Business

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Imam Bashir Ali

By Imam Noah Seifullah

Imam Bashir Ali, National Convener of Imams in Association with the Legacy of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, shared recently his views on the economic and social concerns that Islamic communities must address.

When asked to identify what is required to have a successful community, Imam Ali said, “Both dawah and economic development are among those critical elements for successful community life.

“Our community has been blessed with a number of groups and organizations focused on different aspects of community development including dawah and business.”

He expressed the need for the individual as well as collective group to work together.  He said, “We encourage those individuals with interest, talent and experience in these respective areas to connect with and support the efforts of these groups.”

As a leader by example, Imam Ali called for the budding leaders to do their part. “We also invite and encourage our next generation leaders to lend their energies, creativity and technology skills to these efforts.”

As the community continues to struggle with stabilizing itself and moving forward after the unexpected death of Imam Mohammed, though be it five years ago, Imam Ali said, “The Annual Islamic Convention sponsored by The Mosque Cares gives members of our community the ability to reconnect each year, interact with and learn from each other, support and promote Muslim business; celebrate our unique culture; and meet with groups and organizations within our association.

“The convention also allows other groups or interested parties to connect with a cross-section of Muslims from around the country representing our association.”

We encourage those who are able to participate to continue the tradition started by Imam W.D. Mohammed. Imam W.D. Mohammed devoted his life to the progression and development of our community in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and example of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

The last 33 years of Imam Mohammed’s life were devoted to teaching and establishing the foundations of individual freedom and empowerment, and Islamic community development in America.

Imam Ali said, “Some of our biggest challenges will be to continue to develop Islamic democracy and governance through Shuraa Baynahum (collective decision making guide by the Qu’ran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed); developing our ability to communicate a clear and all inclusive life goal within the diversity of interests in our community; identify talents and skills for specific community needs (including the next generation of leaders); develop common objectives and strategic plans to guide the growth of our dawah efforts and communities; be transparent in our operations and accountable for results; and communicate back to the community on challenges, progress, failures and successes.”

He continued, “Imam W. D. Mohammed identified several areas of focus to strengthen and develop our community life.” Imam Ali said these include growing our Islamic knowledge (i.e. knowledge of Qur’an, specifically the comprehension of the Quran’s message about man’s creation and the creation itself,  and Allah’s authority over all of creation (seen and unseen, known and unknown).

“Also the understanding and applying the life practices and perspective of the Prophet Muhammed [PBUH]; understanding Islamic history as it applies to our history and pursuit of life; embracing the  reasoning and Islamic perspectives of Imam W.D. Mohammed; developing the critical areas of community life (i.e.  marriage and family life; education; economic and business development; culture; internal governance and external civic engagement; youth development; and leadership development).

“Inviting others to learn and share our Islamic life (dawah) is key, as well as learning from the best of other faith traditions.”

Imam Ali said, “Our community is blessed with many assets, including the experiences of our unique historical progression from slavery in America to the aspiration of ‘shared freedom space’ and the reconnection with our natural Muslim life and Islamic traditions; a legacy of progressive leadership, a diversity of multi-generational leadership, talents, and skills; and diverse organizations that promote Islamic community development.”

He said, “Al-Islam is a total way of life. This includes economic and business development. We know economics addresse the investment and distribution of resources within societies or communities. Healthy communities meet the economic needs of their people, which include producing goods and services, jobs and wealth to sustain the society.

“This wealth also supports the development of other critical elements of society, including support for education, culture and government.”

In an atmosphere where many aspiring business people think they can only survive and prosper if competition is eliminated, Imam Bashir Ali expressed that competition is good for business.

“The nature of business competition also produces the innovation, creativity and new technologies to advance societies and civilization. Muslims have an obligation to pursue and achieve human excellence in all things.

“The term ‘khair’ is used in the Qur’an to mean excellence, good morals, wealth and prosperity and has a direct connection to advancing the society through healthy business practices. These are the principles which form the foundation of Islamic economic and business development.”

 

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On tour at Omar Ibn Sayyid Masjid after the Museum tour.

By Estella Loar,

Pittsburgh, Penn.

 

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – I attended the National Muslim Business Conference in Fayetteville this past May 3– 5, 2013.

