Addressing the recent 24/7 Wall St. report listing Erie as “the worst city for Black Americans”

December 21st,2017 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: Kerry Kirkland

Deputy Secretary Kirkland will discuss the 24/7 Wall St. report’s findings, as well as the Erie region’s high poverty rate, especially for the minority community, and potential economic strategies to confront it. As the Wall St. report revealed, “No Major metropolitan area has greater racial inequalities across major social and economic outcome measures than Erie, Pennsylvania. An astounding 47 percent of the black population lives at or below the national poverty line, twice the already alarming national poverty rate for black Americans of 23.9 percent and more than four times the white poverty rate in Erie of 11.9 percent.”

Kerry Kirkland
Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities for the Department of General Services

Mr. Kirkland has extensive state government compliance and minority business development experience and is currently serving as Deputy Secretary of the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities. In this very important role, Mr. Kirkland is leading the Department’s efforts to improve Pennsylvania’s state programs and the contracting environment for small diverse and small businesses.


In addition to serving as Deputy Secretary, Mr. Kirkland has a solid history of senior leadership and management of large scale governmental and private sector operations with more than 38 years of professional experience in developing policies and programs for small and small diverse businesses.


Mr. Kirkland has managed programs responsible for maintaining measurable metrics including vendor performance, quality, and financial risk. He has managed SBA’s national small business procurement programs. He has also developed and implemented procurement/diverse spend policies and programs for many local governments, school districts, hospitals, and private sector organizations with impactful outcomes.



▪ Central Regional Director, PA Department of Community and Economic Development

▪ President and CEO, Kirkland Consulting, Inc.

▪ Vice President, National Black Chamber of Commerce

▪ Associate Deputy Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

▪ Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration



▪ Served with a four-member delegation from the United States to South Africa led by Dr. Arthur A. Fletcher, Chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights.

▪ Co-Founder of American Contract Compliance Association, Inc., the largest membership based contract compliance training organization in the world.

▪ United States Air Force, Honorable Discharge (Viet Nam Veteran).