The African-Origins Project website at Emory University, launched last year with the names of 10,000 Africans who were liberated from the slave trade in the 19th century, added the names of more than 80,000 African captives to the site, making it the largest and most comprehensive record of the identity of individuals caught up in the slave trade to the Americas. With this latest information now accessible, researchers again are inviting those who might recognize African names to tell them which modern country, language and culture still uses the name today. They will use these identifications to construct a geographic profile of the origins of African captives. Registers containing information on more than 90,000 individuals survived in the national archives of Sierra Leone and Britain. Researchers have been recreating these in both written and audio form on the website. The names in the expanded database comprise a record of well over half of all captives removed from slave ships in the 19th century and represent every major language and ethnic group caught up in the forced migration of millions of people out of Africa after 1807.
Northwestern Mutual this year is sponsoring four national conferences and career fairs that serve professionals of diverse backgrounds, as part of the company’s largest-ever branding and recruiting effort. The financial security company says it aims to add more than 5,000 financial professionals in its 155th year and expects that hundreds will be diverse. The remaining conferences for the year are the National Black MBA Association, Sept. 25 – 29, in Indianapolis, Ind., and the National Society of Hispanic MBA, Oct. 4 – 6, in Orlando, Fla.
Professionals seeking more information about a financial representative career can contact their local Northwestern Mutual office at: http://www.northwesternmutual.com .
Tougaloo College agreed to acquire television station WUFX-TV, Channel 35, in Jackson, Miss. Station WUFX is the MyNetworkTV affiliate for the Jackson market and can be seen on Cable One Channel 9 and Comcast Channel 11. Tougaloo President Beverly W. Hogan, Ph.D., said the commercial television station will offer students, particularly those from the mass communication department, real-world experience of seeing how a television station works, aiding them in knowledge acquisition and application while bringing other benefits to the college as a whole. The Priester Law Firm provided legal guidance and advice in putting together the documentation to make Tougaloo’s ownership of WUFX a reality. The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and
customary closing conditions.
The Minority Business Development Agency said its achievements “under the leadership of President Obama” include a 20 percent increase in jobs created over the prior administration; 76 percent increase in contracts to MBEs; 144 percent increase in capital to MBEs; 36 percent increase in clients served; 86 percent increase in return on investment (ROI) to 130x; 155 percent increase in capital and contracts to African-American owned firms ($5.5 billion); 13 percent increase in capital and contracts to Asian-American owned firms ($255 million); 92 percent increase in capital and contracts to Hispanic-American owned firms ($3.5 billion); and 94 percent increase in capital and contracts to Native-American owned firms ($1.1 billion). These statistics represent the highest three-year performance in the 43-year history of the agency.
Randal Pinkett, Ph.D., season four winner of NBC’s The Apprentice and chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, was awarded two contracts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institutes of Health. BCT Partners will provide a broad range of research, evaluation, technical assistance and training services to SAMHSA, as well as mission-critical IT requirements such as cloud computing, mobile applications, information security and health IT, across the entire federal government. The SAMHSA Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract has a total ceiling of $900 million during the next five years. The NIH Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) IDIQ Government-Wide Acquisition Contract has a total ceiling of $20 billion for the next ten
years. BCT Partners’ awards fall
under SAMHSA IDIQ Domain I and
IV (Small Business) and all ten of the NIH CIO-SP3 Task Areas (Small Business and 8a).
Atlanta is the top city for recruiting executive talent, according to a survey by executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles International. The report, “Heidrick & Struggles U.S. Talent Relocation Survey,” was based on an online survey of more than 50 U.S. executive search consultants, conducted in the first quarter. According to the survey, Atlanta was cited by 70 percent of search consultants as the top city for recruiting executives, based on factors including strong business infrastructure, affordability and quality of life. Chicago was also cited as an attractive city for recruiting, with desirable qualities including ethnic diversity, moderate cost of living and public transportation. Other cities that received high marks for recruiting were Denver, singled out for its outdoor lifestyle, and Dallas, cited for its affordable living. Cities that did not rank as high were those in slow-growth states including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, and those with a high cost of living, including New York and San Francisco.
Covering Diverse America
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting said it will award National Public Radio a $1.5 million grant to launch a major journalism initiative to deepen coverage of race, ethnicity and culture, and to capture the issues that define an increasingly diverse America. NPR will produce compelling stories and present new voices and conversations online and on-air, staffed by a six-person team. NPR will also create a new, branded space within NPR.org. The first platform is expected to launch this fall. This initiative will serve as a model for future topic-focused channels. The CPB intends to provide initial support for the project with a two-year, $1.5 million grant, as part of its mission to strengthen and advance public media’s service, particularly to those who are unserved or under-
served by commercial media.