Archive for July, 2011

Minorities Are Being Left Out Of The Electric Vehicle Revolution

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

(Fast Company) In California, Latinos and African-Americans simply are not buying electric cars. It's time for some new marketing.


The Prius is an emblem of the environmentally aware upper middle class, and at this point, electric vehicle purchases are mostly limited to early adopters who have the cash to experiment with an entirely new kind of vehicle. And according to a report (PDF) from the Greenlining Institute, cost and lack of consumer education may shut low-income communities and communities of color (specifically in California) out of the electric vehicle revolution–even though these communities are in dire need of the cleaner air that comes along with having fewer gasoline-fueled cars on the road.

The report presents a number of obvious yet unsettling statistics: 70% of hybrid owners in California are white, even though Californians of color are more concerned about air pollution than whites; 20% of hybrid owners are Latino and even fewer are African-American–even though the overall state population is 60% non-white. An impressive 92% of residents who buy EVs in the state have an income of $75,000 or higher.

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Diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander Workforce Faces Many Challenges

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

(AsianWeek) Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers face significant challenges in the labor market, according to a new report prepared by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Center for Labor Research and Education at UCLA.Asian business team.

“This report provides essential information on the Asian Pacific Islander workforce that is useful for labor and community organizations, scholars and students, and policy makers and government leaders.  The research reflects the complexity and diversity of the API workforce, and challenges the stereotypes that are perpetuated by the model minority myth,” said Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center and an author of the report.

The report, “Diversity and Change: Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers 2011”, reviews over 50 years of government data and provides the most in-depth picture to date of the AAPI workforce in the United States.

The study portrays a highly diverse workforce. About three-fourths of AAPI workers were born outside of the United States, but a high share have become U.S. citizens. AAPI workers are more likely than whites to have a four-year college degree or more, but AAPI workers are also less likely than whites to have a high school diploma.

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African American Middle Class Eroding As Unemployment Rate Soars

Friday, July 29th, 2011

(FoxNews) The unemployment situation across America is bad, no doubt. But for African-Americans in some cities, this is not the great recession. Its the Great Depression.

Take Charlotte, N.C., for example. It is a jewel of the new South. The largest financial center outside of New York City, it's the showcase for next years Democratic National Convention. It was a land of hope and opportunity for many blacks with a four-year college degree or higher.

According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, in Charlotte, N.C., the unemployment rate for African-Americans is 19.2 percent. If you add in people who have given up looking for jobs, that number exceeds 20 percent, which, according to economists Algernon Austin and William Darity, has effectively mired blacks in a depression.

Youre looking at a community that is economically depressed in my opinion, Austin said. And we need action that will address that scale of joblessness.

Vanessa Parker worked hard to get ahead. She was an administrative assistant at IBM in Charlotte. She went to night school to better herself, graduating with a bachelors degree in finance. Parker and her husband saved up enough money to move from a bad neighborhood to a quiet, middle-class street. But instead of moving up in the company, IBM moved out. Now she works at a big-box store for minimum wage.

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Report: Wells Fargo investigated over allegations of discriminatory lending

Friday, July 29th, 2011

(Consumer Reports) The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating allegations that Wells Fargo discriminated against African American borrowers, according to news reports. The allegations assert that the bank directed African-American borrowers to high-interest, subprime mortgages.

The DOJ is preparing a lawsuit against the bank, which is negotiating a settlement to avoid a public lawsuit, according to the Huffington Post. In a statement to the Huffington Post, Wells Fargo said it practiced responsible lending. "We have a very strong commitment to serving all customers along the credit spectrum, and we do so without bias."

The DOJ's investigation echoes a suit filed by the city of Baltimore against the bank, accusing it of targeting predominantly black neighborhoods with bad loans. Wells Fargo has denied the allegations.

Full story…

California Supreme Court nominee Goodwin Liu sparks criticism

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to pass over several Latino candidates and a veteran African American appeals court justice in his nomination to the California Supreme Court is likely to draw criticism from some groups.

Brown nominated UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu, 40, to the state’s high court Tuesday, which would give the court an Asian majority and a collegial liberal who is likely to be strongly supportive of civil rights.

The governor had widely been expected to name a Latino. The state high court has no Latino or African American justices.

The new appointment would fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Justice Carlos R. Moreno, 62, the only Latino and only Democrat on the court. Moreno was appointed by former Gov. Gray Davis in 2001.

Some Latino bar leaders expressed anger and disappointment at Liu’s selection.

“It should have been a Latino and somebody who was native to Southern California,” said Victor Acevedo, president of the Mexican-American Bar Assn.

Full story…

Hispanics Lost Two-Thirds Of Household Wealth In Recession: Study

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

(Huffington Post) Wealth disparities between white households and black and Hispanic households are greater than they’ve been in the past 25 years, a new study from the Pew Research Center has found.

The report, released Tuesday, shows that median wealth declined by 66 percent among Hispanic households between 2005 and 2009. For black households during the same time period, median wealth fell by 53 percent, while white households experienced a decline of only 16 percent.

