The first Black Massage Therapist Conference will award two $1,000 grants to Black-owned massage businesses, with the grants to be used to support business endeavors. MASSAGE Magazine and Massage Magazine Insurance Plus are sponsors of the Black Massage Therapist Business Grants and sponsors of the conference’s Swag It program.
“Black-owned businesses are the fastest-growing but the lowest revenue stream vs. their white counterparts,” Black Massage Therapist Conference Founder Davonna Willis, LMT, ATC, said, in explaining the importance of the grants. “Black businesses are the least funded through traditional banking and funding institutions.”
Two eligible businesses will each benefit from a Black Massage Therapist Business Grant of $1,000. They will be chosen from among therapists who have either been in business for one to three years or have recently pivoted their business. Applicants must also describe why they should be considered for a grant, and detail a challenge they have overcome and learned from. The Black Massage Therapist Conference team will review all applications and vote for the top two based on their responses, said Willis.
The Swag It sponsorship will put MASSAGE Magazine and Massage Magazine Insurance Plus products, including free educational guides and exclusive saving on liability insurance coverage, directly into the hands of the conference attendees.
In addition to the Business Grants and Swag It sponsorships, MASSAGE Magazine will provide attendees of the Black Massage Therapist Conference with educational material written on success strategies specifically for multicultural massage therapists.
Willis graduated from The Swedish Institute and became a massage therapist in 2003. She owns Blue Skyes Massage & Wellness Center, as well as 4Nineteen Education & Training, through which she provides business coaching and CE classes. She also administers a Facebook group for Black massage therapists, Our Secret: The Black Massage Therapist Connection.
“Sponsoring the Black Massage Therapist Business Grants for the first Black Massage Therapist Conference is in alignment with MASSAGE Magazine’s focus on supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in the massage industry,” said the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Karen Menehan.
About the Black Massage Therapist Conference: The first Black Massage Therapist Conference will take place Oct. 14 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The purpose of the conference is to support Black massage therapists, build community among attendees, and contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion in the massage industry. The conference will feature NCBTMB-approved CE classes in technique and business, keynote speakers, a banquet and networking. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.
About MASSAGE Magazine: Established in 1985, MASSAGE Magazine is an award-winning publication that has been in print longer than any other massage magazine and is the preferred trade publication for massage therapists. MASSAGE Magazine’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion issue was awarded a 2022 Eddies award for editorial excellence.
About Massage Magazine Insurance Plus: Massage Magazine Insurance Plus is the leading national insurance provider for massage therapists, providing coverage for more than 450 modalities. Members receive over $1,800 in exclusive benefits, including online continuing education, industry discounts, and more.