Keisha Knight Pulliam & Arian Simone Are Investing $5 Million Dollars In Black Women Owned Businesses

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Keisha Night Pulliam and Arian Simone pose together in brightly colored dresses

When Black women want something done — we have to do it ourselves. The same holds true when it comes to bridging the funding gap for Black female entrepreneurs.

The Fearless Fund, founded by actress Keshia Knight Pulliam and her business partner Arian Simone, will deploy $5 million in pre-seed, seed, and Series A startups.

The fund already has five portfolio companies, including Ellis Island Tea, a beverage company founded by ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’ entrepreneur Nailah Ellis-Brown; EnrichHER, an Atlanta-based fintech platform for women entrepreneurs; and 100 Black Angels Fund, a fellow investor in minority-founded startups.

Simply put: these two Black women are addressing inequity by building equity of their own.

Through the Fearless Fund, Simone and Pulliam are highlighting how diversity significantly impacts a company’s performance and potential to provide investor returns.

The two first-time fund managers have also brought on several established power players in the entrepreneurial space to help the initiative reach its’ full potential. Entrepreneur Rodney Sampson (Opportunity Hub founder and a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Morehouse College) and Tracy Gray (founder and Managing Partner of venture capitalist firm The 22 Fund) have both joined the team as advisors.

Continue on to Essence to read the complete article.

Avoiding Workplace Word Wars

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A napkin with conflict resolution solutions wrtten on it, sitting next to a cup of coffee

By Lorie Reichel-Howe
Founder, Conversations In The Workplace

If you work with people, it’s inevitable that you have felt the sting of cutting words, the stab of sarcasm and the sickening silence when a coworker is verbally attacked. When workplace word wars occur, people become casualties, relationships are strained, and morale plunges downward.

Unless people effectively and confidently respond to verbal outbursts, culture will erode, productivity will plummet, and attrition will skyrocket.

In my consulting work, I’ve observed that unaddressed behaviors become workplace norms. When hurtful behaviors are tolerated, people are dehumanized and verbal offenders multiply. On the flip side, organizations that prepare employees to effectively respond to workplace zingers, jabs and verbal bombs, establish a safe workplace culture.

Unfortunately, wanting to speak up when a verbal assault bomb is dropped doesn’t mean you know how to speak up, or even what to say so here are a few communication strategies you can implement. Instead of simply describing the strategies, I will demonstrate how to implement them in a workplace scenario where a frustrated employee, Jolene, blurts out a negative comment about the Help Desk department.

Scenario

Upon submitting a request for support from Help Desk, Jolene was informed that, due to complications with the new system software installation, that there will be a two-day delay in receiving technical support. Angry at the delay, Jolene blurted out:“The Help Desk department should be renamed the Helpless Department.”

Request clarification

In a calm and firm manner, ask Jolene to share what she meant by “renaming the Help Desk Department to the Helpless Department.” In taking a curious approach, you invite reflection of the meaning of one’s words. Asking questions prevents you from accusing, lecturing or judging the actions of others.

Acknowledge the needs or concerns of the other person

Acknowledging someone’s concern is a great diffuser. People commonly breathe a sigh of relief when their concern is recognized. When we feel angry or hurt and believe someone has crossed a line, our human tendency is to become defensive. Acknowledging the other person’s challenge is not instinctive. Even so, learning to acknowledge instead of telling someone what you think of their outburst, can become a patterned response with repeated practice. While acknowledging is not a solution to the problem, it opens up a dialogue where a solution could be explored. Rest assured, acknowledging someone’s concerns doesn’t mean you approve of their behavior, it simply means you understand what motivated their behavior or outburst.

Communicate positive wants (for everyone involved)

When people hear that you desire a positive outcome or solution to their problem, they see you as an advocate, not an enemy. It’s assuring to know someone cares about you even when you’ve acted impulsively or spoken inappropriately. It only takes a few seconds to communicate to Jolene that you want her to obtain the technical support needed to complete her work. Share that you want Help Desk to successfully implement a new system upgrade that improves everyone’s working experience and that you want other departments to support Help Desk in their improvement efforts. Lastly, include your desire for a positive work environment for everyone where concerns and needs are respectfully communicated.

Bring awareness of the impact of words and actions

To help Jolene understand the impact of her words, tell her that when you hear her say that the Help Desk Department should be renamed the Helpless Department, it comes across as an attack on a team within the organization. Share that negative comments like these, instead of unifying the organization, separate and divide. It only takes one match to ignite a fire and once negativity spreads, it’s hard to stop.”

Ask questions to spark brainstorming a solution

Successful communicators empower others by asking them questions. They avoid directing or dictating what others can or should do. Ask Jolene if there are technical support resources other than Help Desk. This moves her from attacking a department to finding another resource for technical support.

Get a commitment

To ensure that negative comments are not made in the future, ask Jolene to commit to discussing her concerns in the future without attacking a team or individual. Documenting Jolene’s agreement is helpful in case of a repeated offense. It takes discernment to know if a reminder is adequate, if an apology is appropriate or if consequences should be imposed.

If the behavior continues

If the behavior is repeated, reference the earlier commitment and identify that you are now holding an accountability conversation to address a behavior pattern. Make it clear that this is not a first-time offense – this person has a history. Pattern behaviors erode trust because they cause you to question whether a person has the ability to uphold their commitments.

Create safe and positive workplaces

It’s not enough to inform people of workplace policies, people need to know what to do when policies are violated and when employees become causalities of a toxic culture. Organizations that develop a positive and safe workplace understand that telling or expecting people to address negative behavior is as helpful as a medical diagnosis without a recovery plan. These organizations invest in training all employees, managers and teams in effectively addressing harmful workplace zingers, jabs and verbal bombs.

Lorie Reichel Howe is founder of Conversations in the Workplace. She leverages over 20 years of expertise in communication and relationship management. She equips managers, teams and business professionals to have “safe conversations” – transformative dialogue that uncovers hidden workplace issues. Whether issues are challenging team dynamics, mismanaged expectations or good old-fashioned bad behavior, “safe conversations” foster greater innovation, inclusion and collaboration within organizations.

Click here to learn more about Lorie’s impact.

Rihanna Joins ‘Forbes’ List Of America’s Richest Self-Made Women

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Rihanna on professional women's magazine cover wonder woman of the year.

Forbes has unleashed its list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women and there are plenty of recognizable names.

According to the outlet, the entire ranking of trailblazers are worth a collective $90 billion and have “have started or helped expand companies that do everything from build rockets to create snowboards to make Covid-19 tests.” At the top of the ranking is roofing entrepreneur Diane Hendricks, co-founder of ABC Supply, one of the country’s largest wholesale distributors of roofing, siding and windows. She tops the list for the third year in a row with her empire, which reportedly exceeds $8 billion.

Meanwhile, Rihanna makes her first appearance on the list at the No. 33 spot, courtesy of her cross-genre ventures. In addition to her Fenty Beauty line, the pop titan also has her Savage x Fenty lingerie line, as well as her music ventures, racking up an estimated $600 million for her earnings across the board in 2019.

Among the other celebrity appearances include Kris Jenner, who nabbed her first entry at the No. 92 spot with a net worth of $190 million. Oprah Winfrey returns to this year’s ranking at the No. 9 spot with a net worth of $2.9 billion, while Kim Kardashian took the No. 24 spot with her net worth of $780 million and little sister Kylie Jenner took the No. 29 position with a net worth of $700 million. Lady Gaga and Jenniffer Lopez both snagged the No. 97 spot with their net worth of $150 million.

Continue on to 1043myfm to read the complete article.

New Law Requires Large Corporations to Diversify Boards

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A diverse board of directors sitting around a table

By Natalie Rodgers

On August 31, California lawmakers passed a new, unnamed piece of legislature that would increase diversity and inclusion rates in big California businesses.

Under this new law, large corporations would be required to have at least one board member on their team who comes from an underrepresented community. The legislature further clarifies the definition of underrepresented communities to include: Black and African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, or LGBTQ+.

“Corporations have money, power, and influence,” Assemblyman and author of the law Chris Holden stated. “If we are going to address racial injustice and inequity in our society, it’s imperative that corporate boards reflect the diversity of our state.”

Holden hopes that the bill will make large representative changes resulting in racial justice, similar to the gender equality shown after the passing of the 2018 bill, requiring big-name corporations that have a certain number of women on their board.

While presenting the new legislature, lawmakers strived to prove the necessity for its existence by referring to various studies that showed a lack of diversity in big corporations and the state of California alike. One such study, done by the Deloitte and Alliance for Board Diversity in 2018, stated that out of the 1,222 new board members that were introduced to Fortune 100 companies, 940 of them identified as Caucasian, a whopping 77 percent. Another study, done by the Latino Corporate Directors Association in July 2020, stated that 87 percent of California business boards did not have Latino representation, despite making up almost 40 percent of the total population. Many large technology companies, such as Apple and Facebook, were also tested to have all-white executives in the top executive positions on the board.

“There is enough evidence to show there is discrimination,” Holden told lawmakers. “The numbers simply don’t lie.”

Besides the presence of discrimination, lawmakers also showed evidence of the economic impact that diversity can have on large corporations. Companies that present a larger understanding and representation of diversity have shown to increase in profit as their target audience begins to draw in more people from various backgrounds.

Under Holden’s law, diversity would be required to increase in the coming years in California businesses. Corporations with more than nine board members would need to have a minimum of three members that come from underrepresented communities and corporations with  five to eight board members would be required to have at least two of these members. If signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, the law would also penalize those violators with fines starting at $100,000.

Level Up: Joining a Professional Organization to Bolster Your Network

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A group of men shaking hands and networking

By: Stephanie Hughes, MPH, CHES

Featuring: Collin Mays, MPA

If I asked a room of 10 people what comes to mind when they hear the word “networking,” I would expect to get ten different answers.

The first thing that probably comes to mind is a room full of people with name tags, exchanging resumes, or business cards. Networking is the activity that we all know and love, or hate, that involves the exchange of information in either a personal or professional capacity. We build networks every day to find jobs, mentors, and friends. This exchange of information makes it possible to form long-lasting relationships and can provide opportunities that would not be present otherwise.

We have all heard the statement, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know.” I remember hearing it on many occasions in both my undergraduate and graduate career. Then, “why am I spending all of this time in school, if what I know doesn’t weigh all that much?” While knowledge and expertise are important for us to mold our careers, it isn’t the only factor. If I have learned anything throughout my professional experience, it is that having champions in your corner who know your character and what you stand for are more powerful than any line on your resume.

Collin Mays, a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), an organization committed to supporting professionals in the field of public administration, recounts his experience joining a professional organization committed to public service:

“I joined NFBPA because I believe in the overall mission. Often, black public administrators are not highlighted for their work. My goal is to help promote our profession and encourage the next generation of black public administrators. I realized that to pursue that, networking is essential to your career success. Of course, I encourage everyone to pursue as much education as possible. However, while education is the foundation of success, ultimately networking will help you land your next job and advance through your career. You never get anywhere if people don’t know you.”

I resonate very much with Collin’s statement. The National Forum for Black Public Administrators was my first real experience networking and building professional relationships. I never knew what it truly meant to network. I attended their Annual Forum as a scholarship recipient and truly had no idea what to expect. It was the first time in my life where I was surrounded by so many professionals who looked like me. And for some reason, they wanted to get to know the 19-year-old girl from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Throughout the conference, I met with people from all over the country that served in various capacities and spoke about my passion for public service. Conversations seemed to flow easily as such like-minded individuals surrounded me. Individuals I met have become mentors and friends as I pursue a career in healthcare and public service. In fact, this is true for many professionals as they recount the beginnings of their careers. It was at this moment when I realized the true importance of joining a professional organization.

“Young people, especially young people of color, should join as many professional organizations as possible. Not only will each organization enhance your knowledge of the profession, but each organization can produce lifelong friendships and professional relationships.”

If you are interested in a career in public administration or a related sector and would like to join a professional organization, please  consider contacting the NFBPA.

Click here to view the NFBPA websitethrough our website

Click here to explore programs for emerging leaders and young professionals.

The National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) is the nation’s principal and most progressive organization dedicated to the advancement of African American public leadership in local and state governments. NFBPA is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1983. With more than 2,500 members, NFBPA has established a national reputation for designing and implementing successful, quality leadership development initiatives.

Today’s Influential Figures

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Ava DuVernay at a premiere

By Natalie Rodgers

These icons are aiming to make the world a better place. See what they’re up to now.

Ava DuVernay

Director and filmmaker Ava Duvernay is determined to change the narrative of how black people are represented in culture. Duvernay has expressed and showcased her passion that break the boundaries of representation and strives to educate audiences on racial injustice. The brilliant mind behind the critically acclaimed Selma and the 2018 adaptation of the racially diverse A Wrinkle in Time, Duvernay has been featuring more educational pieces as of late.

In 2019, Duvernay released her television series, When They See Us, which followed the story of the real-life Central Park Five. The retelling of this story was not only critically acclaimed but was also a major piece in educating the public about systemic racism against black people. Duvernay is also the director of 13th, a documentary showcasing the history of racial inequality through the United States’ prison system. Her work has recently grown further in popularity, being used as educational resources around the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sources: IMDB

PHOTO BY RICH FURY/VF20/GETTY IMAGES FOR VANITY FAIR

Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Even before his famous Madea films, Tyler Perry has been a Hollywood powerhouse for years. Serving as the director, writer, producer and an actor on many of his own stage, film and television projects.

Perry has been nominated and awarded several honors of the years. However, Perry prides himself in pouring his life story and childhood background into his work in an attempt to make black stories more prominent in popular culture.

When he isn’t working on a set or within his own production company, Perry has been found to constantly give back to his community. Recently, Perry has become a spokesperson for The Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education Commission, an organization designed to spread awareness and put an end to human trafficking in Georgia.

Sources: Wikipedia and WTVM

Tarana Burke
Tarana Burke (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The New York Women’s Foundation)

Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke is an activist and the founder of the “Me Too” movement, which worked to spread awareness of the reality of sexual abuse. Though the trending hashtag became the most popular in 2017, “Me Too” has been a working tagline since 2006 and is still an ever-growing organization.

With the events of the Black Lives Matter movement, Burke has recently expressed her ambitions to spread awareness to create a space of healing and change for sexual assault survivors. In a similar fashion, Burke is also the current senior director of the Girls for Gender Equality, an organization working on prevention and healing techniques for sexual assault in schools and workplaces.

Source: Wikipedia and Vogue

Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh
Virgil Abloh (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Virgil Abloh is an architect, designer, artist, disc-jockey and the lead artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection. He is best known for his Nike collection Off-White and the commentary he puts into all of his artistic pieces.

Though many of his pieces share messages of individuality and the rebellion of societal norms, Abloh has also used his platform to support Planned Parenthood and educate his audience on immigration issues.

He has won countless awards for his work, including a spot in Time’s 100 Most Influential People, and has used his notoriety in working with the Fashion Scholarship Fund to raise money for his self-named scholarship that is specifically designated for Black students.

Source: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Yara Shahidi

She may be most commonly known for her roles in ABC shows Black-ish and Grown-ish, but acting is just one of the aspects that makes Yara Shahidi stand out.

A passionate advocate for racial equality, voter registration and other culturally engaging topics, the 20-year-old star often takes to social media to educate her young audience of the importance of these societal issues.

She has publicly shown admiration and been in conversation with big-name activists, is the head of the “WeVoteNext” youth initiative, and is working to put more black stories on film with the help of her parents. On top of all of this, Shahidi is also a brand ambassador for Chanel, Bobbi Brown, and Coach, and is currently a full-time student at Harvard University.

Source: Time Magazine and Wall Street Journal

 

Anthony Anderson Pushes for Justice

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stice on June 3, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

By Brady Rhoades

Anthony Anderson, the kid from Compton, the Hollywood power player, is his ancestors’ wildest dreams. He knows it, he feels it, but it’s not just a dream, it’s a challenge as the biggest civil rights battle since the 1960s plays out.

So he’s emerged as a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We are the boots on the ground that will make change. We are the blood of each other’s blood,” Anderson told demonstrators at a BLM rally earlier this year in downtown Los Angeles. “We must operate from an economic base. Recycle your Black dollars within our own community. That is one of the fastest ways for us to make change. Also, to make a change we have to get out and vote.”

He does it for George Floyd.

For Breonna Taylor.

For Jacob Blake.

For countless others.

He does it because he could have been another name on a long list that nobody wants to be on.

“Thirty years ago, as a sophomore at Howard University, I marched in a peaceful protest in opposition of the Ku Klux Klan marching in Washington, D.C., that same day,” he recalls. “The entire route was lined with every officer and U.S. marshal in the DMV area… In my rush to get to the end of the route to make sure my voice was heard, I marched past the police splinter unit and was now caught between at least 200 officers in full riot gear… As I’m walking away a white officer hits me from behind with his riot shield. I turn around not knowing what just happened and he’s standing there wielding his baton, yelling at me to leave. I screamed back, ‘I am leaving!’ He then, unprovoked, hits me across my left leg with his baton and after that all hell breaks loose. In all, nine officers took turns beating me before they threw me off a 6-foot concrete embankment backwards, blindly, as I’m being illegally struck in the head with the steel ring on the back end of the baton. I speak out not only for those who have experienced this brutality, but I also speak for myself.”

Anderson, who stars in the acclaimed TV comedy Black-ish and hosts

To Tell the Truth: Anderson and mother Doris Hancox on To Tell the Truth KELSEY MCNEAL VIA GETTY IMAGES
To Tell the Truth: Anderson and mother Doris Hancox on To Tell the Truth KELSEY MCNEAL VIA GETTY IMAGES

To Tell the Truth, has never held back when it comes to speaking out against systemic racism.

“This has got to end,” he said. “We need reform.”

Four years ago, Black-ish ran an episode about police abusing an unarmed Black teen. Three generations of the Johnson family grappled with how to discuss the issue. ABC has rerun the episode, titled “Hope,” as America copes with its original sin. You can still view it on Hulu.

Anderson spoke with Black EOE Journal while abiding by California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order over the summer.

“You can only organize your closet so many times,” he joked, adding that he owns 300 pairs of shoes.

Truth is, he made use of his time at home—going vegan, growing his own fruits and vegetables and losing 17 pounds.

He hosted an interview with Angela Rye for BET’s COVID-19 Relief Effort, and appeared on The View to speak about staying active while at home.

He formed a thread with Cedric the Entertainer, George Lopez, Don Cheadle, D.L. Hughley and Chris Spencer.

“We do push-ups and sit-ups and plan throughout the day,” he said at the time. “We hold each other accountable.”

That’s a through-line with Anderson, 50, a husband and father of two.

Make. Things. Better.

(L-R) Brian Dobbins, Miles Brown, Anderson, Marcus Scribner, Deon Cole, and Marsai Martin accept the Outstanding Comedy Series award for Black-ish onstage at the 50th NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood, California. PHOTO BY EARL GIBSON III/GETTY IMAGES FOR NAACP
(L-R) Brian Dobbins, Miles Brown, Anderson, Marcus Scribner, Deon Cole, and Marsai Martin accept the Outstanding Comedy Series award for Black-ish onstage at the 50th NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood, California. PHOTO BY EARL GIBSON III/GETTY IMAGES FOR NAACP

He was raised in South-Central Los Angeles, and saw police brutality, gang shootings, crack cocaine and the criminal industrial complex wreck lives and communities.

“I knew that wasn’t how I wanted to live,” he said.

He recalls gazing up at 114 Street and Success Avenue in the City of Watts.

It was, literally, a sign.

At 9, after moving to Compton, he attended a play put on by a community theater group.

He was inspired. He didn’t know it, but he had taken his first step toward superstardom on the Big Screen and as a TV producer, actor, host and writer.

Fast-forward to Black-ish, which co-stars, among others, Laurence Fishburne and Tracee Ellis Ross (daughter of music icon Diana Ross). The show, which ABC has renewed for a seventh season, has won a Golden Globe and NAACP Image award for best comedy series, and Anderson has earned several honors for his role as Dre.

In August, he was awarded a Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

But his entertainment career didn’t start off so lucratively.

“Some of the biggest hurdles I had were not getting into a room,” he said. “Who says this role has to be white? Why can’t it be African-American, why can’t it be Latino, why can’t it be Asian-American?”

In what Oprah would call an “aha” moment, it struck him. He was sitting across tables from people who couldn’t comprehend his questions, let alone come up with answers. It was nearly impossible to jump-start a conversation about equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.

“I have to build my own table and seat,” he said. “We don’t have to sit at other people’s tables. We can invite people to our table.”

Anderson learned how to overcome the systemic biases of the industry and society at large from mentors, such as the legendary Bill Duke.

“The thing Duke taught us about was ownership and real power.”

He was surrounded by crazy talent and work ethic as a student at Howard University in the 1980s. Sean Puffy Combs was there. Denzel Washington spoke to one of Anderson’s classes.

“I realized that I was in the right place at the right time,” he said.

As host of To Tell the Truth, an American staple that originally aired in 1956, Anderson keeps things loose and fun. Celebrity guests have included Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson and Jalen Rose.

His witty, pull-no-punches mother, Doris, has become a fan favorite as the scorekeeper.

“If you ask her, she’s the star,” Anderson said.

Anderson laying down in front of his star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame at the first-ever virtual ceremony at Historic Hollywood Museum
The Hollywood Walk of Fame honored Anderson with the first-ever virtual ceremony at Historic Hollywood Museum. @IMAGERYBYOSCAR

Anderson cherishes creating more opportunities to work with his mother. He’s working on a T-Mobile commercial campaign and a reality show featuring the two touring Europe and engaging in fish-out-of-water activities.

Imagine mom and son skiing in Sweden, or folk dancing in the British Isles…

In a trifecta of television achievements, Anderson also is a regular judge on Iron Chef America. His past television work includes a lead role in the TV series Hangtime, and starring in the Bernie Mac Show. He had several guest roles on NYPD Blue, Malcolm & Eddie, In the House and Ally McBeal.

He was the prime character in All About the Andersons, based on the true story of Anderson moving back home after graduating from college. A struggling actor, he spent most of his time eating, leading his father to padlock the refrigerator.

His film credits are impressive, as well.

He has starred in Liberty Heights, Kangaroo Jack, My Baby’s Daddy, Hustle & Flow, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London and King’s Ransom.

But it was Black-ish—which debuted in 2014—that made Anderson a cultural influencer by inviting Americans into an African-American family’s home in a groundbreaking way.

Anderson’s character, Dre Johnson, is husband to Rainbow (Ellis Ross), son to Pops (Fishburne) and a father of five living in a predominantly white neighborhood. Dre is an advertising executive; Rainbow’s a doctor.

Dre’s from Compton, and he’s determined to preserve his family’s ethnic identity, culture and history. He worries that his kids are soft, and a bit clueless about the realities of being Black.

He succeeds at his efforts… sometimes. Other times? Not so much. But the show—which educates non-Blacks on topics, such as police brutality, racial stereotypes and the importance of Juneteenth—is on a winning streak with viewers, mostly because of its uber-talented cast, creative storytelling and light touch.

The show features sobering scenes, as well. Following is a discussion between Dre, Pops and Dre’s son, Jack, from an episode in which Jack calls the cops on some Black neighbors who are playing their music too loud, though Dre is already at their house and the neighbors have agreed to simmer the volume.

Dre and his neighbors end up getting drawn on by police, and forced

Anderson and group with shovels digging at the city of Compton Dodgers Dreamfields groundbreaking at Gonzales Park in Compton, California.
Compton Councilwomen, Emma Sharif and Tana McCoy, Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, Clayton Kershaw, Nichol Whiteman and Anderson break ground at the Los Angeles Dodgers foundation, Kershaw’s challenge, and the city of Compton host Dodgers Dreamfields groundbreaking at Gonzales Park in Compton, California. PHOTO BY JERRITT CLARK/GETTY IMAGES

to the sidewalk.

Jack: So, you’re mad at me for calling the cops?

Dre: Look, I should have made it clear to you that we are not just homeowners. We are Black homeowners and because we are Black homeowners, we have to look at things through kind of a dual lens. We need to think about every situation and how it should go normally and how it could go because we are Black.

Jack: Like being asked to sit on the curb while they checked your ID? They didn’t ask any of the white people to do that.

Pops: It’s different for us, baby boy.

That was true in the tragedies of Floyd, Taylor, Blake, and on and on. It was true in the long, hard, triumphant life of John Lewis, one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s finest disciples. It’s true on the streets and in corporate boardrooms.

Anderson is intimate with the dreams of his ancestors, and the challenges facing his children.

“It’s all about opportunities,” he said. “It’s up to us to create opportunities for ourselves but also others. We need to usher in the next generation, and mentor them.”

Lena Waithe and Black Is King Stylist Zerina Akers Kick-Off New Creative Digital Series

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Lena Waithe and Zerina Akers headshots side by side

Emmy Award Winning Writer/Actor Lena Waithe and Costume Designer on Beyonce’s Black Is King, Zerina Akers, kicked-off a new digital series called Create Change presented by Adobe.

In the debut episode, Lena and Zerina came together for a virtual yet intimate conversation around how COVID/quarantining has affected their creative process, Zerina’s work on Beyonce’s Black Is King, Lena’s mentorship in the future of black creators, and the importance of Black creators using their voice to inspire change. Lena says:

“As black artists, especially now, we have to do what feel rights for us and let the people do what they do. We can’t be concerned of how people will receive it because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about doing something that feels honest and real because sometimes everyone is not ready for that honest and realness.”

Additionally Lena and Zerina dive into black representation in the fashion industry and the reason why Zernia started Black Owned Everything, saying she wanted to shift the energy of calling out/canceling brands for not having diverse representation and put that energy into promoting black owned brands, which goes a lot further.

“Being able to contribute to things that will outlive me. I get to be that representation, that example that is possible.” – Zerina Akers on what excites her about being a black creator right now.

“We think of film and moments in TV as very iconic, but what they’re wearing is almost as important as what the show is about…the role of the person putting them in cloths is saying just as much as the writer, just as much as the director” – Lena Waithe on how important fashion is to creating stories.

“It’s feasible. Often times many of us, as we’re building our business a few years in, have a price. It seems like that’s the reward at the end of the rainbow. Often times, that’s a way for them to take it away. These huge corporations come in and buy your brand, they want you out…they bought you out of continuing that story if ownership.” – Zerina Akers on how far away we are from a major black fashion house.

Create Change, brings diverse creators together from a spectrum of disciplines to share how they’re using creativity to feel empowered, inspired, and make an impact through their work. Future episodes of Create Change will feature a variety of creators, from photographers and filmmakers to stylists and chefs—including Yara Shahidi (actress, model and activist) Destinee Ross-Sutton(art curator) and Cleo Wade (poet and author)—so that everyone can be inspired, learn and share in their creativity.

Please see the episode here:
https://creativecloud.adobe.com/cc/en/discover/article/diverse-voices?sdid=71KW6XHM&mv=social&mv2=ownsoc-paid

JPMorgan Chase Commits $30 Billion to Advance Racial Equity

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Diverse Equality Gender Innovation Management Concept

Today, JPMorgan Chase announced new long-term commitments to advance racial equity. The firm will harness its expertise in business, policy and philanthropy and commit an additional $30 billion over the next five years to provide economic opportunity to underserved communities, especially the Black and Latinx communities.

Structural barriers in the U.S. have created profound racial inequalities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The existing racial wealth gap puts a strain on families’ economic mobility and restricts the U.S. economy. Building on the firm’s existing investments, this new commitment will drive an inclusive economic recovery, support employees and break down barriers of systemic racism.

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way.”

Over the next five years, the firm expects these new commitments, which include loans, equity and direct funding, to:

I. Promote and Expand Affordable Housing and Homeownership for Underserved Communities

A. Originate an additional 40,000 home purchase loans for Black and Latinx households. To do this, the firm is committing $8 billion in mortgages. Efforts include:

  • Improving key home lending products and offerings, including substantially increasing the Chase Homebuyer Grant in underserved communities.

B. Help an additional 20,000 Black and Latinx households achieve lower mortgage payments through refinancing loans. To do this, the firm is committing up to $4 billion in refinancing loans.

C. Finance an additional 100,000 affordable rental units. To do this, the firm will provide $14 billion in new loans, equity investments and other efforts to expand affordable housing in underserved communities. Efforts include:

  • Investing additional capital in vital community institutions and increasing funding for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low and moderate-income households nationwide.

II. Grow Black- and Latinx-owned Businesses

A. Provide an additional 15,000 loans to small businesses in majority-Black and -Latinx communities. To do this, the firm will deliver $2 billion in loans. Efforts include:

  • Launching a new program designed to help entrepreneurs in historically underserved areas access coaching, technical assistance and capital.
  • Accelerating a digital lending product to better support the needs of small Black- and Latinx-owned businesses seeking quick access to capital.

