Black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial groups in every measure of success. Is it necessary – or even possible – for the black community to sustain its own economy? Author Maggie Anderson shares her highly-publicized year-long journey completely living off Black businesses, called The Empowerment Experiment, and how she encountered a community that refused to support its own, an economy that had Black businesses wholly disenfranchised, and virulent criticism from those outside the Black community who called her a racist. Meanwhile, sociology professor Thomas Shapiro warns that blacks are failing in asset accumulation and homeownership, to the point of negating gains in employment and income. Drawing on economic research, social history, surveys, interviews, and their own personal experiences, these authors show moderator Candelaria Silva how racial inequality is transmitted across generations and pinpoint why the black economy continues to suffer.
At the end of the event, the speakers will be signing and selling copies of their books, "Our Black Year: One Family’s Request to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy" by Maggie Anderson, and "The Hidden Costs of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality" by Thomas Shapiro.
The Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) is a 35-year-old non-profit agency that develops business relationships with and increases procurement opportunities between corporate members and certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). The GNEMSDC recruits private and public entities, hosts events, and provides contacts to facilitate potential contracts to MBEs. It also serves to certify minority businesses.
Further background information on participants:
As CEO and cofounder of The Empowerment Experiment Foundation, Maggie Anderson has become the leader of a self-help economics movement that supports quality black businesses and urges consumers, especially other middle and upper class African Americans, to proactively and publicly support them. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and CBS Morning News, among many other national television and radio shows. Anderson received her BA from Emory University and her JD and MBA from the University of Chicago. She has participated in successful political campaigns for Rep. John Lewis, Mayor of Atlanta Bill Campbell, and Barack Obama's campaign for U.S. Senate. In addition, she has done work for the RainbowPUSH Coalition and was an executive at McDonald's.
Professor Thomas Shapiro directs the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and is the Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. His primary interest is in racial inequality and public policy. He is a leader in the asset development field with a particular focus on closing the racial wealth gap. “The Hidden Cost of Being African American” was named one of the Notable Books of 2004 by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With Dr. Melvin Oliver, he also wrote the award-winning Black Wealth/ White Wealth, which received the 1997 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association. It also won the 1995 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and was named an Outstanding Book of 1996 by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America. Shapiro’s media appearances include Tony Brown's Journal, The Tavis Smiley Show, Talk of the Nation, CNN, and On Point. His work has been reviewed or discussed in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The American Prospect, The Chicago Sun-Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CommonWealth Magazine, Newsweek, The Village Voice, and others.
Candelaria Silva is a freelance arts marketing professional, facilitator and writer. She was the director of the cultural economic development program, ACT (Arts, Culture & Trade) Roxbury from its inception in 1998 until August 2007. Silva conceived and developed ACT Roxbury’s signature programs including the Roxbury Film Festival, Roxbury Open Studios, Roxbury Literary Annual, Roxbury Playwright Mentorship, and the Roxbury Discussion Series. She is most proud of being part of the team that rehabbed Hibernian Hall and brought it back to life as well as the four Roxbury Holiday Shopping Guides that were inserted in the Bay State Banner & Boston Globe. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Silva currently serves on the board of The Henderson Foundation.
Coming up next at Ford Hall Forum:
"Reaping is a Virtue"
Yaron Brook (President of Ayn Rand Institute) and Deborah Kincade Rambo (President of Catholic Charities Boston);
moderated by Jeff Jacoby (Boston Globe Columnist)
Thurs., Oct. 18, 6:30-8 pm
Modern Theatre, Suffolk University
Moderator Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe asks Yaron Brook, President of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Deborah Kincade Rambo, President of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston: is charity an expression of virtue? Brook delves into Ayn Rand’s beliefs that charity should be undertaken only in self-interest and not out of a sense of morality – or, worse, guilt. He explains that libertarians would rather applaud the act of making money than giving it away. Rambo counters that charity as a virtue is critical to our collective well-being, enriching our society as it promotes a healthy economy. She argues that self-sacrifice through philanthropy is a form of love in which people of any (or no) religion can participate. Join us as we determine whether benevolence or earning is the real virtue.
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Flash Forums are programs that Ford Hall Forum plan to produce right when the news hits. Arranged roughly a week in advance, Flash Forums will bring in an expert speaker, either in person or via Skype, to deliberate on a hot-off-the-
About Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University: "Provoking Thought: Listen. Learn. Engage”
Ford Hall Forum is the nation's oldest free public lecture series, providing an open venue for sharing opinions and discussing controversial points of view. It advances the First Amendment through freedom of expression, encouraging attendees to engage directly with speakers. Ford Hall Forum discussions illuminate the key issues facing our society by bringing to its podium knowledgeable and thought-provoking orators from a broad range of perspectives. These experts participate for free, and in settings that promote a culture of involvement in a non-partisan environment.
The Forum began in 1908 as a series of Sunday evening public meetings held at the Ford Hall, which once stood on Beacon Hill in Boston. While the original building no longer exists, the public conversations have continued throughout the Boston area with the generous support from state agencies, foundations, corporations, academic institutions, and individuals. In its 104th year of programming, the Forum continues to build upon its partnership with Suffolk University. Suffolk is now housing the Forum's administrative offices just a block away from where the original Ford Hall once stood.