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Alabama's African American Voters Say No Moore


Alabama's African American Voters Say No Moore

African American voters showed up in massive numbers at the voting booth on Tuesday, helping Democrat Doug Jones defeat Republican Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate seat.

According to exit polls by The Washington Post-African Americans voted almost unanimously for Jones. The Democrat received 96% of the black vote. Jones was particularly helped by black women; receiving 98% of their vote. And 93% of black men voted for him. Still, it was a tight race with Jones receiving 50% of the overall vote versus Moore's 49%.

(Image: The Washington Post)

This election was carefully watched as the outcome was considered by many pundits to be repudiation or an embrace of the far right outlier politics of President Trump and political strategist Steve Bannon-both of whom vociferously supported Moore. The election is also expected to set the pace for the midterm elections in 2018-many of the same pundits claim the win bodes well for Democrats in those elections.

Jones' win is the first time in a quarter of a century that deeply-conservative Alabama sent a Democrat to the Senate. He won slightly more African American voters than even President Obama in 2012, who received 95% of the black vote in Alabama. Black voters make up 27% of Alabama's electorate, according to CNN.

President Obama urged African Americans to support Jones. In a phone message campaign that was targeted to black voters before the election, President Obama cautioned, "This one's serious...you can't sit it out."

Jones also received support from other black political heavyweights. Former Massachusetts governor Duval Patrick campaigned alongside Jones in Selma-the historic location of the 1965 civil rights march. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) also stumped for Jones at Alabama State University.

Moore, who's been hit with allegation after allegation of sexual misconduct, some with underage teens, has also been under fire for racially charged comments. For example, he's criticized the amendments enacted after the Bill of Rights which include the 14th amendment with the equal protection clause that was the basis for the Brown v. Board of Education school segregation lawsuit; the 15th amendment which gave African Americans the right to vote; and the 19th amendment which allowed women to vote.

And right before Tuesday's election, Moore, in response to an African American asking him when he thought America was "great" said, "I think it was great at the time when families were united-even though we had slavery-they cared for one another. ... Our families were strong, our country had a direction."

Black Twitter celebrated Moore's defeat and especially praised black women for strong voter turnout:

Sistas, saving the world and the Democratic Party is what we do. Now there is a governor's race in Georgia I want to draw your attention to. Cc: @staceyabrams https://t.co/cIFBTJSqyB

- Nina Turner (@ninaturner) December 13, 2017

For one stunning night, we were Ala-black-ma https://t.co/R4i08X46aF

- Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (@esglaude) December 13, 2017

Someone should probably tell Roy Moore that God is a black woman who really doesn't see it for him.

- Phillip Henry (@MajorPhilebrity) December 13, 2017


The post Alabama's African American Voters Say No Moore appeared first on Black Enterprise.

via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/alabamas-african-american-voters-say-no-moore

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Experience the Brand New BlackEnterprise.com


Experience the Brand New BlackEnterprise.com

Black Enterprise, the premier business and financial resource for African Americans, just unveiled a completely new and improved website, BlackEnterprise.com. The redesign sets the destination apart as being the most comprehensive source of online information for African American professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers.



BlackEnterprise.com provides original, interactive content pertaining to small business, wealth building, and careers, and it includes expert contributors. The site's new layout offers better usability, intuitive navigation, and enhanced search capabilities for all of BE's signature lists, including a current and historical archive of the BE 100s, the top-grossing black-owned businesses in the nation, the Top 50 Best Companies for Diversity, The Most Powerful Women in Business, the 300 Most Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America, and more.


"The site upgrades, which will feature both enhanced content and a redesigned format, will provide a better overall user experience and will enhance the company's already well-established position as a leading voice for African Americans," says Shelly Jones Jennings, V.P. of Digital of Black Enterprise.



BlackEnterprise.com will also feature a multimedia library with unlimited, free-of-charge video access to Black Enterprise's television programs, Our World with Black Enterprise and Women of Power TV, as well as access to Black Enterprise magazine's historic issues and behind-the-scenes content from Black Enterprise signature events; Women of Power Summit, Entrepreneurs Summit, Black Men XCEL Summit, and TechConneXt Summit.


