The Network Journal Communications Inc., publisher of The Network Journal magazine and TNJ.com, announced the launch of Africastrictlybusiness.com, an online portal devoted to business information, resources, commentary, and transactional opportunities pertaining to Africa. Africastrictlybusiness.com is headed by Rosalind McLymont, TNJ executive editor and author of the book Africa Strictly Business, The Steady March to Prosperity, from whose title the new site takes its name. Africastrictlybusiness.com provides essential intelligence on Africa’s rapidly evolving commercial landscape. It aims to be the go-to site for investors, corporate executives and business owners with existing operations in Africa, or who are looking to do business in Africa. For more information about the site, go directly to www.africastrictlybusiness.com  or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
State of Black America
The National Urban League’s 37th edition of the State of Black America report shows that Blacks have achieved double-digit gains in educational attainment, employment and wealth within the Black community since the Civil Rights Movement, in contrast to single-digit gains against whites. The report’s Equality Index shows that in the past 50 years, the Black-white income gap has closed by just seven points and the unemployment rate gap by six points. NUL officials say the findings indicate a critical need to reinforce efforts toward sustainable economic empowerment in the country’s most vulnerable communities. The release of this year’s report, titled “The State of Black America, Redeem the Dream: Jobs Rebuild America,” coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Great March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom carried out by more than a quarter of a million people.
A report from New York City’s Office of the Comptroller shows nearly a quarter of the city’s households lack a computer, including 41 percent of Black and 29 percent of Hispanic households; 60 percent of households without broadband Internet have annual incomes lower than $30,000; and 73 percent of such households are headed by someone who did not attend college. The report recommends expanding the Computers for Youth (CFY) program to include middle schools where at least 75 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunch; offering at every public middle and high school Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education (MOUSE) programs that teach critical 21st-century skills and train students to handle technological support and repairs at their school; providing free computers to college-bound New York City public school graduates from low-income families; requiring businesses that receive technology and communication grants to donate “used-but-still-useful” computers; and promoting digital-literacy training and resources through the NYC.gov website and at government offices.
Global STEAM Partnerships
A Thurgood Marshall College Fund delegation met in Taiwan in March with representatives of the local education community to explore global partnership opportunities in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics, the so-called STEAM fields. The two sides discussed initial partnerships involving bilateral faculty and student exchanges, joint international research projects, and bilateral placement of students in local public/private internships among a select group of TMCF member schools and world-class institutions in Taiwan. The TMCF mission to Taiwan came under the auspices of the Department of Defense Air Force Office of Scientific Research, with a view toward using intelligence to create programs and approaches to teaching and learning that will result in measurable change in the quality and quantity of students completing academic programs in STEAM.
Books Power List
The founders of three leading web-sites devoted to African-American literature launched Power List (Powerlist.info), a quarterly compilation of best-selling books written or read by African-Americans. A joint project of AALBC.com, Cushcity.com and Mosaicbooks.com, Power List is designed to promote African-American literature, assess the reading habits of African-Americans and report those findings to the public, the principals say. Besides collecting data from online booksellers and random samples on relevant Facebook pages, it will include findings from a survey of 1,200 African-American book clubs. The Spring 2013 Power List covers hardcover fiction, hardcover nonfiction, paperback fiction and paperback nonfiction. Future editions will carry best-selling e-books and classics. The list will be released on the fourth Monday in the month following each calendar quarter.
Diversity & Inclusion Index
ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership launched the Association Inclusion Index, a first-of-its-kind diversity and inclusion tool that will allow associations to benchmark and compare their own practices with those of other organizations, find areas of collaboration and give future volunteers and sponsors data to direct their time and funds to make a difference in diversity and inclusion. Launched in April, the index focuses on five key D+I domains in associations: mission and focus, leadership roles and accountability, resources, operations, and communication and culture. It is a multiple choice survey about D+I policies, philosophies and practices that offers associations strategies and solutions (not scores) for inclusive excellence. ASAE comprises more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations in the United States and worldwide.
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund received an $8 million software grant from Microsoft to help support the fund’s member schools and students. The grant will allow TMCF to continue its information technology initiative to strengthen the IT capacity of its member schools, broaden those institutions’ instructional and communications capabilities, and work to build sustainable learning environments. Over the past nine years, Microsoft has provided TMCF and member schools with $29 million in software. This most recent grant brings the total to $37 million. The Microsoft/TMCF partnership has been and continues to be part of TMCF’s long-term Technology Initiative.
The article “UniWorld Group’s Byron E. Lewis, Reflections of an advertising icon,” published on Pages 40 and 41 of the March/April 2013 issue of The Network Journal, should have read: Sandra Miller-Jones, the brand manager at Quaker Oats, convinced her white colleagues to sponsor “Sounds of the City” and Shaunielle Perry-Ryder, noted theater director and a cousin of the late playwright Lorraine Hansberry, wrote and directed the dramatic.
Because of an editing error, the article implies that Sandra Miller-Jones wrote, produced and executed the idea for “Sounds of the City.”