“We know our history … but what is our destiny in this country? We still haven’t gotten the promise of America. So I’ve been thinking about how we can have uncommon and unpopular opinion discussions about Black culture to move us forward … because nobody is going to do the work for us but us,” says Martinez White.
White’s Intuition Productions, LLC is serving as host of “The Next 400: Dream Conclave,” a 2-day virtual Zoom Black History Conference with a vibrant, multigenerational networking environment for Black professionals – the target age is 21-40 years old.
Dozens of speakers, presenters, performers, deejays, and more are lined up for the event, subtitled “Remixing The Future of Black Life: Heal Ourselves, Reveal Our Wealth,” which will take place virtually Wednesday, Feb. 24 and Thursday, Feb. 25.
“We know where we’ve been for the last 400 years. And we know all of the names of very well-known Black figures in our history … but what are things going to look like in the future? What are we going to do to have our voice heard in this country in the future? We know our history, but what is our destiny?”
One of the goals of “The Next 400: Dream Conclave” is to inspire new, organic connections amongst the emerging young professional Black culture in Madison.
“I first thought of the Dream Conclave when I was working for Freedom Inc. and I was deejaying for the election – Joy at the Polls. It was really fun to have music and food at the polls,” White tells Madison365.
“I really started thinking about what are we going to do as Black people during these next 400 years to really stake our claim and to really live and be economically included in this country,” he continues. “When I saw us really showing up at the polls, I thought what does this mean for our people as a whole? 2019 was the 400th year of Black folks being in this country.”
Speakers and presenters at the event will include Andreall Moore, Sheila Payton, Bob Wynn, Pastor Marcus Allen, Stephanie Crosley, M Adamas, Dr. Sagashus Levingston, Art Professor William Paul Thomas, Dr. Jasmine Zapata, A. Paj Turner, Queen P, Alix Shabazz and T.S. Banks and much more.
“I called in all of the big names for this one. Because I don’t have all of the answers. It’s a conglomerate … it will be a Black Think Tank,” White says. “It’s across the gamut – older people and younger people; people who have had career success and up and comers. New entrepreneurs, artists, authors, doctors, etc.
“Every February I do an event called the Black history soirée, and artist fair with music. This would have been my 5th year,” White adds. “We couldn’t do it this year [because of COVID] so in lieu of that in-person event we are doing this Dream Conclave virtual conference where we will heal ourself and reveal our wealth through conversation.”
The event will feature raffles and giveaways along with plenty of in-depth discussions. On day one of the event, topics will be on the Black family and focus. On day two, Feb. 25, the topics will be on finance and philanthropy.
“We will be talking about fiance, family, focus and philanthropy – the four pillars,” White says. “I’m targeting ages 21 to 40 – Millennial age. But we are looking to see some teenagers there, as well.
“There’s a whole slew of stuff going on. It’s all free. American Family Insurance is my presenting sponsor and I have some other sponsors, as well.”
The Platinum Sponsor of the event is Downtown Madison Optimist Club. Silver Sponsors include Dane Arts, YWCA Madison and Kujichagulia-Madison Center for Self Determination.
“I hope that people really start to have an internal dialog with themselves on how we can move the culture forward,” White says. “How can they manifest Dr. King’s dream in their own life? How can they have more financial wellness and economic justice in their own life? I want people to have real intimate conversations about self-reliance and group economics and what we can do as a collective to move the country forward.
“Black people really mobilized to vote this past election. If we can galvanize for our country, what can we do for our own kind? We know what the problems are … what are we going to do to create some solutions? I hope that people really see themselves as an agent of change and see that they are the ones that they have been waiting on.”
“The next 400: Dream Conclave” will take place Wednesday-Thursday, Feb. 24-25. For more information, click here.