Cornel West, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and Tavis Smiley at City Hall  

Last night, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed welcomed over 250 black mayors to the city of Atlanta by hosting a swank reception at City Hall as part of the 38th Annual Convention for the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM).

Attendees included Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, Jasmine Guy, Sacramento Mayor and former NBA point guard Kevin Johnson, Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus OH, NCBM President Robert Bowser (Mayor of East Orange, NJ),NCBM Exec Director Vanessa R. Williams, Stacii Jae Johnson (Director of Special Events, Office of Mayor Kasim Reed), Atlanta City Council President Caesar Mitchell, and City Councilman Kwanza Hall.

Spearheaded by Stacii Jae Johnson and her Special Events team in the Mayor's Office, the reception was designed to showcase Atlanta's signature hospitality. Food stations featuring cuisine from various Atlanta neighborhoods along the Beltline was set up around the room, which was enclosed by 50-foot screens flashing images of Atlanta landmarks. A towering cake -- designed by Denise Harrod and baked by Highland Bakery -- stood in the middle of the room and featured prominent ATL sites such as the new Hartsfield Jackson International Terminal, The Atlanta Zoo, CNN, Spelman College, and Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Reception sponsors included the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Columbia Residential, Loop Capital Markets and Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP Attorneys at Law.  

Food by Black Tie Catering, drinks served by The Perfect Bartender and sound/lighting/video by One Stop Productions

The NCBM Convention continues through June 2 at the Marriott Atlanta Buckhead with appearances by Congressman John Conyers, Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery and more.

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  Left Photo: Mayor Kasim Reed, Vanessa R. Williams, NCBM Pres.Bowser    
Right Photo:  Stacii Jae Johnson, Cornel West, Mayor Reed, Sonji Dade Jacobs, Tavis Smiley 

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               Jasmine Guy, Mayor Reed                               NCBM Pres Robert Bowser                                 135th CEO Shante Bacon, Shanti Das 

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                 Atlanta City Council Pres Caesar Mitchell, Mayor Kevin Johnson             The guests at the Welcome Reception     

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                ATL Councilman Kwanza Hall, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Natalie Hall    Stacii Jae with the special Reception Cake

Photos: James Pray