The changes in median wealth over the four-year period measured mean that as of 2009, the average black household had only $5,677 in wealth — that is, assets minus debts — and the average Hispanic household had only $6,325. The average white household had $113,149 in wealth — 18 times that of Hispanic households, and 20 times that of black households.

The Pew study is only the latest in a series of reports indicating that the recession took a greater economic toll on minorities than on whites. In 2009, the Center for American Progress examined the effects of the downturn on minority employment and earnings. They found that unemployment rates rose faster for blacks and Hispanics than for whites during 2008, and that median family income declined more for blacks and Hispanics than whites during the same time period.

A 2010 Congressional report found that the recession had hit especially hard in industries that employ a high percentage of Hispanics, like construction and manufacturing, and in parts of the country with large Hispanic communities, like California, Nevada and Florida.

That same year, a report from the National Urban League concluded that blacks and Hispanics were three times as likely as whites to live below the poverty line.

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Life scientists use novel technique to produce genetic map for African Americans

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

( UCLA life scientists and colleagues have produced one of the first high-resolution genetic maps for African American populations. A genetic map reveals the precise locations across the genome where DNA from a person's father and mother have been stitched together through a biological process called "recombination." This process results in new genetic combinations that are then passed on to the person's children.

The new map will help disease geneticists working to map in African Americans because it provides a more accurate understanding of recombination rates among that population, said the senior author of the research, John Novembre, a UCLA assistant professor of ecology and and of bioinformatics. The map could help scientists learn the roots of these diseases and discover genes that play a key role in them.

The study was published July 20 in the online version of the journal Nature Genetics and will be published in the print edition at a later date.

"Research aimed at finding disease variants will be improved by this tool, which could lead to better medications to help ameliorate the effects of those disease variants," Novembre said. "Health researchers can use a recombination map to refine where a might be."

Prior to this research, which was conducted by scientists from seven institutions, recombination had mainly been studied in European populations.

"Now we have a map for African Americans that researchers can use as a tool, instead of using a European map or an African map," said Novembre, a member of UCLA's Interdepartmental Program in Bioinformatics.

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Are African American Tech Entreprenuers Too Blessed and Highly Favored to Create Mobile Commerce Solutions?

Monday, July 25th, 2011

(Dream and Hustle) Worldwide mobile commerce solutions are empowering the poor and unbanked population as well as creating tangible economic development. In America, the only group of people who can apply the same success model of m-commerce are African-American and Hispanics who live in high-density urban areas, highly social among others and are also unbanked. Worldwide pilot test is showing not only a high rate of adoption among unbanked mobile phone users to perform cash transfers, but also enable storefronts to get more profits from better cash handling and able to employ people from their community.

With all of this data going on worldwide, shouldn’t it be understandable to ask why African-American tech entrepreneurs who enjoy reading Black Web 2.0 haven’t created any m-commerce solutions for our community? This article will explain one possible answer why African-Americans have not moved forward on any m-commerce solution to make themselves rich and empower the community at the same time.

Let’s Look at What’s Going On Around the World With Mobile Commerce

Many of us brothas and sistas do not realize what is going on in Africa in the past 5 years and still think they are way behind us and they need us before we need them. Well, before I go further – I need Africans to help me navigate global markets so I can debunk that myth some of yall want to think right here and right now. Most African-Americans can’t tell me a damn thing about global markets because they visiting as tourists – you think these African cats are “visiting” these markets or trying to make money happen?

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MSNBC’s Potential Al Sharpton Hiring Draws Criticism From African American Journalists

Monday, July 25th, 2011

(Media Bistro) The Maynard Institute’s Richard Prince takes a critical look at MSNBC’s apparently imminent hiring of Al Sharpton to host the 6 PM hour.

Prince notes that the move could be seen as a way to feature an African American in prominent hour on cable news. The move does have critics, especially among the ranks of African American journalists:

When rumors surfaced this week that Sharpton was under consideration for the MSNBC job, one NABJ member told colleagues without challenge, “This would still be just another non-journalist media ‘celebrity’ receiving a TV show based upon their name recognition, not their years of experience, training, ability and talent.”

Full story…

Civil rights groups fume over all-white all-news primetime

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

(RBR) The NAACP has already lashed out at CNN for passing on yet another opportunity to diversity its all white primetime lineup with the exit of Eliot Spitzer. Now the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), NAACP and other civil rights groups are conferring on a plan of attack to deal with CNN and its all-news cable competitors.

The NABJ deplored an “ostensible trend in cable news to pass over African American talent for prime time programming” in announcing that it is in discussions with several civil rights organizations to address the matter and direct a definite course of action.
"We appreciate the support of like-minded organizations stepping up to affect change as black journalists are ignored and in turn, black communities get shortchanged in the coverage of important issues," said NABJ President Kathy Y. Times. "We are dedicated to getting this issue resolved."
Currently, there are no African American anchors hosting prime time news hours for any major cable network. “While MSNBC is reportedly on the verge of offering civil rights activist Al Sharpton his own prime time slot, there are no black journalists who can tout a similar promotion,” NABJ noted.

Full story…

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