The benefits were many beginning with the cultural night I attended on Friday night.  What made the event special for me was the down home feel.  Although I did not know the Muslims and Christians there, I immediately felt comfortable.  It was funny, uplifting, and thought provoking – a good start for my beginning of the conference.

The Saturday conference provided an excellent opportunity to discover the diversity of businesses, organizations and projects started, owned and/or directed by indigenous Muslims such as international trade, manufacturing, retail, construction, and consulting services.

Additionally, we were made aware of significant commercial development in Harlem, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and other locations.  It was an opportunity to network with successful Muslims in business, education, health care, non-profit and finance.

The Nuts and Bolts of Doing Business with the Businessperson, Government, and Educationalist Workshops was an opportunity to obtain valuable information from experienced and seasoned professionals, such as Dr. Yahia Abdul-Rahman, Floyd Shorter, Dr. Rhonda Muhammad, Dr. Lester Knibbs, Waleed Shamsid-deen, Marvin Muhammad, and Ayesha K. Mustafaa, and many more.

The Awards Banquet keynote speaker, Zakee  Furqan, provided engaging future business opportunities to the community.  In addition, NMBC President, David K. Hasan, and Steering Committee Chairperson B. BaSeemah Calhoun, honoring new and established Muslim business men and women, reinforced the realization that the business success and opportunities in our community are both understated and little known.

An extraordinary experience was the time devoted to Omar Ibn Sayyid (1770 – 1863), a slave who never forgot his Muslim heritage.  We toured the local museum’s (unfortunate) temporary exhibit where we were able to see original documents written in Arabic by Brother Sayyid (May Allah enlarge his grave and grant him Jennah.)

For those who do not know (as I did not), Omar Ibn Sayyid was a runaway slave who ultimately settled in Fayetteville where he worked on a plantation for over 40 years.  Although a slave, he became respected by the local community and encouraged to attend and taken to the local Presbyterian Church.

However, he never forgot his Islamic roots.  We went past the Presbyterian Church where he attended and we ultimately made salat at Masjid Omar Ibn Sayyid, named in his honor, and learned from the Resident Imam Bobby Thomas Hamed firsthand what it took to have the roadside marker placed in front of the Masjid.

Our tour culminated with an extensive talk by noted historian Abdullah Muhammad.

It also is important to note the update on the Muslim Journal and the need for subscriptions for yourself and/or others such as an incarcerated Muslim.  It’s Ramadan where our good deeds are multiplied. (A subscription to Muslim Journal is a GREAT Eid Gift!)

Inshallah, my description refreshes the experience of those present, provides a summary of some of the activities and encourages others to attend next year in Philadelphia Pa. To receive more information please visit the NMBC website www.nationalmbc.org, or contact at 704-201-1353.

 

 

 

 

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Adam Beyah

By Nimat Marie

            PHILADELPHIA, Penn.Over 30,000 Muslims in the Philadelphia area began their observance of Ramadan Tues., July 9, 2013. Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and Ryan N. Boyer, business manager for Laborer’s District Council, left historic markings by hosting the first Inaugural Iftar Dinner in the Major’s Reception Hall located in City Hall.

Thereby, Muslims from across the city exercised “a spirit of shared community and Islamic faith in the city of Brotherly love.”

The motivation that sparked these leaders into hosting this illustrious affair was expressed through Councilman Jones’ welcoming address. He said, “Philadelphia established religious freedom and expression. This evening, all doors are opened in this house. This house tonight has become home!”

The attending guests were respectable Muslim Leaders, honorable public elected officials, dignitaries, Jews, Christians and Muslims from diverse geographical areas within the City.

The evening commenced with one of Philadelphia’s youth, Naji Ugdah, Hafith of the Holy Qur’an (one who memorizes the entire Holy Qur’an ), reciting a prayer.

Upon sunset, guesta broke their fast and held congregation prayer close by in another location, the Major’s Conversation Room – a large room designed with high ceilings and striking architecture.

Upon returning to the Major’s reception hall, the spirit in the room was one of enthusiasm, ready to enjoy an appetizing meal after a day of fasting. Leziz caterer provided a tasty Turkish Cuisine.  Additionally, Southside Zabihah Halal Eatery served a carving station of roasted leg of Lamb with au jus sauce and an entrée.

