Between the World and Me: 2021 Empowering Men of Color in Business

Portland State University’s School of Business and Multicultural Retention Services collaborate each year to intentionally hold space to center the experiences of Men of Color within the field of business.

On November 19th, the virtual panel discussion brought outstanding professionals from the PSU community and beyond together to speak on the theme “Between the World and Me,” inspired by American writer and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ acclaimed nonfiction work.

Coates asks “What is it like to inhabit a minoritized body in the United States and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?” Read more about the panelists and enjoy the event recording below.

Antwon Ali is an experienced banker who actively manages a real estate portfolio of over $1B. He is currently completing a Master in Real Estate Development from Portland State University with a certification in blockchain technologies. His passion for giving back keeps him actively engaged in the community through multiple education and leadership endeavors. He is currently creating a Proptech solution that addresses displacement in vulnerable communities.

Tyrone Dillard began his career in aerospace nearly 20 years ago in the United States Marine Corps where he served as an enlisted Aviation Electronics Technician. He completed two tours to Iraq and was honorably discharged in 2006 after completing five years of service. Tyrone transitioned into a new career as an Aerospace Engineer. In 2019, he was selected to serve in the Explorers Program Office, providing government oversight to ensure the technical, programmatic and science success. Tyrone has interests in real estate investment, empowerment of marginalized and underrepresented minorities, and helping transitioning military veterans achieve success

Darryl Jackson is responsible for oversight of all DEI activities at the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), leading IMA’s efforts toward creating more opportunities for all accounting professionals and closing a profession-wide diversity gap. Darryl also develops solutions to drive pipeline development, recruitment, and retention in the accounting profession. He began his career in government and finance in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. After seven years in finance, Darryl pivoted to a career in non-profit and association management working with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Project Management Institute and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. Darryl served with the New York State Society of CPAs and Marlon Moore Consulting.

Jason Kallingal was born and raised on Guam after his parents moved from Southern India. After moving to Portland for his undergraduate education, he opened Paccini, a restaurant on Portland State University’s campus in 2005. Jason sold the restaurant to Rogue Brewery and graduated from The Portland MBA in 2011. He worked at ROSE Community Development as an Economic Development Manager before opening Life of Pie in 2013 on N Williams Ave and later opening a second location on NW 23rd Ave in 2018. Jason has organized DEI initiatives at Life of Pie to support community building and equity.

JR Lilly is a Indigenous community member of the Diné (Navajo) Nation. As part of a new generation that straddles a cultural chasm, he leads efforts to further the conversation around defining the role of our generation for both Native and Non-Native communities. Always eager to seek new possibilities, JR is innovative, venturesome, decisive, trusting, and optimistic. He enjoys talking through tough problems and helping to identify the best solution. He thrives when helping others reach their goals and working towards a common mission.

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