"Black Enterprise is the country's most recognized media brand for the African American business community," says Earl "Butch" Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise. "With the relaunch of BlackEnterprise.com, we can leverage the phenomenal power of the Black Enterprise brand across all mediums-print, online, and television. Our distinctive, award-winning content is now available to consumers wherever and whenever they want it."

BlackEnterprise.com averages half a million monthly visitors and continues to grow. In the coming months, BlackEnterprise.com will be further optimized to support even more online advertising opportunities.


Originally launched as BE Online in 1996, the site fosters business development and networking opportunities for individuals and corporations seeking information pertaining to African Americans, or seeking to do business with African Americans.


Experience the new BlackEnterprise.com by visiting www.blackenterprise.com.

The post Experience the Brand New BlackEnterprise.com appeared first on Black Enterprise.

via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/experience-brand-new-blackenterprise-com

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Exclusive: Not 'Selling Out'- Sundial CEO on Landmark Acquisition and How Deal Will Benefit Black Wo
Shea Moisture

On Monday, Unilever announced a landmark agreement to acquire Sundial Brands, (No. 10 on the 2017 BE Top 100 list with $300 million in revenues) the company behind top-selling naturalista favorite SheaMoisture, and the news took consumers, fans, and the black business world by storm as Sundial became yet another black-owned personal care company to diversify its ownership ranks and take advantage of the significant payday (an exact sum CEO Richelieu Dennis would not confirm in this exclusive interview).


File source: PR Newswire

For Dennis, the deal had more to do with expanding the company's core mission of social entrepreneurship and community empowerment than taking a huge check to the bank.

In this Black Enterprise interview, he breaks down how the deal is vital for reinvestment-not "selling out"-and how thousands of women entrepreneurs of color will benefit from Sundial having a real seat at the table of one of the largest consumer goods corporations in the world. Below is the transcript of Dennis' responses during the interview:


On making the decision to sell:

"We're a business built on mission and impact. Our business model has always been about finding opportunities to invest back into our communities. We've built a model over the past 25 years-a business that we call 'community commerce'-and that is about using the business to create opportunity for our consumers and suppliers within our community.

So the focus has always been on the economic empowerment of women of color through business opportunities and revenue generation and reinvesting into these businesses. The first thing that was important to me was that we would find a partner that could not just guarantee that they would preserve that model of 10% of our community commerce products' revenue going back into our community. I needed somebody who could not just be able to preserve that but who could also scale that up at a pace that is faster than what we've been able to do thus far. Although what we've been able to do is pretty amazing, we are now able to do [more] through this deal. It's completely mind-blowing."


On "selling out" and protecting product quality

"So, I've heard this question: 'What do you say when people say you've sold out?' Selling out means you've sold and you left-you took something and you left. I am sacrificing my business so that I can invest in my community-that's not selling out.


(Image: www.sheamoisture.com)


What has happened with companies in our community that have been acquired is different from what is happening here. The technical term is the same, but if you stop and analyze what we've done...We sold our business to Unilever, and we're turning around and using that capital to invest in our community and buy stock in Unilever.

So now, what we've done is flipped it. We're now shareholders in what is [one of] the largest [consumer goods companies] in the world today, and we have a seat at the table in how they make decisions, in the types of products that come to market for our community-a vested interest in making sure our products do not change. They have a vested interest [in that as well]. They've just made an acquisition of [a very large sum]. ... It's the first time we're seeing real value against a brand serving women of color. They will not risk that investment by saying, 'OK, now we got it and we're going to change it.' There's no advantage in changing the product. ... That is evidenced by the fact that we also are a standalone business. They're not buying us and we're now moving to Unilever headquarters and there's a Unilever team taking over. No. Sundial remains a standalone business unit of Unilever.

When I say this notion of 'selling out' is a myth, it's completely not understanding what we've done."


On scaling impact

"If you think about it, in our supply chain in West Africa today, we impact somewhere around 14,000 to 15,000 people-women who are now living above the poverty line who are now able to send their children, their daughters, to school, get healthcare, access to clean running water-we're now, because of this deal, able to build on a platform like Unilever [and] we'll be able to scale that in the hundreds of thousands within the next two years.


