Black Doctor Search Engine
New York City Dermatologist Dina Strachan launched a free Internet service that allows the public to locate United States-based Black physicians, dentists, podiatrists, clinical psychologists and other health care providers. The service, located at www.findablackdoctor.com, allows visitors to search by name, ZIP code, state, city, specialty and even languages spoken. Once they find a match, they can peruse the profiles and learn further details about the doctor’s credentials. Health care professionals must become a member of Find a Black Doctor to promote their practice or search for other doctors with whom they can build referral opportunities.
Real Estate Bias
In tests to uncover discrimination, nearly half the real estate agencies in New York City’s northern suburbs treated Blacks and Hispanics unfairly, according to the equal housing group Westchester Residential Opportunities. The group conducted 58 tests at 25 agencies between July 2004 and February 2005, first sending a white person to inquire about available rentals, then a minority person, who used the same income, family and other characteristics of the white person. Findings related to the most egregious offenders—seven of 25 Westchester County agencies—are being referred to New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer or to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Metro East Black Contractors Organization of East St. Louis, Ill., postponed plans to shut down a busy stretch of Interstate 64 after Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Tim Martin agreed to meet with them to discuss giving minority subcontractors a larger slice of highway construction. The group said the state plans more than $500 million in road improvement projects on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River near St. Louis over the next six years, but contracts awarded by the transportation department include little representation by minority subcontractors.
Colleges sports programs made some progress in hiring women in the past year but slipped slightly when compared to five professional sports leagues in racial diversity hiring, according to a study from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. The study compared college sports to the NBA, NFL, WNBA, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer in racial and gender diversity. College sports received an overall grade of B on the report card, the WNBA, A, and the NBA, B+. Colleges received a B+ for their hiring of women, a slight improvement over last year’s B grade. Only the WNBA, which had an A, scored higher in that category. College sports fell from a B last year to a B- for racial diversity. Only the M.L.S., which received a C+, ranked worse among the six sports organizations.
Nearly half the country’s Blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans and other minorities prefer ethnic newspapers, television and radio to mainstream media, according to a poll commissioned by the nonprofit New California Media. Ethnic outlets attract 45 percent of adults in major minority groups, or about 29 million people nationwide, at least several times a week over their mainstream counterparts, the poll shows. More than half of all Hispanic adults preferred ethnic media, while about 60 percent of Blacks and Arab Americans, and a fourth of Asian Americans and Native Americans, opted for such outlets.
Civil Rights Movement
Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications has created a free, Web-based resource for K-12 teachers to use when introducing students to the American Civil Rights movement. Supported by The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, the project features a searchable database and on-demand video and audio programs that can complement textbooks and print material. Click on Education and scroll down to Resources at http://www.Museum.TV for television and radio programs with dramatic reenactments, historical news footage and testimonies. The complete Civil Rights collection will be available for listening and viewing in the Media Cafe when the new museum opens in 2006.
Central Harlem Housing
Triangle III, the third and final phase of Triangle Court, Central Harlem’s most successful housing complex designed to encourage a mixed-income community, was completed, culminating five years of efforts led by a coalition of community organizations as well as city and state agencies. Of the 97 units, 77 are for middle-income residents, 16 for low-income tenants and four for very low-income tenants. Middle-income rents are $1,024 per month for a studio, $1,375 for a one-bedroom, $1,775 for a two-bedroom and $2,075 for a three-bedroom apartment. Studios, one- and two-bedroom units range from $450 to $653 per month for low-income tenants and from $399 to $512 per month for very low-income tenants. For more information, call 311 or log on to www.nyc.gov/hpd.
Caribbean Trade Center
New York City’s first-ever Caribbean Trade Center site, long a vision of the Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will be located in a commercial corridor of the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. The mayor said he is committed to helping ensure that the land acquisition process will be completed by this fall. The trade center will house commercial anchor tenants, offer an array of domestic and international business services and create jobs, according to CACCI President and CEO Roy A. Hastick.
The National Urban League and the Investment Company Institute Education Foundation developed an “Investing for Success” program to inspire African-Americans to become more knowledgeable about investing for retirement and to take advantage of opportunities to accumulate wealth. The partnership offers free, three-hour workshops aimed at middle-income people. ICIEF also offers a Web course at www.icief.org  that integrates all the workshop materials. A similar Web course for Hispanic investors is available in both English and Spanish at http://invertirconexito.icief.org.
Ken Smaltz, owner of K. Smaltz Inc., a leading coin dealer and the first African-American dealer in the United States, says Hollywood chart-topping music artists and professional athletes should consider investing in rare coins as their next source of bling. With a 20 percent increase in growth over the past two years, the rare coin market is an up-and-coming investment option for the young financial elite looking for a new, hip alternative to stocks and bonds. The U.S. Mint reports that more than 136 million Americans are now collecting coins, among them actor James Earl Jones and comedian Bill Cosby.
Physician, research and civil rights groups endorsed the FDA's approval of the heart failure treatment BiDil (isosorbide dinitrate/hydralazine), but roundly rejected BiDil's designation as a “race-specific” drug. The group urges more testing to determine at the cellular level who would benefit from BiDil, saying the drug may be beneficial in a broader range of heart failure patients. The African American Heart Failure Trial (A-HeFT), which tested BiDil in 1,050 patients self-identified as African-American/Black, showed that patients taking the drug experienced a 43 percent increase in survival, a 39 percent reduction in the rate of first hospitalization for heart failure and an improved quality of life.