Black Excellence Founder and Entrepreneur Released New Social Platform to Connect KC’s Black Professionals

Photo by Steven Green

Craig Moore II celebrates the Black community through his work. A proponent of entrepreneurship and community, Moore leads Black Excellence, a nonprofit organization connecting Black professionals to opportunity and each other. He is also Venture for America’s first Kansas City director, spearheading efforts to recruit diverse talent for the city. 

Professionals and businesses connected with Black Excellence can be found during KCTV5’s Thursday 9 a.m. segment, an effort Moore connects to his organization’s push for visibility and another way for members to feel in connection with each other.

We chatted with Moore about his work, entrepreneurship, and vision for the future.

Take me back to the beginning of Black Excellence. What was the founding experience like?
Black Excellence started around 2019 to fill the gap between the silos of Black professionals across the region. We launched at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and organizations started reaching out to us to help them navigate their messaging during the pandemic. We also worked with Black-owned businesses applying for PPE. This led us down this path of becoming a centralized location in a more strategic way for Black professionals and business owners to gain better access, not just to resources, but the ability to apply resources to increase their household income.

What are some ways Black Excellence supports the community of Black professionals in Kansas City?
Our three pillars are connecting our members to opportunities and each other, developing them through their own cultural competency, and celebrating them. We have a monthly panel talk around economic development that impacts the Black community. Recently, we talked about what it’s like to be a Black woman in professional sports. 

On the development side, we do a quarterly workshop called the Millionaire Mindset Brunch with Dr. Rodney Smith, author of Are We Really Crabs in a Barrel? This upcoming quarter we’ll be discussing navigating Black leadership in the corporate space. At the end of last year, we surveyed our members and one thing they wanted to learn more about was wealth development. They’re coming into new money, so how can they better invest? They want career security. How can they get closer to the resources?

Tell me about your new platform, “Proximity.”
Proximity is one of our new tools. It’s still in beta form, but we’re super excited about it. It’s a platform where our members can build a profile to help connect them to opportunities for jobs and professional development. There are community spaces, and then there are volunteer opportunities. A part of retention is a strong community connection, so we have partnerships with Junior Achievement and KC Scholars to help members connect as volunteers as well as professionals. 

You’re also Venture for America’s first Kansas City director. How does that intersect with your work at Black Excellence?
They both fit my overall vision as an individual. My goal as just Craig is to support the Black community when it comes to the way the world is evolving. Black Excellence is hyper-focused on workforce opportunities for Black professionals in the corporate space, but Venture for America is about diverse talent coming into the start of the ecosystem. 

My thought is, to close the racial wealth gap, there needs to be a focus on not just building businesses, but building a customer base that can visit those businesses. VFA also puts me in a position to seek out diverse talent who can work in these high-growth spaces and directly place them in communities like Kansas City, which is budding, but still has its barriers when it comes to racial inclusion. 

What are you most proud of accomplishing with your work?
The visibility of opportunity is what I’m most grateful for. The rooms I’m in, people are asking questions like, “How can I be a part of this?” or “How can I start an initiative to do the same thing?” I’m able to spark that thought of, “there is an opportunity here” or “there are higher pathways” just by someone seeing what I’m doing, and I’m grateful for that. 

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed