The ways and means of the implementation of these seven fundamental goals, referred to by The WCM as the 7 "T's, formed the outline of the conference agenda. Panels of leaders and experts, in each of the 7 "T's", held discussions with reference to how that particular goal could be used more effectively to sustain economic growth and development in the cities of the world in the 21st century. Each panel was convened either by The WCM Vice President responsible for leadership for the implementation of a specific goal, or by another expert in the field:
The Honorable Jack Sims, Mayor of District Heights, MD, and WCM 1st Vice President for Trade, convened the International Trade Panel which discussed "Cities Competing in a Global Market". The Honorable Alberta McCrory, Mayor of Hobson City, AL, and WCM Vice President for Youth, convened The Cities United Luncheon, during which "The Road Map to Safe, Healthy, and Hopeful Cities in America and the World" was discussed. The panel was moderated by The Honorable Anthony Smith, Director of Cities United. The Honorable Thomas Masters, Mayor of Riviera Beach, FL, and WCM Vice President for Tourism, convened the Tourism Panel which discussed "Cities Benefiting from Cultural Tourism Dollars". The Honorable Richard Hatcher, Former Mayor of Gary Indiana, and Past President of the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) convened the Twin Cities Panel, which discussed how "The Sister Cities (Twin Cities) Program Builds Bridges of Friendship Between the Cities of the World.". The Honorable Vickie Moore, former Mayor of Slocomb, AL, WCM Vice President of Treasury, and Executive Director of the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors (ACBM) convened the Treasury Panel which discussed "Building The Municipal Treasury”: Taxation or Privatization". The Honorable Dr. William Truly, Mayor of Canton, MS, and WCM Vice President for Health, and WCM Medical Advisor, Ivan Sims, convened the Healthy Cities Panel, which discussed "Mayors Leading the March Toward Healthy Cities in America and the World.". The Honorable Darryl Johnson, former Mayor of Mound Bayou, MS, and WCM Vice President of Technology convened the Technology Transfer Panel, which discussed "Using Technology to Sustain Economic Growth and Development in 21st Century Cities.". The panel addressing the 7th "T" of Training was convened by The Honorable Samuel Ings, WCM Vice President of Training, and City Commissioner, Orlando, FL. It featured the US Department of Justice Community Relations Service, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), The National League of Cities (NLC), and Race Equity and Leadership (REAL), discussing "Training Mayors and Black Law Enforcement Executives to Work Together in Making the Cities of America and the World Safe Again".
The WCM also recognized and honored during the conference, the members of the National Policy Alliance (NPA) with a historic "Parade of Presidents", during which Presidents and former Presidents of NPA member organizations were recognized. The NPA represents the collective voice of over 16,000 Black elected and appointed public policy officials, and a million plus Blacks in government who execute public policy at the local, state, national and international level. This recognition ceremony was convened by WCM Founder, The Honorable Johnny Ford, who is also Founding Co-Chair of the NPA, The Honorable Denise Langford Morris Circuit Court, Oakland County, Michigan, and Past Chair, The National Bar Association-Judicial Council (NBA-JC), Linda Haithcox-Taylor, Executive Director of the National Policy Alliance, and National Medical Association (NMA) President, Dr. Doris Browne. The WCM recommended , and the NPA agreed and voted to expand, and invigorate the NPA from a National Policy Alliance into a World Policy Alliance. This moment was indeed historic.
Perhaps the highlight of the conference however, was the inauguration of the WCM International Hall of Fame, honoring the 21 original 1984 Incorporators/Founders of The World Conference of Mayors. The ceremony was coordinated by The Honorable Dyann Robinson, WCM Secretary General, and Director of Tuskegee Repertory Theatre, and the induction was conducted by WCM President, The Honorable Mayor Ed Jones, of Grambling, Louisiana. All 20 inductees were officially introduced and formally inducted by The WCM Founder, Honorable Johnny Ford. For those deceased or not present, testimonials were given by WCM members with whom those not present were closely associated. The WCM was pleased to be able to present a certificate of membership in the WCM International Hall of Fame to the representatives of one of the still living founders, The Honorable Charles Evers, Former Mayor of Fayette, Ms. His certificate of membership was received by Mr. Rob Neal, President and CEO of the International Black Broadcast Association ( IBBA), and Mr. La Mont "Showboat" Robinson, CEO/Founder R&B Music Hall of Fame. Certificates of membership were presented in person to The Honorable Richard Hatcher, former Mayor of Gary, Indiana, who was introduced by his daughter, "The Honorable Ragen Hatcher, City Council lady At-Large, Gary, Indiana, and last but not least a certificate of membership was presented to WCM Founding President, The Honorable Johnny Ford, Former Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama. He was introduced by The Honorable John McGowan, WCM CFO, Former Mayor of Union Springs, AL, now County Commissioner, Bullock County, AL., and Chair of The National "Nat King Cole Society Board of Directors.
In addition to panel discussions, the delegates to the conference had the opportunity to meet and network with the members of the WCM Corporate Roundtable and other WCM conference sponsors and exhibitors, fulfilling the conference goal of providing experience and opportunity for sustaining growth through private public partnerships, such as Casey Family Programs Foundation, Mr. William Bell, President, and OraSure Technologies, Mr. Tony Zezzo, Executive Vice President for Sales and Marketing. This opportunity included a tour of downtown Detroit sponsored by Bedrock Properties which gave an excellent picture of the economic recovery of "Detroit, the City that Never surrendered"
Not all was work with no play for the WCM Detroit 2017 conference delegates, the conference was begun with a VIP Reception at Detroit's famous Bert's Market Place, "Dining Home to the Motown Stars", hosted by owner Bert Dearling. Bert's Market Place is an outstanding example of African American entrepreneurship in Detroit, that also reflects Detroit's rich cultural and artistic history. The delegates were even further entertained by a performance by Mr. Tony Wilson, "The Young James Brown", and Judy Lei: "Classic Soul". In conclusion the Conference was deemed by all, a great success, fulfilling its mandate, to help elected and appointed officials and business persons from throughout the United States and the world in "Sustaining Growth and Development in 21st Century Cities”.
The success of The World Conference of Mayors, Inc. Detroit 2017 Conference was such that The WCM has accepted an invitation extended by Mr. Efiong Eniang, President of the African World Expo, to return to Detroit, in August of 2018. The WCM will convene in conjunction with the African World Expo, and the Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, African World Festival.
The World Conference of Mayors, Inc.