Venus Williams Pens Powerful Essay on Gender Equality, Announces Campaign to Advocate for Equal Pay

LinkedIn
Venus williams wearing a gray suit jacket smiling at the camera

By Katie Campione, People

Venus Williams is once again lending her voice to the movement for gender equality.

The five-time Wimbledon champion penned a moving essay for British Vogue on Monday about using her platform to advocate for equal pay.

In 2007, Williams became the first woman to receive equal prize money to her male counterparts. While men and women now get equal prize money at the majors and combined events, Williams said there is still a long way to go in the sport and across all industries to make sure women are valued in their fields.

“There is still a mindset that women’s tennis isn’t as valuable as men’s,” she wrote. As four-time Olympic gold medalist, Williams said “we must not allow [that mindset] to dictate society’s progress.”

“I firmly believe that sport mirrors life and life mirrors sport,” Williams wrote. “The lack of equality and equal opportunities in tennis is a symptom of the obstacles women face around the world.”

The tennis player added that, in the United States, women made 82.3 cents for every dollar men made in 2019. Inspired by that “shocking” statistic, Williams said she is initiating a campaign called #PrivilegeTax.

Ahead of Equal Pay Day on March 24, customers at participating brands can donate 19 cents at checkout to benefit the Girls Inc. of Greater Los Angeles organization. Brands partnering with Williams for the campaign include Nordstrom, Tracy Anderson, Tom Brady’s TB12, Carbon38, Credo Beauty and Happy Viking.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Texas News Station Hires All-Women, Black Anchors

LinkedIn
A local news station in Texas, has hired Black anchors who are all women

By B.E.T

Starting back on May 2, Jasmin Caldwell, Taheshah Moise and meteorologist Ashley Carter began hosting Texas Today. The weekday morning news show airs on KCEN, which is an NBC affiliate serving Temple, Waco, Killeen, and the surrounding areas.

Caldwell, who joined the station in 2017, told KCEN, “Growing up, I always saw all-white news anchors. I didn’t think that there would ever be Black newscasts. I knew there was always room for one, but I didn’t think that I would see three African Americans — male or female — permanently, all at one time. No way.”

Carter revealed how she heard the news that KCEN would hire Black women anchors, “Maybe about three weeks to a month after I decided to come here I got an email saying Jasmin is going to be joining Texas Today, which is going make the show you’re a part of all women.”

She continued, “It was pretty cool. I was like wow. It was just the icing on the cake. Not only be able to advance my career to where I wanted, but to be able to do it next to these two.”

Moise added, “I just think back to when I was a young girl and I used to watch the news with my parents and I never saw anyone who looked like me. If I did, they were outside reporting in the cold.”

Texas Today airs Monday through Friday from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Click here to read the full article on B.E.T.

Dr. Dre helps break ground on new Compton High School performing arts center

LinkedIn
Dr. Dre

By ABC 7

A performing arts center at Compton High School that’s being built with the help of music mogul Dr. Dre is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Compton native – who donated $10 million to the project – joined city and school leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the first step in getting the center up and running.

The facility will include a 1,200-seat theater and will be a place for young people to be creative in a way that will help further their education and positively define their future.

“When I was approached about funding a performing arts center that would provide an arts and technological education to students and be accessible for the community at large, I was all in,” said Dr. Dre. “I wanted to give the young people of Compton something I never had.”

Dr. Dre – born Andre Young – grew up in Compton and first rose to fame as a member of NWA, whose debut album was titled “Straight Outta Compton.”

He later found success as a solo artist, producer and businessman.

The performing arts center will be the first new high school facility to be built in almost a decade in the greater Los Angeles area.

Compton High School is more than 100 years old.

“This is very historical for Compton,” said Compton Unified School District Board President Micah Ali.

Click here to read the full article on ABC 7.

Black female-owned supplements brand builds on partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe

LinkedIn
Samia Gore, CEO and Founder of Body Complete Rx

By Cision PR Newswire

Body Complete Rx (BCRX), the first Black female-owned supplement company to break significant ground in the male-dominated, nutritional supplement industry, is proud to announce it will be launching its exclusive plant-based, vegan weight management supplements at The Vitamin Shoppe on August 1st. BCRX will introduce their TRIM line in over 700 retail locations nationwide, making them the first Black female-owned brand to launch in the retailer’s weight management category.

Founded by Samia Gore in 2017, BCRX is a self-funded wellness brand which has grossed over $10 million in sales in just under 4 years. Their natural, vegan supplements, which enjoy a celebrity following, provide a range of benefits based on customers’ specific needs, including weight management and improving energy, skin health, and nutrition. Products include vegan protein powders, supplements, a Vitamin C serum, collagen-boosting powder, women and men’s multivitamins, and superfood bars.

