News, Brews & Beatz

The health, wealth, and challenges of Black-owned businesses in central Illinois


Illinois Public Media kicked off its third season of News, Brews & Beatz with a live taping in the Collins Television Studio at Campbell Hall. More than 50 local Black business owners and other professionals attended the event as well as a networking event prior to the panel discussion.

This season, our local community forum series has broadened its scope as it pivots from topics on combatting community gun violence to address additional and relevant issues facing Black communities. And with this event, we kicked if off with a conversation around the health, wealth, and challenges of Black-owned and -operated businesses in central Illinois.

Guest panelists include Matthew J. Simpson with the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment in the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; and Tricia D. Teague, founder of The Trep School business incubator in Danville. The discussion is co-hosted by Reginald Hardwick, IPM news and public affairs director, and Tracy Parsons, facilitator for the Champaign County Community Coalition.