For more than 400 years, Black Americans have sought economic equity and political inclusion. Notwithstanding the fact that the pursuit of our ambitions has proven to be very elusive, we must continue to explore new ideas and strategies on how to solve this centuries-old endeavor.
We think that ACtC (A Call to Colors) and A Call to Corporate America (ACtCA) are initiatives that must be included in our GDN coalition efforts.
ACtC initially conceived its first outreach to the leadership of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Our theory is quite simple, there must be a marriage between the pursuit of economic and political empowerment. Take either component away and achieving the other becomes much more difficult.
ACtC Civic Engagement Model
ACtC is the civic engagement model that synergizes civic engagement, diversity and inclusion through the marriage of traditional activism and new technologies. The model has proven to be uniquely effective achieving its goals in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles and during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“A Call to Corporate America” (ACtCA) starts with the thought that Black America should marry its aspiration for economic equity to its ever-growing pursuit of voting rights and civic engagement. Corporate America is the centuries-old parent of economic inequities, with all its different iterations, visited upon Black Americans.
“Those who have been locked out from access to opportunity want the same from Corporate America that Corporate America wants from U.S. and foreign markets – balance of trade, open trade, and uninhibited access. If Corporate America could see the vast potential within our underserved minority communities, would Wall Street provide access to opportunities for economic growth and stability?” – Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. See Rainbow Push Wall Street Project https://rainbowpushwallstreetproject.org/about.html .
The GDN ACtC coalition consists of individuals that have endorsed or supported our efforts to address voter suppression and economic exclusion. Identifiable supporters include HBCU Alumni Associations, nonpartisan leadership organizations, Divine Nine (nine historically Black sororities and fraternities), college students and faith-based organizations. ACtC developed a suggested engagement model for each coalition member. The validity of our voter engagement efforts has been tested over the last three years and an “After Action Report” is being prepared for evaluation of our efforts. By combining our efforts to promote ACtC and ACtCA, it is easier to see the need for the parallel pursuits.
As GDN opens its dialogue on the unity of Civic Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, we are seeking input from all that recognize the need for our efforts. ACtCA and ACtC will be the core focus of GDN going forth. We will publish news and action plans that impact these projects, use our web and print products to promote our efforts and invite all our readers and supporters to join in and help us.
Presenting new and timely ideas
The November 3, 2020 elections proved that there is unique value in presenting new and timely ideas to address long standing challenges that have faced Black America. The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Alumni Association has played a pivotal role in the development of ACtC and continues to provide leadership that includes the creation of our five civic engagement models that we recommend to organizations and leaders that support our objectives.
While it is true that more and more corporations want to work with partners and vendors that share their values, ACtCA offers a unique opportunity for a broad-based dialogue with Black communities and leaders that will help achieve Black goals of economic equity and political inclusion in the digital age.
GDN will profile ACtCA and ACtC developments and plans to sponsor forums and webinars on each topic and ask all coalition partners to support our efforts. Our website will help compose and house a toolkit for individuals and entities that wish to embrace and support our efforts.
According to Wikipedia, there are 101 HBCUs in the United States, including both public and private institutions (of 121 institutions that existed during the 1930s). Of these remaining HBCU institutions in the United States, 27 offer doctoral programs, 52 offer master’s programs, 83 offer bachelor’s degree programs, and 38 offer associate degrees. Our HBCU Alumni Association’s memberships include the best educated and highest income Blacks in America. There is a substantial overlap between HBCU membership and that of other black leadership organizations. They are recognized church and organizational leaders in virtually all black communities.
To remain current on our Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement efforts, sign up for GDN’s free eNews publications at www.greaterdiversity.com. Also, please ask your organizations and friends to sign-up.