BCRX’s launch at The Vitamin Shoppe’s brick-and-mortar retail stores follows the brand’s recent rebranding and repackaging campaign, which included the launch of five new product lines of plant-based, vegan supplements, including TRIM, THRIVE, GLOW, NOURISH and PERFORM.

BCRX’s TRIM line, designed to empower customers to “power up and slim down,” features the brand’s best-selling weight management supplements. The plant-based, clinically proven supplements will help make customers’ weight loss goals achievable by curbing their cravings, revving up their metabolism, and supercharging their energy.

The TRIM line includes:

  • Boost Metabolism Drops ($50) – Adaptogenic metabolism boosting drops made with African mango and natural herbs like rhodiola, maca and astragalus.
  • Control Appetite Suppressant Capsules ($40) – All-natural appetite suppressant capsules.
  • Renew Energy Drops ($40) – Energy drops made with Riboflavin, Niacin and Vitamin B12.

BCRX’s partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe reflects the ever-growing position of the company within the wellness market.

“We are so excited to be launching at one of the top retailers of nutritional supplements in the country because it’s a true testament to the efficacy of our brand and products,” explains Samia Gore, founder and CEO of Body Complete Rx. “As the first and only Black female-owned brand in The Vitamin Shoppe’s weight management category, I am excited to make these wellness products more accessible to customers across the country and support their journey towards wellbeing.”

Click here to read the full article on Cision PR Newswire.

Kevin Hart Signs $100 Million Investment Agreement To Create HARTBEAT, Which Will Be Led By An All Black Leadership Team

LinkedIn
HARTBEAT Team L to R: CCO Bryan Smiley, Chairman Kevin Hart, CEO Thai Randolph, and CDO Jeff Clanagan

By Corein Carter, Forbes

Kevin Hart, trailblazing entrepreneur, executive, and entertainer, has now combined Laugh Out Loud and HartBeat Productions to create one of the leading sources of comedic storytelling and experiences with HARTBEAT, after more than a decade of leveraging his individual success to build the two high-growth companies.

With the mission of keeping the world laughing together, the multi-platform company creates entertainment at the intersection of comedy and culture. Hartbeat Productions’ best-in-class television and film production capabilities are combined with Laugh Out Loud’s extensive distribution network, as well as marketing, sales, experiential, branded content, digital, and social capabilities.

HARTBEAT was established with a $100 million investment from Abry Partners, a private equity firm that took a minority stake in the new company. Evolution Media Capital and a team from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP led by Sophia Yen, a partner in the Entertainment Group, advised HARTBEAT on the deal.

The creation of HARTBEAT and the capital raised with Abry Partners mark the beginning of a new era in comedy. Hart is proud of what has been delivered. As part of the agreement, Nicolas Massard, a partner at Abry Partners, will join the HARTBEAT board as part of the agreement. Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, will remain a shareholder in Laugh Out Loud after signing a multi-year, first look deal and taking an equity stake in the network in 2020.

Hart discusses his commitment to building the most innovative and inclusive comedy storytelling company. “In an industry where people love to say no and shut doors, I’ve been confident in forging our own path and using our success to open doors for others. We’re taking the new entertainment blueprint we’ve built to the next level with this merger and funding, paving the way for a new generation of comedic talent. I can’t wait to bring more comedians, experiences, and heartfelt stories to the world.”

HARTBEAT intends to use the funds to expand its team, accelerate growth for existing brands and franchises, and develop a new IP that will appeal to a global audience. This will be accomplished by collaborating with today’s most influential stars and rising comedic talent, both in front of and behind the camera, using HARTBEAT’s creative engine, relationships, and resources.

The existing leadership from Hartbeat Productions and Laugh Out Loud will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. Thai Randolph, who previously served as President & COO of Laugh Out Loud and COO of Hartbeat Productions, has been appointed CEO of the new entity. Hart will serve as Chairman in the interim. Bryan Smiley of Hartbeat Productions will become President & Chief Content Officer, and Jeff Clanagan of LOL will become President & Chief Distribution Officer. Leland Wigington, co-founder of HartBeat Productions, will lead a new production banner under HARTBEAT.

Randolph spoke with For(bes) The Culture about the emergence of HARTBEAT.

