United Effort to Curb Tobacco Use Among Blacks
The American Legacy Foundation, which focuses on the prevention and cessation of tobacco use, announced a $4.5 million, three-year grant to a coalition of six national Black organizations to help curb tobacco use among African-Americans. The campaign includes paid and pro bono advertising, editorial coverage and peer-to-peer training. The National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation, the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the National Conference of Black Mayors, and the National Association of Neighborhoods will receive $250,000 a year each over the three-year period to participate in the campaign. About 45,000 African-Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses each year.
Marked Up Interest Rates on Auto Loans Under Fire
Marking up interest rates on vehicle loans is legal and common but may be costing consumers up to $1 billion a year. At least a dozen potential class-action lawsuits claim that some dealers, in cooperation with lenders, routinely boost loan rates for Blacks and Hispanics. Some automakers are imposing caps on markups and encouraging dealers to disclose more financing information to buyers. Many dealers are resisting changes, saying the extra charges are legitimate payment for arranging financing for buyers. Consumer groups, such as the Consumer Federation of America and Public Citizen, counter that buyers could beat a dealer’s rate if they shopped around. Industry groups like the National Automobile Dealers Association argue that consumers should know that the interest rate on an auto loan is negotiable.
Lawmakers Seek to Extend Civil Rights Act to Unnoticed Victims
Lawmakers are seeking to extend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to victims of diverse backgrounds, such as the woman who misses out on a promotion because she’s too old; the immigrant denied a driver’s license because she can’t speak English; the girls’ basketball coach who loses his job after complaining about the sexist treatment of his team. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and foot soldier in the 1960s struggle for equality, says unfavorable court decisions make necessary his 2004 Civil Rights Act (H.R. 3809). Proponents add it would restore the rights Congress granted four decades ago that have since been eroded through changes to the legal system. The bill does not address gay marriage or the issue of allowing women to recover damages in cases of wage discrimination based on gender. Efforts to make gender pay equity a civil right have repeatedly failed in Congress.
Tyco Launches Minority Internship Program
Tyco International Ltd. and the Lagrant Foundation have established a three-year, $300,000 partnership to develop an internship program to cultivate high-potential students of color for careers in advertising, marketing and public relations. The Foundation will be responsible for the overall management and administration of the internship program, helping to place at least 10 interns each year within Tyco’s marketing and communications departments nationwide. Both entities will provide guidance, career advice and mentoring to interns, each of whom will also receive a competitive salary for on-the-job training at Tyco. Internships will last approximately 12 weeks.