Monthly Archives: July 2017

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy


Farms, not factories. When industry is the path to prosperity. Ancient, archaic laws When the majority of Indians are less than 25 years old. Armies of unemployed. When companies are hunting for skilled workers. Half-built highways. When its people dream of speed. Indias problems can seem overwhelming. But solutions exist.

In Restart, Mihir S. Sharma shows what can and must change in Indias policies, its administration and even its attitudes. The answers he provides are not obvious. Nor are they all comforting or conventional. Yet they could, in less time than you can imagine, unleash the creativity of a billion hopeful Indians.

Advertisements

Can YOU Run This Institution: Prairie View A&M Looks To Train Next Generation of HBCU Administrators


President George C. Wright has been an integral force in bringing Prairie View A&M University a new stadium, but his legacy may be in a new program that allows students at the HBCU just outside of Houston to shadow administrators for a day to learn what it truly takes to run, manage, and grow an HBCU. This is vital when looking across the landscape of HBCUs where far too many HBCUs are being run by non-HBCU alums. It is almost an indictment on HBCU boards that when choosing an administration that far too many candidates have little to no HBCU connection. The pipeline from which HBCUs can choose their leadership reflective of their strategic needs and cultural values is vital to the future of them remaining true to being institutions that serve African America’s interest in higher education.

Prairie View A&M’s program allows students to shadow administration for a day is vital for both exposure and mentorship. Engaging students in the experience is also is key to their ability to participate as alumni in understanding how they can both help externally or maybe one day as leadership themselves. If the program is nurtured it could become a program that trains not only students at Prairie View, but others as well. Such a simple step could have a meaningful and lasting impact on the future of our institutions. We decided to reach out to Antony Owens (pictured above center) who participated in the program to see the impact that is truly had.

Name: Antony Owens

Classification: Junior

Major: Architecture and Construction Science

What made you decide to participate in the program?

My organization, Panther Ambassadors hosts the Can YOU Run This Institution program, as a member of the organization I wanted to lead by example and participate in the program myself.

Who did you shadow and how was that determined?

I shadowed Dr. Thomas-Smith, generally students are given a list of the faculty that will be participating and are then able to choose whom they would like to shadow.

What was your takeaway from participating?

There is a lot of grunt work done by a few key people across the university. Dr. Thomas-Smith for instance has a lot to do with the university’s accreditation, she has to work with people across campus and all the different departments to acquire full accreditation for the university. To do her job would require a strong work ethic, patience, management skills and the ability to lead.

Are there things that you were surprised at learning that it takes to run the university?

I was taken back by the fact that even after one finishes college and is done with school, they may still have homework. It was a realization because I thought homework stopped after school, but in order to complete things in a timely and well done manner, one may have to sacrifice more time in order to meet expectations.

How do you think the participation in the program will help you as an alumnus even if you do not go on to become an administrator?

It has helped me mature and get a better picture of what the work life is like when you have nobody but yourself to truly hold you accountable.

Is African America’s Financial System Collapsing? The Sale of First State Bank Reduces Black Banks To 19


“First we need a savings bank. Let us put our moneys together; let us use our moneys; let us put our money out at usury among ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves. Let us have a bank that will take the nickels and turn them into dollars.” -Maggie L. Walker

The #BankBlack movement maybe moving, but quite simply it is not moving fast enough. After almost 100 years in business, First State Bank, the last African American owned bank in Virginia, has sold the majority of its ownership to Casey Crawford, CEO & Founder of Movement Mortgage (pictured above). The sell reduces the number of African American owned banks to 19 and represents an almost 20 percent decrease in the number of African American owned banks lost in the past two and half years.

It has been seen that with the absence of African American owned banks and credit unions comes much predatory behavior to the community. Banks like Wells Fargo and Citigroup have paid hundreds of millions for their behavior and payday loans are as rampant as ants at a picnic within the community. Since desegregation, African American institutions from neighborhoods to businesses and even schools that were inherent to the interest of African America have been in a struggle to stem the tide of a collapsing institutional fabric.

As recently as the early 1990s there were over 50 African American owned banks in the United States. First State Bank’s sale removes $32.9 million in assets from African America’s financial hold. Key states absent of an African American owned bank were already Florida, Mississippi, New York, and Ohio all of which have major African American populations. Now, add Virginia to that list which is a key state down the I-95 corridor and proximity to the nation’s capital. The loss of First State Bank truly echoes tears of frustration as Virginia was the home of Madam C.J. Walker’s St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, which she chartered in 1901 making her the first African American woman to charter and preside over a bank. Now, there are none in the state 116 years later. Is this what we call progress?

There has not been a new African American owned bank opened in seventeen years since Alamerica Bank was opened in Alabama. The #BankBlack movement is simply not enough if African American institutions like HBCUs, businesses, fraternal organizations, and the like are not willing to move their deposits into them. A harsh reality is that lending to the African American community is risky. We have lower median incomes, less assets, and more volatile working lives. The chance that we could become unemployed is a much higher probability than other Americans, therefore our banks are always at more risk for loan default from us. They need even more reserves than banks like JP Morgan and company who are being required to hold more because of their systemic importance. Our banks must look at themselves in the same light, they are systemic to our community’s financial health. If not, the candlelight of opportunity is going to quickly fade away into darkness when African America truly has no place to turn for its own financial well being.

First State Bank closing is more than just 100 years of financial stability to southeast Virginia’s African American community, it is another nail in the coffin of African American institutionalism which we so desperately need to revive.