Texas Southern University Host NAREB’s Black Homeownership Summit

“We need to intentionally invest in health, in home ownership, in entrepreneurship, in access to democracy, in economic empowerment. If we don’t do these things, we shouldn’t be surprised that racial inequality persists because inequalities compound.” – Pete Buttigieg

On the campus of Texas Southern University on November 4th and 5th, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, an organization representing the interest of African American real estate professionals, hosted a homeownership summit with focuses on not only homeownership, but also student debt, access to credit, and investing. The importance of such an event being held on an HBCU campus can not be understated.

Intertwining African American institutions with each other has long been a struggle for the community’s development with African American institutions often operating on islands instead of a connected ecosystem. Events like NAREB’s Black Homeownership Summit at Texas Southern University helps highlight the power, potential, and scalability of what happens when African American (and Diaspora) institutions work together. What better place to address Black homeownership after all than on the campus of an HBCU? Soon to be African American graduates and professionals will be at the vanguard of trying to close the acute homeownership crisis that African America continues to face (graph below).

One of the keynote speakers at the NAREB Black Homeownership Summit event was Teresa Bryce Bazemore, CEO and President of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, speaking exclusively to HBCU Money about the event said, “We need all the parties in the housing finance industry and other stakeholders to collectively work to eliminate the barriers to homeownership. In this new environment, all consumers including Black and Brown people should be able to participate equally in the dream of homeownership. We need initiatives that can help potential buyers with improving their credit, saving for down payments and understanding the entire home buying process from A to Z. We also need to make sure that the lending rules are equitable.”

HBCU Money’s Suggested Five Initiatives For HBCUs Can/Should Be But Not Limited Too:

  • Making financial literacy a mandatory part of matriculation for HBCU students. This can be done through the financial aid office, workshops, or a class.
  • Providing HBCU students work study jobs that go into the community at African American K-12 schools and teaching financial literacy.
  • Partnering with African American owned banks and credit unions. Due to their deposit bases, many African American owned banks and credit unions simply can not participate in the primary mortgage market and there are few to none African American owned non-bank mortgage lenders. This leaves the African American community in an extremely vulnerable position to predatory lending as has been demonstrated and shown time and time again. HBCUs are a key to growing assets within African American financial institutions through students, alumni, and institutionally.
  • Offering more scholarships for ALL students. Scholarships are purposed to reduce student loan debt, but they are often resigned to high achieving students despite the majority of students being in the middle. This becomes highly problematic for African Americans who usually do not have the familial wealth to assist in paying down or off their student loan debt. HBCUs while cheaper than our PWI counterparts on the whole could be doing even more to reduce the student loan debt burden for African American students by ensuring that any student who is academically eligible has an opportunity to reduce their student loan debt burden. This provides an opportunity upon graduation that more of their initial paycheck is going towards wealth building and potential homeownership rather than debt burden.
  • Encouraging the use of startups like HBCU Real Estate, who has part of their mission statement to use a portion of their profits to provide down payment assistance for HBCU alumni who seek to purchase primary or investment properties.

Homeownership and real estate ownership have long been a cornerstone to establishing generational wealth in the United States. Despite this, the African American homeownership has never crossed over the 50 percent threshold and according to MarketWatch and has always maintained a 20-30 percentage point gap between African and European Americans. African America’s civilian noninsittuional population as of October 2021 was 33.7 million and its civilian labor force is 20.6 million and the African American labor force 20 and over is 19.9 million. Assuming that 44 percent of the 19.9 million are homeowners (8.7 million), it would take approximately 1.5 million more African Americans to become homeowners to get African America above 51 percent. Based on the most recent data provided by Zillow, the typical value of U.S. homes is $308,220 as of September 2021. Between 1999 and 2021, the median price has almost tripled from $111,000 to $308,220. This means in order for those 1.5 million to acquire homes they would need down payments of approximately $16.2 billion using FHA’s 3.5 percent down financing or $10,800 per potential African American homebuyer. While it does not on the surface seem like a lot to many, that number represents almost 45 percent of the African American median net worth, but a mere 6 percent of European American median net worth.

