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Why Equity?

As you know by now, COFFEE stands for ‘Combining Our Forces For Economic Equity’. You may want to know why we selected equity instead of equality for that last ‘e’. Good question. Our community has struggled for equality for quite some time now, and there are many who argue that our struggle should advance to having equity as the primary goal. We agree. We think equality is good, but it is not good enough.

The concept of equity includes the notions of fairness, justice and empowerment – it is equality combined with wisdom and sound judgment. Folks who make it their business to conduct careful analysis of various equality and equity issues are careful to distinguish between the two, and usually opt for the latter as the greater aim. As an example, Rudy Karsan, CEO of Kenexa (a human resource service firm that is not listed in the CoffeeShop…) accurately points out that when people are treated equally, differences are ignored; when people are treated equitably, differences are recognized, celebrated, and employed, such that each individual, regardless of their difference, can realize their potential to the fullest extent possible.

As a community, we have some inherent differences. Scores and volumes of academic research have been conducted so that we are well aware of the negative perception of those differences…let’s put that to the side now (and leave it there unless and until it can be used for a positive outcome in our community). COFFEE is about acknowledging the positive aspects of the inherent differences in our community, and purposefully and consistently using those to our advantage in business. It is about working together as a community, in order to realize our economic potential to the fullest extent possible.

So that’s the premise. Now, let’s get to work.

 Prosperity & Peace,


From the Archives of Style Weekly...

Style Weekly is doing a series on this topic, and from reading the first article, it looks like something well worth following. Take a peek at this excerpt and tell the group what you think so far....

"Historians of the American Civil War have been going back and looking at that event and wondering, “If the most important consequence of that event was freedom, how did that happen?” I think starting in the ’80s, the people began to notice more and more and the evidence was that that African-Americans made themselves free. That if you think emancipation as only what Abe Lincoln did for African-Americans, you are missing the full meaning of the story.

One big shift occurred during the start of the Civil War. Black men started going to [Union General] Benjamin Butler at Fort Monroe just weeks after Virginia seceded and declared themselves to be on the Union’s side and wanted to help the cause. And that was when Butler came up with the idea of contraband. Before that whenever black people fled to the Union they were supposed to be returned to their masters, but Butler says no, your master says you are property so I define you as property and you are contraband of war. So starting then, emancipation actually begins."

Articles/Archives | Style Weekly

The Official Dark Girls Movie Website

The Official Dark Girls Movie Website - The Story of Color, Gender, and Race

Tatyana Ali on Cable’s Embrace of Black Sitcom

*TV One’s “Love That Girl” returned this week for its third season with Tatyana Ali as that girl, a young divorcee who returns to southern California while trying to figure out her next move.

Oprah’s BFF Gayle King Added as Anchor to Revised CBS Morning News

King isn’t replacing anyone, but joining current hosts Erica Hill and Jeff Glor. Chris Wragge, who joined “The Early Show” last January, is still a toss up, however.

200 Free Scholarships For Minorities 

Created by Black Excel (New Updated 2010 Listings)
The above listing of scholarships can be found at 25 Scholarship Gateways from Black Excel 
More scholarship information can be found at the Ron Brown Scholar Program Websitewww.ronbrown.org. Click on "apply"; then click on "Additional Scholarship resources". The deadline for Ron Brown Scholar Program is Sunday; however, there are many scholarship opportunities listed if a person is unable to meet Sunday's deadline. 
Let's continue to share.

Black Excel: The College Help Network

‎"The share of state budgets devoted to education has decreased by 13% since 1990 while the share of state budget used to fund prisons has increased by one-third." Two recent reports that we all should read, share, and take action on: "Misplaced Priorities" (see the report at www.NAACP.org) and ROI of Adult Education (see report atwww.McGraw-hillresearchfoundation.org). Education is the surest way to achieving economic equity in our lifetimes.

Let's cite excellence in our community here...first, I want to give a shoutout to my friend Elvin Dowling who just wrote "License to Live"...get a copy. Read it. Now it's your turn to name someone excellent?

The Need for a New Narrative of Excellence in the Black Community

It is not enough to be a community who can claim one or two exceptional individuals.
Did you know?


International Year for People of African Descent 2011

Around 200 million people who identify themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent. In proclaiming this International Year, the international community is recognising that people of African descent

For those of us who have or know of high school students, this is a good article to review. It shows the average returns to education, based on graduate and undergraduate degrees. We all know it is not enough to just have a HS diploma anymore; let's be intentional and strategic about post-secondary school choices though. Who are you mentoring this year?

Center on Education and the Workforce -

New report provides detailed information on the earning potential of different college majors, including data about median salaries, popularity, sex, and race/ethnicity.

Kimba Smith

Do you remember this story? If you know of a young person heading off to college soon, this may be a good read for them..