(Image: Twitter.com/SheaMoisture)

So, if you think about that and the things we're doing that will directly impact underserved communities both in Africa and in the U.S., it's extraordinarily powerful and has not been done before by any other company. It's also important to make sure that the companies we're building out of our communities are for the purpose of serving our communities.

How we can scale impact? It took us 25 years to build the business, and within the next two years, we will more than double the business that we've built because we now have the infrastructure. We now can go to Brazil and do business, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco...all of these places Unilever has these tentacles.

We had a consideration early on about going public, which gives you access to capital, but it does not give you infrastructure, expertise, or capacity. Our people are in need all over the world. Even when we look into the U.S.-the most developed country in the world-look at the challenges we have in our communities because we don't have access to opportunity."


On the $100 million fund reinvesting in women entrepreneurs of color

"Earlier this year, we started a series called 'Real Talk' and we went to cities talking to hundreds of women on what their challenges are. Overwhelmingly, the women said that SheaMoisture is incredible for providing scholarships to Tufts School of Business-we graduated almost 30 people from the school's executive ed program, we sponsored women of color entrepreneurs to get business training at one of the best schools in the world-the feedback we got is, 'That's great. We go and get the education and get these contacts, but the reality is even having all these things, if I don't have money to invest in this business, my business dies... It doesn't grow.'

Women of color have the highest rates of starting businesses and the lowest rates of receiving capital. How does that go together? How do we start solving these issues? I started thinking, well I'm going to take my own money and start a fund that's going to invest in all these incredible women who are not getting these opportunities. So, when I began having the conversation with Unilever, we talked about the business and the opportunity and one of the things I said to them was, "Hey, I'm doing this fund, on my own, and if I'm going to partner with someone who's willing to put their money in my community like I'm willing to put my money into my community. They said, 'This is what we love about what you're doing.'

What started off as a fund that I was doing individually, all of a sudden became $100 million that is invested in women of color in this country and in other underserved communities. That is game-changing because out of one business, Sundial/SheaMoisture, we will be able to fund thousands of businesses. That is where our mission has always been. That is what this partnership is all about."

Next: Check out Part 2 where Dennis gives tips on how entrepreneurs of color can position themselves for expansion with lucrative partners.


via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/not-selling-sundial-ceo-talks-landmark-acquisition-deal-will-benefit-black-female-entrepreneurs

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Russell Simmons, Latest Accused of Sexual Assault, Steps Down From His Ventures

Variety broke the news that Russell Simmons has officially stepped down as head of his companies after an allegation that he committed sexual assault.

Writer Jenny Lumet in a post for the Hollywood Reporter described in detail an encounter with Simmons in which she accuses him of sexually violating her.

(Image: Wikimedia/Brett Weinstein)

Simmons met Lumet at a restaurant when she was 24 years old. She says that the hip-hop mogul, who had previously pursued her aggressively after initially meeting her at a nightclub, offered her a ride home.

She alleges that instead of taking her home, Simmons had his driver take her to his apartment. Then, according to her claim, Simmons and the driver worked together to force her into his apartment:

You moved me into a bedroom. I said, "Wait." You said nothing.

I made the trade in my mind. I thought "just keep him calm and you'll get home." Maybe another person would have thought differently, or not made the trade.

 It was dark, but not pitch dark. You closed the door.

At that point, I simply did what I was told.

There was penetration. At one point you were only semi-erect and appeared frustrated. Angry? I remember being afraid that you would deem that my fault and become violent. I did not know if you were angry, but I was afraid that you were.

I desperately wanted to keep the situation from escalating. I wanted you to feel that I was not going to be difficult. I wanted to stay as contained as I could.

You told me to turn over on my stomach. You said something about a part of my body. You did not ejaculate inside me.

When it was over, I got my clothes and quickly went down in the elevator by myself.  You didn't try to stop me. I went home in a taxi. I was grateful to be secure in my home. I never told anyone this story until October 27th of this year (after the Harvey Weinstein story was in the news, but weeks before the first public claims were made against you), when I told a girlfriend from childhood.

