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The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters.  

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Developing Black CEOs

According to research conducted by Richard Zweigenhaft, a psychology professor at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., though Blacks account for more than 13 percent of the U.S. population, 

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Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Abuse in the Workplace

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal

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The Decision to Handle Rejection

The Decision to Handle Rejection

Rev. Manson B. Johnson

The Big Idea: Endurance is the key to achieving challenging goals in life.“Man’s rejection can be God’s direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment–where we wouldn’t have thought of going on our own.  

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How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

(StatePoint) Everyone faces setbacks in life.

While those personal obstacles can lead to disappointing outcomes, they can also be harnessed into personal motivators, say experts. 

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Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Print Subscription

 Greater Diversity News (GDN) is a statewide publication with national reach and relevance.  We are a chosen news source for underrepresented and underserved communities in North Carolina.  

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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Economic Movement Shelved Until 2012

Written by Featured Organization on 18 November 2011.

ATLANTA – A highly touted black banking initiative, conceived by nationally syndicated talk show host Warren Ballentine as a powerful community development tool, is being shelved until next year, according to the president of the National Bankers Association. Confusion about the mission, goals and consumer benefits of the People’s Economic Movement (PEM) warrant the delay, said Michael Grant, president of the Washington, D.C.-based organization.

“When he (Ballentine) went on CNN stating that the banks would match consumer deposits into a community development fund, some customers felt as though when they deposited $300, they would get $300 added to their accounts,” Grant said in an interview with The Atlanta Voice. “No bank can afford to do that.”

Repeated attempts to reach Ballentine by email, telephone and via his social networking page went unanswered over the past several weeks.

The program was patterned after a 2010 project at Farmers and Merchants Bank in North Carolina, where for every deposit into a new account, the bank would match the deposits and invest in a community fund. The bank raised $1 million and donated $10,000 of that to North Carolina A&T University.

Ballentine, whose syndicated radio talk show airs daily in 20 top markets – including Atlanta – announced the new partnership with the National Bankers Association in July, touting the banking initiative as a potent community development and economic empowerment tool.

Since then, he has devoted several segments of his show to the project, urging listeners to open accounts in black banks in several of the nation’s largest cities – a call that hundreds of listeners appeared to heed.

But as the initiative became more popular throughout the summer, many listeners appeared unclear about how the program would work, Grant said.

Many new customers apparently believed that for every dollar that they deposited into a black bank, that they themselves would receive matching funds in their own accounts instead of accumulating a community fund, Grant said.

Such confusion could not continue, he said.

“I think Warren did an excellent job in announcing our program, but we are going to re-launch the PEM after the beginning of the year,” Grant said.

“If that member bank wants to match funds to go to a college in the community or invest in any other way,” he said, “we will leave that up to the banks that will participate.”

George Andrews, founder and CEO of Atlanta-based Capitol City Bank & Trust Company, said he agrees with the goals of the program, but has seen virtually no new business as a result of the People’s Economic Movement.

Still, he likes the concept. He said the dire state of blacks economically makes it pivotal for blacks to reinvest in African-American banks.

“The unemployment rate among African-Americans is somewhere around 17-18 percent, which is nearly double the national average of 9.1 percent,” he said, “with African-American males accounting for 40 percent of that number.”

The key to new investment, he said, is education – especially for young people.

“When you educate the children on how to manage money well through the student banking initiative,” he said, “it becomes a tool to attract the parents.”

Atlanta-based Citizens Trust Bank, meanwhile, reportedly saw growth from program, Grant said. A bank spokesman confirmed that fact, but could not provide details. •