Next month, minority Penn students are invited to compete, listen and get inspired.

From Dec. 5 through 6, the Wharton African American MBA Association will host the 41st annual Whitney M. Young, Jr. Conference. The annual event brings together students from Penn’s campus and the Philadelphia area to empower underrepresented individuals who hope to develop their skills in the corporate world.

The conference honors civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr. and aims to bring light to important social, political and economic issues. The theme of the 2014 event is “The Handoff: Running with the Torch of Leadership.”

This year’s panel also features the New Venture Competition for aspiring entrepreneurs who have conceptualized or are actively working on a business for less than two years. The finalists of the competition will give a presentation during the conference and will enter the national competition hosted by Black Enterprise , a premier business news magazine for African Americans. The submission deadline for the competition ended Nov. 14, and the organizing committee is now focused on selecting the finalists.

New Venture Competition planner and Wharton MBA student Alex Cater said that he hopes the conference, which is notable for its social missions, will bring together people from diverse backgrounds and geographical areas.

“The competition is not only geared towards the business fields but will also bring together different social perspectives among the participants,” he said.

The two-day event includes business panels, keynote addresses and general discussion. Keynote speakers include prominent business leaders such as Vice Chairman of Global Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley Carla Harris , who was appointed by President Barack Obama as Chair of the National Women’s Business Council .

Approximately 500 people participated in last year’s conference, and the organizers are expecting an even more sizable group for this year’s event.

“We’d like to invite all people interested in the related fields to participate in this year’s WMY conference,” Cater said.

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