Archive for June, 2007

MetLife Commits to Serving African-American Communities (Financialplanning.com)

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

MetLife called its shot earlier this month and announced that it will hire 780 financial services reps in the next two years to target develop clients in the nation’s various African American communities. Although financial services firms have long focused on the wealthiest demographic markets—like high-net-worth Baby Boomers, for example—MetLife cited research suggesting that African Americans’ buying power will reach nearly $1 trillion by 2009.

The insurer also announced that it will use a recruiting and training program to fill the nearly 800 rep positions. Interested professionals should call (800) 564-6638 for more information.

Walgreen Co. Wins Racial-Discrimination Case (Diversity Inc)

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

A jury has found Walgreen Co. not guilty in a racial-discrimination trial that wrapped up in Chicago this week. The trial originally stemmed from a lawsuit filed in November 2005 alleging the Deerfield, Ill.-based company fostered “a hostile environment” for black customers and employees. The suit charged the drug-store chain with discriminating against black customers by purposely having them followed around the store to make sure no one was stealing. Tiffini Bruce, a spokesperson for Walgreen, said, “We maintained from the beginning that there was no basis for these claims, and we were confident the jury would agree. Now we can concentrate on continuing our commitment to fairness and equality that is the cornerstone of our business.”

Full story… 

GOP runs a big risk of losing Hispanics (Arizona Republic)

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Anti-immigration conservatives are subjecting U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain to blistering attacks over their pivotal role in the comprehensive immigration bill currently on life support in Congress. But if they get their way and the bill dies, so too may Republican electoral prospects for the foreseeable future.

Hispanic support for Republican candidates plummeted by 10 points, to 30 percent from 40 percent, between the 2004 presidential election to the 2006 congressional election debacle, costing the GOP as many as four congressional seats. In next year’s presidential election, Hispanic votes could make the difference in four Western states, including Arizona. If Republicans continue chasing Hispanic voters away, they can kiss their national electoral prospects goodbye.

Full story…

Major financial institutions don’t make diversity grade (District Chronicles)

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

RICHMOND, Va. – I moderated a Town Hall meeting here last week for the Urban Financial Services Coalition, formerly known as the National Association of Urban Bankers. Being around so many African-American bankers inspired me to look at the industry and its relationship – or lack of one – with black America.

It is not surprising that at such an august national gathering, all of the major financial institutions would be key sponsors: Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wachovia Securities, Countrywide Financial, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo, among them.

Research compiled by the Greenlining Institute, a Berkley, Calif.-based multi-ethnic public policy organization, shows that banks are making insufficient investments in communities of color. The institute argues that the financial services industry should be at least as diverse as President George W. Bush’s cabinet, which has two blacks (Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson), two Latino members (Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez) and one Asian (Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao).

Full story…

What We Learned From Don Imus: TV News Needs New Faces (DiversityInc)

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Television news was much more about race and gender the week radio shock jock Don Imus inserted his foot in his mouth and subsequently was fired by MSNBC and CBS. A number of black pundits could be seen discussing issues of race, ethnicity, prejudice and stereotypes.

 

But that was then. In truth, without a major news event that motivates media companies to seek experts of color, the number of faces of color seen on news channels is woefully low.

Full story…

Black coaches confident in progress (Yahoo Sports)

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

DORAL, Fla. – The first steps of a long run are typically slow.Then, momentum builds and speed is increased.

In its 20th year of existence, the Black Coaches Association is hopeful it has finally gained sufficient momentum and is on the verge of picking up speed in their run for fairness.

It has been well-documented that men of color have had few chances to be head coaches in Division I-A football. While some white coaches have gotten multiple opportunities to succeed, Washington’s Tyrone Willingham – who was previously at Notre Dame and Stanford – is the only black head coach to be fired at one school and rehired at another.

Black coaches aren’t asking to be hired because of their color. However, they don’t want to be denied for that reason, either. They feel their road has been blocked by college football’s hiring process. A head coaching candidate typically must be approved by several people, including big-money donors who are usually white. The feeling – whether true or not – is those supporters may be more apt to contribute if they’re more comfortable with the candidate who looks like them.

Full story…

Pay attention to Asian-American voters (Politico.com)

Friday, June 1st, 2007

With Republicans making little progress in winning over Latino voters and Democrats in little danger of losing many, it may be time for the political parties to consider an ethnic constituency that really is up for grabs, the Asian Pacific American population. Consisting of several large nationality groups and a number of smaller ones, Asian-Americans have been mostly ignored, even as they move out of traditional areas of ethnic concentration and vote in higher proportions than Latinos.

While less numerous than Latinos, the Asian Pacific American population is the fastest-growing minority population, and it is an important electoral presence in a number of states — not only California and Hawaii but also Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Utah and Washington in the West; Missouri and Illinois in the Midwest; New Jersey, Maryland, New York and Massachusetts in the Northeast; and Florida, Texas and Virginia in the South. Without question, the Asian-American population is consequential in many additional locations in races for local offices.

Full story…

Cosmetic Surgery Goes Ethnic (Washington Post)

Friday, June 1st, 2007

Shifts in Culture And Treatments Attract Minorities

Washington Post Staff Writer

The advertising slogan is a sly double entendre: Washington’s Cultura Medical Spa bills itself as “a place where it’s appropriate to treat people based on the color of their skin.”

Founded six years ago by two African American physicians — cosmetic dermatologist Eliot F. Battle Jr., an expert in laser treatments, and Monte O. Harris, a board-certified otolaryngologist who specializes in rhinoplasty and other facial plastic surgery — Cultura is one of the first centers in the country to focus on the burgeoning field known as “ethnic plastic surgery.”

Full story… 

Veterans endured racism (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Friday, June 1st, 2007

Most of the veterans on the West End monument – 265 men and three women – were enlisted and performed largely support roles for combat forces. They trucked ammunition, fuel, and medical supplies. Some cooked, others delivered mail.

This is not to say African-American soldiers and sailors didn’t serve in harm’s way. Many died in combat.

African-Americans who served not only endured racism in the military but here at home. It was unsafe for them to wear a uniform in parts of the South during and after the war. Several African-Americans were lynched in their uniforms after World War I, says Walter Hill, archivist at the National Archives in Bethesda, Md.

Full story…

Opening minorities’ eyes to baseball (AP)

Friday, June 1st, 2007

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – With fewer blacks playing in the majors, Dusty Baker wants to try to get kids’ attention while they are young.

Free trips to play games on the finely manicured fields where the Little League World Series is played might help.

“Go, little man,” Baker, the former major league manager and outfielder, shouted from a seat behind the plate while watching a 12-year-old batter at the Little League Urban Jamboree beat out an infield hit. “Little man has some skills!”

Skills Baker hopes players will keep honing as baseball seeks ways to generate more interest in the sport among young blacks.

Full story…

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