for Missouri’s Children, where she lobbied state lawmakers, convened a youth development network, and led the “Invest in Missouri’s Children” campaign to secure tobacco settlement dollars for child and youth development activities.

Bakari Sellers


Bakari T. Sellers was born in 1984 and raised in Denmark, South Carolina. Bakari graduated from the South Carolina public school system and then proceeded to Morehouse College. While at Morehouse, he was elected Student Government Association President and served on the College’s Board of Trustees. Bakari Sellers has worked for United States Congressman James Clyburn and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. He is one of the youngest State Representatives and the youngest black elected official in the United States.

Bakari has had extensive leadership experience working for the Democratic Leadership Council, and Obama for America. He has been a member of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus since 2006. Bakari is a Former South Carolina House of Representative, where he has represented the 90th District since 2006, and also a 2014 candidate for Lt. Governor of South Carolina. Attorney Bakari Sellers has been with the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. in Columbia, SC since 2007.



Hanifa G.N. Shabazz, DHL is a native Wilmingtonian–born and raised on the eastside of the City. She was educated in the Wilmington public school system, graduated from Wilmington High School and continued her studies at Springfield College and Wilmington University.  Recently, Hanifa received an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Human Letters from Virginia University of Lynchburg for her decades of innovative community engagement and economic development, including her numerous innovative program accomplishments and demonstrations of leadership.

Elected as the first female President of Wilmington’s City Council, Hanifa was first elected in 2004 and served three terms as the representative of more than 9,000 residents of the City’s 4th District one of the most diverse regions in Wilmington. Hanifa chaired City Council’s Public Works and Transportation Committees and served as a member of the Finance Committee, the Education, Youth and Families Committee and the Housing and Licenses and Inspections Committee. As a result of Hanifa’s mission to pursue innovation and positive change, she has been able to achieve a series of accomplishments for her constituents. 

Kandie Smith


Mayor Pro-Tem Kandie Smith, a City Council member since 2009, is a proven leader with a strong commitment to engage and serve the community. She fights for fiscal responsibility while balancing the need for investment in infrastructure, public safety, and recreational opportunities. Smith's Council district is composed of both high-poverty and high wealth areas. She has worked to ensure that underprivileged and underserved areas of the community receive the same resources, services and access to facilities as others. She is a driven leader that stands ready to advocate for others.


Councilmember Stephanie Gordon is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama where she graduated from Central High School and attended the University of Alabama. She has lived in Heritage Park in East Point for the past 10 years. CM Gordon has worked in the real estate and commercial insurance industries and is presently employed with Beecher Carlson Insurance Services. She is a licensed real estate and property and casualty insurance agent in the state of Georgia.
CM Gordon had the pleasure of serving on the East Point’s Planning & Zoning board for two years during which time she completed training courses with the Atlanta Regional Commission. In her spare time, CM Gordon enjoys the arts, volunteer work, and writing. 
With a strong passion for empowerment and community outreach, CM Gordon has served as a volunteer for Career Day activities in local Fulton County Schools, including the former Oak Knoll Elementary School in East Point. In March 2015, she coordinated the community forum, “Law, Order & Community” held at the Jefferson Park Recreation Center to discuss maintaining the sacred bond between the residents and law enforcement of East Point.


Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke is Winston-Salem’s longest-serving elected official with 39 years of service.  Upon first being elected in 1977, Burke was the first woman appointed chair of the Public Safety Committee and served as chair continuously until 2013.  Burke promoted diversity within city government and the community throughout her career.  She initiated a program promoting the participation of minority- and women-owned businesses in conducting business with the city and initiated the establishment of the Human Relations Department promoting fair and equitable treatment of all people.  Burke has served on numerous boards, commissions, and agencies that serve the city, the region and the state. 
Evan Raleigh


Evan Raleigh has worked in municipal government for several years and currently serves as the Director of the City of Winston-Salem’s Office of Business Inclusion and Advancement. As director, Mr. Raleigh is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department’s two divisions: Small Business Development and Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise.  In addition to his regular management responsibilities, Evan works closely with the Offices of the Mayor and City Manager to lead a variety of special initiatives.  Mr. Raleigh is actively involved in the community and serves as a board member for several local non-profit organizations. 
Angela Williams


Angelia Williams Graves has served on the Norfolk City Council since 2010. She graduated from Tidewater Community College and from Old Dominion University with degrees in Business Administration.  She also graduated from the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, and the Alpha School of Real Estate. Angelia is a Realtor with Rose & Womble Realty Company & the team leader of Homes by Angelia.  Mrs. Graves is Co-Chair of City Council’s Communities and Public Safety Committee and a member of its Health, Education and Families Committee. She serves on the Lambert’s Point/Park Place, Fairmont Park, Greater Norview, Southside and the Greater Wards Corner Task Forces. She is a member of the Poplar Hall Civic League, the Norfolk NAACP and the Norfolk City Democratic Committee.


