The New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA) Incubator is inviting companies that specialize in new and up-and-coming technologies to move into its more than 21,000-square-foot New York City location in the heart of the financial district. The first of its kind in the city, the software and IT incubator is a partnership between NYSIA and Rudin Management and is funded in part by Empire State Development Corp. Its mission is to unite area technology businesses and advance economic development and growth within New York’s software and IT industries. The NYSIA incubator is currently home to NYSIA plus 11 local and non-U.S. software and IT companies. Additional information about the incubator can be found at www.nysiaincubator.org.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights agreed to review the impact of U.S. sentencing policy, saying, “The experience of the past 20 years of mandatory sentencing policies provides strong evidence that these policies are ineffective in controlling crime and contribute to unwarranted racial disparities in the criminal justice system.” The statement followed a March 3 hearing on the subject at the Washington, D.C., offices of the Organization of American States. The hearing came in response to a petition filed by the Justice Roundtable, a network of civil and human rights organizations.
The FBI said no federal charges will be filed in the 1955 killing of 14-year-old Emmett Till, a case that helped galvanize the civil rights movement. After a reopened investigation that included the exhumation of Till’s body for an autopsy last June, the FBI said in a statement that the five-year statute of limitations on federal civil rights violations had expired. The FBI gave its long-awaited report to District Attorney Joyce L. Chiles, who will decide on any state charges. Till, a Black teenager from Chicago, was tortured and killed in Mississippi, purportedly for whistling at a white woman. Till’s family said they had not expected federal charges in the case, so Thursday’s news did not come as a disappointment.
The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education said Blacks made up more than 5 percent of the total full-time faculty at only four of the 28 high-ranking universities that responded to its 2005 survey. JBHE surveyed the nation’s 30 highest-ranked universities but received responses from 28, with Tufts University and the University of Southern California declining to provide statistics. Columbia University had the highest percentage of Black faculty at 6.4 percent, followed by the University of North Carolina at 5.7 percent, Emory University in Atlanta at 5.2 percent and the University of Michigan, whose 140 Black full-time faculty, the most of any university in the survey, made up 5.1 percent of the full-time faculty, JBHE said.
Groups opposing housing discrimination are urging the Montgomery County council in Maryland to support an ordinance that prohibits discrimination by mortgage lenders and not reverse its commitment to fair housing for everyone. Mortgage lenders sued the county for passing the ordinance, which local officials argue would eliminate discrimination in the subprime mortgage market, where people with blemished credit records borrow and where most predatory lenders operate. Lawyers for the lenders persuaded a judge to delay the new law, pending a hearing. The lenders threatened to pull out of the county, a tactic that worked in some states considering antipredatory lending laws. The federal Office of Thrift Supervision has said the savings and loan associations it supervises do not have to comply with the Montgomery ordinance.
Citizens Trust Bank, one of the nation’s largest African-American-owned banks, said it received $1.5 million in deposits from Fannie Mae for mortgage and community development financing. The Fannie Mae deposits enable Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) like CTB to do more in the way of mortgage financing, particularly for minority consumers. CTB is a part of the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service®—CDARS—program, which offers FDIC insurance for up to $25 million. Banks that offer CDARS are members of a special network set up by Promontory Interfinancial Network L.L.C.. When a customer places a large deposit with a network member, that bank can place the funds into certificates of deposit issued by other banks in the network.
Carver Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, is acquiring Community Capital Bank of Brooklyn, N.Y., for $11.1 million, or $40.00 per Community Capital share, in cash. With assets of approximately $800 million following the combination, the transaction reinforces Carver’s position as the nation’s largest African- and Caribbean-American-operated bank. Carver says its entrepreneurial commercial real estate and residential lending arms will join with Community Capital’s Small Business Administration lending operation to create a comprehensive lending platform for consumers, real estate developers and landlords, small businesses and nonprofit companies.
L’Oréal S.A. received the World Diversity Leadership Council’s 2006 Corporate Diversity Innovation award for product innovation, the first time the company has received international recognition for the cultural diversity of its products. L’Oréal was among four companies honored for innovation in diversity management during the World Diversity Leadership Summit held in Prague, Czechoslovakia, March 15-17. The others were Johnson Controls, Adecco and MTV Networks. At the summit, themed “Leveraging Local Diversity for Global Success: U.S. and E.U. Best Practices,” L’Oréal was selected by a peer group of corporate diversity executives who acknowledged its excellence in leveraging diversity to offer innovative products adapted to a wide range of global consumers, including people of African and Asian origin.
NEW PRODUCTS: Luvees™
Torrid, a leading retailer of fashions for plus-size women, is testing Selani Corp.’s freshman Luvees™ product, the thigh and panty coverall, in 10 of its stores. Selani (www.selanicorp.com) is an African-American woman-owned company based in Exton, Pa. Made of lace, Luvees™ are designed to address inner thigh rubbing in women and come in sizes S to 4X. The product is manufactured in Philadelphia. “Inner thigh rubbing is not exclusive to the plus-size woman. Inner thigh rub is very much about the shape of a woman, not her dress size, and no matter what her size is, every woman who has inner thigh rub will benefit greatly by wearing Luvees,” says Anita Broady, Selani’s president and chief operating officer.