B. Spend an additional $750 million with Black and Latinx suppliers.

III. Improve Financial Health and Access to Banking in Black and Latinx Communities

A. Help one million people open low-cost checking or savings accounts. To do this, the firm commits to hiring 150 new community managers, opening new Community Center branches in underserved communities and materially increasing marketing spend to reach more customers who are currently underserved, unbanked or underbanked. Other efforts include:

  • Continuing to open 100 new branches in low-to-moderate income communities across the country as part of the firm’s market expansion initiative.
  • Building awareness and trust in Chase Secure Banking to meet the needs of Black and Latinx unbanked and underbanked households and expand access to traditional banking.

B. Invest up to $50 million in the form of capital and deposits in Black and Latinx-led Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), and continue to mentor and advise select MDIs and CDFIs to help them achieve future success.

IV. Accelerate Investment in our Employees and Build a More Diverse and Inclusive Workforce

A. Continuing to build a more equitable and representative workforce and hold executives accountable by incorporating priorities and progress into year-end performance evaluations and compensation decisions for members of the Operating Committee and their direct reports.

B. Providing financial coaching services to the firm’s U.S. employees.

The firm will also provide $2 billion in philanthropic capital over the next five years to drive an inclusive economic recovery and support Black, Latinx and other underserved communities. This extends and increases the firm’s current five-year $1.75 billion philanthropic commitment made in 2018. It will also include an emphasis on supporting Black- and Latinx-led organizations.

A fact sheet detailing JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments is available here.

Holding Ourselves Accountable

Measuring impact and ensuring accountability is central to these new commitments. Progress will be tracked regularly and shared with senior leadership across the firm, as well as externally with the Chase Advisory Panel, to assess performance and hold the business accountable. These efforts will further allow for maximum impact and bring an enhanced equity lens to the firm’s business.

Comments on the Importance of Advancing Racial Equity

“We have a responsibility to intentionally drive economic inclusion for people that have been left behind,” said Brian Lamb, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase.The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated long-standing inequities for Black and Latinx people around the world. We are using this catalytic moment to create change and economic opportunities that enhance racial equity for Black and Latinx communities.”

“To ensure the Latino community can thrive, we must work together to break down persistent obstacles to opportunity created by systemic racism,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, UnidosUS. “JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments will help ensure that the American dream is accessible to more Latinos today, create a multiplier effect through generations, and lead to a stronger country with greater shared prosperity.”

“America’s racial wealth gap has been a persistent injustice, and it can no longer be tolerated as business as usual,” said Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League. “I am heartened to see JPMorgan’s specific, measurable commitments that we believe will address decades of systemic racism toward Black communities – and will bolster the wellbeing of families across the country, as well as our collective economy. We are proud to work alongside JPMorgan Chase to make these changes and help craft conditions for lasting racial equity.”

“All Americans deserve equitable access to affordable housing and the physical, emotional and financial security it represents,” said Lisa Rice, CEO, National Fair Housing Alliance. “JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments will help make owning or renting a reality for more Black and Latinx families, whose housing access has been impeded by decades of systemic racism and are now disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19. Addressing the affordability crisis, now overlaid with the pandemic, will require many players on many fronts, and these commitments are concrete, meaningful steps in the right direction.”

“This moment requires leaders and their institutions to shake off the husks of complacency and to stand in transformative solidarity with the more than 100 million in America who face the burdens of a democracy and economy that does not yet allow them to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential,” said Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink. “JPMorgan Chase is beginning the journey to answer this call. It’s targeted investments in black and brown communities, and its leadership advancing public policy that ensures all people in America participate in a just society, live in a healthy community of opportunity, and prosper in an equitable economy is the type of creative spark that will usher in America’s renewal.



About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

Daymond John Launches Black Entrepreneurs Day To Inspire Black Business Owners To Persevere

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Daymond John holding microphone onstage

What do Black entrepreneurs—more than 40% of whom have shuttered their businesses amidst the pandemic—need during this unprecedented time?

If you ask Daymond John, it’s support from industry peers, honest conversations about Black business and, during a time of heightened emotional stress, quality entertainment.

“You see people out there burning businesses when they should be building them,” the FUBU founder and CEO and Shark Tank investor tells Forbes. “People of color need more inspiration and more of the right inspiration, instead of letting out frustrations and disappointment in today’s current environment in a negative way.”

John turned his anger into action. The result: Black Entrepreneurs Day Presented by Chase for Business, an inaugural event on Oct. 24 that will bring together business leaders such as BET cofounder Robert Johnson, A-list, second-act entrepreneurs like Shaquille O’Neal, LL Cool J, Gabrielle Union and Jamie Foxx and investors like Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton.

