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CAMARA AUNIQUE SPEAKS AT BLOOMINGDALES ON “OWNING THE FIRST BLACK OWNED LASH LINE”

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CAMARA AUNIQUE SPEAKS AT BLOOMINGDALES ON “OWNING THE FIRST BLACK OWNED LASH LINE”

Make-up artist Camara AUnique works with so many stars and influencers every day, perfecting their faces with a sense of confidence that most of us will never possess that it’s hard to believe she’d ever doubt herself. Yet she recently revealed to ESSENCE that when it came to launching her eyelash extension line Camara AUnique Beauty, she was afraid to put herself out there.

After hitting the market with the label earlier this year, the artist has come a long way. The makeup entrepreneur will take part in the Bloomingdale Makeup Date Fall Festival in Short Hills, New Jersey from 12-3pm this Saturday, offering lash applications and speaking with customers. She’ll also be selling her lash kits, and a pair of her coveted lashes will be included in the gift bag for eligible guests.

The event is just one day, but for Camara, it’s a dream, as she was freelancing at Bloomingdale’s for Estée Lauder just ten years ago behind the counter. Now she’s going to sell her lashes to the retailer, and she’s the first Black woman to give this special event the opportunity.

“I’ve been concentrating on what others have been doing for several years and I’ve been humbled by God when I got to know myself over the past 2 years,” she says. “And I would just like to remind others, concentrate on your path, do what makes you happy, create what moves you. God will make you head, not tail, at all times. All you have is confidence!”

We had many questions for the humble lash bae and she further shared why she was afraid of launching, how she got past the fear, and what heritage she wants to secure in this industry for herself.

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E.R. Spaulding, CEO of Black Woman Startup Working on Closing Significant Revenue Gap of Black Woman-Owned Businesses

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E.R. Spaulding, CEO of Black-Woman Startup Working on Closing Significant Revenue Gap of Black Woman-Owned Businesses

E.R. Spaulding, CEO of Black-Woman Startup company in Chicago, IL established a support system for business owners of Black women who wanted to achieve above-average business ownership performance. They do this by coaching, training, custom programming, development of systems, innovation, integration, and automation, recognizing these disturbing facts, and determined to help address them.

“I’m a true believer that great people ask powerful questions and if you must be great you must be willing to dig deep and be creative,” said Spaulding, Chief Operations Officer and partner of the 200,000-member BlackCEO Business Network, along with founder Trevor Otts. “It was revealed that black women in business who moved from employee to entrepreneur barely made it because as of 2017, the average black woman in business earned only about $24,700 a year,” she continued.

Spaulding, a successful business consultant with a corporate background in project management, operations and cultural development, also found herself at one point in a tough financial situation which had a negative impact on her first business. Nevertheless, she was able to change her situation with the help of compassionate business mentors. As a result, she says she founded Black-woman Startup in order not only to offer affordable, realistic and validated success options to business owners of Black women, but also to be a supportive and successful tool.

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Dr. Key Hallmon Creates The Village Market ATL For Black Business Owners to be Successful

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Dr. Key Hallmon Creates The Village Market ATL For Black Business Owners to be Successful

Dr. Key Hallmon realized that her friends needed a platform to start their business, she acted by creating The Village Market ATL. The Village Market ATL provides opportunities for black business owners to present their products and services to prospective consumers.

Dr. Hallmon and her team also offer free master classes on financial literacy and the growth of entrepreneurship to serve as a platform for entrepreneurs to start. They also use the event as an opportunity to expose those attending to foods and holistic products based on plants.

The mission of the Village Market ATL is to support socially conscious, community-minded, black entrepreneurs and black-owned startups ‘ sustainability. Currently based in Atlanta, the Village Market hosts three big markets each year, one in the spring, one in the summer, and a Black Friday Festival, scheduled for Nov. 29, 2019.

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Vanessa Braxton Black-Owned Vodka Brand “Black Momma” to Open Cafe and Bar

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Vanessa Braxton Black-Owned Vodka Brand “Black Momma” to Open Cafe and Bar

Black Momma Vodka’s owner, Vanessa Braxton, is expanding her burgeoning empire. Braxton plans to open next year’s 4,600-square-foot cafe and bar in Wheatley Heights, New York, according to Black Business.

