Click the image below to download a PDF of the powerpoint that I used for my workshop on “Business in Community” on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at the CCDA West Michigan Regional Conference:
Around the time the report came out — and following the publication of “The Power of Privilege,” by the Wake Forest University sociology professor Joseph A. Soares, an account of the way standardized tests contributed to discriminatory admissions policies at Yale — Wake Forest became the first highly rated institution (it regularly appears as a Top 30 university on the U.S. News & World Report college rankings) to announce a test-optional admissions policy. Follow-up studies at Wake Forest showed that the average high-school G.P.A. of incoming freshmen increased after the school stopped using standardized-test scores as a factor. Seventy-nine percent of its 2012 incoming class was in the top 10 percent of their high-school classes. Before going test-optional, that figure was in the low 60s. In addition, the school became less homogeneous. “The test highly correlates with family income,” says Soares, who also edited a book that, in part, examines the weak predictive validity of the SAT at the University of Georgia, Johns Hopkins University and Wake Forest. “High-school grades do not.” He continued, “We have a lot more social, racial and lifestyle diversity. You see it on campus. Wake Forest was a little too much like a J. Crew catalog before we went test-optional.”
Matthew Russell mentions Restorers at UIX Grand Rapids:
Later, we’ll delve into Kafi Carrasco and SpringGR, a program by the Restorers Business Partnership that’s improving assets in the Madison-Hall community through business training. The entry points for small business often involve attracting the right model of financing. First stage scaling from concept to company requires more than just money, though, and SpringGR is a training, mentoring and networking program designed to help budding entrepreneurs in Grand Rapids turn their ideas into thriving businesses.
My wife grew up with Dwana in Brooklyn:
The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center aims to use the arts, primarily dance, as a means to empower youth within New York’s inner city communities. We endeavor to mold elite dancers and artists who will be able to develop, grow and compete on the world’s stage. The center will be a springboard for creating community identity and encouraging creative activity in neglected inner city areas.
Marla R. Miller writes at UIX Grand Rapids:
GRABB launched in July 2013 and provides a platform for black entrepreneurs to share ideas, information and exposure through expos and training. Rather than operating a business as a hobby or underground, [Jamiel] Robinson wants to help small business owners increase the legitimacy, viability and sustainability of those businesses. GRABB also offers small business support services in the form of consulting, advocacy, networking opportunities, and access to capital.
As GRABB continues to grow, Robinson hopes to facilitate revitalization efforts in predominantly black neighborhoods in the city, starting with the Southtown area bound by Wealthy Street on the north, Eastern Avenue on the east, Cottage Grove to Madison Avenue and Garden to Division, he said.
Peter Ruark writes at the Michigan League for Public Policy blog:
It has been said for a long time that the federal poverty threshold is not a good measure of need. A family or individual can be well above the poverty level—and hence not officially considered poor—yet still not have enough money to meet basic needs.
Making Ends Meet in Michigan: A Basic Needs Income Level for Family Well-Being uses established sources to estimate six basic living expenses (housing, child care, food, transportation, household and personal items including clothing, and health care), and calculates an after-tax Basic Needs Income Level that a family or individual has to have in order to meet those expenses. A Basic Needs Income Level is given for each county and for the state, for four family types.
For example, in Wayne County, a single adult with no dependents must work full time earning at least $11.64 an hour to meet all of his or her needs. The current minimum wage of $7.40 is only 63% of that amount.
A single parent with two young children in Wayne County must earn $24.24 an hour, or $50,413 a year, to meet all of their expenses without government or charitable help. Part of what makes their expenses so high is the high cost of child care, which makes quality care inaccessible for many struggling families. (To illustrate the need for a Basic Needs Income Level, the official poverty level for this family type is $18,769—less than half the amount of money the family actually needs to meet expenses!)
Katie Smith-Milway and team write at SSIR:
Despite growing support for nonprofit mergers, promising combinations often stumble over three emotionally charged issues: getting the boards aligned, finding roles for senior staff, and blending the brands. Creating a due diligence process that overcomes these hurdles can increase the likelihood that a merger will succeed.
Mike Masnick writes:
Furthermore, as we’ve seen over and over again, as these services get bigger and start to catch on, artist are realizing all sorts of ways they can profit from them. Two recent examples are quite handy. First up, we have independent musician Ron Pope (music here), who has written a fantastic piece for the Huffington Post about just how wonderful Spotify has been for his career:
My music was added to Spotify in September of 2010; through the most recent report, which runs through November 2013, I’ve had over 57 million plays and they’ve paid me out $334,636 with over $200,000 of that coming in 2013.
That seems quite a bit different than those stories you hear from some whiners, claiming that Spotify pays peanuts for each million plays or whatever.
But, even more important, is that Pope has noticed that it’s not just about the money directly paid by Spotify. Instead, as many have suggested for years, Spotify makes his fans even more attached to him, opening up all sorts of other opportunities. For example, he describes how it opened doors to large shows — where the fans are totally knowledgeable about his entire catalog:
I’m getting over a million streams in Sweden alone most months. As a result of this, I was offered a very respectable guarantee to play at the Bravalla festival there last summer, where singalongs like this happened during every song:
This is worth four minutes of your life:
This is a short trailer for the PovertyCure DVD series.
Here are some notable quotes:
Eva Muraya, Kenyan entrepreneur, says, “I was convinced that the way to add value to my family and have positive impact in my community was if i started to build a business.”
Juan Jose Daboub, former Minister of Finance in El Salvador, says, “The reason you want to open up your economy is so that people can reduce poverty by creating opportunities.”
Herman Chinery-Hesse, Ghanain entrepreneur, says, “The people here are not stupid. They are just disconnected from global trade. That’s all.”
Damian Von Stauffenberg, founder of MicroRate, says, “What creates wealth? People create wealth. The source of wealth is inside our head. It’s our creativity, something we have been endowed with.”
Here is the PovertyCure web site.
David Brooks writes in the New York Times:
To his great credit, [Arthur] Brooks is responding aggressively to this moral challenge, in a way that is providing a needed jolt to Republican circles. Over the last two days, for example, he had the Dalai Lama, a self-described Marxist, over at the American Enterprise Institute to discuss the morality of capitalism. Jonathan Haidt, of the Stern School of Business at New York University, challenged the mostly Republican audience to invent a new capitalist narrative, going beyond the simple demonization and celebration narratives.
Brooks recently published a daring piece in Commentary magazine on a conservative social justice agenda. It was called “Be Open-Handed Toward Your Brothers.”
He pointed out that conservatives love to talk about private charity, but, if you took the entire $40 billion that Americans donate to human service organizations annually, it would be enough money to give each person who receives federal food assistance only $847 per year.
Instead, Republicans need to declare a truce on the social safety net. They need to assure the country that the net will always be there for the truly needy. Then they need to point out that it is the web of middle-class entitlements, even the home mortgage deduction, that really threaten benefits to the poor.
Read the whole thing: Capitalism for the Masses – NYTimes.com.