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Diversity & Inclusion

Actor, writer, and comedian Issa Rae is launching a new company, Ensemble, to connect brands with diverse creators. Ensemble Connecting Brands With Diverse Creators Ensemble is a next-generation branded entertainment company bringing production and distribution infrastructure to a diverse group of creators. The company collaborates with brands, platforms, and publishers to produce and distribute content that shapes culture while engaging audiences. Their primary mission is to make the creator economy more equitable for underrepresented creators, as research has previously found that Black creators, on average, made 35% less than white creators. Ensemble is funded

Operation HOPE, a national nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship and financial literacy, has renewed its Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) with the US Small Business Administration (SBA).  The collaboration aims to uplift small businesses nationwide, with an emphasis on minority-owned enterprises. Expanding Access to Essential Resources During a recent visit to Operation HOPE’s headquarters, SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman and other officials met with the leadership of Operation HOPE.  They discussed strategies to extend resources to entrepreneurs, particularly those in underserved communities.  Under the renewed agreement, both organizations will enhance access to

A national program, The Hidden Genius Project, teaches technology and entrepreneurship to young Black men in Chicago and around the US. The Hidden Genius Project The project was founded in 2012 by five Black male entrepreneurs and technologists who had noticed the high unemployment of Black male youth and the large number of careers in tech. To address the challenge, they created a program to connect young Black males with the skills, mentors and experiences needed to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists. “The hidden genius project trains and mentors Black male youth in

Large U.S. employers are 9.5% more likely to contact candidates with names that suggested they were white than those presumed to be Black, a new study has revealed. Uncovering Systematic Bias In a study by leading economists Evan Rose, Patrick Kline and Christopher Walters, approximately 80,000 fabricated résumés were sent out 10,000 jobs at 97 of the largest companies in the U.S. The experiment explored racial and gender biases by alternating names on résumés to imply different ethnicities and genders—such as Latisha or Amy (suggesting Black or white women) and Lamar or

PROPEL has announced the establishment of the PROPEL HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium (HCC), in partnership with Southern Company, Led by Dr Lisa Herring, the former superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, PROPEL is a first-of-its-kind innovation hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Strengthening Industry-Academia Collaboration PROPEL’s new HCC incorporates four key elements: a resource hub, professional development programs, accelerated learning opportunities, and a workforce pipeline.  By providing HBCU students and faculty with access to the latest industry trends, technologies, and real-world projects, the consortium aims to create an educational environment that

Online resources business Hello Alice recently announced its Series C funding round closure despite facing a controversial class-action lawsuit.  The lawsuit alleges their partnership with Progressive Insurance to offer grants specifically to Black-owned businesses was racially discriminatory. Hello Alice’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion In October 2023, Hello Alice found itself at the center of a legal battle when America First Legal, Mitchell Law PLLC, and Ashbrook Byrne Kresge LLC filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination. This was due to the company’s initiative, which provided $25,000 in grants to 10 Black-owned businesses in

MyFiLi is a new AI-powered edtech platform designed to transform how families, schools, and nonprofits engage with financial literacy.  The Urgent Need for Financial Literacy Currently, consumer credit card debt in the U.S. has hit an all-time high of $1.79 trillion, and savings account balances average just $4,521. MyFiLi.com addresses this gap by providing tools and knowledge that help users navigate the complex nature of financial management.  According to BlackNews, Founder and CEO Joseph Green‘s mission is to empower everyone to develop a healthy relationship with money. “By making financial literacy education accessible,

Primary Venture Partners has partnered with over 25 leading New York-based venture firms and startups to introduce the Factor Fellowship.  This program will tackle the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) challenges head-on by connecting the city’s VC-backed startups with top talent from underrepresented groups. Addressing Diversity in Venture Capital and Startups The data on diversity within the venture capital and startup landscape shows that only about 13% of venture capital decision-makers are women. Funding for Black founders also declined in 2023, failing to reach the $1 billion mark for the first time since 2016. 

Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain Sheetz is under scrutiny following a federal lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The suit accuses Sheetz of employing racially discriminatory hiring practices through its criminal background screening process, affecting Black, American Indian and multiracial job candidates since at least 2015. Disproportionate Impact on Minority Applicants According to the lawsuit, Sheetz’s hiring practices have disproportionately screened out minority applicants.  Statistics reveal that while white applicants were denied employment due to their criminal records in about 8% of cases, the denial rates for Black applicants were significantly higher at

Research has shown that Black adults experience higher rates of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and irregular sleep patterns, more frequently than other demographic groups.  Dr. Ivor Horn, Google’s Chief Health Equity Officer, is at the forefront of addressing these health disparities using AI. Her role mainly involves bridging healthcare gaps by using technology to enhance healthcare equity, particularly for marginalized communities. Sleep Disorders With Black People Factors contributing to less sleep among Black individuals include location, environmental noise, light pollution, and broader socio-economic issues such as stress and racial discrimination. 

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