February 6, 2023

New Indiana Black Expo CEO focused on community empowerment

Alice Watson, Indiana Black Expo’s president and CEO, plans to continue the legacy of the organization.  - Photo provided by Alice Watson

Alice Watson, Indiana Black Expo’s president and CEO, plans to continue the legacy of the organization.

Photo provided by Alice Watson

Indiana Black Expo’s new president and CEO Alice Watson took over the 52-year-old organization at the start of the year with plans to expand programs under the organization’s four pillars: economic equity, youth and family empowerment, community empowerment, and health equity. The pillars are part of IBE’s five-year plan, which started in 2022.

Watson, an Evansville native, started with the organization 11 years ago as senior vice president of operations and management. She now takes over as president and CEO after Tanya Mckinzie announced her departure in early 2022 and stayed through the end of the year.

“This is a great organization,” Watson said. “I just wanted to see it carried out further as far as the legacy of the organization.”

When Mckinzie announced her departure last year, she said Watson has been “an invaluable asset to our senior leadership team and the success of the organization.”

Watson said she is excited about getting out in the community and educating people on Indiana Black Expo’s plans for the next four years. Watson wants those in the community to know that the organization has more to offer than Summer Celebration and the Circle City Classic football game.

Watson plans to address economic equity by continuing to help Black-owned businesses, in part through the organization’s annual conference for Black businesses.

One of Watson’s goals is to expand IBE’s Performing Arts Academy, which provides dance, music production, photography and acting programs to middle and high school students in Central Indiana.

The five-year plan also includes “community empowerment” and promoting awareness of health resources, including through IBE’s annual health fair.

For Summer Celebration this year, Watson said people can “expect new additions,” though she said she couldn’t elaborate on them yet.

Contact Indianapolis Recorder staff writer Timoria Cunningham at 317-762-7852 or timoriac@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on twitter @_timoriac.

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