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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

WHEN THE HUMOR IS GONE

James Bean has shown insight and understanding of the darkest moments of many people’s lives as well as ideas on how one could begin to create a life worth living even out of the depths of despair.” -– Rhonda Duncombe, LMFT, LADC

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Written by State Point

Stress is not only unpleasant; it can be overwhelming, ultimately preventing you from solving the problems that caused the stress in the first place. But getting focused can help you feel happier and be more successful professionally, financially and in your relationships, say experts.

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Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Written by Peter Grear

For black voters, Benjamin Jealous expressed what I believe to be the critical message for black voters when he said that the best way to overcome massive voter suppression is through a massive wave of voter registration.  Thankfully, the NAACP is putting this theory into action through the Youth Organizing…

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Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Written by Freddie Allen

Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, Black women have increasingly started making their own. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.

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Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I’ve been doing commentaries on our Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression since November, 2013.  Because the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, I’ve tried to promote a non-partisan theory of voter enfranchisement. 

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Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

By Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Frequently, in going forward it is imperative to examine your history.  In 1638 the Maryland Colony issued a public edict encouraging the separation of the races that became the public policy of America. 

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Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website

The FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website. No paper, no hasel, read on your laptop or mobile devices. 

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The ‘Colored Entrance’ to White-Owned Businesses

Written by Harry C. Alford on 24 June 2013.

For the most part, corporate America employees are satisfied with their careers.  There is usually a chart to review in terms of responsibility.  Is the employee moving up the “ladder” and heading towards more executive responsibility?  That is correlated with salary.  The greater the responsibility, the greater the pay and the less tolerance for any era or bad judgment.  If one reaches as far up the ladder as he or she can, then they will ultimately seek new employment that offers more opportunity or capitulate to the end of their improvement and sit there until retirement.

There are many divisions within a major corporation.  Engineering, Manufacturing, Logistics, Marketing, Sales, Legal, IT, Human Resources, Procurement, Research/Development, Security and Maintenance are some of the major divisions.  Each of these divisions is usually managed by a vice president, director, chairman or president.  They report to the President/CEO or Chairman/CEO. 

Somewhere in this maze of divisions is a particular occupation sometimes known as Manager of Minority Procurement or Diversity Procurement or some other form that reflects on a minority procurement program that the company alleges it has. The person they pick will generally have less than a successful tenure under his/her belt.  Their past with the corporation is usually lackluster and their future is considered to be vague or doomed to failure.  This is the prototype of who they want to represent them as Black-owned businesses and other minorities seeking to do business are directed to his or her office.  It’s the colored entrance while White-owned firms head to the procurement division where the real deals are done. The Black rep reminds one of that great novel, “The Spook who sat by the Door” by Sam Greenlee.

This individual has little power and no respect among members of the corporation.  If a crisis arises that involves the corporation’s record on minority business, the company will refer the matter to someone high up in the procurement division.

We had an issue with the Chrysler Corporation.  They were building a new plant in Kokomo, Ind. The state legislature gave them $8 million in cash to acquire the needed land. They had the nerve to refuse any appointments by Black construction managers.  One of our members even had their FEDEX package containing the Statement of Qualifications refused for acceptance.  They wouldn’t even accept it.  He complained to us and we went to war.  After a scathing op-ed  in many NNPA newspapers and the threat of defaulting on the $8 million given to the company by the state, they began to panic.  Chrysler sent four vice presidents to my office.  The minority business guy wasn’t even in the loop. They made peace by awarding the plant to one of our members.  One of the vice presidents ran their foundation.  As an apologetic gesture, they sent a handsome grant to us.  I felt like Rev. Jesse Jackson.

A lot of these corporations will demand that you, a Black person, should go through that colored door and never approach the main door.  One of our members formed an engineering consulting company made up of two homegrown Blacks, an African and a Caribbean.  The four of them developed a great staff and started winning a lot of contracts at this one particular Fortune 10 corporation.  Eventually, members of the corporation suggested that they get certified as a minority business.  They said they would rather not as they were winning contracts in a straight up competitive way.  Then the corporation demanded it.  So they did and by doing so they now had to go through that colored door.  Predictably, their business started drying up and within a year they were out of business.

There is a big stigma placed on certified minorities within the majority of major corporations.  I remember talking with the minority business guy for Enron (before their demise).  He broke into tears as he said his career is at a “dead end sitting in this damn office.”  He said he was an outcast and when he walks down a hall everyone frowns at him.  “If I come up to them to discuss minority firms they say they don’t have time and then I catch all this hell from people like you.”

There are a few corporations that are exceptions to the above.  They don’t move by one office and one person with little staff.  They move by a committee of some of their best “up and coming” executives.  Management expertise is applied and sincerity is evident.  Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Comcast and Penn Gaming quickly come to my mind as great examples of commitment in diversifying their procurement choices.  There are a few others but that’s about it.  And, by the way, a corporation having a Black CEO has so far made no difference in the attitude of minority procurement.

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

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