In preparation of the debut of Black Momma Tea & Cafe, she has recently taken over three storefronts in a New York shopping plaza. 160 different tea varieties, three flavored agaves and vegan and organic food products such as muffins and wraps will be served at the proposed restaurant.

Braxton, 50, from Dix Hills, started making her own Black Momma vodkas in 2013 and opened a factory in Wyandanch in 2016. She also started making teas, followed by flavored agaves, and now has 33,000 customers online and wholesale, selling $2.9 million. She plans to open distribution centers in several states, while the Wheatley Heights building will serve as the company headquarters and training facility for the nearly 300 franchisees who are interested in working with her.

Braxton said she looked at many properties, according to Newsday, but chose Wheatley Heights because among its 5,100 residents it was about 60 percent black and Latino. “I have plenty of places to go,” says Braxton, a retired structural engineer from the MTA. “But I wanted to take the opportunity to see what I’m doing for the community for people who look like me to step up and do the same thing.”

“I’m using a lot of small, minority, women, and veteran-owned vendors who’ve never had the opportunity with bigger places,” she said. “It’s economic inclusion for everyone,” said Chris Black, president of the Concerned Taxpayers of Wheatley Heights / Dix Hills Civic Association. “What she brings is a different flavor to the city center and it’s upscale.” “We want this in the community.”

Braxton is Black Momma Vodka and Black Momma Brand’s CEO and president. She is also the country’s first African American female distiller, master blender, and manufacturer of a nationally distributed vodka, and the founder of the country’s first black-owned tea and beverage plant.

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Art Haus Balloon Company Gives Black Owned Businesses in Indianapolis the Exposure They Need To Grow

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Art Haus Balloon Company Gives Black Owned Businesses in Indianapolis the Exposure They Need To Grow

As shoppers enter the holiday swing, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of Indianapolis Black-owned businesses offering a wide range of goods and services.

The Black Owned Holiday Bazaar, hosted by Art Haus Balloon Company, will give the exposure they need to those business owners as they try to compete with larger businesses that usually gain more visibility.

The event is free and it kicks off between 2 – 6 p.m. on Nov. 23 at Edna Martin Christian Center, 2605 E. 25th St. Register at Eventbrite.

For her case, Moriah Salisbury had lower expectations, particularly since it was the first. She said more than 200 people have registered to attend, however, and twenty companies are expected to attend. They include boutiques, manufacturers of candles and even a shop specializing in organic oral health products.

“I just wanted the community to do something nice,” said Salisbury. “I thought I’d be lucky to be honest if I had 50 people coming. That’s what I’ve expected all this time. But it’s blowing up into something big that’s amazing now.

Images with Santa and a craft station will also be available at the party. Part of the event’s long-term goal, she said, is also to help make Black-owned businesses feel a sense of community.
Salisbury began her company two years ago and before that, she was a seller, so she knows the fight to get products and services before customers.

It seems like similar events usually include white-owned businesses, she said, and they attract mostly white crowds. Therefore, if a Black owner is part of that event; not many Black people are reaching his or her company.
“When you’re the one Black person, you just don’t feel very inclusive,” Salisbury said.

That exposure can be particularly helpful at this time of year as people start shopping for Christmas. There’s Amazon, the big-box stores, and so on, but an extra few minutes of research could reveal that there’s a small, black-owned business selling some of the same items.

“It’s not necessary to order this online,” said Salisbury. “You can get this from somebody in Indianapolis.”

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Dymetra Pernell Operates Atlanta’s Black-Owned Vegan Ice Cream and Pastry Restaurant

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Dymetra Pernell Operates Atlanta’s Black-Owned Vegan Ice Cream and Pastry Restaurant

The founder of First Batch Artisan Foods, the only restaurant based in Atlanta that sells exclusively vegan ice cream and pastries, is Dymetra Pernell, also known as the “Plant-based Princess.” This is also Atlanta’s only Black-owned business of its kind.

First Batch Artisan Foods has a diverse menu of vegan desserts that includes, in addition to ice cream, peach cobbler and brownies.

