Jackson: Economic Woes Mean 'Double Trouble' for Blacks - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

wall_street_signWith banks, businesses, and homeowners hanging by a thread from last year’s credit crisis, the 2009 12th annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit has quite a challenge to surmount. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a social and civil rights organization, has created a conference that it hopes will set a course for those suffering from the fallout.

“The economic downturn has been double trouble for black Americans,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “They already were at the bottom of every category, such as access to capital and life expectancy. The consequences of the economy are serious for most Americans but disastrous for African Americans.”

The theme for this year’s summit is “Fallout From the Bailout: A New Day in Washington,” and to that end, organizers plan to take to task the U.S. Treasury Department for its $700 billion bail out of Wall Street.

The conference, which runs Jan. 13-16 at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, will include several panel discussions on the ongoing economic crisis, a breakfast discussion on access to capital, workshops offering solutions to the foreclosure crisis, and wealth building sessions for women and women-owned businesses. There will also be a regulatory roundtable and a job fair.

The conference will also address workforce and supplier diversity, and discuss whether the opportunities for small businesses still exist.

“[In these times] it matters less whether you are a woman or a minority. What matters: What is your unit contributing to the bottom line of the company? Companies are looking at the profitable units and they are looking to trim expenses,” says Terri Austin, chief diversity officer at American International Group Inc., and a panelist on a session addressing the impact of the economic crisis on diversity. “Companies have to look at diversity as contributing to the bottom line. Having a diverse workforce leads to innovation.”

The Wall Street Project seeks to “promote access to capital for minority businesses, better hiring and promotion practices, appointment of larger numbers of minorities to corporate boards, and increased business and cooperation between majority and minority-owned companies,” according to the Rainbow PUSH coalition. Jackson created the Wall Street Project on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday 12 years ago to promote racial equality and economic justice.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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