Just for perspective on that $16.2 billion, there are no African Americans with a net worth more than that, but there are 45 Americans whose single net worth exceeds $16.2 billion. The road to achieving more African American homeownership will be no small task, but events like NAREB/Texas Southern will go a long way in us doing the hard work together, lifting the heavy load together, and ultimately achieving our goal together.

$6 Million Donation to University of the Virgin Islands Will Create First Public HBCU Medical School

“The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient’s hopes are the physician’s secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription.” – Norman Cousins

The University of the Virgin Islands simply continues to impress. The HBCU that few people know or talk about as an HBCU keeps its head down and continues the vital work of African Diaspora building. In recent years, UVI has seen a meteoric rise into HBCU Money’s Top Ten HBCU Endowments seemingly out of nowhere. This time the University of the Virgin Islands leads once again showing the constitution of action and strategic planning with the creation of the HBCU Diaspora’s fifth medical school and first ever public medical school. The latter being long overdue.

While it would have been preferable that the medical school bear the name of a historical figure of African descent, Ianthe Blyden or Myrah Keating Smith, two Virgin Islander nurses who were renowned for their healthcare work. Instead, it appears the medical school will retain the name of its financial benefactor, Donald Sussman. Mr. Sussman, according to UVI’s press release, “the founder of Paloma Partners, was a member of the UVI Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2012.”

The public HBCU medical school’s importance can not be overstated. Public institutions represent a way for a group to extract their economic interest from an overall pool of funds that citizens pay into. In other words, Citizen A pays their taxes into an overall pool of taxes, politicians then decide how those funds will be disbursed to the public institutions representing the different interest of the citizenry. The problem that has plagued the interests of African Americans is that we pay into the system, but rarely have public institutions that are able to leverage pulling out funds from the pool to meet our social and economic needs. In this case, that social need is a vast investment in our health outcomes. UVI’s medical school will allow African Americans a significantly more affordable route to the community’s production of medical doctors and health professionals than can currently be offered by private institutions. That is because public institutions, through that tax pool, are able to subsidize the cost of the education they are providing. The lack of a public HBCU medical school has meant that many African American doctors are often forced to go after hospital positions that are well paid and more likely to cater to non-African American patients or medical facilities upon finishing medical school. Community health clinics become out of the question with six-figure student loan debts.

How dire is the situation for African American doctors and health professionals? Asian Americans have 1 doctor for every 117 people in its population, European Americans have 1 doctor for every 457 people in tis population, and African Americans have 1 doctor for every 914 people in its population. Institutionally speaking, there is only one African American owned hospital left as well, run and operated by Howard University.

There is an over 25 percent greater chance if you are African American ages 18-49 that you will not see a doctor because of costs to our white counterparts and a 50 percent chance if you are 50-64 that you will not see a doctor because of cost compared to our white counterparts according to statistics gathered by the American Community Survey from 2014. It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 Pandemic and Recession has probably only exacerbated those statistics. With other factors impacting African American health such as unemployment which means no insurance, poverty, no home ownership, and more, one could argue that African America has been in a health crisis and in order to stop the proverbial “bleeding” then we need to address a severe shortage in doctors and nurses coming from our community. The new medical school at UVI will go a long way in doing just that.

HBCUs medical schools, however, must connect themselves more strongly to HBCU undergraduate pipelines to ensure the best of the best from our institutions remain within our institutional ecosystem. It would not hurt to develop a Pre-K to Medical School strategy either. This means that HBCU alumni from all institutions must support more endowed scholarships at these HBCU medical schools for HBCU undergraduates looking to go to medical school. It also means that we can not rest simply on having one public HBCU medical school. We need others, expeditiously. The building of a global Pan-African health system that is centric to our needs is something we need more of – again, expeditiously. The creation of HBCU medical schools will go a long way into the formation of doing our part in accomplishing that. Let us hope it is not another 55 years before the next one is created, but for now let us celebrate and support the wonderful accomplishment of our brothers and sisters at University of the Virgin Islands.

