Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Annually, the East Bay Women’s Initiative for Self Employment recognizes San Francisco Bay Area women business owners for their respective professional and civic contributions. During its recent annual regional awards ceremony the nonprofit organization named Raye Mitchell the 2011 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in recognition of her leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic contributions. The event was held in the Lakeside Theater at Kaiser Center in Oakland. Mitchell is CEO of Making a New Reality Foundation and the G.U.R.L.S. Rock Leadership Program. Mitchell, who attended the University of Southern California’s Marshall Graduate School of Business and Harvard Law School, guides girls and women of color to be SocialPreneurs, defined as individuals applying business entrepreneurial skills, experiences and training to combat social problems and challenges limiting their vision and ability to achieve greatness. Recent Women’s Initiative research shows that its graduates created or retained more than 4,300 jobs in 2010 alone.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced this week that prominent philanthropic leader Stephanie Bell-Rose and national investment expert and former NAACP national treasurer Francisco L. Borges are joining the foundation’s board of trustees. Knight Foundation is dedicated to the ideal that democracies thrive when communities are informed and engaged. The foundation supports transformational ideas that engage communities, promote quality journalism and media innovation, and foster the arts. Based in New York City, Bell-Rose has an extensive background in philanthropy and policy initiatives. She is a managing director of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement and Equity Fund and head of its institute, where she focuses on higher education, financial security policy and research and charitable organizations. Bell-Rose previously served as president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and also as counsel and program officer for public affairs at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. There, she directed legal affairs and designed philanthropic initiatives in education and public policy. Borges is a leader in business and in promoting civil rights for all. With a background in state government, Borges previously served as treasurer for Connecticut and deputy mayor of the city of Hartford. He is also chairman and managing partner at Landmark Partners Inc., a full-service alternative investment firm specializing in private equity and real estate. Borges was also managing director of GE Capital’s Financial Guaranty.
The nations marching band fans have spoken, and have chosen the top eight marching bands at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for the 2012 Honda Battle of the Bands. Now marking 10 years of celebrating the heritage, showmanship and scholarship of HBCU bands, the Honda Battle of the Bands will bring The Homecoming to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the Invitational Showcase on Jan. 28. Albany State University Marching Rams Show Band, Bethune Cookman University Marching Wildcats, Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South, Prairie View A&M University Marching Storm, South Carolina State University Marching 101, Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands, Virginia State University Marching Trojan Explosion, and Winston-Salem State University Red Sea of Sound are the HBCU marching bands that will earn a $20,000 grant for their music education programs and an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2012 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase. Each band will have 12 minutes to showcase the musical excellence, distinctive style and superior showmanship that earned them a place in the 2012 Invitational Showcase.