Staff Writer – Photos by Steve Peterson
On October 13th, the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce launched the KnowledgeXChangeTM Mentoring Program, which is designed to empower and encourage intergenerational mentorship throughout San Diego County. This 6-month structured pilot program brings together 13 mentor pairs who will discuss empowering leaders in an effort to bring diversity of thought to support the success of San Diego corporations, universities, schools and communities. The brain child of Channell McNutt and Khazeem Omidiji, who both serve as Co-VP of Next Generation Leaders, this program is sure to make a local impact.
“One of the goals of Knowledge XChangeTM is to retain top diverse talent in San Diego to strengthen our Innovation economy through increased diversity and inclusion,” shared the Chamber’s President and CEO, Dr. Steven Jones. Knowledge XChangeTM focuses on four pillars which are intergenerational mentorship; leadership development; community engagement; and economic empowerment.
The Chamber members in attendance were thoroughly excited about the opportunity to be in the presence of like-minded individuals. One participant shared that relocating from the east coast to San Diego has been challenging on a professional level, primarily because San Diego’s African American community isn’t heavily concentrated in one part of town. This “xchange” allows for San Diego’s “seasoned” African Americans functioning in the corporate sector to pass on tools to Gen Xers and Millennials coming up the corporate stairway, as well as giving way for younger professionals to share valuable information with them. “It’s definitely a lateral mentorship,” shared Jones.
For more information on the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and their program offerings, visit www.sdblackchamber.org.