Ohio Black Expo is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life, success and well-being for African-Americans in Ohio. Our initiatives focus on and address several areas that include: health, education, seniors, business, tech, and youth to name a few.

We raise funds for year-round programs and scholarships through our annual Ohio Black Expo: Riverfront Culture Fest + Convention during Memorial Day Weekend. The overall goal for our events is to empower the 1.7 million Black residents in Ohio and beyond. We target Ohio plus 4 million Black residents in surrounding states to join for empowerment through our solution-driven workshops, unifying networking events, and a celebratory festival of Black culture. 


Rhonda D. Robinson

The founder and current Board Chair of the Ohio Black Expo, Rhonda D. Robinson, was initially inspired to create the Columbus Black Expo after successfully registering 70 plus vendors for the Columbus Black Convention in 1980.

The Columbus Black Expo was held at the Focal Point of Mt. Vernon Plaza from 1981 – 1987. After seven (7) years, realizing that the event was drawing people and vendors from all over the state, she changed the name to the Ohio Black Expo to reflect what was happening.

The first Ohio Black Expo event took place at Veterans Memorial in downtown Columbus. It was held there from 1988 through 1991, peaking at 300 exhibitors and over 30,000 visitors. She then decided that Ohio Black Expo should possibly be held in other cities in Ohio. The Ohio Black Expo was held in Dayton at the Dayton Convention Center in 1992. She moved it to Cincinnati, her hometown, in 1993 and 1994 at the Cincinnati Convention Center. After a hiatus, the Ohio Black Expo returned in 2020 and is now under the leadership of Sherri Hamilton (CEO) and Lawrence “Butch” Hamilton III (COO) with the support of a dedicated team located throughout the State of Ohio. 

Shaping The Future


Dream Path Program

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OBE Honors

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Hall of Fame

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Ohio Black Educator Awards

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OBE Veterans Honors

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OBE Salute to Black Expollence Business Awards

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