Simmons has founded several companies. He recently sold one of his businesses, the RushCard for $147 million.


via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/russell-simmons-latest-accused-sexual-assault-steps-ventures

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Unilever Acquires Sundial Brands, Owner of SheaMoisture, For an Undisclosed Amount

Today, Unilever announced an agreement to acquire Sundial Brands, (No. 10 on the 2017 BE Top 100 list with $300 million in revenues) behind brands including SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage. The news makes Sundial yet another black-owned personal care company that has decided to diversify its ownership ranks and take advantage of the financial advancement and expansion that a general-market acquisition can afford.

(Image: sheamoisture.com)

When the deal is complete, Sundial Brands, which is expected to generate approximately $240 million in revenue this year, will operate as a standalone unit within Unilever, and its founder, Richelieu Dennis, will continue to lead as CEO and executive chairman.

As part of the agreement, Unilever, a transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered in the Netherlands and London, and Sundial are creating the New Voices Fund with an initial investment of $50 million to empower minority women entrepreneurs.


File source: PR Newswire

"The Sundial team has built differentiated and on-trend premium brands serving multicultural and millennial consumers that enhance our existing portfolio," Kees Kruythoff, president at Unilever North America, said in a statement. "Sundial is an important addition to our U.S. portfolio of purpose-driven companies, which includes Ben & Jerry's and Seventh Generation."

"We are excited to partner with Richelieu and his team to enable Sundial to bring its unique product offerings and community impact to more people around the world," added Alan Jope, president of Unilever Personal Care. "We look forward to continuing to grow the business and make an even bigger impact on society through Sundial's community programs."

Esi Eggleston Bracey, who has an impressive executive résumé that includes working for companies including Procter & Gamble, will serve as EVP and COO of Unilever North America Personal Care, beginning Jan. 1, and she will work closely with Dennis to strategize brand growth, strengthen the mission, and advocate for consumer connectivity.

"I've always wanted Sundial Brands to be an inspiration to other minority-owned companies of how a business against all odds can achieve excellence, have significant social impact in our communities and be successful on a world stage," said Richelieu Dennis in a statement. "I am excited Sundial and Unilever have created this partnership, rooted in a purpose-driven ethos, that represents an incredible opportunity to take our Community Commerce economic empowerment and impact model to another level."

At Unilever, Sundial joins other personal care and hygiene brands including Dove, Vaseline, and Caress.

via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/unilever-acquires-sundial-brands-owner-of-sheamoisture-in-for-undisclosed-amount

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Study Finds Pollution Puts African Americans at a Greater Risk of Getting Sick

A new study found that African American communities are subjected to an elevated risk of suffering from pollution-related health problems due to the location of oil and gas refineries. However, an oil industry lobbying group dismissed the report, suggesting that that African American "genetics" are a factor for racial health disparities.


(Image: Flare stack at petroleum refinery in Port Arthur, Texas | Photo credit: iStock/Rex_Wholster)

The groundbreaking study, titled Fumes Across the Fence-Line: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution from Oil and Gas Facilities on African American Communities, focuses on neighborhoods where oil and natural gas refineries are placed near the property lines or fences of African American and low-income people. Co-authored by the Clean Air Task Force and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the report quantifies the health risks that black communities are facing since "African Americans are exposed to 38 percent more polluted air than Caucasian Americans, and they are 75 percent more likely to live in fence-line communities than the average American," it states.

According to the study, more than 1 million African Americans live within half a mile of an oil and gas operation, while over 6.7 million live in a county with a refinery. As a result, they are exposed to an increased risk of cancer and other toxic emissions, while many suffer from serious health consequences.

Other key findings from the study, as stated in a press release, include:

  • The oil and natural gas industries violate the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) air quality standards for ozone smog due to natural gas emissions in many African American communities, causing over 138,000 asthma attacks among school children and over 100,000 missed school days each year;

  • There are 91 counties across the U.S. that are building oil refineries or where refineries exist close to more than 6.7 million African Americans, or 14 percent of the national population, disproportionately exposing them to toxic and hazardous emissions such as benzene, sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde.

