The Dickinson College of Business at Oklahoma Baptist University welcomed Dr. Cornell Wesley, economic development representative for the United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), as a guest lecturer. The lecture was held Monday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m. in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium in the Bailey business Center. The lecture was part of the College’s Black History Month series.
Wesley’s lecture was titled, “Economic Development in Black Communities: How to Stimulate Success.” His message was focused around the acronym EMBLEM, which emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship, municipalities, business and industry, lending, education and marketing.
Wesley encouraged the audience to look beyond trivial matters and to seek out a solution.
“Economic distress is not discriminatory,” he said. “The challenge comes when we don’t allow equitable access to resources that can solve such problems.”
He continued by highlighting the importance of proper attitudes and perspectives.
“One cannot have a global impact with a domestic mindset,” he said. “We must create an ecosystem that concerns itself with the urban core.”
Wesley currently serves as economic development representative for the United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) in Oklahoma City, a position he has held since 2015. He is the primary point-of-contact for EDA programs in the state of Oklahoma and North Texas. Notably, he is the first African American EDA representative in the state of Oklahoma in over 22 years to be based and living in the state.