On June 25, 2016, at the Slover Library (235 E. Plume St.) in downtown Norfolk, the first meeting for Black BRAND commenced under the meeting name Economic Empowerment and Group Economics hosted by Everyday Activism, which was a grassroots organization that address social ills that plague the Black community. This is group was one of initial efforts by husband and wife team and Black BRAND Co-founders, Bashiri and Blair Durham.
The following meeting was on Saturday, July 30 at the home of Bashiri and Blair Durham. During this meeting, a presentation was given by Dr. Neale Jackson, who gave a presentation on unity and described the Sanfoka bird and spiritual aspect of the organization. Within this meeting, the name “Black BRAND” was adopted and officers were selected for leadership.
Black BRAND introduced itself to the community with the event The Black Diamond Affair, which was a community empowerment event within Hampton Roads. The organization highlighted successful business owners and community leaders, gained memberships and leveraged the Black business community. The event gathered 300 people at the Wyndam Hotel in downtown Norfolk.