  • The report found that Texas and Louisiana are home to the largest populations of African-American living in areas with cancer risk above the Environmental Protection Agency's level of concern. African-Americans in Houston and Dallas faced the highest risk of childhood asthma attacks due to ozone smog resulting from oil and gas facilities.

    Kathy Egland, the NAACP's Environmental and Climate Justice Committee Board Chair, said in a statement that "energy companies often deny responsibility for the disproportionate impact of polluting facilities on lower-income communities and communities of color." She added, "It is claimed that in most cases the potentially toxic facilities were built first and communities knowingly developed around them. However, studies of such areas show that industrial polluting facilities and sites have frequently been built in transitional neighborhoods, where the demographics have shifted from wealthier white residents to lower-income people of color. Polluting facilities also reduce nearby property values, making them more affordable areas to live in for people who do not have the means to live elsewhere."

    Dr. Doris Browne, NMA President, said the toxic environments are making millions of African Americans sick. "The effects of oil and gas pollution are disproportionately afflicting African Americans, particularly cancer and respiratory issues, and the trend is only increasing," he said. "Our membership is seeing far too many patients in communities of color suffering from these diseases."

    In response to the report, a scientist at the American Petroleum Institute (API), the largest U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, undermined the findings.

    "I've read an NAACP paper released this week that accuses the natural gas and oil industry of emissions, wrote Uni Blake, a scientific adviser in regulatory and scientific affairs at API, in a blog post for Energy Tomorrow. "As a scientist, my overall observation is that the paper fails to demonstrate a causal relationship between natural gas activity and the health disparities, reported or predicted, within the African American community."

    Blake goes on to argue that the genes of black people could be one reason for the disparity. "Rather, scholarly research attributes those health disparities to other factors that have nothing to do with natural gas and oil operations-such as genetics, indoor allergens and unequal access to preventative care," she wrote.

    Robert Bullard, a professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University in Houston, expressed outrage at the argument, calling it "an insult to the intelligence of not just African Americans but the intelligence of the American people who know better," reports Think Progress.

    He also told Think Progress that other businesses have tried to make the same argument. "The [oil and gas] folks that responded to the study are basically using the same argument [as the tobacco industry] that it's not the chemicals and the oil and gas, but it's the people whose own behavior somehow drive the health disparities," he said. "It's pushing blame off on individuals who live near these facilities and absolving these companies from any kind of responsibility."

    Likewise,  Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP's environmental and climate justice program, pointed out that white people who live in close proximity to environmentally toxic areas are just as likely to develop ailments like asthma or cancer.

    "Above and beyond other factors, the oil and gas operations in communities causes an extra level of risk," said Patterson. "Other people who live in those communities also have those health conditions that result from those exposures. That would discount the role of 'genetics.'"


    via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/oil-gas-refineries-african-american-sick

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    New Orleans Elects an African American Woman as Mayor


    New Orleans Elects an African American Woman as Mayor
    New Orleans

    LaToya Cantrell made history on Saturday, becoming the first woman to win a mayoral race in New Orleans' nearly 300-year history.


    (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

    Cantrell was elected in a run-off election against former municipal court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, f0llowing the general election that was held in October. According to the Louisiana Secretary of State's office, Cantrell earned 60% of the vote. The 45-year-old Democratic leader will succeed Democrat Mitch Landrieu in May of next year as the Big Easy ushers in its 300-year anniversary.

    "Almost 300 years, my friends. And New Orleans, we're still making history," Cantrell said during her victory speech at the New Orleans Jazz Market Sunday, reports The Associated Press.

    Despite its growth in tourism, the city has been plagued by several challenges, including crime, severe flooding, and problems with its drainage system. Cantrell, however, promised that city conditions will improve under her administration. "We deserve better and together we truly will be better," she said, reports CNN.

    Cantrell, a graduate of the Xavier University of Louisiana, rose to prominence as a community activist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, working to save the neighborhood of Broadmoor. She was elected to city council in 2012 and reelected in 2014.

    "Congratulations to our very own District "B" Councilmember LaToya Cantrell, our city's first elected female mayor!" the New Orleans City Council tweeted.