Eva Guidarini


Eva Guidarini works on Facebook’s Politics and Government Outreach team, where she focuses on helping state and local elected officials build a best in class Facebook presence. She is a veteran of political campaigns – and came to Facebook most recently from the policy team on Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign.


Councilwoman Angela Benjamin is the representative for Selma, Alabama’s Ward 4, where she is also the Chair of the Children & Families Committee and the Annual City of Selma Youth Conference. She has served on the Community Development and Administrative Committees. During this first term (2008 - 2012), Councilwoman Benjamin became an active member of the National League of Cities (NLC). Within the NLC, she is a member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and Women in Municipal Government.
Councilwoman Benjamin was elected and is a current Assistant Regional Director of the Alabama Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and active member the Youth, Education and Families Committee within the League. She is responsible for numerous initiatives, programs and developments within Ward 4 and the City of Selma.


Councilmember Cleophus King is serving his second term as the representative for District 7. He is the youngest person to be elected to the Bessemer City Council. King is a product of the Bessemer City Schools System, and currently, he studies business management at the University of Phoenix. He is a licensed funeral director. His community involvement includes serving as a member of Bessemer Citizens for Change, the NAACP, Brothers in Christ and 100 Black Men. King is also president of the Bessemer Library Board.


Barbara Lipscomb currently serves as the City Manager of Greenville, NC. She has over thirty years of municipal leadership experience, serving in various capacities in communities in Florida and Michigan. She received the Master of Regional Planning degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and is a graduate of the University of Georgia. She is an ICMA Credentialed Manager, Certified Public Manager (FSU), graduate of the NFBPA Executive Leadership Institute and is a Florida Redevelopment Association Certified Redevelopment Administrator. She serves on the Greenville Utilities Board and is a member of Greenville Alumnae Delta Sigma Theta.


Luvina Beckley is the Chief Executive Officer of M.H.M & Associates. Upon completing her BA in Business Finance in June of 1994, Luvina began Pursuit of Purpose, Inc. (the Parent Company for MHM), a manifestation of her college developed business plan that propels individuals into experiencing their highest possible purpose in life. This has become Luvina’s life-long mission and purpose, as demonstrated by the resources she commits daily to this endeavor and the number of people that she and her firm: MHM have assisted in reaching their highest advantage in serving others. To this cause, over $40 million in grant funds have been allocated resulting from Luvina’s service as CEO of MHM. In 2001, Luvina completed her MS in Health Services Administration and began her certification as a Project Manager (PMP) and Community Developer (PCED).


Deborah Robertson was elected Mayor of Rialto in November 2012 – the latest achievement in a distinguished public service career that has included 12 years on the Rialto City Council, leadership positions at the Southern California Association of Governments, the San Bernardino Associated Governments, and more than 20 years with the California Department of Transportation. Under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Rialto has gained regional and national recognition for innovation in the areas of public-private partnerships, business development, and job creation. The City’s refinancing and restructuring of its water and wastewater operations have become a model for other communities in California, pumping millions of dollars into the local economy.
A leading voice on regional and national infrastructure issues, Mayor Robertson chairs the Public Health Subcommittee for SCAG’s 2016 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council and Metro Economies, and a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. She is a founding board member for the NFL/AFL Youth Life Skills Camp, has hosted the annual State of Women event in Rialto for the past seven years, and was recognized by Assembly Member Cheryl Brown as 47th District Woman of the Year. Mayor Robertson retired from Caltrans in 2012, most recently serving as Deputy District Director of External Affairs. A native Californian, she holds an undergraduate degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, San Diego, a Masters in Public Administration from the City University of New York Bernard Buruch College and is a National Urban Fellows recipient


