Summer Means Business: The Season’s Hottest Conferences

The season shouldn't be just about relaxing in the sun -- networking opportunities abound. Here are the best gatherings of the summer.

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  • 100 Black Men of America

    100 Black Men of America

    The civics and service organization will celebrate its 25th anniversary in San Francisco, June 9-12. The convention will feature notable guests Star Jones, Terry McMillan, Ledisi Young, Spinderella and more.

    Captions by Joshua R. Weaver

  • Alpha Phi Alpha

    Alpha Phi Alpha

    Members of the 105-year-old Alpha Phi Alpha, the country’s first African-American intercollegiate fraternity, will convene in Chicago, June 22-25. Alpha Phi Alpha’s lineage of notable past members includes W.E.B. Du Bois and Thurgood Marshall.

  • Indiana Black Expo

    Indiana Black Expo

    The Indiana Black Expo’s annual summer celebration includes various business workshops for black entrepreneurs. This year’s Expo, which will take place July 7-17 in Indianapolis, will also feature a “Legends of R&B and Hip-Hop” summit, with special guests such as MC Lyte and Bell Biv DeVoe.

  • National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives

    National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives

    NOBLE, one of the pre-eminent organizations for African Americans in law enforcement, has its 35th annual conference in Lexington, Ky., July 7-17. Founded in 1976, NOBLE currently boasts 57 chapters throughout the United States.

  • National Dental Association

    National Dental Association

    This association of black dentists, which will hold its annual conference July 22-26 in Baltimore, has more than 7,000 members and was pivotal in ending discrimination in dental programs and professional colleges during the civil rights movement.

  • National Medical Association

    National Medical Association

    The NMA, the oldest organization for African-American medical professionals, represents more than 30,000 doctors across the United States. The NMA Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly has been an annual event since 1895. The NMA’s 109th convention is in Baltimore, July 22-26.



    Los Angeles is the host city for the African-American civil rights organization’s annual assembly, July 23-28. NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous and actor Hill Harper are scheduled to speak at the convention.

  • National Urban League

    National Urban League

    A high-profile roster of speakers — including Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Henry Louis Gates Jr. — are on the schedule for the National Urban League’s 2011 conference in Boston. The conference, July 27-30, will also feature a concert with Grammy Award-nominated Eric Benet and Ledisi Young.

  • National Bar Association

    National Bar Association

    The National Bar Association, established in 1925 as the Negro Bar Association, will hold its 86th convention in Baltimore, July 31-Aug. 1. The NBA is the country’s oldest organization for African-American lawyers and judges.

  • National Association of Black Journalists

    National Association of Black Journalists

    The NABJ’s 2011 Annual Convention and Career Fair will take place Aug. 3-7 in Philadelphia. With more than 3,300 members, the NABJ is the country’s largest organization for African-American journalists.

  • Blacks in Government

    Blacks in Government

    BIG, which has represented African Americans in federal, state and local governments since 1975, currently has more than 50 chapters across the United States, including chapters in the departments of State and Education. BIG will host its 33rd Annual National Training Conference in Boston, Aug. 22-25.