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Topeka, KS — The Greater Topeka Partnership’s office of equity and opportunity is excited to announce the launch this week of a new programming series designed to highlight and grow the diversity of experiences in our area’s business community. Dubbed “The Fusion Network,” this new series will feature themed networking events that honor the success, contributions and innovations of diverse local businesses and business owners. The Fusion Network will also grow to include training sessions, pitch competitions, and other offerings that create opportunities to build equity in business.

The inaugural Fusion Network event will take the form of a learning-and-networking night on Thursday, Aug. 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at downtown’s Sixth Avenue Ballroom, 117 S.W. 6th Ave. The theme will reflect August being National Black Business Month, with a focus on celebrating the success, contributions and innovations of the region’s Black entrepreneurs. The event will include light programming and refreshments. At the August networking night, attendees will also hear from keynote speaker Sheila Ellis-Glasper, founder and CEO of Black Entrepreneurs of the Flint Hills. All are welcome to attend. Those interested in participating are encouraged to register online at

“Fusion Network is all about fostering inclusivity through new networking opportunities and events that bring diverse members of the community closer together,” said Glenda Washington, chief equity and opportunity officer for the Greater Topeka Partnership. “As we thought about what Fusion Network could be, standing up timely, relevant themes for our networking nights seemed like a wonderful way to tie these events to important and timely issues. At our October Fusion Network, we’ll be looking to honor National Hispanic Heritage Month — and with plenty more programming to come, that’s just the beginning.”

“At The Partnership, we’re always exploring new ways to reach members of our community, especially voices that may be missing from important conversations,” said Matt Pivarnik, CEO of the GTP. “Building equity and opportunity through diverse programming that meets community needs is one way we do that. I’m eager to support The Fusion Network. I know Glenda has been hard at work making this series a reality, and I look forward to seeing how these networking events and learning opportunities help us connect with new faces across our community.”