During the evening, State Representative Jordon shared a few remarks. “Diversity within our Ummah recharges our battery. We are trying to get it right. And the Christian and Jewish brothers – working together, we can make a difference.”

Two young talented poets and Spoken Word artists Sana Abdul Malik and Youssef Kromah gave the audience “food for thought,” as each one sent strong messages to our minds.

Interesting enough, in the Major’s reception room, portraits of previous mayors dating back since the 1700’s were positioned on all the walls. Today, African Americans who were once slaves, among their descendants are African American Muslim reverts, dining during the month of Ramadan in this same room –  in 2013 – is indeed historic!

Since Philadelphia is called “The City of Brotherly Love,” the subject matter was timely. Imam Shadeed Muhammad, of Universal Muslim Movement’s (UMM), commented about love.  He said, “There is a fear or ego to tell our brother we love him, moreover to say it to their sons and daughters, especially among many African Americans.”

He reported a story how a man made a comment to Prophet Muhammed (SAW) about how he loved that brother and the Prophet asked him did he tell him. The man said, “No.” The Prophet then told him, “Go tell him.”

Imam Shadeed also emphasized for men not to be afraid to show love. Say, “I love you to your son, your daughter, so they won’t get out in the society looking for it…. This is very important in Islam. “

He continued, “How can you love your brother and you don’t love yourself? It starts with self-love. Many come in Islam with individual attitudes, because many do not know about love before they came to Al-Islam.”

The Senior Imam, Asam Abdur Rashid, Amir of Majlis Ash-Shura , gave the address and emphasized  that in order for changes to occur, it is imperative for all to have Taqwa (High Consciousness of G-d).

Salima Suswell, Event Coordinator for this Inaugural dinner and CEO of Evolve Solutions LLC and Board member of the United Muslim Business Association (UMBA), shared her perspective. She coordinated a well orchestrated event.

Salima said, “I wanted to mirror the same UMBA concept, which is to hire as many Muslim businesses – security company, caterers, sponsors, etc., as possible. I took this as an opportunity to patronize Muslim businesses at this high level event.”

The evening came to a successful close and one of the attendees, Becca Numani, said, “It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of this evening.” And thus, footprints were left by Philadelphia Muslims to resonate in Philadelphia’s City Hall contributing to its rich history.

Sponsors were: AmeriHealth Caritas (formerly Keystone Mercy), CEO Michael Rashid; Majlis Ash-Shura of Philadelphia; Evolve solutions LLC; Supra Office Solutions; Sweet and Savory Desserts; D-Line Security; Laborers ‘ District Council of Philadelphia; and Leziz Turkish Cuisine.

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

By Order of President Barack Obama

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. To contribute to the Nation's future financial stability and increase upward economic mobility, it is the policy of the Federal Government to promote financial capability among young Americans and encourage building the financial capability of young people at an early stage in schools, families, communities, and the workplace.

By starting early, young people can begin to learn the difference between wants and needs, the importance and power of saving, and the positive and productive role money can play in their lives.

Having a basic understanding of money management from an early age will make our young people better equipped to tackle more complex financial decisions in their transition to adulthood, when critical decisions about financing higher education and saving for retirement can have lasting consequences for financial security.

Strengthening the financial capability of our young people is an investment in our Nation's economic prosperity.

Financial capability is the capacity, based on knowledge, skills, and access, to manage financial resources prudently and effectively.

Efforts to improve financial capability, which should be based on evidence of effectiveness, empower individuals to make informed choices, plan and set goals, avoid pitfalls, know where to seek help, and take other actions to better their present and long-term financial well-being.

Sec. 2. Establishment of the Council. There is established within the Department of the Treasury the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans (Council).

Sec. 3. Membership and Operation of the Council:

(a) The Council shall consist of:

(i) the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary), and the Secretary of Education, who may designate a senior official from each of their respective departments to perform their Council duties; and

(ii) not more than 22 members appointed by the President from among individuals not employed by the Federal Government.

(b) Members of the Council shall include individuals with demonstrated experience or clear commitment to improving the financial capability of young people, such as individuals working with youth-serving organizations; educators and education policy experts; business leaders and employers of young workers; State, tribal, and local government policy makers; financial services providers; and innovators in financial capability.