    On Sunday, Charbonnet delivered a concession speech, saying she has no regrets about her campaign. "I truly do not regret one moment of anything about this campaign-resigning from my position, working every day and talking to people, touching our community and knowing exactly what the needs are. I am so proud to have been in that race," she said. "Listen, y'all. If she does well, we all do well."

    Like Cantrell, a number of other victorious black candidates running for office have made history this month. Read about them here.

    via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/new-orleans-african-american-woman-mayor

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    U.S. Government Official Says Blacks Turned Cities Into 'Slums' with 'Laziness, Drug Use, and Sexual
    Rev Jamie Johnson

    The Rev. Jamie Johnson, who directs the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships, has reportedly blamed African Americans for turning major U.S. cities into "slums" and called Islam a "threat to American freedoms."


    (Image: www.FEMA.gov)


    Prior to joining the department in April, Johnson made a string of attacks against the African American and Muslim communities on different radio talk shows from 2008 to 2016, reports CNN's KFile. He made frequent guest appearances on conservative talks shows and hosted his own weekend program. He also worked for several Republican presidential candidates, including Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Donald Trump within his home state of Iowa.

    According to the report, Johnson accused black Americans of being anti-Semitic, jealous of the Jewish community, and running cities into the ground during a 2008 radio appearance on Accent Radio Network.

    "I think one of the reasons why is because Jewish people from their coming to America in great waves in the early part of the 1800s immediately rolled up their sleeves and began to work so hard and applied themselves to education and other means of improvement and other means of climbing the, I hate this phrase, but the social ladder if you will," Johnson said. "And they have done exceptionally well for themselves. For only representing about 1.4% of America's population, they make up 12% of America's millionaires. Why? Because they work," said Johnson.

    He added, "And it's an indictment of America's black community that has turned America's major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use, and sexual promiscuity."

    In the same radio appearance, Johnson labeled diversity as a facade for a "far-left Marxist globalist ideology."

    In another appearance, the federal official said that he refers to radical Islamism as "obedient Islam."

    "I never call it radical Islam; if anything, it is obedient Islam. It is faithful Islam," he said. "I agree with Dinesh D'Souza, your friend and mine, who says all that Islam has ever given us is oil and dead bodies over the last millennia and a half," Johnson continued. "It is not a religion of peace."

    Johnson argued that Islam was not a legitimate religion in 2013.

    "We need to have somebody who understands that there is an ideology that is posing as a religion that is standing against everything that America was built upon and everything that is basically rooted in a Judeo-Christian tradition," Johnson said. "And that is Islam. We have to have somebody who understands the Islamic threat to American freedoms."

    In a statement to CNN, Johnson apologized for the disparaging comments.

    "I have and will continue to work with leaders and members of all faiths as we jointly look to strengthen our safety and security as an interfaith community. Having witnessed leaders from the entire faith spectrum work to empower their communities I now see things much differently," he said. "I regret the manner in which those thoughts were expressed in the past, but can say unequivocally that they do not represent my views personally or professionally."

    Meanwhile, Tyler Houlton, acting press secretary at DHS, told CNN that the Trump administration does not approve of Johnson's remarks, and that he "has proven himself as a valuable supporter and proponent of the interfaith community's recovery efforts."

    Updated 11/17/2017, 12:43 pm: Johnson has resigned from his position as head of the DHS's Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships according to a report from The Washington Post

    via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/dhs-official-racist-rev-jamie-johnson

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    [OPINION]: This Male Millennial Wants You To Know: Women Harass Men, Too

    Women-and even some men-are going public, almost daily, accusing men of sexual misconduct within the workplace. Rarely do we hear stories of men being sexually harassed by women at work, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

    In the midst of several disturbing allegations of sexual misconduct coming out in the news recently, I am reminded of my own experience and the times when I felt comments or behavior from a female co-worker at my former place of employment were not OK.


    (Image: iStock/XiXinXing)

    Workplace Double Standards?

    Double standards in the workplace are extremely taboo and rarely discussed. Comments made in the same context between a man and woman can be taken differently.

    I recall one time at my former job when a female co-worker asked me to assist her with one of the new programs the company used. I stopped by her desk to help her with the issue and when I leaned in to use her keyboard, she told me, "You smell really good."

