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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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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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An Inside Look at the New Fronting Game

Written by Harry C. Alford on 11 June 2012.


discrimination-471There is much corruption when it comes to procurement.  Probably the industry with the most corruption is construction.  Keep in mind that corruption is the first cousin of discrimination which is why the establishment cringes at the thought of Black strangers coming into their territory.  They want to keep the graft private.
I learned much about this corruption when I was in Indianapolis. One day one of my members invited me to attend “Bid Night,” which would occur two to three times a year.  It was sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and held at a downtown hotel.  Every major highway contractor would attend.  Basically, it was a party held on the eve of bid openings.  My friend was a known contractor and always attended.  I went undercover as I would have never been formally invited to this good ol’ boy event.  He would introduce me as his new vice president.

After about two hours, most of the contractors were starting to get drunk.  My member and I were two of the three Blacks in the whole place.  It was very, very uncomfortable – red necks getting drunk.  Some would be referred to as a “b_____.”  It was explained to me that such a moniker described a front women-owned business.  White males actually owned fictitious women-owned businesses in order to get in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program and would subcontract some of their work to themselves.  This would give them credit towards the DBE program at the expense of Black, Hispanic and real women-owned firms.

I left the affair early. It went on until about 2 a.m.  Starting at 8 o’clock the next morning, the bids would be awarded.  This was virtually a criminal activity.  Each bid would have five or six companies “competing” for the lowest bid.  There would be one logical bid and the others wouldn’t even be in the ball park.  The bid room would fill with laughter as this went on for hours.  It was obvious that these construction companies got together and decided who would win what.  In the end, everyone had their share of contracts.  It was bid rigging, pure and simple, and it was sanctioned by the state of Indiana.  I was appalled.  My member laughed at me and said “That’s how it’s done.”

A few days later, he invited me to come and see how “fronting” occurs.  One form of fronting is to rent your company’s name to contracting activity.  A White firm will actually do the work and get the money but the minority business report would falsely state that it was a Black firm.  My friend owned a trucking company.  The Indianapolis Airport Authority had his firm listed for dirt removal on a big project.  He took me to the work site.  I saw three different White owned trucking companies doing the work.  He informed me, “Harry, you are seeing a truck come out every 20 seconds.  Each truck means a $3 fee for me.  That’s $9 per minute; $540 per hour and $5,400 per day.  Just for the use of my name!  That’s why I front.”

Those three trucking companies simply padded their fee by $3 per haul to cover their fronting fee. That was taxpayer money.  My guy had no shame about this.  One time we were at a reception to honor the mayor of Indianapolis.  The mayor came up to my friend and asked,  “What are you doing at the airport?”  He retorted, “I am fronting.”  The mayor didn’t understand the answer.  I just shook my head.

There was the case of “Dead Man Contracting.”  I noticed a particular firm listed as doing a sizeable contract on a downtown project.  I knew the owner and he had died a year earlier, forcing  the business to close.  I found a contact number and called it.  It was the widow’s home phone and I asked her if she had taken over the business.  She explained to me, “No, I just fill out invoices per their instructions and they give me 2 percent of the invoice cost.  I feel ashamed misrepresenting my husband’s memory but the money is easy and I can use it.”  She promised to cease this illegal activity and I assured her that she wouldn’t be reported if she stopped immediately.

It got so bad that I soon started to periodically write “Fudge Reports.”  I would call out a fronting activity – names of the fronts and their respective projects.  The reports would be widely distributed. I explained how a real deal would have amounted in so many actual dollars being made.  I would show how many jobs in the Black community would be created and how many families would have enjoyed the income.  The fronting began to slow down.

Harry 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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