The composition of the Council shall reflect the views of diverse stakeholders.

(c) The Secretary shall invite the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to participate as a member of the Council, to the extent consistent with the Bureau's statutory authorities and legal obligations.

(d) The President shall designate a Chair and a Vice Chair from among the members of the Council appointed pursuant to subsection (a)(ii) of this section.

(e) Subject to the direction of the Secretary, the Chair shall convene and preside at meetings of the Council, determine its agenda, direct its work, and, as appropriate to deal with particular subjects, establish and direct the work of subgroups of the Council that shall consist exclusively of members of the Council.

(f) The Vice Chair shall perform:

(i) the duties of the Chair when the position of Chair is vacant; and

(ii) such other functions as the Chair may from time to time assign.

Sec. 4. Functions of the Council. To assist in implementing the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, the Council shall:

(a) collect information and views concerning financial capability from:

(i) executive departments and agencies (agencies), including members of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission established under title V of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (20 U.S.C. 9702);

(ii) State, local, territorial, and tribal officials; and

(iii) financial capability innovators, educators and education policy experts, financial services providers, corporate leaders, and employers of young workers, as well as other experts;

(b) advise the President and the Secretary on means to effectively implement the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, including means to:

(i) build strong public-private partnerships between and among members of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission; other agencies; State, tribal, and local governments; and private entities to coordinate the use of high quality financial capability resources and practices in schools, families, communities, and elsewhere in order to build the financial capability of young Americans;

(ii) support ongoing research and evaluation of financial education and capability activities aimed at young people to determine and disseminate effective approaches;

(iii) effectively assess the financial capability, including both financial knowledge and financial behaviors, of young Americans;

(iv) identify and develop strategies to pilot financial capability approaches in schools and among young people that are likely to have significant effects on young Americans' financial capability, and determine ways to test and implement such innovations in a large-scale and sustainable manner;

(v) identify, develop, and measure the effectiveness of technology-driven approaches to promote financial capability among young people;

(vi) identify and test promising and tested approaches for increasing planning, saving, and investing for retirement by young people; and

(vii) promote the importance of starting to plan and act early for financial success broadly among Americans through public awareness campaigns or other means;

(c) periodically report to the President, through the Secretary, on:

(i) progress made in implementing the policy set forth in section 1 of this order; and

(ii) recommended means to further implement the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, including with respect to the matters set forth in subsection (b) of this section; and

(d) where appropriate in providing advice and recommendations, take into consideration the particular needs of traditionally underserved populations -- including women and minorities.

Sec. 5. Administration of the Council.

(a) To the extent permitted by law, the Department of the Treasury shall provide funding and administrative support for the Council, as determined by the Secretary, to implement this order.

(b) The heads of agencies shall provide, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, such assistance and information to the Council as the Secretary may request to implement this order.

(c) Members of the Council appointed under section 3(a)(ii) of this order shall serve without any compensation for their work on the Council.

(d) Members of the Council, while engaged in the work of the Council, may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently in Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707), consistent with the availability of funds.

(e) The Secretary shall designate an official within the Department of the Treasury to serve as an Executive Director to supervise the administrative support for the Council.

Sec. 6. Termination of the Council. Unless extended by the President, the Council shall terminate 2 years after the date of this order.

Sec. 7. General Provisions.

(a) Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.) (the "Act"), may apply to the Council, any functions of the President under the Act, except for that of reporting to the Congress, shall be performed by the Secretary in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Administrator of General Services.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof, or the status of that department or agency within the Federal Government; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

~ June 25, 2013

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(Center) Sis. Tahirah Shareef is site manager, here joined by her husband, Imam Talib Shareef (R ) and John Thompson.
(Center) Sis. Tahirah Shareef is site manager, here joined by her husband, Imam Talib Shareef (R ) and John Thompson.

By Marvis A. Aleem

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The grand opening of the first public Senior Citizen Halal Nutrition Site in the Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C., took place at Masjid Muhammad (The Nation’s Mosque), Mon.,, June 3, 2013, with an overflowing crowd of both participating Masjid Seniors and younger supporters.

Dr. John M. Thompson, Executive Director of the District's Office on Aging (DCOA), cut the ribbon along with several Seniors which officially opened the site.  Following the ribbon cutting, Seniors and guests feasted on delicious meals prepared by the Site's sub-contracted caterer "Sweet Tooth.”

