Loyola University Maryland

African and African American Studies Interdisciplinary Minor

Stories, Context, and Lived Experiences of the Black Entrepreneur

As anchor institutions, Jesuit Universities have a social responsibility to understand the current social reality that historically discriminatory practices have created for Black entrepreneurs and provide the leadership necessary to engender positive change. The Inspirational Paradigm re-imagines how Jesuit business schools will prepare students with the essential skills to lead this positive change. Storytelling is one of those inspirational skills. However, students have access to very few firsthand stories that capture the Black entrepreneur's experience amidst disparate access to economic opportunity. For Jesuit business students to lead inclusive and just social reforms, they must hear Black entrepreneurs' stories in their own words.

As a result, the purpose of this project is to create a series of six (6) learning modules that are centered around high-quality videos that capture the personal stories and lived experiences of Black entrepreneurs in communities that have been subject to long-term anti-black structural inequities. Each module will contain a video story from a local entrepreneur accompanied by self-directed assignments and discussion questions that will facilitate student learning, discernment, and reflection consistent with the Inspirational and Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigms. Moreover, the combined modular format of the video and accompanying assignments will be available on an open-access platform making the series accessible to any faculty who wants to contextualize the black entrepreneurial experience in either curricular or co-curricular programming.


Module 1: Mortgages and Generational Wealth

Entrepreneur: Tyrell Dixon, Owner and Founder of Project Own

Anti-Black lending practices of the 20th century have had a lasting impact on American society and the financial health of Black households and individuals. The goals of this module are for students to apply pre-requisite knowledge, skills, and concepts related to finance lending and mortgages in order to state, comprehend, and evaluate the devastation of the anti-Black lending practices from both a business and human perspective.

Module 2: Education & Social, Emotional Learning

Entrepreneur: Ashley Williams, CEO and Founder of Infinite Focus Schools

Students and teachers nationwide are returning to post-Covid classrooms with historically elevated levels of stress and anxiety. Addressing this modern crisis in mental health can be a challenge in under-invested communities with teachers who are often ill-prepared to address the social and emotional wellness of their students and themselves. The goals of this module are for students to apply pre-requisite knowledge and skills to understand the relationship between community and education investment and health outcomes for children and families. Students should also reflect upon their role as human-centered investors prepared to engage community based companies and entrepreneurs as an empathetic ally in this work.

Module 3: Public Health and Wellness

Entrepreneur: Tyrell Suggs, Live Chair Health

Racial disparities in chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes are exacerbated by an uneven distribution of social resources and a lack of trust that stems from the historical exploitation of Blacks by the White medical and political establishment. According to the Centers for Disease Control, up to 60% of a person’s quality-of-life and health risks are based on the social determinants of health in their zip code. One of the most important social determinants for Black men is health literacy and the access to quality health care. Andrew Suggs founded Live Chair Health on the idea that trusted barber shop conversations can be used to support the long-term health of Black men who are less likely to seek out primary medical screenings and care.

Module 4: Workplace Equity

Coming Soon!

Module 5: Sole Proprietorship Businesses

Coming Soon!

Module 6: Affordable Housing, Supply and Demand, City Planning

Coming Soon!