More than eight years ago, when it was noticed that very few African Americans were being selected to participate in the city’s most prominent leadership programs, the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce leadership, President Devoyd Jennings, Chairman Glenn Lewis, former Chairwoman Norma Roby and member Dionne Bagsby decided to address this obvious need in our community.
Thus, the Chamber established PATHS- Forward, a program that would identify and train up-and-coming leaders in the Black community. It was first just a dream, but with the help of local foundations and corporations, the Chamber was able to fulfill that dream with remarkable results.
Since its establishment in 2009, PATHS Forward has graduated more than 100 participants, helping to introduce young African American professionals to basic leadership skills, volunteerism, the Tarrant County community, civic and governmental structures, the concepts of working with non-profit organizations, and the roles of institutions like our public schools and public health systems.
The Chamber is proud of all our former graduates, many of whom we’ve watched take prominent leadership positions not only in their places of work but also on community boards, commissions, and committees, including the board of directors of the Black Chamber.
The FWMBCC graduated its eleventh PATHS-Forward class in December 2020.