    Honestly, maybe she just liked the cologne I was wearing but if I said the same in the same situation would it be appropriate? Can I tell a woman, "You smell good," while we are working? If she reported that comment to human resources, would HR brush it off or would I find myself in trouble?

    Crossing the Line

    Another situation with the same co-worker happened when I wore a new pair of slim-fitting khakis to work. I was in the cafeteria getting coffee as she was sat with a group of other women from her department. She said "New pants? They look good on you."

    The entire table snickered. I remember at that exact moment I felt as though I were on display. I felt cheapened.

    Again, let's flip the situation. If I said to her, "That dress looks good on you," how would she have taken the comment?

    The last and final straw happened a few weeks later when this co-worker touched my arm and asked, "Have you been working out?"

    Why was she touching me at all?

    The first two situations mentioned-one can argue whether they were inappropriate or not-but not this. I knew if I had been the one to touch her body I would be unemployed.

    There is an old saying that what you allow is what will continue. I did not want to get this woman fired or make a whole fiasco about it so I wrote her a direct email. I listed the three times she made me feel uncomfortable and asked her to please keep our relationship professional. She later apologized to me and only talked to me about work the rest of the time I was at that company.

    Having been subject to harassment and now witnessing the barrage of sexual harassment stories dominating the news forces me to take accountability from another angle. That is that often men are more receptive to these comments, especially if it is coming from someone they find attractive. Nine times out of 10 we deem it as harmless flirting. But the point is that no matter your gender, there is a very thin line between being friendly/having an innocent conversation, and making your co-worker feel harassed or uncomfortable.



    via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/career/male-millennial-wants-know-women-harass-men

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    Women of Color Small Business Owners: Access to Birth Control Is Vital To Our Success

    Maintaining access to birth control is vital to their continued success; women small usiness owners are making it known they support continued coverage of a federal rule that guaranteed free contraception co-pay to more than 62 million women.

    Yet that coverage is being slashed with a recent decision by the Trump administration that eliminated birth control coverage offered under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. With Trump's repeal, public and private employers to cite religious or moral objections to refuse birth control via their insurance plans. Female employees may now have to spend their own money to cover some or all contraceptive costs.


    (Image: iStock/julief514)
    Supporters say the preventive health benefit saved women $1.4 billion on birth control in its the first year of existence.


    New Poll Reflects Women Small Business Owners' Views on Mandate Repeal

    A new poll by the advocacy group Small Business Majority surveyed 507 female entrepreneurs and discovered that 56% said that access to birth control and the ability to decide if and when to have children allowed them to advance in their careers and start their businesses. The poll, which included oversamples of African American and Latina small business owners, found reproductive healthcare is especially important to women entrepreneurs.

    With the move by the Trump administration to roll back this requirement, the Small Business Majority contends that it's important to understand the perspective of one of the most important, and fastest growing, segments of the nation's economy: women small business owners.


    Women-Owned Businesses Pump $1.35 Trillion into Economy

    Indeed, the latest U.S. Census data shows there are 8.9 million women-owned businesses contributing $1.35 trillion in sales in America.  The data provides strong evidence that those businesses make a major contribution to the nation's economy.

    Plus, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Trump administration over new rules the Department of Health and Human Services announced that ease the ACA requirement that employers and insurers provide contraception coverage, according to CBS News.

    "The Trump administration is forcing women to pay for their boss's religious beliefs," ACLU senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri stated. "We're filing this lawsuit because the federal government cannot authorize discrimination against women in the name of religion or otherwise."


    Important for Economic Well-Being and Stability

    The survey showed that 79% of female business owners concur that access to reproductive healthcare is important for women's economic well-being and stability. Another 79% agree we need to ensure all women have access to affordable, reproductive healthcare as a basic economic issue for our families.

    Fifty-six percent of women small business owners admit that their ability to access birth control and to decide if and when to have children allowed them to advance in their careers and start their own business, and 52% agree this access impacts their ability to grow their business.


    via: http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/poll-women-smalll-business-owners-say-access-to-birth-control-vital-to-their-success-despite-white-house-ruling-to-end-coverage

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