Accompanying Dr. Thompson were Tiffany Yates (nutritionist) and other members of his staff along with representatives from Seabury Resources for the Aging, the site contractor for Ward 5 in the District.

Attending Seabury representatives included Joseph Resch, chief executive officer, and Dawn Quattlebaum, director.  Also attending was the DC Ward 5 Area Neighborhood Commissioner Joyce Robinson-Paul.

Under the leadership of Imam Talib Shareef, Ahmad Nurriddin, long time member of Masjid Muhammad was highly instrumental in brokering the deal leading to the achievement of this significant, ground-breaking event.

The newly-appointed Site Manager, Tahirah Shareef, will oversee managing the daily activities and meals that are served Monday through Friday at Masjid Muhammad between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This program is open to all seniors who apply and live in Washington, D.C.  Sis. Tahirah has already planned a schedule of daily activities for the seniors during the month of June that will occur before and after lunch.

Activities include chair exercises, health lectures and checks, hand dancing, movies, board games, and more.

Appreciation must be given to the steadfast assistants who added extra notes of beauty – Carole Mumin and her daughter Laurie, and the Masjid's  kitchen/waiter staff who seasoned every serving with love.

The "Kibar Senior Village" ( Halal Nutrition center) was approved by the DCOA which funds the program.  The "Catholic Charities" organization is responsible for ensuring the packaging and delivery the food received from the Halal vendor.

Eligibility/requirements for participating in this program are:  60 years of age or older, spouses are eligible, being a DC resident, and those with disabilities.  Client intake/nutrition screening is conducted and the nutrition site maintains the meal system.

Approving comments were made by several Seniors, many of whom became members of this community in the 1940s and 1950s.

Baseemah Beyah was actually surprised that this day actually came to fruition.  She was part of the planning team with Ahmad Nurrideen for over a year.  Baseemah also said that the key is "having faith in Allah, patience, and perseverance."

Sis. Marie Shamsid-Deen said,"I am happy that we all can be together in this program." And Sis. Najiyah Muhammad added, "The Kibar nutrition program is a life-giving resource, and food for the soul.

Sis. Shukriyah Nisar said, "The Kibar program is what we needed, and it makes us happy to be in a place where we can socialize with each other."

Sis. Labeebah Salaam, a former MGT-GCC Captain on the Nation of Islam under the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, said, “This is an excellent program and I’m proud this was established for us Pioneers but also for seniors in the outer community.  You can be assured that me and my husband Jessie will try to be here daily to give it support.”

(Lyndon Bilal contributed to this article.)

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Cheryl Pearson-McNeil

By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil

When it comes to looking good, staying on top of your game, and making sure your pursuit of beauty is on point, you know the African American community has that covered.

Nielsen’s latest insights highlight hair and skin beauty purchases and behavior, by the numbers among African-Americans and other ethnic groups in the U.S. and Canada in a recent NielsenWire Post titled Looking Good: Appealing to Ethnic Consumers in the Beauty Aisle. 

Ladies, I’m talking to all of us here.  Whether we wear our lovely tresses straight, in locks, curled or rock a natural, cute afro-puff – God-given or store-bought – we all want to make sure we look presentable and feel good about ourselves, and will spend our last dime to do so.

And, no, even though we usually think of women when we talk about hair care and beauty, women don’t corner the market on giving attention to good looks.  You’ve likely heard the word, metrosexual, coined about 10 years ago to describe men who pay attention to the way they look.

As African American consumers, we are 43 million strong, representing just under 14 percent of the population, and we spend over 900 percent more on ethnic hair and beauty products than any other ethnic group in the U.S.

More and more companies are beginning to pay attention. Have you noticed the increase of non-ethnic brands that now offer a “natural” hair care line?

We also pay close attention to our skin, according the post.  African American consumers purchase skin bleaching products at a rate of a whopping 434 percent more than the general population.

And before you jump to conclusions, this isn’t necessarily about reinventing ourselves. This is primarily about erasing blemishes, lighting age spots or evening out skin tones.

We purchase more hand lotion, body lotion and all-purpose skin creams than the general population: 54 percent and 40 percent respectively. We are 58 percent less likely to purchase suntan preparations or sunscreens and sunblock products.

