Gabrielle Jones ’14, Event Organizer and Creator of the Black America Summit and Black America Podcast


What do you wish you had known as a student?
I wish I’d known that the more you learn/explore what excites you as a person, like your inner spirit, the quicker you will find a career path (or job) that you truly enjoy and a safe work environment to explore that passion. You do not have to choose a wonderful job on paper and a space where your spirit can flourish.

How has your career changed since you originally envisioned it at Wellesley? What other careers did you consider as a student?
I originally envisioned myself becoming a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in China. I was accepted into Columbia University and George Washington University masters’ programs to follow this career path. Ultimately, as someone who put herself through Wellesley, I was not ready to “take on” that debt. Looking back, I think that it was the best decision for me. Now, I use my International Relations and Sociology background to foster these conversations with delegates, industry leaders and community members through my first passion— events! Getting to know what excites me led me to creating a brand that I truly love, Black America Summit. We host cross-cultural conversations to unite, educate and inspire Black Americans and allies around potential solutions to phenomena impacting Black America.

What is a typical workday or work week like for you?
Every day is filled with new exciting opportunities to problem solve and bring people together. Creating structure to it all while keeping a grasp on time is the “fun” part. I am often juggling a lot of tasks that range from program development for either Black America Summit events or the Black America Podcast to executing business plans for the nonprofit. Having a diverse work experience, which in a sense has made me a "Jane of all Trades," is really coming in handy as I juggle meetings, tasks, and team/personal development. Needless to say, no two days are the same though I strive, sometimes in vain, to create structure.

What advice would you offer students and alumnae looking to get into your area of interest and expertise?
Really get to know local organizations, artists and community members. Knowing what they care about, connecting them to each other and providing safe spaces will ensure you have meaningful and impactful events. Sometimes, people create events that only speak to them without getting feedback from others on the event/discussion topics, and that can lead to boring — or even worse — alienating experiences for your guests. Also, people like to connect with others who are in their community which gives way to a more authentic and deeper connection. I am often surprised with how many people met at my events and are now friends years later because I stuck to this principle.

Regarding helpful/informative resources,  what are the websites, organizations, publications etc you would recommend?
There are so many! I will say that I try really hard to highlight incredible organizations through our panels. We have Anti Anti Conference on May 20, 2021, which is a Black-Asian solidarity event. Allies are welcome to join. We will have experts and wonderful nonprofits organizations joining us to discuss different topics. Not only are they great people/orgs to follow but they will also share resources that relate to their fields.

Any last words?
I would love for everyone to follow Black America Summit at @BlackAmericaSummit on Instagram (@theblacksummit on Twitter) and Black America Podcast @BlackAmericaPodcast on In (@BAPPodcast on Twitter). Since our name has “Black” and “America” in it, we are shadow banned which means social media outlets will not let us promote our events and the algorithms do not share our content. So, we really need people to follow and share our content so that other people find out about us and the solidarity work that we do.