Pernell said she missed her favorite dessert ice cream when she became vegan. “I was sick of sneaking off to Bruster’s and then getting sick, and I said,’ I really need to do something about my cravings.'”

Pernell developed her first batch of ice cream in her home to satisfy her sweet tooth. “I went to the kitchen and said,’ what would I be if I were an ice cream?

Pernell said the first ice cream batch has become a hit among friends and restaurant owners, and since that time, the name “First Batch” has stuck. She sold over 3,000 pints of ice cream at the famous Atlanta gym E.F.F.E.C.T Fitness during her launch in the summer of 2018.

When she first started, Pernell said; she wanted to target vegans but was surprised to learn that most of her client base is not vegan. After people ate the ice cream and found that they could eat it without the stomachache and feel no guilt, they loved it. “At present, First Batch Artisan Foods is located in Little Five Points within Moods Music. Pernell said she was going to start a restaurant in East Point.

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First Black Woman-Owned New York Non-Emergency Transit Service

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First Black Woman-owned New York Non-Emergency Transit Service

MedSafe Transport, Inc. kicks off the holiday season at noon on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 with their second annual thanksgiving charity festival. About 150 people will enjoy a delicious meal and a happy party in Copiague, New York. The event is funded by the founder and CEO of MedSafe, Qadirah Rasheed, who loves her culture and considers the family of her clients.

“Nothing is better than having a family. And there’s no better time to make our clientele a part of the MedSafe family than Thanksgiving, not just during this holiday season, but throughout the year, “she said.

MedSafe Transport provides transportation across the state of New York for Medicaid recipients. Many patients of Rasheed are battling mental health problems, abussing drugs, and living in group homes. Many are also faced with poverty, lacking vital resources and support. Society and even their own families are often neglecting this group.

Rasheed is proud to serve those in need as the first Black woman to own a non-emergency medical transportation company in New York. She buys breakfast for her customers every Wednesday along with the annual charity dinner.

“The biggest feeling I have is to give back to those in need. I also enjoy inspiring others by sharing my story and making history as the first African-American woman to own a New York state-owned non-emergency medical transport company, “she said. “Thanksgiving is a time to thank you. I’m happy to host this event to say’ thank you’ to my loyal clientele who added to my industry success.

Guests at the charity feast will also play games, win prizes, and have the opportunity to win two gift baskets through a raffle. Rasheed accepts both monetary donations and food, gift bags and vacation decoration. The donation season of MedSafe Transport will continue with an upcoming Christmas gift.

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African American Online Marketer Shows How Successful, Profitable Events can be Hosted

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African American Online Marketer Shows How Successful, Profitable Events can be Hosted

Live events are one of the most promising ways to promote a service or product for business purposes and to really pay attention to potential customers.

“87% of consumers said they purchased the product or service of the brand at a later date after an event.”

Seminars and live events are that at a steady pace in US markets, and not just in corporate space, small businesses can also benefit from face-to-face customer interaction. Meet Born Logic God, 9Logic’s developer. With his Eventbrite Masterclass, Allah has created a system to help business owners and entrepreneurs understand how to digitally organize successful events and make a profit.

This 2 hour, step-by-step online video learning is designed to help business owners with little or no experience, share what they do with more people through one of the most powerful ways to promote a product or service, live events.

“What better way to get a person to buy what you’re doing than encouraging them to test drive and see what you’re selling them,” Logic comments.

He has been researching and experimenting with hosting events over the past 3 years to learn best practices mainly through the popular Eventbrite online platform. “I made a ton of mistakes and a lot of money lost so you don’t have to,” God said. Including non-profits, cultural festivals, independent film screenings and architectural tours, his organization stages 12-15 events per year. Events that ranged from 50 people to more than 1,000 people and grossed from $300 to $4,000 everywhere.

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Top Rappper “Chamillionaire”, is on a Quest to Empower Black Entrepreneurs

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Top Rappper “Chamillionaire”, is on a Quest to Empower Black Entrepreneurs

A venture capital competition has been launched by the music artist whose real name is Hakeem Seriki, to fund businesses founded by Black innovators and female entrepreneurs.

The contest is running via his Convoz app; a website designed to “link the world through interactive conversations,” investing $100,000 in the company of the winner of the pitch competition. Seriki has engaged Daymond John and rapper and entrepreneurE-40 businessman and investor to pick a company to invest in.

