By Barrington M. Salmon
By Derrick Lane –Blackdoctor.org
Black fathers, sons, uncles and men from around the country are gathering once again on the National Mall in Washington, DC to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March and call for policing reforms and positive changes in black communities.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who organized the original march, will lead the 20th anniversary gathering Saturday October 10th at the Capitol called the “Justice or Else” march.
“I plan to deliver an uncompromising message and call for the government of the United States to respond to our legitimate grievances,” Farrakhan said in a statement.
Since then, a lot has changed and not always for the better.
Attention will be of course focused on the deaths of unarmed black men since the shootings of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 in Florida and 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. And the countless deaths of unarmed black males at the hands of law enforcement officers that have inspired protests under the “Black Lives Matter” label around the country and world.
The original march on Oct. 16, 1995, brought an estimated 850,000 African American men to Washington to pledge to improve their lives, their families and their communities. Women, whites and other minorities were not invited to the original march, but organizers say all are welcome Saturday and that they expect to get hundreds of thousands of participants.
During the original march, Minister Farrakan issued a pledge and call to action for Black men everywhere.
The National Park Service estimated the attendance at the original march to be around 400,000, but subsequent counts by private organizations put the number at over 800,000. The National Park Service has refused to give crowd estimates on Mall activities since.
President Barack Obama, who attended the first Million Man March, will be in California on Saturday.
Here’s a few things that have changed since the original march:
–Voting. At least 150,000 participants at the Million Man March registered to vote. Plus, we don’t know how many others returned home and registered after the event. But according to the U.S. Census Bureau there was a steady rise in black voting rates after 1996. In fact, the black turnout rate increased by about 13 percent between 1996 and 2012, the agency reports.
–Education. In 1995, 73.4 percent of African-American men had high school degrees. In 2004, 84.3 percent did, according to the Census Bureau.
–Arrests. Law enforcement agencies made 3.5 million arrests of blacks in 1994, which was 30.9 percent of all arrests, the FBI said. (By comparison, they made 7.6 million arrests of whites that year, which was 66 percent of all arrests.) By 2013, the latest available data, African-American arrests had decreased to 2.5 million, 28 percent of all arrests. But we do not have information on the number of deaths of unarmed Black men and women by police. We do know that more are being broadcasts thanks to technology and social media.
So what now? What happens now in the next 10, 20, or 40 years? There’s no doubt that many were inspired after the first march. There’s no way of knowing how many or to what degree the rally inspired to start a business, reconcile with their families or an increase in political participation.
While we don’t know the future, what we do know its that if things are going to change, we have to be the ones to change it.
By Carolyn M. Brown Posted July 21, 2015 –Blackenterprise.com
Angel financing continues to fill the gap in start-up capital between family, friends, and the business owner. There are more than 300,000 angels active in the country. Angel investors—private high net worth individuals—continue to provide the lion’s share of all seed funding compared to venture capitalists.
The Center for Venture Research estimates that U.S. angel investors invested $24.1 billion in 73, 4000 small businesses in 2014. Many of the investments were in startup or very early stage companies.
Attending networking events and elevator pitch competitions are the best ways to find angel investors. Take for instance the Angel Venture Forum, which holds programming to help companies raise angel and venture capital effectively and efficiently.
The Angel Venture Forum is an ad hoc group of more than 30 active, experienced angel investors from more than 24 angel investor groups located throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Each of its colleagues shares a mission to discover, develop, and invest in strong opportunities – as well as provide a commitment to assist the companies in which they invest.
AVF sessions provide an overview of the issues important to angel investors. AVF is hosting its first session on July 22, 2015 in Washington, DC, dealing with “Funding: Understanding financial options and staging a smart capital plan for successful growth.” Raising external capital for your company is a big decision. The session will help entrepreneur seeking to raise capital to better understand the various financing options from equity to debt, dilutive and non-dilutive capital and the value of capital.
Others AVF sessions include topics on valuation and price (July 29), financials (Aug 5), intellectual property protection (Aug 12) 5), leadership (Aug 19) 6), term sheets and cap tables (Aug 26). The depth, quality and timeliness of the information provided to any potential investor is crucial and may be the difference between getting funded or not, says Valerie Gaydos, founder of Angel Venture Forum. “We invite (entrepreneurs) to attend these straight-up, practical & detailed instructional sessions which provide entrepreneurs with a clear roadmap of exactly what investors need and want in order to close your deal.”
Entrepreneurs can attend some or all prior to submitting a business plan to AVF investors. In addition, AVF may add these programs to be available via webcast.
Gaydos is an angel investor and business development expert. She also is founder and president of Capital Growth, Inc. (CGI) which was founded in 1994 as a venture capital data and information publishing company. When seeking funding, Gaydos says one must be specific about the goal. “Don’t just tell me you need money. Tell me it’s because you want to beat a competitor who just introduced a product that’s going to compete with you. Talk sales, for instance.”
She adds that the one thing she looks for most when someone is pitching their business is passion. Also, “knowing that you’re trying to solve a problem. That is the base and core of why angel investors will invest in a company.”
For detailed summary of the sessions, click here: http://www.angelventureforum.com/id2.html
Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) —
On Wednesday, September 18 and Thursday, September 19, 2013, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated will convene in Washington D.C. for Zeta Day on the Hill – two days of healthcare advocacy training, strategic planning, and congressional updates- preceding the 43rd Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference. Zeta Day on the Hill gives community leaders a platform to voice their concerns about maternal and child health, youth bullying and elder abuse prevention, as well as propose grassroots solutions with government leaders.
Confirmed speakers at Zeta Day on the Hill will include Sonya Clay, Assistant Director of Federal Affairs, American Academy of Pediatrics; Cindy Pellegrini, Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Government Affairs, March of Dimes; Bob Blancato, National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition; and Meredith Ponder, Senior Representative for Federal Policy and Advocacy for NANASP (National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs). Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.’s International President Mary Breaux Wright will be leading the day of advocacy.
Leadership from the March of Dimes, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Elder Justice Coalition will hold workshops to help Zeta leaders examine the policy behind their Zetas Helping Others of Excel (Z-HOPE) programming, a holistic international outreach service program which focuses on the mind, body and spirit of women, men, seniors, youth and international women. Additionally, during their workshops, members of the Zeta National Social Action team will outline the sorority’s social action goals, including the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) initiative, and identify tangible action steps for becoming more effective community and political leaders.
Zeta President Wright noted that “the legal travesties of Summer 2013 will forever be etched in history as a strong call to Zetas and our community. We must never tire in our efforts to advocate and eradicate injustices carried out through the existence, interpretation, and application of obscure laws. By coming to Capitol Hill, we are preparing our members to improve our communities every day through social action.”
With a rich legacy of advocating for the people, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. will also utilize social media platforms to invite the community into Zeta Day on the Hill with a live broadcast of these events on Facebook and Twitter using #ZetaDOTH.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has been at the forefront of social change since its founding in 1920. As Zetas begin a new year of operations, members are encouraged to be ‘that’ voice to address, advocate until our nation’s laws serve all people equally. For additional information about Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. visit www.zphib1920.org.