Editorial Rerun – In Memoriam: The 100th Anniversary Of The Black Wall Street Massacre

First published on June 1, 2012 for the 91st anniversary of the Black Wall Street Massacre and a foreword from an article done by the Atlanta Black Star.

“The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times in this tight-knit community, according to sfbayview.com. A single dollar might have stayed in Tulsa for almost a year before leaving the Black community. Comparatively in modern times, a dollar can circulate in Asian communities for a month, Jewish communities for 20 days and white communities for 17, but it leaves the modern-day Black community in six hours, according to reports from the NAACP.”

By William A. Foster, IV

Remember that life is neither pain nor pleasure; it is serious business, to be entered upon with courage and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. – Alexis de Tocqueville

This is the first year I’ve had a chance to remember Black Wall Street on the very day that in a 12 hour battle a model community of American aspiration would be destroyed. It has always been at the heart of my economic and institutional development beliefs. I once railed on twitter that I wish Spike Lee would make the movie of Black Wall Street. Although, I dare say he’d run into even more problems than he did with Malcolm X. The threat of social and economic power coming to African America is much more frightful than one man.  I’ve even griped that my issues with Dr. Cornel West and his ilk  who want to speak “truth to power” is they ignore the model of the greatest moment in African America’s social and economic history as well as the very basis of how capitalism works. Our own fault for listening to a theology professor instead of our own economist. I always say there is “No Country for African American Economist” in the African American community. We’d rather speak to power than build our own. The story of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK is one of those moments where if we’d learn from history it would be worth repeating it. Instead, we’ll ignore our history to our own peril.

Many of us have a hard time imagining a place where African Americans owned and controlled as Mike House documents in his research “twenty-one restaurants, thirty grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half dozen private airplanes and even a bus system”. Just this economic power alone in one centralized place makes one realize how far we have fallen. Many of us simply see nominal gains in income and assume we have progressed. Not realizing that capitalism’s power and reward ultimately rest in the institutions you own and control.

I have tired of the marches. I have tired of the “leaders”. I have tired of the speeches. I have even tired of my own writings. I am tired of telling us we are poorer today than we were in 1921. I have tired of our dependency on liberal ideology that says wait for a government to do the right thing by us. The government does the right thing by those who have the economic means to grease it. We simply need to build communities that we control and own. We need to build institutions that we control and own in those communities. We need to build social, economic, and political partnerships with Africa just like every other group in this country has with its ancestral homeland which creates a global power. We then need to use that social and economic capital to influence the political system to protect our social and economic interest. This is what made Black Wall Street so powerful and why it ultimately had to be destroyed. They were on the verge of leveraging their influence into the political system which would have allowed them to control Oklahoma. Can you imagine that?

We have HBCU communities that already are built to become Black Wall Street reinvented. Over 100 of them. Less talking. More building.

For the entirety of the events of June 1, 1921 just click the date.

HBCU Money’s 2020 Top 10 HBCU Endowments

For the first time since we began reporting the Top Ten HBCU endowments, an HBCU endowment that we knew should be present but was not reporting is now present – Morehouse College. Hopefully next year we will see Tuskegee University join the fray. This provides a far more accurate picture of the HBCU endowment picture, at least at the top. While many will wonder why the endowments do not appear larger after massive donations that happen in 2020, it should be understood that many donations will not be reflective in the institutions endowment figures until fiscal year 2021 is reported so expect to see massive jumps for many HBCUs in the next calendar year.

