California Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation presents The African American Leadership Weekend
This is a series of workshops targeting the issues facing underserved minority communities to develop positive solutions and remove barriers to growth in the areas of education, health, crime, home ownership, building wealth and the church’s role in the community. Our Renaissance 21st Century Project is helping to revitalize the “can do” spirit in communities around the state.
Healthcare is considered the ultimate civil right. Today, California continues to violate that civil right based on prevailing disparities in health outcomes of African Americans to the majority ethnicities. Too many blacks, unemployed or underemployed do not have access to health insurance. This growing population suffers from preventable ailments often with fatal results. Society at large also suffers from strained resources on unpaid medical services. Hospitals in urban communities are closing under fiscal duress and services that remain in poor communities provide poor service. This workshop explores proposed government remedies.
- Understanding President Barack Obama’s Healthcare Plan
- African American youth Obesity and adult diabetes
- Update on AIDS epidemic in African American Women
- Overall Health and Wellness: Eating habits and exercise
- Diagnosed and undiagnosed mental illness
- California’s Healthy Families Program (Health Insurance for the Poor)
A robust economy drives social progress and determines class structure within American culture. This session offers essential economic development strategy unique to the success of African American communities. Panelists and participants will discuss:
- Personal Finance, Home Ownership, Wealth building, and State Budget
- Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis: Have government efforts to stem foreclosures been effective? What resources to stem foreclosures are available to minority homeowners? How can the business community help?
- Bank Lending to Small Businesses: Have lines of credit opened for small and minority businesses? Have banks receiving bail-out funds extended loans to small/minority businesses for start-ups and operating costs?
- Has President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) worked for African Americans? What is the impact of ARRA on small business and commerce in communities of color?
- 2010-11 State Budget-Overview of the Governor’s Proposal: What is the potential impact on business and African American communities?
Government and Politics
California Government and politics determines policy and regulation of business and civic participation in all communities. This session explores the role of government and its impact on the African American community. Participants will discuss how to improve political conditions and strategies toward influential impact in California governance. Topics of discussion include:
- 2010 Census: Counting California’s African Americans – How and Why?
- How does the California State Budget effect small businesses in working class communities?
- What is ARRA? Do we have any?
- Black and Latino Coalition building: How will we increase our power base?
- Redistricting commission: How do we get selected for the commission? What impact will redistricting have on legislative seats held by African Americans?
- How do we build a new generation of political leaders?
A comprehensive education builds each citizens ability to become successful in society, accomplish personal goals and develop generational progress. The purpose of education in a civilized society is to develop the knowledge and skill to empower an individual, their core group and overall community. A solid education allows each individual to pursue and obtain equal opportunity in the spoils of society. California’s education is no longer considered “the best education money can buy.” This session surveys the status of education in this state and what it will take to improve education outcomes in the African American community.
- Race to the Top Initiative: What does it mean for CA’s African-American students and their families?
- The Achievement Gap and the Dropout Rate: How are African American students faring under No Child Left Behind?
- Higher Education: Why are there more Blacks in prison than in College
- Rising costs of going to College and rising cost of not going to college (illiteracy)
- Education from age 0 to 5: Are Blacks starting early enough?
- Parents role in educating their children
California’s criminal justice system is mired in controversy from poor health care, overcrowding, false convictions, abuse of power and rampant corruption. African Americans continue to disproportionately populate the state prison system. However, the purpose of public safety and protection remain necessary and prevalent in all communities. This session will determine best practices to lower the rate of incarceration, provide security and fairness for African Americans and strategies to assist individuals facing judicial review and court proceedings. Topics of discussion include:
- Prisons vs. Higher Education: What’s the tradeoff and what’s the bottom line for CA’s Black communities?
- Impact of 2010 Early Releases due to prison overcrowding: How will African American communities and families are affected? Will communities be safer or more at risk?
- Marijuana: Should it be legalized, taxed and regulated? What is the impact on the African American community?
- Recidivism: Review of the most effective re-entry program in California
Improving the quality of life requires strong physical and organizational structure for the operation of a civilized society or enterprise. As California wafts through a worldwide recession, its eroding infrastructure requires constant renewal of services, facilities for desired economic functionality. This session refers to the state’s infrastructure as it relates to its technical structure including its roads, water supply, power grid, telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, transportation and computer technology.
- Communities’ role in developing sustainable infrastructure.
- How individuals can improve their community.
- Who determines growth in your neighborhood?
- Technology: Compromising privacy for advancement.
- Effects of Big Box on small businesses in low income communities.
- Liquor stores, smoke shops and check cashing outlets
- Grocery Stores: quantity and quality
- Quality of air and water in communities of color
Song, dance and cultural arts performance continues to be an important element of social progress in the Black community. Entertainment provides a respite from labor and an outlet for fun, play and enjoyment. African Americans have always displayed emotion through the joys of entertainment in the form of crying, laughing, applause and live interaction. Blacks have excelled tremendously, but as generations progress, style and preference has evolved. This session reveals the history, the good, the bad and the future of African American cultural amusement.
- Entertainment as a profession: Media Communications, public relations, singers, actors, writers, producers, directing opportunities and entertainment business ownership.
- BET: The influence of music videos on Black culture
- Sports as Entertainment.
Green Technology is based on the concept of emerging principles in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and transportation. As scientist continue to link pollution in the air, ground, water and weather patterns with the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere, government and private enterprise explore the trend of energy efficiency, renewable energy (alternative fuels), recycling and an array of lifestyle changes to improve the quality of the earth’s atmosphere. The burgeoning field of Green Technology creates new economic sector promising to bring new business opportunities and varying career fields.
- What role will African Americans play in the green economy?
- Is Global Warming real?
- What is a Green Job?
- What businesses will grow due to the emerging clean green energy economy?
- Is energy efficiency really a homeland security issue?
- Green Technology: Renewable energy-biofuels, solar, wind, water power, electric/hydrogen fuel cell/hybrid transportation.
The Role of the Church in Community Economic Development
The church has a responsibility to the congregation to be a catalyst in community economic empowerment, financial literacy, and workforce development. The church can provide resources to help establish a financial institution that is compassionate and accountable for lending practices for African Americans and other minorities.