Ghe first annual Young Professionals of Color Conference was on August 2, 2012 at Varnum. The day-long conference featured high caliber speakers of color from a variety of industries. Attendees learned about the landscape of opportunity in Grand Rapids and were given the tools and resources to be successful as a professional of color in West Michigan. In addition to this, attendees also learned about the importance of commitment to excellence from the young energetic BL²END board of directors. Young professionals of color gained insight from leaders in the community who can speak to the challenges and success they are currently faced with in our community.