However, examining the HBCU endowment world prior Mackenzie Scott’s 2020 philanthropy shows Howard University powering ahead toward becoming the first HBCU endowment to $1 billion. Their lead over number two Spelman extended from $302 million in 2019 to $355 million in 2020. Unfortunately, only four of the ten HBCU endowments saw increases in their endowment market value, while amongst the PWI’s Top Ten endowments all ten saw increases in their market value.* The Top Ten PWI endowments for 2020 combined for $199.8 billion versus $2 billion for the Top Ten HBCU endowments showing an institutional wealth gap of almost $100 to $1.

There is going to be a continued mixed bag of endowment reality among HBCUs. The Have and Have Nots among HBCU endowments has exacerbated and despite the attention during 2020 most smaller HBCUs have yet to secure donations that would secure their future. Even many of those who did are still sitting in a precarious perch. The NACUBO average endowment is over $907 million, an amount that is almost five times the average HBCU endowment and an average that not even Howard has reached yet. This means that while the “lottery” donations from non-HBCU sources is great, it absolutely does not remove the charge from HBCU alumni of being vigilant givers to their institutions. If HBCUs could simply get more of their alumni giving small amounts on a consistent basis that would do wonders for improving endowments. It goes without saying the other reality is that all HBCUs need to increase their student populations so that they are graduating more alumni and therefore more potential donors.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • HBCU Endowment Total – $2.0 billion
  • Number of PWIs Above $2 billion – 55
  • Number of PWIs Above $1 billion – 114
  • HBCU Median – $95.6 million (-2.62%)
  • NACUBO Median – $165.7 million (0.58%)
  • HBCU Average – $187.7 million (0.13%)
  • NACUBO Average – $903.1 million (1.56%)

All values are in millions ($000)

1. Howard University – $712,410 (2.83%)

2. Spelman College – $377,942 (-3.21%)

3.  Hampton University – $280,598 (-0.69%)

4.  Morehouse College – $157,081 (0.64%)

5.  Meharry Medical College – $156,719 (-1.53%)

6. Florida A&M University – $95,635 (-2.63%)

7. North Carolina A&T State University  – $73,809 (7.82%)

8.  University of the Virgin Islands – $66,894 (-6.68%)

9. Tennessee State University – $63,020 (3.12%)

10. Virginia State University – $56,149 (-2.15%)

OTHERS REPORTING:

*The change in market value does NOT represent the rate of return for the institution’s investments. Rather, the change in the market value of an endowment from FY19 to FY20 reflects the net impact of:
1) withdrawals to fund institutional operations and capital expenses;
2) the payment of endowment management and investment fees;
3) additions from donor gifts and other contributions; and
4) investment gains or losses.

SOURCE: NACUBO

Take a look at how an endowment works. Not only scholarships to reduce the student debt burden but research, recruiting talented faculty & students, faculty salaries, and a host of other things can be paid for through a strong endowment. It ultimately is the lifeblood of a college or university to ensure its success generation after generation.

11 Black Trade/Professional Organizations You Have Never Heard Of – But Should Join Today

“Networking has been cited as the number one unwritten rule of success in business. Who you know really impacts what you know.” – Sallie Krawcheck

Our founder and chief economist, William A. Foster, IV, has a favorite saying, “Your net worth is a reflection of your network.” If you want to ascend to greater heights you have to connect with others who are also doing so. The people we associate with and the organizations we belong to can propel us socially and financially throughout our careers. However, knowing where to find professional networks and organizations has often proved challenging for African Americans not already in ‘the know’. Some of the more well known African American professional organizations are NABE (National Association of Black Engineers), NBMBAA (National Black MBA Association), and even NABA (National Association of Black Accountants) to name a few. You also do not have to be in that specific field to join that particular organization. A psychology major is not limited to only psychology trade/professional organizations. In fact, it is very important to join organizations that have no links with your current field to give yourself a more worldly view and expanded possibilities of opportunities. An accountant joining NABE may find out about an opportunity for an accountant position at an engineering firm or find a co-founder to launch their own engineering firm. Ultimately, the networking of African American professionals, especially HBCU graduates, into our own trade/professional organizations helps to strengthen and circulate the social and intellectual capital of African America’s private sector and therefore African America itself.