“It just sounds a little insane to me when people say they can’t find African-American startups to invest in,” he told the news outlet. “At one point, I got 30 candidates a month, but when I said that I only wanted to invest in women or minorities, I started getting just two candidates a month.”

Seriki, who has invested in over 40 start-ups, added that he is aware of the racial and gender inequalities that exist when it comes to accessing venture capital and that he wants to use this competition and other initiatives to build pathways for undoing. Launched on November 11, the pitch contest will run through December 6.

Those who are interested in entering the competition can use his app to participate.

This is not Chamillionaire’s first venture in black entrepreneurship. In June, together withE-40, he arranged a start-up competition where the two invested $25,000 in a minority or female-owned business. In black businessmen, many hip-hop artists are stepping up and investing. Jay-Z invested $1 million earlier this year in a Black-owned vegan cookie company.

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McKissack, Magnetar’s Alec Litowitz and Rogers Purchase a Black Owned Cosmetic Company Out of Bankruptcy

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McKissack, Magnetar’s Alec Litowitz and Rogers Purchase a Black Owned Cosmetic Company Out of Bankruptcy

The Former executives of Johnson, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, Magnetar’s Alec Litowitz and Rogers purchased a black owned cosmetics company out of bankruptcy. The beauty line of Fashion Fair is now managed by a collection of familiar faces.

The former CEO and COO of Johnson Publishing, Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, together with the hedge fund Magnetar from Alec Litowitz, recently acquired Fashion Fair out of bankruptcy for $1.85 million.

Founded in 1973 to primarily serve African American women, the popular cosmetics brand designed for women of color was owned by the publishing company. At one point, it was the world’s largest black-owned cosmetics company and distributed in department stores and online body, hair and perfume items.

“Fashion Fair is just too valuable to lose to our family,” said Rogers in an emailed statement. “We expect to modernize the brand and products, but will remain true to the origins of the business, which was to create prestigious color women-focused products.”

Earlier this year, after exhausting attempts to restructure, refinance or sell its assets, the 77-year-old Johnson Publishing, founded by John Johnson, filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in the Federal Bankruptcy Court.

In recent years, the publishing company has struggled to keep items from Fashion Fair in department stores. His daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, took full control of the company after the founder’s death in 2005 and appointed a number of supervisors, including former social secretary of the White House Rogers as CEO in 2010. While Rogers tried to revive the struggling brand of Fashion Fair with new colors and marketing, it mounted inventory snafus and left in 2017.

Rogers, Litowitz and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack also own Black Opal, another colored women’s beauty brand that was introduced in 1994.

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Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University & Spelman College Receive $3M in Grants from …

black owned, black entrepreneurs, gig, side hustlesMorehouse College, Prairie View A&M University & Spelman College Receive $3M in Grants from Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller Foundations to Support Faculty Development

Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University and Spelman College announced today that they are the recipients of $3 million in grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of faculty on their campuses. Excellence and student success at the historically Black colleges and university rely on pedagogically innovative, research active and creative faculty who provide students with the tools that enable them to take responsibility for their learning. The grants allow the colleges to provide an array of faculty support structures and requ

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black owned, black entrepreneurs, gig, side hustlesMorehouse College, Prairie View A&M University & Spelman College Receive $3M in Grants from Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller Foundations to Support Faculty Development

Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University and Spelman College announced today that they are the recipients of $3 million in grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of faculty on their campuses. Excellence and student success at the historically Black colleges and university rely on pedagogically innovative, research active and creative faculty who provide students with the tools that enable them to take responsibility for their learning. The grants allow the colleges to provide an array of faculty support structures and require the three institutions to share best practices with each other and with the broader HBCU community.

Prairie View received $1 million from Mellon. Carnegie awarded $1 million to Morehouse and $500,000 to Spelman, which also received $500,000 from Rockefeller.

