- Created on 25 March 2013
Miami Heat guard, Dwyane Wade, and best-selling author, James Patterson, are on a mission to inspire today’s youth to read. The duo recently visited Ponce de Leon Middle School in Coral Gables, Florida to motivate kids to read more.
Patterson, known for books such as Alex Cross and 11th Hour, is determined to increase the reading power of young minds in a world where the shorthand of social media is quickly taking over.
“It’s a massive problem. Dwyane and I have the same agenda: We want to get more kids reading. For me, this is about saving lives,” said Patterson.
With two kids of his own, Wade wants to show how imaginations can grow from literature.
“I was a big dreamer. Today, my life is so busy. … Reading is my time. I can become someone else. And the most fun I have is reading with my kids,” Wade says.
According to BlackCelebrityKids.com, Ponce de Leon students were more than excited by Wade and Patterson’s visit and are looking at reading in a new light.
- Created on 22 March 2013
According to Apple Insider, Apple has developed a new patent for ways to protect your phone and minimize damage when you drop it.
The patent includes an idea for an internal sensor that will detect when a phone is in freefall. The sensor will also detect the phone’s distance from the ground and how quickly it’s falling.
The system will then reorient the phone as it falls and position itself in a way to limit damage. According to the patent, this will be accomplished by moving a counterweight inside the phone which would be activated by something like a can of gas.
Amazon released a similar patent for a phone airbag.
Since iPhone owners won’t be seeing this new feature anytime soon, it is recommended to protect your phone with a properly fitting phone case.
- Created on 22 March 2013
Ebonie Johnson Cooper has a whirlwind life. One typical day found her leaving a lunch date with friends, headed to a business meeting and planning to conduct the Washington, D.C. session of “Defining Young Black Philanthropy.”
The panel discussions, she explained to the AFRO recently, are designed to help Black people, and particularly the under-30 crowd, to engage in charitable giving in an organized way.
In the age of social media, Johnson, like many other millennials, found blogging to be a creative outlet to express her interest with her online community of family of friends. But a year later, Johnson’s blog, Friends of Ebonie (FriendsofEbonie.com), has developed into a social responsibility and career enrichment haven for Black millennials pushing philanthropy and social causes.
Millennials is the label used to cover the segment of the population born between the late 1970s and the early 2000s.
“The social entrepreneurship portion of my career has been organic, part of my DNA… But I didn’t know earlier in my career how to balance my career with philanthropy and giving back,” said 29-year-old Cooper, who hopes her events will help bridge the gap for her and other young Millennials.
More than 100 Black urban professionals crowded into the foyer of the National Council of Negro Women headquarters in D.C. after work on Feb. 21 to talk philanthropy.
For the first hour, attendees mingled and enjoyed a happy-hour feast of mini-cupcakes and other hors d’oeuvres while visiting a series of tables lined with literature from non-profit groups such as Dreams Work Inc., A Legacy Left Behind, Black Benefactors, D.R.E.A.M. Life and TheMusicianShip.
In the second hour, there was a panel discussion moderated by David J. Johns, director of Impact, a consulting firm that specializes in charitable fundraising. It contained a diverse group of millennials with backgrounds in philanthropy and organizing including: Stefanie Brown-James, former African American national vote director for Obama for America 2012; Kezia Williams, chair of Capital Cause; Rita Lassiter, secretary of the National Urban League Young Professionals; Clarence Wardell III, research analyst for the Center for Naval Analyses, and co-founder of Tweenate; and Joshua Lopez; political adviser and former candidate for an at-large seat on the Washington, D.C. Council.
The conversation became a discussion on social accountability as it relates to the millennial population’s people of color and other successful community members. Among the questions to trigger lively debate that evening: What is philanthropy? Who gives? How can social media affect giving?
One of the hottest discussions surrounded whether African American basketball legend Michael Jordan, who celebrated his 50th birthday this year, should be held responsible, on a moral and social level, for the stampedes, riots and violent, robbery-related deaths that occur whenever the latest version of Air Jordan athletic shoe is released.
“Defining Young Black Philanthropy: D.C.” is just one of a handful of webinars and workshops headed by Cooper to provide resources and ideas for young people of color interested in giving.
Cooper’s philanthropic efforts come on the heels of her personal interest in arts and culture. She grew up a dancer and actress in Harlem and was taken on frequent trips to the Rockefeller Center and Lincoln Center by her parents.
“I’ve always had an affinity for the arts, so naturally I’m a supporter of them,” said Cooper. Her dream of a career in the arts faded with age, but she stayed connected, becoming a young patron of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, joining the junior board of New York Cares and becoming active in Black Benefactors in D.C.
For years, Cooper tried to find the best way to juggle philanthropy while finding her perfect career fit. She worked at the mass media firm Viacom doing international marketing of BET and MTV but quit to join the staff of 2008 Obama presidential campaign. She was unable to secure a position with his new president’s administration after the Obama victory.
