New York Business Hall of Fame
A New York Business Hall of Fame was established in September to showcase successful companies and business leaders in the state. By bringing out these success stories, we can further economic development and commerce throughout the state, Ron Dresner, director of the hall of fame, says. Activities include a free networking and leads event on the fourth Friday of every month, free educational seminars around the state and an annual scholarship awarded to a New York graduate student. For more information, visit www.newyorkbhof.com , or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
NASA Education Program
A consortium of the Hispanic College Fund, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corp. received a $1.75 million grant to administer NASA’s Motivating Under-graduates in Science and Technology program (MUST) and to award scholarships and internships to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM fields. Applicants must be college freshmen, sophomores or juniors, be U.S. citizens, have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and be pursuing an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline as a full-time student. Details are on consortium member Web sites at www.hispanicfund.org , www.shpe.org  and www.uncfsp.org . For information about NASA’s education programs, visit www.education.nasa.gov .
A survey by Phoenix Cultural Access Group and Phoenix Marketing International’s Affluent Marketing Practice shows affluent African-Americans hold approximately $1.3 million in investable assets, compared with $992,000 in investable assets of the overall affluent market. Affluent Blacks also show higher household incomes, slightly higher total net worth and total assets at an average of 8 years younger (46) than their overall affluent counterparts (54). The age has actually declined in recent years (from 49 to 46) indicating opportunities to tap into this powerful and growing market, whose members are also far less likely to be retired. The findings indicate that affluent African-Americans are more bullish than the average affluent investor, are more consolidation-oriented and place more importance on having a financial plan. Nevertheless, only 52% have designated a primary professional adviser, compared with nearly two-thirds of all affluent households. African-Americans appear to be much less satisfied with their advisers and are less loyal than their affluent counterparts. African-Americans also are interested in much more conservative products such as CDs, REITs and insurance.
Public Health Scholarships
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided an additional $58 million to expand the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program to enable more students to pursue a graduate degree in public health. The GMS investment for public health is designed to increase the number of minorities pursuing graduate degrees in areas like epidemiology, biomedical science, tropical disease, public health practice and nutritional science, and support the effort to confront local, national and global public health challenges. The Gates Millennium Scholars program, a $1 billion initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was launched in partnership with the United Negro College Fund.
Colorism in the Workplace
A study conducted by Matthew Harrison, a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, for his master’s thesis indicates that dark-skinned Blacks face a distinct disadvantage when applying for jobs, even if they have resumes superior to lighter-skinned Black applicants. “Expectations of the light-skinned Black male are much higher, and he doesn’t appear as ‘menacing’ as the darker-skinned male applicant,” Harrison says. This is the first study that examines role of “colorism” in hiring and in the workplace. The research was presented at the 66th annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Atlanta.
Comcast Credit Facility
Comcast Corp., a provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, announced a $30.35 million credit facility with United Bank of Philadelphia, the city’s only African-American-controlled commercial bank. This financing is the third of its kind for United and the most lucrative to date. United Bank has syndicated the 364-day revolving credit facility to 18 additional minority-owned banks across the country. Evelyn F. Smalls, president and CEO of United Bank of Philadelphia, says syndicated facilities have a direct impact on the bottom line at minority banks, improving their capacity to serve their customers.
The Global Trade & Technology Center, based in New York City’s Harlem community, opened its first African office in Abuja, Nigeria, in September. The opening coincided with GTTC’s trade mission to Nigeria, during which participants met with the representatives of several industries, including banks and other financial institutions, petroleum resources, entertainment and tourism, education and training, textiles, food and beverages, jewelry, surveillance security technology and telemedicine, as well as with numerous senior government officials.
Urban Internet Market
Sony Pictures Digital reached a promotional deal with the Web’s first online urban community, GoUrban.net. The deal will allow the studio to tap the growing urban Internet audience and create hype for its latest movies. The new online community is a comprehensive Web site featuring urban apparel, music, electronics, a nationwide events calendar and an interactive social network. Its primary market is the 35 million African-Americans and others who desire to purchase goods and services specific to their urban lifestyle and cultural and ethnic needs. It aims to fill a void not filled by Amazon.com, Buy.com or Shopzilla.com, says Russell Bryant III, president of the Denver-based GoUrban.net.
A study by the Human Rights Campaign found that 253 of the nation’s largest public companies now offer health insurance to their employees’ domestic partners. The HRC, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that promotes gay, lesbian and transgender equality, also reports that 430 of the Fortune 500 companies have policies banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, up from 294 companies five years ago. Seventeen states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Language Barriers in Business
EditAvenue Inc., Boston, launched an online marketplace for translation services at www.LanguageScape.com  to help companies and individuals translate documents into any language. Clients can submit a project online, select a source language and target language and choose a translator. Clients can track each job’s progress via the Web site. They receive e-mail from the site notifying them when a project is complete. Rates are calculated on a per-word and per-page basis and take into account a project’s source and target languages. Clients can choose from several turnaround windows, ranging from next-day service to one-week service and beyond.