Crafted with the help of an entertainment company helmed by former 30 Under 30 honorees, Medium Rare, the event will also feature performances from artists including three-time Grammy winner Chance The Rapper.  “It’s like a big block party online,” says John. “We’re having a good time with it.” And it’ll be available for free streaming across more than 20 platforms. John’s Facebook page will be the day-of hub.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Regina King ties record for most acting Emmys won by a Black performer

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Regina King accepting Emmy while holding the emmy in hand

“Watchmen’s” Regina King made history at the 72nd Emmy Awards Sunday.

King’s win for lead actress in a limited series or movie for her portrayal of Angela Abar (a.k.a. Sister Night) in the HBO superhero drama is her fourth career Emmy. This ties the record held by Alfre Woodard for most acting Emmys won by a Black performer.

Created by David Lindelof, “Watchmen” is based on the acclaimed comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons but is not a direct adaptation. It is more like a sequel that follows new characters such as King’s Sister Night.

This “allowed me to tap into all those things I think are just wonderful about being a Black woman,” King previously told The Times. “[T]he blueprint that was the inspiration for Angela was probably every Black woman that ever was.”

In addition to being recognized for her performance in “Watchmen,” King has previously won the lead actress in a limited series or movie Emmy in 2018 for “Seven Seconds.” In 2015 and 2016 she won in the supporting actress in a limited series or movie category for her performances in “American Crime” (playing different characters each time). King has five career Emmy nominations so far.

Woodard, who has earned 17 Primetime Emmy nods, won in 1984, 1987, 1997 and 2003. These recognitions were in the supporting actress in a drama series category for “Hill Street Blues,” guest performer in a drama series (before there were gender-specific categories) for “L.A. Law,” lead actress in a miniseries or special for “Miss Evers’ Boys” and guest actress in a drama series for “The Practice.”

The other Black actors with four Emmy wins each are Chris Rock and Bill Cosby, but their awards include non-performance categories. Rock has won three Emmys in writing categories (1997, 1999 and 2009) in addition to his variety, music or comedy special win in 1997 for “Chris Rock: Bring The Pain.” Cosby, who is currently serving time after being convicted of sexual assault in 2018, won three consecutive lead drama series actor Emmys for “I Spy” (1966-1968) and in the variety or musical program category in 1969 for “The Bill Cosby Special.”

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

Zendaya Makes History with Her Emmy Win

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Zendaya poses with head looking over shoulders smiling

“She’s younger than Baby Yoda and she already has an Emmy,” Jimmy Kimmel said after a visibly shaken Zendaya, 24, became the youngest Emmy winner for best lead actress in a drama for her role as Rue on HBO’s “Euphoria.”

The breathless actress, who was surrounded by a semicircle of teary-eyed supporters and wearing a crystal bandeau top with a billowing black-and-white polka-dot skirt, clearly had not prepared an acceptance speech.

“This is pretty crazy,” Zendaya said as she clasped her hands over her statuette, as though hardly daring to believe it was real.

The Disney-actress-turned-drama-star beat out the decades-older counterparts Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Colman, Sandra Oh and Laura Linney to claim the crown — not to mention the incumbent winner, Jodie Comer, who set the record last year when she won for “Killing Eve” at age 26.

“Thank you to all of the other incredible women in this category,” Zendaya said. “I admire you so much.”

“Euphoria,” a drama series created by Sam Levinson about high-school students who navigate love, sex, drugs and identity conundrums, premiered on HBO in June 2019. It received six nominations this year, though Zendaya’s was the only one for acting. HBO announced last year that the series had been renewed for a second season.

The actress said she was inspired by others her age who were working to make a difference in the world. “I just want to say that there is hope in the young people out there,” she said. “And I just want to say to all our peers out there doing the work in the streets: I see you, I admire you, I thank you.”

Continue on to the New York Times to read the complete article.

The Newest Member of the Billionaire’s Club

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Tyler Perry pictured at awards ceremony smiling

Actor, producer, writer, and director Tyler Perry has officially become a billionaire, making him the seventh black billionaire in the United States.

Perry’s newfound status includes him in the same income bracket as Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Robert F. Smith, and Michael Jordan.

Perry earned much of his money through his productions and his investments. Though most notably known for his work in the Madea movie series, Perry is no stranger to any form of performative arts.  Not only did he direct, produce, write and star in the Madea franchise, but he has also served as an actor and writer for many of his own projects. In total, Perry has been involved in over a thousand television episodes, 22 movies, and 24 stage productions. Additionally, Perry works closely with the BET television network, earning an annual income of $150 million to create content for their live and streaming platforms.

According to Forbes, Perry’s billion-dollar net worth can be calculated into five main categories: library, cash and investments, the studio, his stake in BET, and homes and toys.

Since closing his production company in 2019, Perry has decided to invest in wealth into his community. Having recently become a spokesperson against human trafficking in Georgia, Perry wants to use his funds to provide housing for trafficked women and LGBTQ youth. He also plans to set up a financial academy for children and wants to build a Disney-like theme park with shops, restaurants, and a movie theater.

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