Greater Fort Lauderdale is becoming a relaxing, upscale, hospitable hub for some of the most prominent African American groups and high-profile personalities in media, social justice, business and sports.

The recent National Urban League Conference attracted near record-breaking attendance of visitors. During its first visit to the area, the event featured speakers such as UL President and CEO Marc Morial, presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, and dynamic leadership summits for young professionals and youth.

The Multicultural Business Development office of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau also partnered with the prestigious Trumpet Awards for a star-studded weekend event celebrating the 85th birthday of Awards founder and television pioneer Xernona Clayton. Since 1993 the Trumpet Awards have honored the contributions of prominent African American achievers in such areas as health care, social justice and entertainment.

Past winners and supporters including Ambassador and civil rights legend Andrew Young, musical impresario Dr. Bobby Jones, and a variety of top level African Americans in major U.S. corporations gathered on Fort Lauderdale beach to honor Atlanta-based Clayton, who worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and broke racial and gender barriers as a broadcaster and a high ranking executive for Turner Broadcasting System. The Trumpet Awards are televised annually and distributed internationally.

Black Enterprise Magazine brought the Women of Power Summit to Fort Lauderdale for the first time earlier this year for one of its biggest events ever. In September, the Fifth Annual South Florida Women of Color Empowerment Conference convenes at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort. Speakers include TV star Judge Glenda Hatchett, African Ancestry co-founder Gina Paige, author and social entrepreneur Felecia Hatcher who was honored by the White House as a 2014 Champion of Change, and Donise E. Brown, Corporate Counsel for Starbucks Corporation: www.southfloridawomenofcolor.com

Coming up, the American Tennis Association, the oldest Black sports organization in the U.S., prepares to celebrate its landmark 100th anniversary in 2016 in alliance with the CVB, including presentation of the family-oriented 99th National Championships in Fort Lauderdale July 31-Aug. 5. Historically the ATA has been closely aligned with African American Greek organizations in the U.S., providing a social network for amateur players. Leaders of historic Black Greek organizations are playing a major role today, supporting the ATA's youth development programs and the plan for a permanent ATA home in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
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