“Commercially, it’s a milestone moment. In terms of the company’s capitalization and valuation, as well as the possibility of expanding the team to create more content. We are breathing rare air when it comes to scaling companies of this size, especially when it comes to having a company that is minority owned and run by people of color.” Randolph continues, “We don’t consider diversity to be an initiative because, the composition is more than half women and half people of color. We are diverse by design because it’s just good business. With the mission of keeping the world laughing together, we have a team that looks like the world around us, so we can program relevantly to those audiences.”

The LOL! Network was named one of the top 10 media publishers in an April 2021 Conviva report that ranked the size of social media audiences across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. It came in ahead of major players like Hulu. The merger and capital raise will allow HARTBEAT to expand and invest in the future of comedic entertainment, producing more in-demand content and experiences where comedy meets culture.

HARTBEAT is a full-service entertainment company that develops, markets, and distributes the most culturally relevant IP and experiences in comedy and beyond. The company is divided into three divisions:

● HARTBEAT Studios led by Bryan Smiley finances, develops, and produces comedy and culture-related film, television, and content.

● HARTBEAT Media, under the leadership of Jeff Clanagan, connects with consumers all over the world through events, gaming, music publishing, Web3 initiatives, and a vast distribution network.

● PULSE, the company’s branded entertainment studio, works with companies like P&G, Lyft, Sam’s Club, Chase, and Verizon to provide creative and cultural consulting.

Operating under HARTBEAT Media, the LOL! Network will continue to be the company’s flagship consumer brand, reaching audiences across its O&O social media, audio (SiriusXM) and OTT partners (Peacock, Roku, Tubi, PlutoTV, Vizio, Redbox, Xumo, and more).

With projects featuring Tiffany Haddish, Hasan Minhaj, Amanda Seales, Deon Cole, and Affion Crockett, HARTBEAT creates hit vehicles for A-list comedians and brings the next generation of comedic voices into the mainstream.

HARTBEAT is currently working on more than 60 projects with 15+ entertainment partners, all of which are in various stages of development. The company also has several multi-year strategic partnerships, including the unscripted first look deal with NBCU’s Peacock, a film deal with Netflix, a partnership with SiriusXM, and a deal with Audible via the joint venture SBH Productions with Charlamagne Tha God.

Among the upcoming projects include: Me Time (Netflix) with Mark Wahlberg and Regina Hall, “Storytown” (HBO Max), the F. Gary Gray action heist Lift (Netflix), #1 on the Call Sheet documentary (Apple TV+), “Die Hart” season 2 (Roku), “So Dumb It’s Criminal” with Snoop Dogg (Peacock), and a new season of the Hart-led sports talk show “Cold as Balls” (LOL Network).

Click here to read the full article on Forbes.

SERENA WILLIAMS BACKS BLACK WOMEN-OWNED STARTUP PROVIDING CUSTOMIZED WIGS THROUGH AI

LinkedIn
Serena Williams in a brown dress bent down in a seated position

By Days Tech

Serena Williams is a trailblazer in additional methods than one. This time she’s backing a enterprise aimed toward using synthetic intelligence to supply magnificence customers with custom-made wigs.

Parfait is a brand new wig customization platform aimed toward disrupting the business by being the primary to make use of facial recognition and synthetic intelligence to supply consumers with customizable wig merchandise. The firm raised $5 million in funding spearheaded by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures, in keeping with experiences.

“Parfait’s mission to leverage Al to solve core issues for both the tech industry and communities of color is something we, at Serena Ventures, have believed in since the beginning,” Serena Williams stated in a press release.

“She went on to say, “It’s been inspiring to witness their incredible achievements so far, and we’re proud to invest in this next phase of Parfait’s growth.”

Founded by former Target and Amazon government Isoken Igbinedion, the primary seed of funding will assist enhance Parfait’s manufacturing and enhance its provide chain to enter new markets throughout the globe. Through the improved facial recognition Parfait makes use of, the tech-based magnificence model goals to make the wig business extra inclusive to fulfill the hair targets of magnificence customers from all backgrounds.

“Training models used in facial recognition technology are largely unbalanced, often relying on training datasets that are similar in makeup, and do not represent the visual composition of faces worldwide. This often results in poor performance for users who do not fit into that dataset, often represented by white faces and male features.”

Williams shared her pleasure for the brand new funding in an Instagram Story put up, as captured by Essentially Sports. With Parfait aligning with Williams’ rules for her VC agency, the brand new firm is on the highway to success with the total help from one of many best athletes and Black feminine traders of all time.

Click here to read the full article on Days Tech.

Black Women Influencers Were Being Left Out, so This Marketer Built an Agency for Them

LinkedIn
La Toya Shambo founded her influencer agency, Black Girl Digital, in 2016

By Emmy Liederman, Ad Week

LaToya Shambo was used to being the only Black woman in rooms that advocated for the same faces in marketing campaigns—the typical white, thin determinants of beauty and success. But it wasn’t until 2011, when she was hit by a vehicle while crossing the street and holding her newborn, that she decided to do something about it.

Surviving that accident, spending months in rehab and her entire maternity leave in a cast changed Shambo’s life forever. “During that process, there was a lot of self-reflection,” she said. “I decided that I had to give back to the culture.”

A lifelong singer, Shambo had briefly flirted with the idea of working in music before settling on marketing. Following that, she transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology, switched majors from music business to marketing and spent her spare time in the library sifting through career books. After landing on the radio ad sales page and snagging an internship at 106.7 Lite FM, Shambo decided what she really wanted to do was work in media planning and buying.

Shambo has made stops at companies including SpikeDDB, Complex and Condé Nast, with each new role deepening her understanding of how to package and sell media while building a sustainable business model. At Complex, she got to observe the publishing business and connect with Black female bloggers who struggled to monetize their platforms.

Then came the accident. A few months after it, Shambo stopped by the Complex office to sign some paperwork. Her boss asked her why she had a smile on her face given all she had endured, and Shambo replied that she had “figured it all out.” Her vision was to build her own Complex, which led Shambo to found Black Girl Digital in 2016.

The shop’s mission is to address the equity and wage discrepancies for Black and multicultural women in the marketing industry through meaningful action, such as the launch of its own app, iLinkr. The program is a tool for brands and agencies that are looking to book and manage talent of color.

“At the time, there were no ad networks specifically for Black female bloggers,” she said. “That birthed Black Girl Digital, which was originally designed as a service to the Black community from the perspective of bloggers. All my bloggers then became influencers, and Black Girl Digital is my contribution to the culture.”

Click here to read the full article on Ad Week.

Lizzo’s New Shapewear Brand Will Change the Industry Forever

LinkedIn
lizzo modeling her new shapewear collection with four other women

By SHelcy Joseph, Popsugar

In addition to her upcoming album and her new reality show, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” on Amazon Prime, Lizzo has been working on a shapewear line called YITTY in partnership with activewear brand Fabletics. She teased the new venture in an Instagram post, writing, “I’m about to announce the biggest thing YET. Bigger than anything I’ve ever done. 3 years in the making. A Dream Come True. Stay tuned bitch. ❤️”

It makes sense that Lizzo, a longtime advocate for body positivity and destigmatizing being fat and healthy, would get in the business of empowering people to love themselves. She has championed a series of boundary-pushing looks that promote radical self-acceptance and new beauty standards. “I’m selling a mentality that ‘I can do what I want with my body, wear what I want and feel good while doing it,'” she told the New York Times in an interview, adding that her pieces will “give everyone the opportunity to speak for themselves when it comes to how their body should look and how they feel in their body.”

YITTY, named after the award-winning star’s childhood moniker, makes second-skin shapewear based on the principles of inner confidence, self-love, and effortless everyday wear. The inclusive brand is revolutionizing the concept of sizing, providing options for every single body type. Per an official statement, “Instead of thinking about size in this linear way, we’re thinking about it on a spectrum where everyone is included. Everyone’s size is just their size. It’s not high, it’s not low. It’s not big, it’s not small. It’s just your size.”

The brand will debut three distinct collection launches: Nearly Naked, Mesh Me, and Major Label — assortments of comfortable, curve-hugging shapewear; functional and fashionable mesh styles; and everyday lifestyle pieces that are “super soft, super bossy, and super YITTY,” respectively.

“I was tired of seeing this sad, restrictive shapewear that literally no-one wanted to wear,” Lizzo said in the YITTY press release. “I had an epiphany like, ‘who can actually do something about this?’ I decided to take on the challenge of allowing women to feel unapologetically good about themselves again.”

Click here to read the full article on Popsugar.

Black women start to talk about uterine fibroids, a condition many get but few speak about

LinkedIn
Uterine Fibroids patient Daye Covington after treatment

By , NBC News

When Daye Covington visited her doctor for a routine physical last year, she expressed concern about weight gain in her belly that she said made her look seven months pregnant. But she knew she wasn’t pregnant, and she had a healthy lifestyle. An MRI revealed that she had multiple uterine fibroids — noncancerous growths in the uterus — the size of cantaloupes.

“First, I was relieved to know that I was not pregnant because I was not trying to be pregnant,” she told NBC News, “and then I was scared because I didn’t know much about fibroids.”

Uterine fibroids are rarely discussed, despite being a common condition, particularly for Black women. Experts say that by age 35, about half of Black women have had them, and by age 50, 80 percent of Black women have them, compared to 70 percent of white women. Black women are also more likely to have higher fibroid growth than other racial groups. While most cases require no treatment, in some instances, they can cause weight gain, heavy periods, frequent urination or pelvic pain, and they may require surgery.

Now, some Black women, like Covington, who shared her experience on are speaking up about their struggles and are encouraging others to educate themselves about the condition, so they can identify the symptoms and seek treatment, if necessary. Former star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” Cynthia Bailey, 55, recently shared her experience with uterine fibroids with People, saying she endured heavy bleeding during periods, fatigue and an expanded belly, which led fans to assume she was pregnant. She also said her mental health took a toll.

 

31-year-old Daye Covington’s stomach is shown before and after her myomectomy.
31-year-old Daye Covington’s stomach is shown before and after her surgery to remove fibroids. Daye Covington

“It’s very hard to be in a good space mentally when you’re bleeding all the time and when you don’t have any energy, and you’re anemic,” she told the magazine.

While all women are at risk for developing uterine fibroids, Black women are disproportionately affected, with one study showing that Black women are three times more likely to develop them than white women and that Black women are more likely to need surgical treatment.

The reasons for this disparity, however, are less clear, said Eric Hardee, a physician and co-founder of Houston Fibroids and Texas Endovascular Associates. A family history of fibroids increases a woman’s risk. Obesity, diet and environmental factors may also play a role. Hair relaxers have also been linked to increased risk of uterine fibroid development.

Black women may also be less likely to seek help.

Cynthia Talla, 28, said despite her severe symptoms, she felt like she had to endure her pain alone. When she did seek help after dealing with fibroid symptoms as a teen, Talla said the medical professionals made her feel that Black women are able to bear the pain.

After Talla had surgery in 2020, she recalled telling her mother how good she was finally feeling.

“I remember crying, like, ‘I can’t believe I didn’t feel like this for years,’” she said. “So it’s very bad.”

Sara Harris, who serves on the board of the reproductive health organization Resilient Sisterhood Project, agreed.

“I do think there’s that superwoman phenomena, that Black women can do it all,” she said, “and speaking from my own personal experience, not wanting to ask for help because you know that you can take care of your own stuff, and you have to take care of everyone else around you at the same time.”

Harris added that many Black women also feel a taboo talking about these issues. Resilient Sisterhood Project offers support groups and virtual webinars with Black health experts to answer questions about topics on endometriosis, infertility and HPV, as well as training for universities and health care organizations about reproductive health and Black women’s needs in accessing health care.

Another issue with uterine fibroids, Harris said, is that they’re often misdiagnosed.

“Black women might be misdiagnosed for having an STI [sexually transmitted infection] or misdiagnosed for being pregnant or treated for preventing pregnancy, rather than looking at sort of what could be a deeper cause of the same symptoms that a Black woman is facing — like pelvic pain or prolonged menstrual bleeding,” Harris said.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

The CROWN Act highlights years of workplace hair discrimination finally being legally reprehensible

LinkedIn
Linda Husser modeling Zoom meeting crown (hair)

By Amiah Taylor, Fortune

The House of Representatives passed legislation on Friday, March 18, in a vote of 235-189, that would ban hair-related discrimination.

The CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act, first introduced to Congress in March 2019, prohibits prejudicial treatment towards individuals on the basis of their hair texture or hairstyle. This is the first step on a federal level needed to officially get the bill signed into law. The bill now goes to the Senate.

“Routinely, people of African descent are deprived of educational and employment opportunities because they are adorned with natural or protective hairstyles in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled, or worn in locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, or Afros,” according to the bill.

Personal style and grooming choices do have negative educational and employment consequences for Black people in ways that are not consistent for white individuals. For example, in clinical settings, Black nurses have been told to cut their hair for the sake of ‘infection control’ whereas their white peers are merely told to tie their hair up. “Black nurses worldwide have experienced ‘racial gaslighting’ through the profiling and policing of their hair, to the point of being driven out of nursing,” according to the Journal of Nursing Management.

Black nurses are not the only professionals who have been threatened with dismissal over “looking unprofessional,” when they show up to work with their hair in its natural state. In 2016, a Black woman was allegedly fired from her position as a waitress for wearing her natural hair in a bun. In 2019, a Black news anchor was fired over wearing a natural style, because of a company policy which stated on-air talent could not have “shaggy and unkempt,” hair. In 2021, a Black woman who stopped wearing wigs over her afro-textured hair was fired promptly from her sales position at American Screening.

Studies show that Black women with “Afrocentric hairstyles” are viewed as less professional than their counterparts who wear Eurocentric hairstyles, that are rooted in European standards of beauty which often emphasize straight hair. Whether it’s corporate America or the service industry, Black people have historically been expected to change their appearances to fit into the aesthetic norms of white professional settings. Echoing this sentiment, in a Feb. 28 statement in support of the CROWN Act, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler cited a 2019 study conducted by the JOY Collective in which 80% of Black women said they believed they had to alter their natural hair to gain acceptance in the office.

“While this study illustrates the prevalence of hair discrimination, it is the people behind those numbers that make this legislation so vital,” Nadler said. “For example, a Texas student was told that he would not be allowed to walk at graduation because his dreadlocks were too long; a Florida boy was turned away from his first day of school because his hair was too long; and a New Orleans-area girl was sent home from school for wearing braids.”

Nadler’s point about how hair racism affects school aged children is apparent in the petition of Latrenda Rush, which has gained over 89,000 signatures as of Mar. 21.

Rush was preparing for her son Joshua’s graduation from Abeka Academy, a Florida-based Christian school, when she was informed that he would be barred from walking during the graduation ceremony because of his hair. Abeka Academy’s grooming policy required male students not to have hair that exceeded their ears and specifically banned Black hairstyles such as braids and dreadlocks.

Abeka Academy has since apologized on Facebook, stating regret over their “insensitive rule,” and removing their ban on dreadlocks. However, the fact remains that without Rush’s vigilance, and the social pressure of a public outcry, Joshua and other Black students like him may have been excluded from walking during their graduation ceremony because of implicit bias against their racial hairstyles.

If passed in the Senate, the CROWN Act could potentially rectify the ongoing discrimination Black people face for wearing their hair in natural styles, by adding legal consequences for schools and employers alike. The social media response was that inclusive work and academic environments that do not chastise people of color for their natural hair are long overdue.

Click here to read the full article on Fortune.

Inflation Busting Recipes and Money-Saving Grocery Shopping Tips

LinkedIn
Big Shake poses in chef's uniform smiling

One trip to the grocery store to do the week’s shopping, and it’s clear to see inflation in action. The price of just about every item has risen, some by a little and others by quite a bit. The final bill asks for a total above what a family is used to spending on groceries. Now is when families need to get serious about shopping smart and choosing recipes that will stretch their dollars further. The good news is that this can be done with a bit of effort, and people will still be eating well at every meal.

“Everyone is feeling the pinch of the higher prices at the grocery store and everywhere else,” explains Shawn Davis, otherwise known as Chef Big Shake, owner of Big Shake’s restaurants. “We have to take steps to keep the bill down and still be able to enjoy the food we eat. It can be done, and I’m happy to offer tips on how to make it happen.”

According to the latest Consumer Price Index Summary issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to a year ago, people pay around 7.4% more for groceries and 6.4% more for takeout food. While the cost of food has been steadily rising, this represents the most significant increase since July 1981. Prices are expected to continue to increase as gas prices continue to rise.

Here are some ways families can save money on food for the family:

  • Plan the meals ahead of time each week. Make a list of what meals will be made that week and a grocery list of the ingredients needed to make them. Before making the grocery list, take a look in the pantry and freezer to see what can be used to make meals that week.
  • Use the sales flyers to help determine the weekly meals purchasing things on sale. Watch for special deals on items that will be used that week or the next.
  • Stick to the grocery list when doing the shopping. It’s easy to be enticed by all the things at the store, but adding just a few of them to the cart will push the bill up past the budget.
  • Download an instant rebate app, such as ibotta, and watch for items that offer an instant rebate. The funds can be transferred to a Paypal account or added to a gift card. After shopping, upload the receipt to get instant savings.
  • Choose budget-friendly meals. Now is a good time to incorporate more plant-based meals in the weekly rotation because they are typically cheaper to make. Rather than opting for just Meatless Monday, include a second day that the family eats meatless each week, too.
  • When shopping, be sure to check generic brands. Compare the labels to ensure that the products are similar and the ingredients list passes the family standards, and if so, give them a try. Generic brands are often equal in taste but save money.
  • Reducing food waste is an excellent way to save money, and it’s better for the planet. Purchase produce at the farmer’s market, if possible, or buy what is on sale at the store. If it’s not being used right away, wash and freeze it for future use.
  • Save any dinner leftovers to eat in the next day or two, or freeze them to eat at another time. If there are leftovers each night, plan one night during the week that will be a meal of using up all the leftovers.
  • Consider shopping at a different store to try and save money on the weekly shopping. Doing a quick comparison of what store has the best prices in the area may save money each week.
  • If bringing the kids along to shop tends to push the bill up because they ask for items not on the grocery list, consider shopping alone or trying curbside pickup. A few items per week are added by the kids as impulse purchases will add up quickly.

“Even if you feel you can’t implement all of these tips, just adding in a few will help to save money on food each week,” added Davis. “We still need to eat, but there’s no reason why we can’t sit down and plan things out a bit so that we save during this period of high inflation.”

Here are some inflation-busting recipes for the family to try:

Black Bean Cilantro Soup with White Lime Cilantro Rice

Cost $8.72

Feeds family of 4

Black Beans 1lb $1.49

1 Lime .69 cents

Diced onion 1 whole yellow onion $1.29

1 Avocado Sliced $1.59

Green onion $.99

1 lb white rice $1.19

Cilantro $.49

Corn Tortilla Chips for dipping. $.99

Cabbage and Turkey Sausage with cornbread
Cabbage and Turkey Sausage with Cornbread

Cabbage & Turkey Sausage / with cornbread

Total Cost $6.43

2 Head of cabbage $2.46 a head

Butterball 13oz turkey sausage $2.72

Cornbread Mix complete $1.25

Mushroom Chicken & Rice with Peas/Carrots

Total cost $7.38

Chicken thighs 2.50lbs $3.96

1 can cream of mushroom soup $1.26

1 Lb white rice $1.38

1 Can of carrots and peas medley .78

 

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Total cost $7.14

1 Pound of linguine $1.48

Jar of marinara $1.78 for 24oz

Ground chuck $3.88 per pound

Big Shake’s offers Nashville hot chicken meal kits shipped to the home and comes with simple re-heat instructions. They also provide a variety of additional merchandise, including red dust fish fry, shrimp burgers, coffee mugs, popcorn, sweet cornbread mix, seasoning salts, bottled hot sauces, and more. It also offers an ultimate gift box to send to someone who loves hot chicken. It also offers a variety of clothing items, including sneakers, shirts, and backpacks. To get information about Big Shake’s franchise opportunities, visit the site: https://www.bigshakesfranchise.com.

Big Shake’s currently has four locations in Franklin, Tenn., Columbia, Tenn., Huntsville, Ala., and Madison, Ala. Additional locations in Nashville and Tuscaloosa are underway. Chef Big Shake became famous for his signature shrimp burgers featured on the hit show “Shark Tank.” His chain has sold hundreds of thousands of them. The restaurant has also become famous for its hot chicken plates, chicken sandwiches, hot chicken and waffles, hot chicken tacos, and more. It also features a variety of fish entrees, including whiting and catfish. Diners can choose their level of heat, ranging from “cry baby” to “executioner.”

To learn more about Chef Big Shake’s online store or place an order for national delivery, visit the site: https://shopbigshakes.com/. To learn more about Big Shake’s Hot Chicken & Fish, visit the site: https://www.bigshakeshotchicken.com/.

About Big Shake’s Hot Chicken & Fish

Big Shake’s was named after and founded by Shawn Davis, who worked his way from restaurant dishwasher to chef to entrepreneur. After being passed upon the reality business show “Shark Tank,” he received the funding he needed to take his business national. Today, his product line, which features The Classic Shrimp Burger, is available online, and he owns Big Shake’s Hot Chicken & Fish restaurants. Davis has also been featured on such shows as “Man vs. Food,” “Food Paradise,” “Access Hollywood,” and QVC, among others. To learn more about the restaurant chain, visit the site: https://www.bigshakeshotchicken.com/.

Instagram adds credits to ensure more Black creators are cited for their work

LinkedIn
Black Creators Cameryn Boyd and Alexis Michelle Adjei came up with a way for Instagram to address "inequity in the creator ecosystem."

By Randi Richardson, NBC News

Instagram announced Monday that it will introduce a special tag for professional accounts and influencers that ensures they receive credit for their content, an attempt to address complaints that Black users are not credited for starting trends or are shut out from profiting from them.

The tag is available to business and creator accounts, and comes on the heels of nationwide discussions and content strikes by Black content creators who pushed out viral posts saying they do not receive credit for their work.

Alexis Michelle Adjei, a data analyst, and Cameryn Boyd, an engineer, envisioned and created the label with these disparities and Black creators in mind, particularly that creators make a living off producing social media content and that Black creators should share equally in that, too, they said.

Adjei said, “Black creators and addressing that inequity in the creator ecosystem” was top-of-mind when developing the new feature.

Twice as many white influencers are making upward of $100,000 a year as are Black ones who are making similar content to similarly sized audiences, according to a study published in December by MSL, a communications company, and The Influencer League, an educational organization. The report also found a 29 percent pay gap between white creators and all creators of color.

“We want to ensure that as Black creators’ content is being distributed as it already is, they are getting the proper attribution so that they have the opportunity to get all of those growth and monetization and career-starting opportunities like their contemporaries are,” said Boyd, a Spelman College graduate. “It’s really critical, as we’re moving towards this new age where creators are so important and creators are really able to use their craft to support themselves in their lives, that Black creators are getting the same opportunity, as they’re already creating the content.”

Adjei and Boyd joined Meta in August 2020 before landing on the idea the following February. They worked on it with colleague Alexandra Zaoui, building it out together and pitching it across different teams at Instagram’s parent company, Meta, until eventually getting their own team, which prepared the feature to launch this week under the pair’s leadership.

Adjei, a Stanford University graduate, said the need for a formal credit was apparent, and it just took the right set of eyes at Meta to see it.

“I think we were just so close to the need that we were able to see and we kind of had that same situation of like, why doesn’t this exist? And then we went the next step of like, let’s make it exist.”

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

You Can Now Shop Rihanna’s Entire Fenty Beauty Collection at Ulta

LinkedIn
Rihanna holding up an orange ulta shopping back while smiling at the camera in a brown coat

By Jennifer Chan, People

ICYMI, Rihanna is ready to expand. Expand her retail offerings for Fenty Beauty, that is. In a recent Instagram post, the singer posed with a hefty Ulta shopping bag, captioning the post, “bout to be in my Ulta bag! Dats right, I can finally confirm that @fentybeauty is officially joining the @ultabeauty fam! March 6th.”

We love to see it. Everyone knows how accessible shopping at Ulta is, which means the Fenty love is going to hit the masses in a major way, starting today. The big-box beauty retailer will carry the full range of glamorous goodies that have attracted plenty of famous fans (lest we forget that Mary J. Blige wore a face full of Fenty for her iconic Super Bowl LVI performance) since their inception. ICYMI, Rihanna is ready to expand. Expand her retail offerings for Fenty Beauty, that is. In a recent Instagram post, the singer posed with a hefty Ulta shopping bag, captioning the post, “bout to be in my Ulta bag! Dats right, I can finally confirm that @fentybeauty is officially joining the @ultabeauty fam! March 6th.”

We love to see it. Everyone knows how accessible shopping at Ulta is, which means the Fenty love is going to hit the masses in a major way, starting today. The big-box beauty retailer will carry the full range of glamorous goodies that have attracted plenty of famous fans (lest we forget that Mary J. Blige wore a face full of Fenty for her iconic Super Bowl LVI performance) since their inception.

“I created Fenty Beauty with a global vision in mind, and that vision transcends everything from our shade ranges and products to where and how people can shop the brand. I want everyone to truly be included and Ulta Beauty’s amazing community shares the same passion for beauty that I do,” Rihanna said in an official press release.

It’s this unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity that sets the brand apart in an overly saturated market filled with celebrity-backed lines; and if we had to guess, likely why every new product launch of hers is received with instantaneous praise from industry pros, celebrities, and real people everywhere.

Rihanna’s complexion products (namely her best-selling Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation) feel light as air on the skin, last for hours on end, and come in an impressive 50 gorgeous shades to reach her global audience; while her Gloss Bomb Luminizer is a bona fide hit on and off social media thanks to its indescribable shine and light-reflecting formula. Safe to say that pretty much everything RiRi touches turns to gold, which is why this bold move to offer her goods at Ulta is pure genius.

Click here to read the full article on People.

America's Leading African American Business and Career Magazine

Air Force Civilian Service

AFCS

Leidos

American Family Ins

American Family Insurance

Alight

Alight

United States Postal Services-Diversity

USPS

Danaher

Danaher

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. USPAACC’s CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference 2022
    May 25, 2022 - May 27, 2022
  4. From Day One
    June 14, 2022
  5. 2022 Airport Minority Business Development Conference (AMAC) Annual Conference
    June 20, 2022 - June 23, 2022
  6. NABA 2022 National Convention & Expo
    June 21, 2022 - June 24, 2022
  7. From Day One
    June 22, 2022
  8. NAACP National Convention
    July 14, 2022 - July 20, 2022
  9. Business Beyond Barriers Conference + Expo
    July 14, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
  10. 44th Annual BDPA National Conference
    August 18, 2022 - August 20, 2022