Here’s an instance where there are opportunities for marketers in some of these categories because there is opportunity for market growth, particularly in the suntan preparations category.

I have girlfriends who slather themselves with baby oil before baking in the sun – unprotected.  Most of us now know (but still may ignore) that Blacks are not immune to sun damage – and that all skin can burn – this is could be opportunity for a wide-reaching education campaign for the companies that manufacture sunscreens and sunblocks.

(Even if you’re not afraid of sunburn or skin cancer, what about premature wrinkling or skin that could turn to a consistency that feels like leather from years of over-exposure?  I’m just saying . . .)

As a matter of fact, now I can get a tan right in my bathroom –without even being exposed to sunlight. I use gradual tanning lotions which have SPF already included. This way, I can protect my skin and have the luxurious bronzing color highlights that I want.

So, you see, while beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, it is imperative that you choose companies who have your best interests, needs front and center. You’ve got to make sure you have nothing but the best with you on your pursuit of beauty.

Please take this into consideration the next time you stroll down those beauty aisles. This time, you’ll just be better equipped with additional knowledge in tow.

(Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com)

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Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux

NNPA Columnist

On May 21, I had the opportunity to testify before a Congressional Progressive Caucus meeting on how federal dollars drive inequality by paying contractors who pay too many of their workers too little.

The hearing was driven by a study from Amy Traub and her colleagues at Demos, a New York based think tank, that issued a report exposing the many ways that federal contracting often adds to the burden of the low income, especially those who earn less than $12 an hour, or less than $25,000 a year.

If these workers have even one child, they are living at or below the poverty line.  As summer looms, we know that children who are in summer programs will be better prepared when they return to school in the fall.

Yet those with income limitations will find it difficult to pay fees that range from $50 to $125 a week for summer enrichment programs.

This cycle of disadvantage means that low wages yield more limited opportunities for students who, but for their parental situation, might be exposed to the kind of opportunities that would make them more competitive for college admissions.

Their limited wages create a cycle of disadvantage for children.

The Obama administration has supported a “Race to the Top” in education, yet job creation suggests that we are running a “Race to the Bottom.”

We are underutilizing talent and expertise when we sideline so many Americans. Those over 50 who have experienced downsizing have moved into lower paying retail jobs.

New college graduates have been pushed back into their parents’ homes, and into low-wage jobs because there is little else available.  Too many take unpaid internships to make them more competitive for future jobs, working at night or on weekends in the retail market because these are their scant possibilities.

Some economists suggest that we are in an economic expansion, not a recession, and the 2.5 percent GDP growth last quarter might support that. Still, there has been little trickle down from the top.

People take what is offered in salary because they have few choices. The federal government can help or hurt these workers, depending on how they choose to protect them with minimum wage legislation, with regulation on federal contractors, with requirements to make health care and other social protections available.

Instead, according to Demos, we have millions of workers who work full time, but are paid at low wages, thanks to federal contracting policy.  If government takes the lowest bid to provide services, workers will likely earn the lowest wage.

If our government specified that a living wage and benefits are part of the contract we would reduce inequality.  Today, too many contracting executives earn six or seven figure salaries, while workers earn poverty-level wages.

I am especially concerned about home health care workers, and others in the hospital services industry because these are predominately Black and Brown women, taking care of our sick, infirm and elders.

How can we expect these workers to offer the highest quality care, when we are not offering them the highest quality wages?

These are women who bring chips of ice to the dying, who hold a hand and say a prayer to someone who needs comforting.  They rub the feet and massage the heads of those who are in pain.

What if the low wages they are paid becomes a stressor, not allowing them to fully focus on their work for worries about their own economic survival?

Our economy has been bifurcated between those who have good jobs and bad jobs.  Good jobs have decent pay and benefits, while bad jobs have hourly pay and none of the above.

Increasingly, the Great Recession has pushed former good job workers into bad jobs, and bad jobs have become the norm for too many. We may be creating a permanent underclass by offering too little to too many, using federal funds to subsidize this inequality.

When full time workers need food stamps and federally subsidized health insurance, when full-time workers cannot afford apartments, when full time workers give full effort and remain in poverty, then we have turned the American dream into a nightmare!