“Faculty are the heart of a liberal arts education. At historically Black colleges and universities, heavy teaching loads often get in the way of professional development, time for research and/or creative production. Yet, time for these activities not only keeps faculty current in their fields, but provides undergraduate research opportunities for our students,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “We are grateful for the foresight of the Carnegie, Rockefeller and Mellon foundations in making this historic gift to Spelman, Morehouse and Prairie View. We anticipate using a portion of the funds as well to document and disseminate the innovative teaching strategies that have accounted for the academic success of Spelman students.”

Leveraging History

Over their histories, HBCUs like these three institutions have engaged high-quality faculty, who are attracted to their unique institutional missions to educate talented, hardworking minority student populations. In the last decade or so, however, despite the growing need to educate more underrepresented minorities who comprise a larger portion of the college-age population, market pressures have made it increasingly difficult for HBCUs to recruit top faculty and support their development after hire. The foundations’ critical support of these new faculty development programs leverages these institutions’ history of success preparing scholars and leaders of African descent for lives of impact and meaning.

“Our founder Andrew Carnegie was concerned about the lack of educational opportunities for African Americans. As a result, in 1900 he made a grant of $20,000 to Tuskegee University to fund the construction of its library, the first of 13 grants to the institution,” said Vartan Gregorian, Ph.D., president of Carnegie. “Throughout its history, Carnegie Corporation of New York has continued to invest in a range of organizations serving African Americans, including historically Black colleges and universities, civil rights organizations, the National Urban League since 1921, the United Negro College Fund since 1946, as well as more recent grants to support reforms in K-12 and higher education. We are pleased to help ensure the future health and welfare of the faculties of our country’s HBCUs through these latest grants to Morehouse and Spelman colleges.”

Expanding Development

The colleges’ plans to deepen and expand faculty development through the generous grants from the foundations support the institutions’ innovative and effective teaching, excellent academic outcomes, robust research and creative activity.

Morehouse College: Morehouse will use the grant funds to support the new program, Modeling 21st Century Faculty Development at HBCUs. The program will help to make the college more competitive in attracting and retaining top talent by providing funds for start-up packages and robust opportunities for faculty growth and development. Morehouse also plans to reduce the teaching loads of existing faculty and provide support at critical stages of the faculty’s developmental life cycle. In addition, grant funds will be used to increase faculty research productivity by providing sabbaticals, seed funding, and workshops to enhance the effort. Success of the grant program at Morehouse will be documented using metrics such as the number of faculty applying for full professorships, applications received for posted job openings, credit hours taught, faculty satisfaction, and the frequency of grant and manuscript submissions. This program will allow Morehouse to continue its tradition of excellence in the 21st century and beyond.

“On behalf of the Morehouse College community, I would like to thank the Carnegie Corporation of New York for supporting our efforts to recruit top educators to the classrooms of Morehouse,” said David A. Thomas, Ph.D., president of Morehouse. “Our mission to develop men who are academically excellent and committed to leadership and service can only be realized if the education that we offer is taught by professors who are innovators in their fields and are dedicated to helping our scholars to succeed.”

Prairie View A&M University: Over the past several years, Prairie View has made faculty development a top priority. Reducing teaching loads, creating avenues for faculty to attain tenure and opening more tenure track opportunities have been hallmarks of the institutional plan. Prairie View will use the generous funding from Mellon to continue enhancing the ranks of its faculty by identifying effective practices in faculty recruitment, advancement and retention. Additionally, the funds will support the establishment of a Center for Faculty Excellence that will track and monitor scholarly output and professional engagement across the spectrum of academic programs.

“The single most important indicator of a successful university is its faculty. If historically Black colleges and universities wish to compete on a global level for top students, grant funding, awards and recognition, we must pay particular attention to how we recruit, develop and retain highly qualified faculty,” said Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D., president of Prairie View. “I am grateful to the Mellon Foundation for providing Prairie View with the funding to do this critical work and I look forward to sharing our findings for best practices across the HBCU landscape.”

“The Mellon Foundation enthusiastically recognizes Ruth Simmons’ wise, visionary leadership with a grant to Prairie View A&M that will help ensure that the school’s top faculty are fully supported in their long-term professional development,” said Elizabeth Alexander, president of Mellon. As the largest funder of the arts and humanities in higher education in the U.S., Mellon has a long-standing record of supporting excellence, diversity, inclusion, and access in its grantmaking programs, and since its earliest years, has consistently supported HBCUs.

