Apple Hosting HBCU Arts and Entertainment Accelerator Program for 50 Students

By Todd Spangler Apple is hosting 50 students from 19 historically Black colleges and universities for an immersive two-week experience as part of the Propel Center‘s arts and entertainment industry accelerator. Apple and Southern Company are the founding partners of Propel Center, launched in 2011 as a hub designed to support and advance the work of HBCUs. The organization’s 2024 Arts & Entertainment Industry Accelerator program is a year-long experience launched exclusively for HBCU students, designed to create greater diversity in the arts and entertainment industry. The Propel Center’s arts and entertainment accelerator kicks off at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tenn., on

As holiday shopping begins, Black business owners hope shoppers don’t forget them

By Curtis Bunn April Showers (her real name), a self-described “serial entrepreneur” much of her life, looks at 2020 as a paradox. George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis and the ensuing social justice movement across the country were “painful and exhausting. Very troubling and a moment in time we won’t forget,” she said. For a Black businesswoman, though, the subsequent impact of the protests following Floyd’s death heightened awareness of vast social inequities and inspired the #BuyBlack movement, which encouraged support of Black-owned businesses. In June 2020, Canadian fashion designer and activist Aurora James reasoned on social media that Black people represent 15% of

Black entrepreneurs and DEI efforts face complaints and lawsuits — for racial discrimination

By Char Adams Just months after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in higher education, conservatives have set their sights on a new target: initiatives meant to close racial disparities in business. Companies, governments and venture capitalists have been hit with complaints and in some cases federal lawsuits over the constitutionality of supporting minority- or Black-owned businesses. Ed Blum, a conservative activist who has led efforts to eradicate affirmative action in college admissions, has become part of this new fight. His group, American Alliance for Equal Rights, sued the Fearless Fund, a Black woman-run venture capitalist fund, to block the group from

Novo Nordisk will cut some U.S. insulin prices by up to 75% starting next year

Novo Nordisk will start slashing some U.S. insulin prices up to 75% next year, following a path set earlier this month by rival Eli Lilly. The Danish drugmaker said Tuesday that pre-filled pens and vials of long- and short-acting insulins will see list price reductions. They include Levemir, Novolin, NovoLog and NovoLog Mix70/30. Novo also will drop the list price of unbranded products like Insulin Aspart to match the lower price of the branded insulins. The price cuts go into effect Jan. 1. A vial of NovoLog and NovoLog Mix 70/30 will drop 75% to $72.34 from $289.36. FlexPen options will

D.C. Entrepreneur Buys Strip Mall for Black-Owned Businesses

By Angela Johnson Angel Gregorio’s specialty seasoning business, The Spice Suite, has always been about helping other Black-owned businesses. She’s hosted over 450 pop-ups for Black businesses in her Washington D.C. store. Gregorio knows first-hand how expensive it is to own commercial property in the Chocolate City. Now she’s doing her part to provide other local Black-owned businesses with an opportunity to have a brick-and-mortar space of their own. With a $1 million investment, Gregorio turned a 7,500 square foot lot in the Langdon section of Washington D.C. into a strip mall for local Black-owned businesses. And she’s calling the space Black

James Beard Foundation Shows Love to Black Restaurants and Chefs With 2023 Award Semifinalists

By Angela Johnson This week, we told you that on Yelp’s list of Top 100 Places to Eat, only five of the restaurants were Black-owned. Welp, the James Beard Awards® just announced their 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists and the news was much better for Black folks. The James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a restaurant industry where everyone can thrive, has recognized noteworthy restaurants and chefs with their highly-coveted award since 1991. This year’s standouts were chosen across 23 categories, including Outstanding Restaurant, Emerging Chef and Outstanding Bakery. Winners will be honored at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards

National Business League Leads Initiative Designed To Digitize 1 Million Black-Owned Businesses

The National Business League is advancing its efforts to empower Black entrepreneurs. The nonprofit unveiled an initiative that aims to digitize 1 million Black-owned businesses by 2028. Founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900, the organization is the country’s first and largest nonprofit dedicated to economically empowering the Black community. The NBL provides tools to help Black ventures thrive, locally and globally. Cognizant of the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on Black-owned businesses paired with the racial inequities that exist within the entrepreneurship space, the organization is putting the focus on ensuring resources that will help Black entrepreneurs develop a digital presence for their ventures

Delta Air Lines releases new stock images of Black and brown people to promote diversity in travel

By Claretta Bellamy Delta Air Lines is working to fix the lack of minority faces in travel advertising. The airline released a new photo library Wednesday called “Faces of Travel,” which contains 100 images that reflect a more “inclusive and accurate view” of Black and brown travelers from around the globe. In partnership with Adobe, the photos will be available to download for free on the software company’s stock library for social media, advertising and other content creation. Delta and Adobe tapped Kin, a creative company that advances social change through culture, along with photographer Seo Ju Park to capture the diverse travel

FedEx Announces Launch of Student Ambassador Program

Courtesy of LeMoyne-Owen College,  The world’s largest express transportation company, today announced the launch of the FedEx-HBCU Student Ambassador Program. The program demonstrates a continued commitment to help prepare students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to be future leaders with opportunities to learn about the FedEx enterprise from executives, build leadership and career-ready skills, and participate in unique experiences, while also helping expand the company’s pipeline for diverse talent. Student participants were selected from the following HBCUs: • Jackson State University (Jackson, Miss.) • Tennessee State University (Nashville, Tenn.) • LeMoyne-Owen College (Memphis, Tenn.) • Mississippi Valley State

Biden’s $1 billion bet to make beef cheaper: When will prices fall?

By Danielle Wiener-Bronner and Matt Egan, The White House on Monday offered a solution to surging meat prices: an action plan that includes investing $1 billion of American Rescue Plan funds to boost competition in the industry and promises to ramp up regulation and enforcement of anticompetition laws. But some experts say the move is unlikely to offer relief at the grocery store right away. The Biden Administration’s investment, which includes grants, loans, money for training, new labeling rules and ways for farmers to report anti-competitive concerns, is designed to spark competition in the meat processing industry, which is dominated by a small number

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