If there’s one thing magazine editors love—more than writing and creating content—it’s talking. Whether it’s here in the hallways of Black Enterprise debating the latest news events or huddled around a conference table to hash over the jobless rate’s impact on our readers, we enjoy lively conversation. (You can only imagine how our penchant for chit-chat affects the length of our meetings.)
In our defense, we are in the communications business. How else would we continue to produce thought-provoking content across four media platforms? After all, the reporting, research, and critical thinking that goes into each issue of BE is informed by the dialogue we have among ourselves—and with entrepreneurs, investors, and readers like you.
Recently, we put these skills to good use when Black Enterprise and Wal-Mart hosted “20/20 Vision: A Look Ahead at Black America in the Next Economic Boom” in Washington, D.C. The day-long event was an invitation-only economic forum, which included a series of discussions with politicians, policy makers, economists, and entrepreneurs. Our chats with the likes of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, White House Economist Jared Bernstein, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, and African American business leaders, including be 100s CEOs, yielded policy recommendations to help the Obama administration facilitate economic recovery as well as an action plan to help black businesses flourish in the post-recession environment. You can read about these recommendations in this issue’s special report, “A New Economic Agenda for Black America.”
Our dialogue in Washington made clear that Americans will have to look beyond government to bring about a lasting and meaningful recovery. In putting together our Annual Investment Guide the challenge for us was finding a way to help readers achieve better-than-average growth in their investment portfolios despite projections of a slow-growth economy in the U.S. The answer: Look abroad. Emerging market economies, for a host of reasons laid out in “Catch the International Flight,” are expected to grow at a faster pace than the U.S. economy in the coming years. Contributing writer Donald Jay Korn and staff writer LaToya M. Smith talked to a broad cross-section of African American investors about how—and why—they’re investing overseas. The story also offers a list of 25 top-performing emerging market mutual funds for you to consider.
The theme of self-empowerment runs deep in this issue. This month you’ll also find our final installment of our three-part series on Women & Money. As part of the feature, we answer 10 of the most common tax strategy and estate planning questions women pose to financial experts. We also introduce you to Lori Singleton-Clarke, who was on the verge of completing her M.B.A., only to receive an audit notice from the IRS disputing her $15,000 deduction in tuition fees. BE talked to the Bryantown, Maryland, registered nurse, whose groundbreaking story in this issue’s Moneywise section provides a case study in how to respond to a tax audit—and win.
Consider this issue—and every issue of Black Enterprise—our way of communicating to you what’s important to your business, career, and finances. But remember, this is no one-sided affair. It’s a dialogue. So, join the conversation on BlackEnterprise.com, Facebook, and Twitter. Let’s talk.
This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.