Race-Conscious Agenda - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

On June 23, while Supreme Court Justices concluded to favor the University of Michigan’s Law School admissions process and denounce the undergraduate admissions policies, African Americans were making up their own minds about affirmative action. A national poll of 1,800 participants conducted in June by Black America’s Political Action Committee (BAMPAC) suggests that when it comes to affirmative action, African American opinions are congruent with the majority of Americans, says Alvin Williams, president and CEO of BAMPAC. “Sixty-five percent of African American registered voters believe affirmative action is good in principle but needs to be reformed,” says Williams. “Only 19% believe that it is fine the way it is.”

This is not to say that African Americans oppose affirmative action. When asked if they favor or oppose set-asides for minority-owned businesses and racial quotas in employment and education, 62% were in favor of it. “In their minds, something needs to be done to ensure that we are given a shot at higher education and in America’s workplace,” says Williams. “They, as well as a lot of other people, are uncomfortable if the program is just based solely on race.” He offers that the trend in African American opinion is that race can and should be a consideration as well as other factors such as gender, and geographical and socio-economic background.

Also, 42% of those surveyed strongly disagree that Bush’s policies will improve equality and fairness in the United States. BAMPAC is a nonpartisan organization that surveys the African American community yearly to assess their feelings on the current administration and their evolving attitudes toward the major political parties.


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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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