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Josiah is a second year Full-Time MBA student at Chicago Booth and an African American MBA Association (AAMBAA) co-chair. Josiah has spent the past six years living in Chicago and currently lives in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Josiah is passionate about community building, financial literacy, and mentorship.

How has your involvement in the African American MBA Association contributed to the connections you’ve made during your time at Chicago Booth?

As an AAMBAA co-chair, I’m extremely proud of the community I’ve been able to help cultivate amongst Black students at Booth, and Black students at UChicago more broadly. It is important for students to have a space where their culture and identity is intentionally celebrated. AAMBAA is equally a space where we’re able to celebrate each other as well as share our vibrant community with the rest of our classmates.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

For me, Black History Month is a time of renewed celebration of Black history and legacy that’s often overwritten or outright dismissed. Black history is important, pervasive, and relevant. Black History Month is a reminder that we should all continually educate ourselves on the importance of Black history and the contributions that Black people continue to have to society and culture today.

How are you planning to celebrate Black History Month?

Each year, AAMBAA hosts the DuSable Conference. DuSable highlights Chicago’s Black business economy and brings together Black business owners and professionals, Black students, and allies in the broader Chicago community. As one of the event planners, I am particularly excited as this year’s conference is centered on ownership, investment, and development of Black businesses and communities. DuSable is one event in a month jam packed with programming celebrating the Black community.

What makes Chicago a great place to be during Black History Month?

Chicago was a landing point for many African Americans during the Great Migration. I live in Bronzeville, a neighborhood that was home to Louis Armstrong, Gwendolyn Brooks, and many more. Bronzeville was the economic and cultural center for Black Chicagoans throughout the 1900s. I can walk down my block and observe the imprint that Black creatives and entrepreneurs have had on the city. Being in a city where Blackness is always on display is part of what makes Chicago great.