We cannot compete in this global economy if we cannot pay people wisely and well.   Without regulation, the private sector may pay unequal wages, but there is no reason for the federal government to do the same thing.

(Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer.  She is President Emerita of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.)

 

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

By Bekitembe Eric Taylor?

Special to the NNPA

from The Atlanta Voice

 

Hundreds of black-owned businesses have a new way for consumers to find and shop with them. There is an app for that.

The “Around the Way” app, the brainchild of a marketing and technology firm in Washington, D.C., allows the customer access to companies that are at least 51 percent African American owned and employed.

The U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce last fall endorsed the app as the wave of the future for buying Black, but the local chambers attended an online seminar recently h in order to educate their membership on its use and marketing.

Eric Hamilton, Chief Marketing Officer for Around the Way, said that the structure of the service follows the Google model.  “When Google first started, they allowed companies to list their service for free, but charged a premium for those who wanted to be located by ratings rather than location,” he said.

“All of our registered companies sign up for free, but there is a premium service for $89 per year that allows a company to be the first choice in that category no matter how far away they are from the consumer.”

Since the fall, the Around the Way has registered over 800 companies in Georgia with 200 of that in metro Atlanta.  Free to download, the app features a search tool with categories from banks to restaurants to auto shops and more.

Users are able to geo-locate and get directions to the closest business via category, but it also allows for some healthy competition.

“Say you’re in Atlanta and you want to find a laundry or dry cleaners,” said Hamilton.  “The app will give you the choice to go to the business that is within 5 miles or the higher rated business that may be in Marietta,” he said.

Allison Cross, co-owner of Boxcar Grocer on Peters Street said that her store registered with the Around the Way app about two months ago.

“Latinos and blacks are the most major consumers of shopping though mobile apps,” she said. “I’m excited about the potential to collaborate with other businesses also using the app.”

Boxcar Grocer offers organic and natural foods and baked goods, so they plan to use some of the bakeries, health and beauty manufacturers, and related suppliers listed on Around the Way as suppliers for their store.

Michael T. Hill, founder of the Atlanta Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, said that the Around the Way is an excellent tool to assist the black consumer in leveraging the $73 billion in buying power that they currently spend in other communities.

“I think it’s a great start in terms of connecting with the African American consumer through technology,” he said.

“It’s very similar to the Be Locally tool that one of our members developed on our website www.ambccc.us, where it allows consumers to rate a positive experience that they’ve had with a local company.”

At present, there are over 52,000 African-American owned companies in metro Atlanta.  It is hoped that that collaboration with the marketing team of Around the Way and the black chambers will increase the awareness of those companies in an effort to bring the black dollar back into the community.

“We’ve looked for solutions in our schools, our churches, and at the government level for saving our community,” said Hill.  “Now, it’s time for our business community to step up.”

Hill said that the Atlanta Metro Black Chamber of Commerce plans to officially launch the Around the Way app marketing plan to its 350 members in June during its music, technology and entertainment roundtable series.

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), America’s No. 1 small business lender– based on Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) government data (2002-2011) – and a leading lender to women- and diverse-owned businesses, recently announced a commitment to lend a cumulative total of $55 billion to women-owned businesses in the U.S. by the year 2020, updating its lending commitment first established in 1995.

The announcement was made by Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo lead executive for Small Business and West Coast Regional Banking president, at the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) 22nd Annual Latina History Day conference in Los Angeles during March as National Women’s History Month.

Wells Fargo reports a rich history of working with women business owners and providing them access to capital and financial services. Since introducing the women’s lending commitment 18 years ago, Wells Fargo has provided more than $38 billion in capital to women business owners, a group that grew in size by more than 20 percent from 2002 to 2007, according to the latest Census data.

Currently, approximately 30 percent of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, according to the National Women’s Business Council.

“Women-owned businesses are among America’s fastest growing segments, and we are honored to support their role in shaping the future of small business,” said Stevens. “As a leader in lending to women, Wells Fargo is dedicated to helping women succeed financially – in business and personally.”

Wells Fargo’s first lending commitment in 1995 established a goal to lend $1 billion to women business owners over three years. Fueled by the continued growth of women business owners, the goal was increased, most recently in 2003.

In addition to the cumulative lending goal, Wells Fargo supports numerous outreach efforts to build relationships with women business owners and help them to succeed financially.

