Gray, T.I. to headline economic summit

Published 10:35 pm Saturday, February 14, 2009

Not just content to educate people about the past, organizers have planned an economic summit during the Bridge Crossing Jubilee March to help people prepare for their futures.

Entrepreneur and bestselling author Farrah Gray and Grammy-award winning music artist T.I. (Clifford Harris) will headline the panel of the Economic Empowerment Summit on Saturday, March 7.

Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, and veteran civil rights and human rights leader will also join the panel.

Email newsletter signup

The trio will discuss several issues concerning the economy and education.

The summit is an addition the event’s planning committee felt was needed because of current critical economic times, according to jubilee coordinator Rose Sanders.

Gray was a nationally known business leader by the time he was a teenager and is recognized by several magazines as one of the most influential black men in America.

Now 24, he became a millionaire at age 14 when a New York-based company he started, Farr-Out Foods, hit sales of $1.5 million. He began selling body lotion from door to door in his native Chicago at age 6, and by age 7 carried a business card that read “21st Century CEO.”

Atlanta native T.I. won two Grammy awards in 2007 and his latest and sixth album “Paper Trail” reached No. 1 in a single week of the Billboard Top 100. In addition to owing his own record label, T.I. owns New Finish Construction with his uncle, which builds and repairs homes in Atlanta’s poor and blighted neighborhoods.

This is the only appearance T.I. is scheduled to make.

“He will be at the summit, but he won’t perform,” said Sam Walker, director of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute.

Daniels is a lecturer at York College of the City University of New York and has convened seminars, workshops and conferences to offer lectures of relevance to colleges and the community.

The summit is free and open to the public and is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. at the Larry Striplin Performing Arts Center.