 Excerpt: As part of the media strategy for my clemency campaign, several televised and print media were responding to my story, including Nightline, BET, MTV, and The View. My story ultimately showed up in at least thirty publications and national radio programs, and my parents or I were featured speakers in programs on at least forty college campuses. I did several television interviews while I was in prison, and my parents traveled around to educate people about the real effects of the War on Drugs. We were quickly emerging as vocal mouthpieces against mandatory minimums. I really was the “poster child,” although it seemed to result in more press than victory in the courts.

Study: Whites fare better than blacks seeking medical grants

Black researchers face only about two-thirds of the chance of white ones of receiving federal medical research dollars.

African American Foster Care

May is National Fostercare Awareness Month...but May is too late to start talking to high school seniors who are in foster care. Too many of our young people 'age out' of fostercare before they have a plan and resources to make it as an adult in this society. Check out the link below to see what you can do with whatever time you have, to make a positive difference in the life of a young person in fostercare. For example, you can remind them to register for SATs this month, help them get a fee waiver from their guidance counselor, and walk them through the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) so they can fill it out by January 2012. Don't wait till May!

Change a Lifetime Menu

HBCU CONNECT highlights 2011 top 50 employers of HBCU Students & Graduates

Columbus, Ohio, USA October 10th, 2011-- Based on its extensive relationships with faculty and staff members at our nations Historically Black Colleges and Universities and also the largest database of companies actively hiring from the population of students and graduates from HBCUs

Ariel Investments 


How many of you listen to Ariel Investments president, Mellody Hobson on the TJMS for Money Mondays? She answers practical financial questions and tends to give some pretty good advice, IMHO. Check out her tips on lowering your tax bill and share your own with the group.
The Ariel Mutual Funds are a no load family of mutual funds. Our site contains detailed fund descriptions and information to help you make the right investments for your future. Retirement planning, college planning and our step by step investment guide Investing 101 can all be found here.

Generate Income...

One of the young adults I interviewed for my research reminded me of the importance of having more than one way to generate income (legally of course!). Check out this list and comment - have you tried any? What was your success rate? I'm going to do the 'E-bay' option this Spring - combining my spring cleaning with spring 'greening'! 
http://www.thebeehive.org/sites/default/files/hustletop20en.pdf | www.thebeehive.org

Entrepreneurship Binds Past, Present, Future

‎"There simply is no better vehicle for job creation in America than innovation coupled with entrepreneurship. In fact, over the last three decades, startups – firms less than five years old – have accounted for nearly all newly created jobs in the private sector. The problem is that we’ve had too few of these dynamic, fast-growing companies blossom in our communities."

What say you? Are you working on a 'plan b' that might have the potential to turn into a dynamic company in our community? What support do you need? What resources are you currently using?
BlackAmericaWeb.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

Black Companies Among Fastest Growing

The Bottom Line: Several make the Inc. list of surging companies, Inner City on the ropes and more business news.http://www.theroot.com/views/black-companies-among-fastest-growing Inspiration.

Solar jobs remain sunny spot in U.S. employment market : Clean Energy Authority

This is a STEM-related industry (science, technology, engineering, math) and it is growing. Let's make sure we encourage our young people to get the right classes, training, and experience now!

With the U.S. economy sputtering and jobs growth numbers dismal, the solar industry has proven to be a sunny spot of growth. Preliminary results of a new study from The Solar Foundation show that the solar industry continues to add jobs. http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-jobs-remain-sunny-spot-in-u-s-employment-market-092011/

African-American buying power nears $1.1 trillion | louisianaweekly

African American Farmers Go Organic, Bring Healthy Food to Southeast by Mark Winne
YES! Magazine


The Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON), helps members convert to organic agriculture, and organizes a farmers market in a park that was once off-limits to them.

Organic Food , A Sensible Approach - Supercharge Healthy Eating

Expert advice, information and guide to organic food advantages and products. We review and research in a sensible approach for best healthy eating guidelines.

Food Justice Pioneers: Interview with Brahm Ahmadi and Reverend Robert Jeffrey

It all begins with food: How to restore the health and wealth of inner-city communities.Recycle, Reuse,Rejoice!!

10 Tips for Plastic Reduction | Organic Soul

Plastic is everywhere. It’s used in our shoes, for packaging our food, in our appliances, and in hospitals, restaurants, and gas stations. Plastic, if anything, makes the world go round. In fact, it is because of plastic that we are able to communicate across the globe

More black women embracing beauty of natural hair

More black women are opting to go natural, with styles ranging from afros to braids to straightened with heat rather than chemicals.

Economic Action Alert!
S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

S. 510 is a bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply. The full text of this bill is about 260 pages long, so I have not had an opportunity to review it in its entirety. I strongly suggest that you review this bill and make your position known to your Senators and Congressional reps. Full text available at: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510

One of the main issues I have with this bill is that it seeks to limit to freedom that average citizens have to seed, plant, grow, harvest and distribute their own food. I think this is an issue for CoffeeBien to consider because it is directly related to economic equity - check your monthly budget - I'm willing to wager that groceries and dining are pretty large expense items.