Johnathan F. Austin serves as President of the Birmingham City Council. As the youngest person to hold the Council President position in Birmingham’s history, President Austin governs the largest municipality in the State of Alabama with a $420 million operating budget. President Austin was appointed to the City Council in 2008 and represents the communities and neighborhoods in District 5. During his tenure on the City Council, President Austin has championed issues important to his constituency and to the residents of Birmingham as a whole.  President Austin is a Birmingham native and has always been a dedicated community servant. Before serving as a City Councilor, President Austin was president of the Central City neighborhood and Northside community associations. In December 2008, he was selected by the City Council to fill the unexpired term of the vacant District 5 seat. He successfully ran for re-¬‐election in 2009.
Tyson Birmingham City Councilor Sheila Tyson has dedicated her life to causes that uplift members of the community. Councilor Tyson is chair of the Public Improvements and Beautification & Parks and Recreation Committee and a member of the and Public Safety, Transportation and Utilities Committees.  She is a native of Birmingham and is a proud graduate of West End High School. She served in the United States Army and graduated from the U.S. Army Quarter Master School with a concentration in Business and Accounting. As a servant leader and a community advocate, Councilor Tyson started the “Building A Healthy Community” program in the West End area in partnership with the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center. As a result of her efforts, there are 25 walking teams in the community and construction plans to develop walking tracks in each neighborhood; with two already complete.  She collaborated with the Joe Rush Paint initiative at Urban Ministry, Inc. to build, paint, and repair homes; which led to 35 home repairs and painting over 100 homes in a one year period.  She also assisted community residents with taking advantage of a program that allows urban neighborhoods to renovate and weatherize their homes.


Steven W. Hoyt is the Birmingham City Council President Pro Tempore. He is the Chair of the Public Safety, Transportation Committee and a member of the Administration/Technology and Public Improvements and Beautification & Parks and Recreation Committees.  With a heart for service, he has spearheaded many neighborhood initiatives that have empowered, impacted, and enhanced the quality of lives across district lines. First elected to the Birmingham City Council in 2005, the Honorable Steven W. Hoyt is now serving his third term as Councilor after successfully bringing to fruition many of the needs and desires of the constituents of District 8. He assisted with the development of various, multi-million dollar projects in District 8 and across the City of Birmingham. A dedicated community leader, Councilor Hoyt has worked for more than 20 years to impact change that will yield positive results for the community. In 1996, he was elected to a four-year term as National President of the Young Adult Council. While serving as President, he initiated a National Young Adult Retreat; now institutionalized as an annual event. He was instrumental in establishing an annual budget of $10,000 for young adult ministries. Spiritually grounded, the Councilor leads a vibrant congregation as pastor of the Mount Carmel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Adamsville, Alabama. He is also a member of the Annual Conference Trustee Board as well as the Executive Board of the C.M.E. Church.


James Mitchell Jr. is currently serving his first term as an at-large council member. He previously served from 1999 to 2013 as the district 2 council member.  He graduated from the following leadership programs: Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership (IOPL), Leadership Charlotte and Focus on Leadership.   In 2011, James served as the president of the National League of Cities, only the second elected official from North Carolina to serve as the president in the organization's 92 years. James was also the recipient of the Democratic Municipal Official (DMO) of the Year award.  Mitchell currently serves as director of business development for JE Dunn, where he is responsible for construction opportunities in North and South Carolina.  A Charlotte native, Mitchell is a  graduate of West Charlotte High School. He received his B.B.A in information systems from North Carolina Central University where he pledged the Tau Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. He is married to former NASA astronaut Joan Higginbotham and is the proud father of his two blessings Kayla and Nicole. They are members of East Stonewall AME Zion Church.


The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) summer conference is designed to help local leaders develop governance and leadership skills in the national legislative arena with a particular focus on interests of the African American community. The members of NLC and NBC-LEO take this opportunity to participate in a productive conference and engage in many training opportunities. The conference features seminars on policy issues and legislation, networking opportunities with local officials, presentations of “how to” models on community investment, tourism and economic development with notable national leaders as keynote speakers.

2017 Conference Theme:
Memorialize the Past, Realize the Present, and Shape the Future 

Attend this year’s Annual Summer Conference to:

  • Enhance your network with elected officials and statewide leaders
  • Learn about timely issues in special seminars that help to expand your skill sets
  • Strengthen your governance skills
  • Adapt community programs as best practices for your community
  • Attend the NBC-LEO General Membership Forum
  • Participate in NBC-LEO Committee Meetings
  • Find solutions to challenging problems in your hometown
  • Consider becoming a future leader in NBC-LEO and NLC


Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC)
2100 Richard Arrington Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL 35203

Learn about the NBC-LEO constituency group.

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