Blackworthy News

News pertinent to the young black community of Detroit


Financial Insight

Going back to first days of slavery in the United States, enslaved African Americans and their descendants have trekked through the expansive and promising horizon of the American capitalistic economy. At the beginning it was under the brutal and life crushing weight of forced labor, no rights, and zero freedom. In that time, enslaved African Americans and their descendants would become worth more than even the houses their masters lived in, and collectively worth more than all the country’s manufacturing and railroads combined, becoming the single largest financial asset of the entire nation’s economy. With emancipation, in theory and eventually in practice, we moved a tiny bit closer to the frontier of true agency. We continued to do our best to provide for our families using our individual and collective ingenuity, sacrifice, and perseverance with while two boots stood firm on our neck. We continued to be blocked and scammed, 40 acres and mule would come and go unfulfilled, and nearly half of us would migrate out of the southern states, heading north for hopes of a better – less oppressive life.

With each passing decade we would win battles, make progress, but never arrive at the end of the economic war that sought to keep us marginalized. The establishment’s sickening tactics continued to evolve despite the passage of each constitutional amendment and every civil rights law. We went from prima facie slavery, to slavery by other names, to jim crow, and now we face mass incarceration among other never-ending vehicles for our social, emotional, and economic exclusion and overall defeat. Despite these hurdles, we are still here today as the strongest ethnic minority in the country. Better off today than most times in our past, and collectively bearing more tools to fight back and secure our future than ever before. However, that is not to say our fight has been won. That fight wages on daily for each Black man and woman, and begins very early… it begins in at birth. At birth, your life-long education and exposure opportunities have already been pushed further away by oppressors of the past, or will be extended towards you by the champions of your future.

As the leading regional young professionals association for Black men and women in Detroit, we have a duty to support this never-ending endeavor. Thus we have embarked on a journey of Financial Insight for Q4 of 2019, to prepare our members for a renewed outlook going into 2020. This includes integrated financial planning strategies extending from home into the workplace. In this journey there will be a few modules, including:

  • History of Black Economics
  • Personal Financial Management for the Black Young Professional
  • Black Best Practices of Car and Home Buying
  • Maximizing your Intrapreneurial Impact and Compensation
  • The Whys, Why Nots, and Hows of Black Entrepreneurship

These conversations will be heavily flavored by the economic realities of being Black in America today, which is especially required as descendants of American chattel slavery continue to face racist pseudoscience and propaganda to this day. Additionally we have the uniquely high occurrence of historical hand-me-down traumas and accrued disadvantage from our families, such as the “Black Tax” of having to financially support parents and siblings, as well as the mental cage of inner city ghettos. We will address the specific nuance of these realities with members during this series and how they are to best navigate those impediments. This is not to be your typical run-of-the-mill financial dysfunctionalism guilt trip disguised as motivational speech or tough love. This is not shaming of buying clothes or traveling for pleasure. This is a community, almost “family” centered approach, but using data and validated practices introduced through the heart.

To bring the most accurate and relevant information relative to members’ immediate needs, we are asking for your input. We have developed a quick and anonymous survey to gauge the financial position of our constituents in Metro Detroit. We need your help! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. The information will be further anonymized and aggregated to give a financial snapshot which will be shared at our Personal Financial Management module. This information will be immensely helpful to the community for gauging where individuals are relative to their average peer, and to answer the age-old question of “am I the only one?” when it comes to dealing with tough financial situations.

Click the button below to take the survey!

 

Stay tuned to our social media and mailing list for announcements and registration for the workshop modules!


Women’s Brunch

On Sunday, June 24th, Black Young Professionals, in partnership with Women of Distinction, hosted Brunch & Blazers, a ladies only event where attendees discussed what it means to be a woman in the workplace. The event was held at Red Dunn Kitchen, which is attached to the Trumbull-Porter hotel, just outside of Corktown in Detroit. We are always excited to reach different audiences by collaborating with other organizations, and Women of Distinction was the perfect partner for this event — brunch and conversation are their bread and butter! Women of Distinction hosts a brunch every month; aiming to provide a positive and empowering space for women to share their goals and learn from others.