Spelman College: Academic excellence requires faculty excellence. The Carnegie and Rockefeller grants enable Spelman to provide enhanced support to its excellent faculty by investing in their continuing development as teachers and scholars. Specifically, the grant supports faculty plans to grow the curriculum in areas of emerging importance, and nurtures their trajectories as leaders on campus and in their respective fields. Spelman’s strategic plan identifies faculty as “The Spelman Difference” because the college’s distinguished and dedicated faculty are the drivers of student success. These generous grants will enable Spelman to expand our support of our faculty and to share with Morehouse and Prairie View what is learned over the next five years about the strategies that work to recruit and retain excellent faculty in an era of heightened market competition.

Spelman will use the funds to support faculty success, recruitment and retention efforts through the awarding of “Distinguished Scholar/Maker” grants and course-release funding for academic departments, seed grants to develop curriculum in emerging areas like data science and analytics, research grants for global learning and accessing international archives, furthering strategic partnerships that advance faculty research and grantsmanship training for junior and mid-career faculty. The funding will allow Spelman to create a sustainable action plan for development, host off-campus writer/maker retreats for faculty to focus on scholarly and creative endeavors common to the academy, including completing books, book proposals, articles, manuscripts and screenplays. Spelman will also use the awards to gain membership in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity for professional development, training and mentoring through the organization, which has a proven record of success in improving productivity.

“The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support this effort to ensure historically Black colleges and universities continue to thrive and promote equal opportunity and academic excellence to its diverse community of scholars and alumni,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of Rockefeller. “This mission is as important now as it was when John D. Rockefeller Sr. and Laura Spelman Rockefeller first committed resources to Spelman College in 1882. Today, we honor their legacy with a grant to support the development of the next generation of women leaders at Spelman.”

Morehouse, Prairie View and Spelman will participate in a “shared lessons convening” every other year to inform best practices and amply the benefits of the faculty support efforts.

Supporting Advancement

Increasing the number of full professors has been an ongoing focus of HBCU leadership nationwide for decades. Some of the major work happening in this area includes the training provided by The HBCU Faculty Development Network and the Faculty Career Enhancement Program, a partnership between the United Negro College Fund and Mellon. The Network empowers faculty with the tools to promote effective teaching and learning practices that will enable students to become engaged, lifelong learners, while the Career Enhancement Program helps HBCUs that are UNCF members to attract, support and re-train faculty in the social sciences and humanities through professional development and career enhancement initiatives.

The generous support from Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller foundations will allow Morehouse, Prairie View and Spelman to build upon these efforts with their plans for faculty development.

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Seven Black-owned Brands To Shop On Black Friday

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Seven Black-owned Brands To Shop On Black Friday

You know that when the holiday season comes back, we’re near the end of 2019. Thanksgiving is upon us and the gift-giving and shopping bargain is set to begin later. While this American “holiday” is in itself questionable, Black Friday is a prime opportunity to exclusively highlight, support and spend with black-owned businesses.

Just as we mentioned last year, let’s keep going the energy ‘for us, by us.’ Even beyond Black Friday’s hustle and bustle, tap into the businesses that keep contributing to wealth-building, development, and jobs in Black communities around the world.

Here is a list of some black-owned brands to take note of this Black Friday, including some excellent home decor, clothing, skin care and beauty brands that you should know about.

Riveriswild

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Riveriswild is African nostalgia’s lifestyle brand through its eclectic designs. “Our brand name symbolizes the unpredictable fluidity of life,” said the creative director of Riveriswild, Akinwale Akinbiyi, in 2017. During his formative years in Lagos, their latest collection, Garba, is dedicated to the man Akinyibi bought sweets from. The Bloom Hat, with two groovy flowers made of the Riveriswild logo, is a standout of this line.

ITADI BODY

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Itadi Body has been launched by Togolese artist and businessman Tabi Bonney as a new natural skincare brand. The inaugural line is a face wash, toner and moisturizer made of ingredients from Togo’s family-owned farms, including the coffee berry, known for its antioxidants and skin-protecting properties. Itadi Body can be the go-to line to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, whether you’re a minimalist product or a newbie who needs a starting point with skin care.