Now for those of us who are seeking (or at least want to retain the option) to reduce this expense (not to mention reduce the amount of genetically modified ingredients in our diets), this bill is a serious barrier. Read the text (some of it anyway!) and post your thoughts here.

The bill is currently in the Senate's HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions).

The last reported action was a call for cloture (cloture - the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster. Under the cloture rule (Rule XXII), the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes.)

Members of the Senate HELP Committee are (for phone numbers clickhttp://help.senate.gov/):

(Democrats by Rank)

Tom Harkin (IA)
Christopher Dodd (CT)
Barbara A. Mikulski (MD)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Patty Murray (WA)
Jack Reed (RI)
*Bernard Sanders (I) (VT)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA)
Kay Hagan (NC)
Jeff Merkley (OR)
Al Franken (MN)
Michael Bennet (CO)
Joe Manchin (WV)

(Republicans by Rank)

Michael B. Enzi (WY)
Judd Gregg (NH)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Richard Burr (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
John McCain (AZ)
Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Tom Coburn, M.D. (OK)
Pat Roberts (KS)

According to several reports, large farms and agri-businesses are solidly behind this bill. According to me, if large farms are in support of it, it is likely to have some negative impact on small farms, or micro-farmers such as families and individuals. CALL YOUR REPS ASAP and let them know what you think about this bill (to find your senator and phone number click http://senate.gov/)

Hat tip to my sister Nay for keeping on me about this bill and to Donellia for posting an informative video on her FB about this issue!

S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
A bill in the U.S. Congress: A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply.

OURstory - remember Tulsa, Oklahoma

Remembering a Legend: Judge Matthew Perry

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- South Carolina has lost a legend, and a man who made this state and this country a better place. Federal Judge Matthew J. Perry died Sunday at the age of 90. Perry was a war veteran, a civil rights leader, and a genuine American hero

Jobs - Not Jail.

Go to page 5 in this document to learn about an initiative that helps noncustodial parents who owe child support stay out of jail by helping them secure employment - WHAT A CONCEPT!!! Way to go South Carolina! Now, how many of us know someone in our state Child Support Office that we can share this promising practice with? 

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich

Hello Congress?! Anybody listening? I say we middle/low-income Americans start a letter writing campaign to the 12 members of this budget committee; Mr. Buffet has already given a good outline - just insert YOUR tax rate from last year. Hat-tip to Gladys for sharing this article earlier today.
We mega-rich should not continue to get extraordinary tax breaks while most Americans struggle to make ends meet.

“Save Troy Davis”

At 11:08 last night, a young man from our community was murdered for a murder. No weapon was found, no conclusive evidence of his guilt, and 7 out of 9 witnesses eventually recanted or changed their story. There was too much doubt. But the sentence was handed down, the death warrant was signed, his fate was sealed, and his family (like the family of the police officer he was convicted of killing) is feeling what I cannot imagine.

But if the words of the “I Am Troy Davis” campaign ring true, then we can save “Troy Davis”. On your way to work, drive by any random bus stop in our community; you are likely to see “Troy Davis”. He or she may have identification that bears a different name, but look closely and you will see “Troy Davis”. Because a death warrant has surely been signed for a frighteningly significant percentage of our youth, and our future. The kids who grow up in violent homes, who attend poorly managed schools, who live in economically depressed communities, and who consume spirit-stealing propaganda about the material worth of their lives. Their case has been tried, but there is too much doubt. Their sentence has been handed down, but there is too much doubt. Their death warrant has been signed, but there is too much doubt.

Please be advised: the date has not been set for them, and you and I – we can save “Troy Davis”. We can’t change everything but we damn sure can change some things. Let this not be the end of your righteous indignation, rather the beginning. Let this encourage you to CHANGE THE THINGS YOU CAN. 

You be the mentor and change things. You be the court advocate for youth and change things. You attend school board meetings and change things. You be a shoulder or an ear for a single parent and change things. You hold your local politicians accountable and change things. You live a life of example and change things. Make a commitment to regularly sacrifice a little of your time, talent and treasure and you change things. “Save Troy Davis.”

Georgia seeks to strike down Voting Rights Act

The state of Georgia wants three federal judges in Washington to declare a portion of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.

Port Royal's first black councilman and mayor retires after 38-year career

It all started in 1969 when 32-year-old Henry Robinson was asked to run for Port Royal Town Council by members of his church.

Search for 5-Year-Old Missing Girl Jhessye Shockley Shrouded in Mystery

‎*The family of missing Arizona five-year-old Jhessye Shockley are outraged because they claim that the media is not giving enough coverage of the missing girl, who disappeared on Oct. 13.

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