Cooper, like many young, educated post-grads, hopped from job to job because of the crumbling economy, working at several non-profit groups over the next few years.
“Every job isn’t going to be the right job, and that was a part of my career struggle,” said Cooper, who eventually went into business for herself creating Friends of Ebonie.
Today, Cooper is engaged in marketing and communications on a part-time basis while pursuing a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications at New York University and building and refining the Friends of Ebonie blog. She hopes to brand the organization into the go-to site for non-profit groups eager to learn about the philanthropic habits of black millennials.
Philanthropy is traditionally associated with old, white, men, said Cooper. But Cooper is on a mission to change that perception.
“Just because you are on the receiving end of philanthropy, doesn’t mean you aren’t also on the giving end,” said Cooper.
(Photo: ebonie Johnson Cooper, courtesy Afro-American)
- Created on 22 March 2013
“Spending Black and Putting Back” is the theme of the Atlanta Business League’s sixth annual “Congress on the State of Black Business” to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 19 at the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute in Lithonia.
The summit is expected to attract hundreds of business professionals who will examine factors that make or break black businesses. Renowned business expert Dr. Claud Anderson, author of “PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America,” and longtime civil rights activist and entrepreneur Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. will address the summit.Event organizer Joseph Hudson said the summit is intended to devise and implement strategies to build, maintain and strengthen black-owned businesses.
“If we, as consumers, increase our spending at black-owned establishments… the impact will ignite a robust economic movement within our community,” said Hudson, vice-chair of the business league’s public policy committee. “We have power that we have yet to leverage.”
Hudson said one of the major hurdles facing black business owners is the negative perception some black consumers have of black-owned businesses.
“If I take my clothes over here to this dry cleaner, they are going to overcharge and give me poor service,” Hudson said, explaining the perception many black consumers have of black businesses. “That’s what people say about black businesses – but our challenges are no different than any other community.”
Tunde Dean, owner of Atlanta Promovers – a Midtown-based moving company – agreed, adding:
“I get a lot of black clients who always have a problem or complaint about the quality of work, or [people] who don’t want to tip,” he said. “It’s good to not have to work for anyone else, but it’s difficult being a new business.”
Hudson said black businesses have been minimized for generations – a fact that needs to change if Atlanta’s black economy is to thrive.
“Our businesses have been undervalued since desegregation, but most people weren’t around to see the barricade that white folks built out here to prevent blacks from expanding further west” into Atlanta, said Hudson, 70. “That’s why we really need to get behind tourism as our next frontier to show how far we’ve come.”
Hudson pointed out that black buying power nationally is valued at $1.3 trillion, including about $58 billion in Georgia and $23.5 billion in metro Atlanta. The business league’s 5% Solution Campaign proposes that black consumers donate five percent or more of their spending at African-American owned restaurants, stores, and service-related entities.
“If we just spent 5 percent of our buying power in our own community, it could mean more than 52,000 jobs,” he said. He said successful black-owned businesses like H.J. Russell, Gourmet Services and Capitol City Bank & Trust are solid examples of what black businesses can achieve when blacks invest in them – and vice versa.
Topics at the daylong summit, which is open to the public, include: “Black Business and the Black Church,” “Black Business and Education” and “Black Business and Culture.” For more information, call 404-584-8126 or visit www.atlantabusinessleague.org
(Photo: Dr. Claud Anderson, author of “Black Labor, White Wealth” and other books on black economic development, will be the opening plenary speaker at the sixth annual “Congress on the State of Black Business” March 19 in Lithonia. Courtesy of Dr. Anderson).
- Created on 21 March 2013
On the heels of winning a competitive bid for a $40 million project, 33-year-old Kevin D. Johnson, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Johnson Media Inc., releases his first book titled The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs. The book shares secrets to thinking like top entrepreneurs and achieving business success.
The release of The Entrepreneur Mind comes at a time when millions of Americans are opting to find the American Dream through entrepreneurship. According to a recent report from the Kauffman Foundation, a leading nonprofit that promotes entrepreneurship, the percentage of Americans starting businesses in 2010 and 2009 was the highest in 15 years.
"The Entrepreneur Mind was written to help new and veteran entrepreneurs achieve success and sustainability," says Johnson.
The book offers readers 100 ways of thinking that Johnson believes will lead to a high level of business success. Through the conviction of Johnson's own personal experience running a multimillion-dollar company and the stories of modern-day business tycoons like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Sara Blakely (Spanx), he hopes to transform an often complex topic into a lucid, accessible, and practical one. Areas covered are Strategy, Education, People, Finance, Marketing and Sales, Leadership, and Motivation. Lessons include:
• How to think big
• Who makes the best business partners
• What captivates investors
• When to abandon a business idea
• Where to avoid opening a business bank account
• Why elite entrepreneurs create new markets
"I strongly believe that entrepreneurs are made, not born. If you study and adopt the ways of thinking of the best entrepreneurs and then turn your thoughts into actions, you have a formula for winning in business," Johnson says.