Empowering Young Professionals is the founding principle of the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP) – hosts of the inaugural "Empowerment: Building Our Legacy" Conference held at the Hilton Hotel last Saturday (Aug. 17).
MULYP leadership designed the conference to solidify the group's 10-year legacy as the premiere organization to encourage and educate young professionals as the community, government and business leaders of the future in Memphis.
"There's never a great time to take a perfect opportunity," said Aaron Arnold, MULYP's Empowerment Conference keynote speaker. "I believe average people can create great things but I always wanted to be a part of something great."
Arnold held the attention of a room full of future great leaders of Memphis during his breakfast address. The CEO of Music is My Business, he interned for Sean "Diddy" Combs for 18-months after quitting his lucrative Public Relations career when he began to feel unfulfilled and unhappy.
"I'll never forget my mother telling me to never do anything for a paycheck," said Arnold, "and what I take from that is I think we all should live with no regrets."
There were approximately 200 conference attendees, including YP chapter members from Nashville, Knoxville, Jackson, Miss., St Louis, New Orleans, Atlanta, St. Petersburg, Fla., Houston, Lexington, Ky., Louisville and Los Angeles.
Prior to Arnold's keynote, Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr., Congressman Steve Cohen, and Dr. Douglas Scarboro gave special remarks on the importance of the conference focusing on empowering young professionals.
Then began workshops such as "We Develop Me: Building Your Brand," "Health & Wellness in the Life of Busy Professional," and "Breaking Barriers: How to Make Next Level Career Moves." Each was packed with attendees, who were live tweeting quotes from panelists and posting pictures on Instagram.
"We've always been relevant in our community but this conference opened our reach to a larger scale," said MULYP President Cynthia Daniels. "We now have to capitalize on this momentum."
At the conference were MULYP charter members, who created the organization to establish themselves as the new power source for Memphis business professionals.
"I can honestly say that I am overjoyed with the progress that the organization has made since inception," said charter member Joy Bowden. "The movement continues, and MULYP is well prepared to move this city into the next decade and beyond."
(Follow #MpowerBy10 to view the live tweeting.)