TOBA was founded in 1979 when David McQuay, a CPA from Tallahassee, Robert Morrison, Esquire, an Associate in the Law Firm of Warren H. Dawson and Attorney Delano S. Stewart were having a series of philosophical discussions about what Tampa needed to do to move forward. They discussed many varied issues, including how the black community expands its response not only to political, education and social matters but also to issues of economic empowerment. Their discussion also centered, however, on how to attract the young talent being drawn to the Tampa Bay Area to aggressively work toward solving of issues facing the black community in a meaningful manner. They concluded that the best way to forge progress was to host a meeting of professionals and para-professionals to discuss common interest and determine strategy and action plan to address the issues, concerns, ideas and recommendations of the day.
On a Saturday night in October of 1979, at the home of Delano Stewart, a meeting was held with over 100 attendees to share this community analysis. As a result, the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs (TOBA) was formed with the vision and mission of inspiring, empowering, and preparing a new generation of leaders.
Since its humble beginnings, TOBA has been a catalyst for leadership in this community. Because of this organization whose objective was always to stay focused on the community and its issues and not organizational personalities, many programs, events and unique ideas have conceptualized and become important parts of the growing Tampa Bay Area community including but limited to:
- The Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Breakfast
- Youth Heritage Oratorical Contest (Over $150K in scholarships awarded)
- Public Education and Awareness Projects
- Minority Business Expo Partnerships
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Swim Team
- Ladies In Training Mentor Program
- TOBA Youth Heritage Oratorical Contest
- Leadership Development Projects
- Youth Heritage Art Competition
- Community Forums and Ad-hoc Issue Coalition Committees
- Business and Economic Development Initiatives
- Non-Partisan Political Education, Voter Participation and Public Service