Wells Fargo is a supporter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and the Women Presidents’ Organization, as well as several other organizations focused on the education, growth and advancement of women business owners.

Wells Fargo provides the full array of financial products and services to satisfy all of the financial needs of women-owned businesses, such as banking, business loans and lines of credit, credit cards, payroll, merchant services, insurance, retirement planning, and online resources.

For an example of how Wells Fargo helped meet the financing needs of one woman-owned small business, see the story of GLAMGLOW, a Los Angeles-based consumer products company owned by Shannon Dellimore.

For more information, visit wellsfargo.com/biz or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.

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By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil

NNPA Columnist

Depending on the day, what you’re reading or who you’re listening to, the economy is either still in the tank, in recovery, getting worse or is on the upswing.

Whatever the fluctuating state of the American economy, money is being spent.  And, guess what, ladies?  The economic oil that keeps the wheels and workings of our world turning is largely controlled by us.

Want to know just how much purchasing power we pack in our purses? Any guesses? Well, if you guessed between $5 trillion and $15 trillion – you were correct.   This is the collective annual estimated purchasing power range of women in America, which is more than the GNP of dozens of small countries.

Do you know what that means?  An eye-opening report from Fleishman-Hillard, Inc., a global, full-service public relations agency, tells us that women will be in control of two-thirds of the consumer wealth in this country within the next 10 years.

No matter what economic position any of us find ourselves in right now, I want us all to feel an integral part of the whole . . . feel your power.

Just think how far we’ve come.  Women couldn’t even vote before 1920 (of course, for those of us who are Black, that right came decades later), and now we control most of the purchasing decisions in our households.

And the way things are looking, we may even have our first female president of the United States in the near future.

Whether it’s groceries, new clothes, a new sofa, car or even a new house, it’s usually our (final) call.  We appreciate their input, but we all know how challenging it can be to persuade the men in our lives to accompany us shopping – and the numbers bear that out.

Women do most of the shopping, or have a major say in it.  However, we must give credit where credit is due.  Nielsen research indicates that men are stepping up.  In fact, the number of shopping trips we make has actually decreased in most shopping channels between 2004 and 2012.

With men, their average number of shopping trips has increased during that time, except for grocery and drug stores.

Take a look at how the sexes stack up with the average number of shopping trips between 2004 and 2012 across all the many shopping outlets available to us:

 

Women (2004)                   Women (2012)

Dollar Stores                                  75                                                 72

Mass Merchandisers                     74                                                72

Super Stores                                  70                                                 69

Drug Stores                                    66                                                 68

Grocery Stores                               63                                                 63

Warehouse Clubs                           63                                                 61

Convenience Stores/Gas                46                                                 43

 

Men (2004)                          Men (2012)

Dollar Stores                                  25                                                 28

Mass Merchandisers                      26                                                28

Super Stores                                  30                                                 31

Drug Stores                                    34                                                 32

Grocery Stores                               37                                                 37

Warehouse Clubs                           37                                                 39

Convenience Stores/Gas                54                                                 57

 

There is another critical component for manufacturers and marketers to keep in mind when examining consumer need and creating new advertising and outreach strategies.

Women also outspend men $14.31 per trip at the supercenters and $10.32 per trip to the grocery store.

Other Nielsen studies document how women come into the world with the inherent abilities to juggle multiple tasks and wear many hats, in addition to being able to see the big picture; so I’m surmising that those God-given female tendencies add up to planning involved for most trips to the market.

Advertisers should also pay attention to how much content we consume.  In 2012, women 18 and older spent more time watching video on all the platforms available than men.

On average, we viewed a little more than 191 hours of video each month, up from 184 hours in 2011.  (My senses are telling me that much of that viewing time was logged probably while preparing dinner, picking up around the house or answering emails on your laptop, tablet or smartphone.)

Men at least 18 year old spent almost 175 hours a month watching video, compared to 170 hours the previous year.  The bottom line is this: whatever you or I do as consumers – how we shop and how we watch our favorite shows and other content – contributes to the whole.  We hold the power.

(Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com.)

 

 

Politics

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By Nusayba Hammad, Communications Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (nusayba@uscpr.org) WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an act unprecedented in recent history, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand...
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