Spicegrove Roselle

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This is the ideal holiday gift in your life for the lovers of sorrel / zobo / bissap. For Spicegrove Roselle+Ginger hibiscus cocktail, Audrey Powell bottled her take on sorrel. Named after Powell’s family farm spent her formative years in Jamaica, Spicegrove is the safe and open solution to what she saw her mother growing up during the holidays. What you eat is what you get— a delightful mixture of dried hibiscus roselle petals, raw ginger, allspice, cinnamon, lime peel and raw cane.

Ditto Africa

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Ditto Africa is a new, integrated digital marketplace where you can shop from Africa and the diaspora a curated range of fashion brands. The platform includes designers including Orange Culture from Nigeria, Petit Kouraj from Haiti, Okhtein from Egypt and more. Be sure to take a closer look at the collection of jewelry from Ditto Africa —they’re going to die for it.

54kibo

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Nana Quagraine founded 54kibo to increase the visibility, accessibility and authenticity of contemporary African interior design. “After our twins were born, my husband and I held a Ghanaian Naming Ceremony in Brooklyn, New York; a day full of love and the beauty of my family,” she says on the website of 54kibo. “This day motivated me and created a sense of urgency in building 54kibo, sharing the beauty of the African diaspora with my kids and the world.” The online platform features beautiful home decor pieces, furniture, children’s home decor, as well as rugs and carpets.

Vitae London

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Vitae London was the company that made beautiful watches affordable and stylish, created by William Adoasi. Based in London, it consistently produces genuine leather band or stainless steel band watches of high quality, which are made from scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. Vitae London also has to do with giving back. Proceeds from each watch sold contribute to schoolchildren’s lives on the continent through new school uniforms and a solar light that allows them to study at night safely.

UOMA Beauty

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UOMA Beauty is the latest makeup brand in Africa to be watched. Founded by Nigeria’s own Sharon Shuter, a former beauty executive, UOMA seeks to shake the beauty industry’s rules of inclusiveness and diversity. The scope of products includes eyeshadow palettes, eyeliner, brow pencils and gels, bright lipsticks and glosses, as well as foundations and concealers specifically formulated for painted women.

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Three Businesses Owned by Blacks to Launch on Same Day

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Three Businesses Owned by Blacks to Launch on Same Day

James Holmes, Jr., who has spent over 34 years in the automotive industry, is switching gears to open a new company, Black Lion Auto Finance, with his wife Kimberly Slay Holmes, a prominent Minnesota lawyer, at 785 Tower Drive in Medina. In addition to welcoming the public to Black Lion, Inc., the launch party will also announce two other new businesses, Rude Boi LLC and GP Barbecue, catering companies aiming to spice up the Twin Cities food scene.

Black Lion, Inc. has a simple objective to help direct and educate the under-served by making the purchasing of cars and financial literacy more affordable. Holmes, an insider of the automotive industry for most of his career, said he knows not only the automotive market but also the inequalities that occur when minorities try to buy a vehicle or negotiate financing.

Holmes aims to make it as easy and stress-free as possible to purchase a car. Black Lion provides a concierge service in which the customer simply inputs the car they are looking for and Holmes and his team do the rest, a service he knows will benefit his market place.

Since Black Lion will be the first fully owned and operated African American car dealer in Minnesota, Holmes wants to go out and celebrate the grand opening, which is why he was willing to include other small businesses in the launch party. He reached out to Gene Perry of the Minneapolis-based Delicious Barbecue of GP and Michael Holmes of the Red Wing-based Rude Boi LLC to deliver some delicious dinner options to party guests.

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Zulu Ali’s Law Firm, a Black-Owned Law Firm, Has Been Listed By Attorney And Practice Magazine as One of The Top 10 Law Firms in California in The Fields of Criminal Defense and Immigration Law

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Zulu Ali’s Law Firm, a Black-Owned Law Firm, Has Been Listed By Attorney And Practice Magazine as One of The Top 10 Law Firms in California in The Fields of Criminal Defense and Immigration Law

Expertise, honors and prestige are all taken into account when choosing the top 10 firms. The award is a recognition granted to organizations that show the highest level of excellence in their areas of law. Lawyer and Practice Magazine honors the notable contributions of those lawyers and firms whose practice raises the Bar’s expectations. This means that this award will be won by less than 1 percent of lawyers nationally.