The ladies did not disappoint, everyone looked great in their blazers — in hue, after each gorgeous hue! The overarching theme was equity for women in the workplace, while the underlying theme was solidarity. Each attendee was given a green asymmetrical ribbon to wear on their lapels. The asymmetry of the ribbon symbolizes the pay disparities between women and men. According to this Huffington Post article, white women are paid about 20 percent less than men. Sadly, women of color fare worst by a considerable amount. Black women are paid 40 percent less than men, while our Latina sisters are paid 45 percent less. During brunch, we broke out into groups for discussion. Breaking into smaller groups allowed everyone the opportunity to dig deeper and participate.

After the breakout group discussions, we were delighted to have founder of Jackets for Jobs, Ms. Alison Vaughn join us. We all have had or will have moments that will define us. Ms. Vaughn’s moment came when she learned her sister had cancer. The cancer proved to be terminal; her sister succumbed to her illness just six months after announcing to Ms. Vaughn that she was living with the disease. As Ms. Vaughn was dealing with the heartbreak of losing her sister as well as still repairing the wound left by losing her father who passed not too long before her sister, she worked tirelessly to get her sister’s affairs in order and plan her funeral. While making arrangements, she discovered that her sister was a recipient of public assistance. Learning this made her think about the quality of life her sister endured and what opportunities may or may not have been available to her. Ms. Vaughn turned tragedy and adversity into purpose. Her story was a call to action to help other women in similar circumstances.

Jackets for Jobs assists women and men in need of clothing for interviews. Every $50.00 Jackets for Jobs receives in donations, means one suit and a second chance for either a woman or man. Our event registration fee was a donation to Jackets for Jobs, which also has amazing volunteer opportunities. You can interact with jobseekers by helping them pick out clothing and giving them words of encouragement for their interviews.

If you are interested in donating dry-cleaned and ironed mens or womens clothing fit for interviewing to Jackets for Jobs, please click here to learn more.

If you would like to learn more about and/or connect with our event partners, please feel free to click on the links below:

 


Detroit College Day Recap

 

 

On March 9th, Black Young Professionals of Detroit supported Detroit College Day, a Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) sponsored conference held annually for Detroit High School students. The purpose of this conference is to get students excited about college and other post-secondary opportunities that are available to them.

The conference was held at the Wayne County Community College District campus on Fort Street and featured 14 Detroit high schools, bringing well over 700 students. The event featured a college fair as well as various panel discussions and college informational/preparatory workshops. The fair and discussions were led by local organizations such as MSU Advising Corps, AdviseMI College Advisors, Detroit HBCU Network, TRIO services, United Negro College Fund, and featured local colleges and universities including Wayne State university, Wayne County Community College District, University of Michigan Dearborn, and University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

Detroit College Day took great effort in promoting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Throughout the numerous workshops and breakout sessions students were able to attend, the importance of the HBCU was highlighted, especially, in nurturing and educating of prominent African American scholars.

Black Young Professionals of Detroit Mentorship Program was also involved in the event, leading two workshops:

  1. Surviving College 101”, where students were able to learn of some of the struggles and obstacles they might encounter through their collegiate career and what tips, tools and techniques they can employ to help them succeed and overcome such obstacles.
  2. Group Talk: The HBCU Experience”, where Black Young Professionals’ HBCU alumni mentors shared their experiences and debunked myths about attending HBCU’s, and answered student questions.

Additionally, Black Young Professionals was honored to further support Detroit College Day by fortifying the volunteer effort led by United Way of Southeast Michigan. We deployed a small team of our members as room moderators for the workshops, and as way finders to assist students in making their way through the event.

We are thankful to all the mentors and volunteers who contributed to providing a great educational experience for students in the Detroit community, and we look forward to continuing our support of youth in Detroit through events like Detroit College Day.