Health Social Network
OurHealth L.L.C., a digital health media company founded by three African-American women, says it will launch this fall a social network at www.ourhealthourlives.com, where women of color can discuss questions, concerns and triumphs related to health and wellness. OurHealth says it conducted focus groups and information sessions in Philadelphia; Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Washington, D.C., with women between the ages of 20 and 85, in which participants were asked to give their opinions about pressing health concerns and to communicate what they hoped to see in a Web site designed especially for them. Several participants expressed the need for a site that enables them to connect with other women of color, OurHealth says. Despite advances made in medicine, women of color still suffer from higher rates of mortality from diseases — such as breast cancer and heart disease — than any other group of women.
African-American, Hispanic and Asian consumers combined maintained a 22 percent of the new-car market, a stable level from 2006, even though new vehicle registrations were down overall 3.3 percent in 2007, according to R. L. Polk & Co., a leading provider of automotive information and marketing strategies. Several automakers showed gains in new registrations and brand loyalty among multicultural segments, Polk said. Toyota led in both categories for Hispanic, Asian and African-American consumers and was the brand with the highest rate of owner loyalty in the general market during 2007. Polk found that Asian consumers were typically less loyal overall, when compared to the general market. African-Americans were notably more loyal to Cadillac and Nissan, while the brands rank ninth and tenth in loyalty within the general market.
Keeping Affirmative Action Alive
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski issued an executive order asking 11 agency directors to step up their efforts to recruit minority and women-owned businesses for state contracts. The move comes in the wake of comments received by the governor’s office from minority-owned businesses that it can be difficult to get work from the state. In a related letter to agency directors, Kulongoski said they have to do a better job of including certified minority and women businesses in their budgets. The governor said he wants agency chiefs to take a second look at their affirmative action plans, do more training and discuss ways to improve minority hiring.
Opponents of Arizona’s Proposition 104 are trying to keep the measure aimed at dismantling preferential treatment programs for women and minorities off the November general election ballot. A group called Protect Arizona’s Freedom planned to file a lawsuit challenging the validity of more than 100,000 signatures submitted by supporters to qualify the initiative for the ballot. The opponents say their challenge is based on “fraudulent and illegal signature-gathering tactics” and does not include signatures expected to be invalidated based on voter registration. Proposition 104 would amend the Arizona Constitution to ban any hiring practices, university scholarships and other public programs that favor one group over others.
Jobseekers with an online degree may have a harder time finding a position, even though 83 percent of hiring managers agree that online education is currently more tolerable than five years ago. According to Vault.com’s 2008 Online Degrees Survey of 172 employers and hiring managers, 49 percent of hiring managers say they have come across candidates with online degrees, but only 19 percent have hired a jobseeker with an online education. One hiring manager said a candidate with an online degree would have to be truly extraordinary otherwise to merit serious consideration and that online degrees do not reflect a serious commitment to education on the part of the degree-holder. Sixty-three percent of respondents say they prefer job candidates with traditional degrees, while 35 percent of managers would give both types of degrees equal consideration.
A Miami art collector is giving Morehouse College $1 million worth of works from folk artist Purvis Young. Morehouse officials say it is the single largest art donation ever to the all-male historically Black college. The collection comprises 109 paintings donated by the Rubell Family Collection. In 2000, the organization bought everything Young produced from 1985 to 1999 with the purpose of donating it to places across the country that can display the pieces to the public. Young lives in Overtown, one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Miami. There he uses found objects such as cardboard, refrigerator doors, fabric and cars to craft brightly colored works on poverty, drugs and crime.
Defaults on liar loans — mortgages approved without requiring proof of the borrower’s income or assets — are threatening to drag out the mortgage crisis for another two years in some parts of the country, economists say. Such loans are heavily concentrated in states where home prices are plummeting, such as Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada. Losses on liar loans could total $100 billion, according to Moody’s Economy.com. That’s on top of the $400 billion in expected losses from subprime loans. The loans were immensely profitable for the mortgage industry because they carried higher fees and higher interest rates. A broker who signed up a borrower for a liar loan could reap as much as $15,000 in fees for a $300,000 loan. Traditional lending nets brokers around $2,000 to $4,000 in fees for a fixed-rate loan.
GLOBAL NEWS - Export to Canada
“Canada First! Building Bridges to Prosperity,” a new initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service, promotes exports to Canada from companies located in the Northeast United States. Advantages of exporting to Canada include easy access and no language barrier; the U.S. and Canada share the world’s longest open border; the North American Free Trade Agreement helps give U.S. companies an edge in Canadian markets; Canada and the U.S. are each other’s largest trading partners; U.S. exports to Canada exceed exports to the entire European Union; two-way trade between the two countries over the Ambassador Bridge equals all U.S. exports to Japan; and Canada is the most receptive market in the world for U.S. goods and services.