The Law Office of Zulu Ali has extended its practice to include groups of individuals at the International Criminal Court in the Hague in the Netherlands and the African Court of Justice in Tanzania, representing people accused of crimes, refugees and persons pursuing civil justice in state and federal courts across the country.

The law firm was founded by its founder and principal attorney, Zulu Ali, a native of Tennessee, former police officer, and U.S. marine veteran, who was influenced by the work and legacy of civil rights lawyers Thurgood Marshall, Avon Williams, Jr., Charles Hamilton Houston, and other civil rights movement activists and leaders. The firm’s mission and ideology is to promote law changes when the law is unjust.

Although the law firm’s role and multicultural make-up exposes it to intense scrutiny, the firm remains motivated by its commitment to uphold and fulfill the legacy of those past leaders and activists who have sacrificed to make society more just.

“I think a lawyer’s goal should be to advocate for reform when there is injustice and question the courts. In our business, despite the huge scrutiny and repercussions that we may face, we put it on the line. But if the laws and courts were not questioned, we would still be in apartheid or servitude to courageous lawyers and activists who are willing to step out of the box. Most lawyers and activists are intimidated and neutralized because they are usually targeted, ridiculed, and subject to reprimand or worse when they challenge the status quo, but it’s necessary given the risks,” adds Senior Attorney Zulu Ali.

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Essence Magazine is Now Completely Managed By a Black Owner

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Essence Magazine is Now Completely Managed By a Black Owner

Essence Communications revealed on Thursday that Essence Ventures had purchased it for an undisclosed sum from Time Inc. Richelieu Dennis founded Essence Venture in 2017, who also founded Sundial Brands, a personal care company that owns Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage and Mrs. C.J. Walker cosmetics brands.

According to the New York Times, Time Inc. originally bought a 49 percent stake in the publication from founders Clarence Smith and Ed Lewis in 2000 before buying the remaining 51 percent in 2005.

Michelle Ebanks, C.E.O of Essence, will continue to lead the organization and will also join the board. In fact, the organization will obtain an equity stake from Ebanks and Essence’s all-black female executive team.

“This acquisition of Essence marks the beginning of an exciting evolution of our iconic brand as it expands to serve the needs and desires of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even higher and more comprehensive way through print, electronic, e-commerce and experiential channels,” Ebanks said in a statement. “However, it reflects a vital acknowledgment, centering and advancement of Black women who run the company from a position of sole leadership to a position of co-ownership.”

Essence Ventures added that the 47-year-old publication will focus on expanding its online operations to represent and empower black women.

Dennis continued, “Our emphasis here will be on ensuring Essence achieves its full potential through expanded resources, innovation, services and touchpoints that super-serve Black women’s interests locally and globally.”

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Minority Communities for Political Accountability Coalition is Challenging 2020 Candidates to Spend 12% of Their Campaign Contributions on Black-Owned Businesses

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Minority Communities for Political Accountability Coalition is Challenging 2020 Candidates to Spend 12% of Their Campaign Contributions on Black-Owned Businesses

The black vote is vital to both local and national level candidates looking to enter office in 2020. As candidates hit campaign paths in order to make their principles known and win over supporters, one group wants to make sure they are also interested in black companies.

A non-partisan group, the Minority Communities for Political Accountability Coalition (McPAC) asks 2020 political candidates to spend a portion of their campaign contributions on black-owned businesses. The board of the alliance is made up of country-wide black experts specializing in wealth creation, prison reform, equality in education, and more. McPAC is pushing politicians to invest 12 percent or more with black companies as an ode to the 12 percent of black people living in the U.S.

Originally, the San Francisco Bay View reported that as part of their initiative, McPAC will track, monitor and display the promises of candidates online.

Dr. Rik Stevenson, author and founding panelist for McPAC, said in an interview with the publication, “Candidates need not wait until they are elected to office and pass legislation to help empower black lives and black communities. Candidates can start now, simply by using black-owned business services with their campaign funds when buying goods and services. It’s a tangible starting point.
At this time, the proposal was not supported by any lawmakers.

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