Make your money talk

Individual shareholders are having their say in corporate management

on their products and how many black employees and suppliers they have.” She also suggested that Sara Lee add a woman of color to its board.

Shareholders interested in attending a shareholders meeting can contact that company’s investor relations department. They may even submit a formal proposal or resolution (as long as that person or group of shareholders hold at least $1,000 worth of company stock).

Individual investors may not have the same strength in number of shares as institutional investors or mutual fund managers, but companies don’t dismiss their recommendations, even though corporate bigwigs may not always implement them. But many people like Talley and Perry-Mason believe management will respond if black investors start to fuse shareholder activism with consumer activism. By coming together as a group, black investors can learn to flex their financial muscle and wield their clout in America’s corporate boardrooms.

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