NABHOOD – National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers

“Our primary goal here at NABHOOD is to increase the number of African-Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels; increase vendor opportunities & executive level jobs for minorities, thereby creating wealth within the African-American community. We do this by providing information about hotel ownership, investing, supplier opportunities, employment and other resources; our Annual International African American Hotel Ownership & Investment Summit & Trade Show is our best resource to help us accomplish this.”

AABE – American Association of Blacks in Energy

“The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) is a national association of energy professionals founded and dedicated to ensure the input of African Americans and other minorities into the discussions and developments of energy policies regulations, R&D technologies, and environmental issues.”

NBMOA – National Black McDonald’s Operators’ Association

“The National Black McDonald’s Operators Association (NBMOA) is a 47 year old Organization dedicated to ensuring that African American McDonald’s Owners are fully engaged in all of the benefits associated with owning McDonald’s restaurants. The NBMOA goal is the complete integration of NBMOA members, African American Employees and Vendors into the McDonald’s system. The NBMOA also works diligently to make sure that McDonald’s fully engage the African American community in a respectful and positive manner.”

NABFM – National Association of Black Food Manufactures

“The NABFM is a newly established nonprofit that exists to be a voice for people of African descent in food and beverage manufacturing. It was founded to address the unique needs of our community as we seek to gain further entry into the food manufacturing, supplier and related industries for our ultimate success.”

NBTEBA – National Black Tech Ecosystem Builders Association

“The National Black Tech Ecosystem Builder Association will unite black tech startup support organizations, black faith communities, K thru 12th Black STEAM educators, HBCUs, black civic tech organizations, and black technology organizations. The Association will empower on-the-ground black tech activists and black tech ecosystem builders to eradicate racial tech disparities in their cities by helping them to strengthen their local black tech ecosystems.”

OBAP – Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals

“OBAP will be a world-leading organization that changes lives by creating a pathway to success through educating youth, communities, and professionals—shaping an aerospace industry as diverse as the people we serve.”

NAAIA – National African American Insurance Association

“NAAIA is dedicated to empowering African American insurance professionals currently in the industry as well as celebrating their accomplishments. NAAIA is also committed to attracting talented individuals to the insurance industry. Through our work and affiliation with other organizations we are dedicated to increasing the awareness of opportunities and the attractiveness of careers in the insurance industry.”

OBMG – Organization of Black Maritime Graduates

“To assist and encourage by educating and increasing public awareness regarding minority involvement in the maritime and engineering industries through recruitment, mentoring, scholarships, and networking.”

AAAFA – Association of African American Financial Advisors

“AAAA is a non-profit membership organization for African American financial advisors and affiliated professionals. We work in alliance with academic leaders at HBCUs that support financial planning degree programs, legislative and regulatory bodies, financial services firms and consumer interest organizations. AAAA fosters the value of financial planning and advances the financial planning profession.” 

OBD – Organization of Black Designers

“OBD is a national professional organization of interior, industrial, architectural, fashion and graphic designers dedicated to promoting the visibility, empowerment, education and interaction of its membership and the understanding and value that diverse design perspectives contribute to world culture and commerce.”

RBCA – Regional Black Contractors Association

“The RBCA maintains very effective working relationship with state, municipal, and corporate leaders and their supplier diversity executives, elected and appointed officials for the support of African-American business development. Locally, statewide and in Washington, DC, we are constantly monitoring of pending legislation that might affect our member’s businesses, their growth and even their ability to conduct business. When legislation is being considered that affects our mission, the RBCA quickly mobilizes to work with key policy makers to support and ensure that every opportunity is available for the RBCA and its members.”