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JACKSON – A national movement to promote economic development, designed to grow black businesses and change the economic landscape of urban communities will kick off in Jackson, Mississippi on April 1, featuring a keynote speech by Oscar Joyner, entrepreneur and media executive.

The Partnership for Economic Development (PED) program will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 1 at the Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University, 1230 Raymond Road.

Joyner, president of Reach Media Inc. and Executive Producer of the nationally syndicated, “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” will join a group of leaders from all segments of the community, including local businesses, churches, community and civic groups, fraternities, sororities and local and state elected officials.

“We need to wake up this city – and this nation,” said James Covington, author, entrepreneur, and creator of The Partnership for Economic Development. “I’m sick and tired of us waiting around for help when we need to step up and help ourselves. We need to invest in our communities to create new businesses, which, in turn, will create new jobs and transform our communities.”

Participants in the April event will have a chance to become founding partners of the Partnership For Economic Development, which is a national collaboration of African-American organizations and economic engines, including governmental entities, colleges and universities, faith-based institutions, businesses, and non-profits working to stimulate economic development in the African-American community.

PED is designed to complement, an economic development tool that connects black businesses to local and national buyers. was launched by Covington and Kathy Y. Times, an Emmy award-winning journalist and past president of the National Association of Black Journalists. Mississippi’s public universities are among buyers using the online interactive marketplace to reach black businesses.

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