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Honey Brown Hope Foundation Rakes in National, State and Local Recognition

Honey Brown Hope Foundation Rakes in National, State and Local Recognition

Honey Brown Hope Foundation

Houston, TX — The Honey Brown Hope Foundation, a nationally recognized, award-winning 501(c)3 non-profit that has served youth and their families for over two decades, announced today that it is thankful this holiday season for recently being recognized for its civil rights

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Community Empowerment: Black Chambers of Commerce Where Is My Patronage?

Community Empowerment: Black Chambers of Commerce Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- Back in September I wrote an article entitled, Voter Suppression: Creating Black Wealth.  The impetus for that article was a commentary written by Earl G. Graves, Sr., Publisher of Black Enterprise. 

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Employees of Small, Locally-Owned Businesses Have More Company Loyalty

Employees of Small, Locally-Owned Businesses Have More Company Loyalty

loyalty to employers

Employees who work at small, locally owned businesses have the highest level of loyalty to their employers — and for rural workers, size and ownership of their company figure even more into their commitment than job satisfaction does

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The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters.  

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Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Abuse in the Workplace

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal

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The Decision to Handle Rejection

The Decision to Handle Rejection

Rev. Manson B. Johnson

The Big Idea: Endurance is the key to achieving challenging goals in life.“Man’s rejection can be God’s direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment–where we wouldn’t have thought of going on our own.  

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Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Print Subscription

 Greater Diversity News (GDN) is a statewide publication with national reach and relevance.  We are a chosen news source for underrepresented and underserved communities in North Carolina.  

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Beyond the Rhetoric: Why Black Business Programs aren’t Working

Written by NPA Columnist on 24 June 2013.

Last week, I explained why we have Black business programs. The evolution of them from the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the cause for their existence.  Title VI of the Act and along with U.S. Supreme Court decisions justifies their existence. The most frustrating thing about it is the fact that most of them don’t work too well.  Our collective gains in the public and corporate marketplace have been little and slow in coming.  If we had genuine efforts and very positive results after 49 years of law there would be no need for affirmative action and minority participation programs.  In other words, there would be no more discrimination in the business marketplace.  But unfortunately, racism still raises its ugly head.

The most important part of making someone eligible for participating in these programs is certification.  For some reason, in 2008, the Small Business Administration ceased certifying Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB).  This will open the door for false claims and fraud.  The federal programs will become littered with “front” businesses participating as if they are small and disadvantaged.  A million dollar White-owned business could now claim to be a SDB.  Thus, there will be participation reports that are terribly inflated and misleading.  Maybe that is what the SBA’s intent is since their current level for Black participation is 1.5 percent (in 2012).

State departments of transportation are required under Title VI to have diversity programs.  The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) chooses to have a strange version of a program.  It’s the race neutral program.  Programs that address racial discrimination by having a race neutral program are shams.  In essence, race neutral means “White men companies only.”  It doesn’t work and their numbers show it.  In fact, the whole state of California is 54 percent ethnic minority but their procurement programs are virtually void of any acceptable measurement of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans.  On the corporate side, Silicon Valley is a wasteland in terms of procurement diversity.  It doesn’t do much better in its hiring practices either.  Old Mississippi still lives – it’s in California.

Every five years, states and cities are supposed to perform a disparity study to determine if discrimination among businesses exist.  The state of Illinois has recently done a study.  The study shows that Blacks are the most discriminated group among all contractors (duh!).  It calls for strict improvement in the goals.  Funny, the governor’s office is trying to suppress the study because of pressure from White women groups who are over-utilized according to the study.  The truth sometimes hurts and this state needs to come to terms with its ongoing discrimination against Black businesses. The Illinois Black Legislative Caucus should block all legislation until this study is implemented.

There is a similar situation in Milwaukee.  The city’s recent disparity study shows Black businesses being heavily under-utilized while Hispanics and White women seem to have no discrimination against them.  Guess who is suing the city to stop the implementation of this program?  The Wisconsin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. They want a race neutral program.  I don’t know what kind of kool-aid they are drinking.  Their law firm has ties to anti-affirmative efforts. Go figure.

There is also Jacksonville, Fla.  Their recent disparity study is being held up by the city council.  Black and Hispanic groups have come together to demand the implementation of the study which clearly shows Blacks and Hispanics terribly under – utilized.  I think the city’s Black mayor ought to step up – sooner rather than later.

There are many cities and states that are recalcitrant in complying with Title VI and the two rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.  We have run out of patience.  The National Black Chamber of Commerce, led by our chair, Dorothy Leavell, is going to go on the offensive.  We are going to call out entities such as those listed above and put public exposure and pressure on these elected officials who are timid about addressing discrimination. My Lord! It has been 153 years since the Civil War began and slavery was finally condemned.  Full citizenship is our demand.

Most cities with the biggest problem are without a functional Black chamber of commerce.  If they do have one, it needs to step up its value to the local community and get involved or just shut itself down.  The three poorest big cities with large Black populations are Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati.  Yet, none of these cities have a really functional Black chamber of commerce whose focus is on Black business development.

Let’s stand up and make these programs work.  It is on our shoulders and it is time to march.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO, of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.  Website: www.nationalbcc.org.  Email: halford@nationalbcc.org. •