You are hereHome > Blogs
Created on August 28, 2013
Fifty years ago this week, on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered one of the most consequential speeches in American history. Standing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial before nearly a quarter million Americans from nearly every corner of the nation, Dr. King articulated his vision of a more just and equitable America, creating a powerful weapon in his non-violent crusade for civil rights.
His goal was simply stated, easy to understand and remarkably consistent with what he believed throughout his entire life. He wanted social and economic justice for all. In fact, he spoke about justice 11 times in his famous speech, exactly the same number of times he used the word “dream.”
My office, the Minority Business Development Agency, is located directly across the street from the Willard Hotel where Dr. King prepared his notes and rested the night before he spoke. When I look in that direction now, 50 years later, I wonder what might have been going through the minds of those who were there with him on the mall, or those who saw him live on television. Did they realize they were witnessing such an historic moment?
Created on August 23, 2013
Each year, since 1955, Fortune Magazine ranks the 500 largest corporations in the United States. Corporations that are part of the Fortune 500, purchase goods and services from other businesses which in turn support thousands of other companies and millions of jobs across the nation. Becoming a supplier to a major corporation is a growth strategy that many minority-owned firms incorporate into their business plans, and Fortune 500 corporations have responded by launching supplier diversity programs. Some are more successful than others.
The Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) was created 12 years ago to identify and honor those Fortune 500 corporations that have embraced the value of working with diverse suppliers and procuring quality products and services to satisfy their corporate needs. Every corporation that is a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable is formally committed to procuring at least $1 billion annually in goods and services from minority and women-owned businesses. Today, there are 18 corporate members of the BDR, with many more on their way to achieving the $1 billion threshold.
Created on August 16, 2013
Houston’s exports have been soaring, and they will get an additional boost now that Air China, China’s flag carrier, opened up a non-stop flight route between Beijing and Houston.
This is Air China’s first non-stop flight route to the U.S. in 30 years, and it is easy to see why Air China chose Houston—the city consistently ranks near the top of the most globally-oriented business communities in America.
In fact, for the first time since the data has been collected, Houston became the top exporter among U.S. metropolitan areas in 2012. Houston’s goods exports totaled $110 billion, accounting for more than half of all Texas exports.
This new flight will only help Houston exporters continue to expand to new markets.
Behind Mexico, Canada, and Brazil, China is Houston’s fourth-largest export market, importing more than $5 billion of goods from Houston in 2012. With China’s rapid urbanization and growing middle class, demand for American-made products is likely to grow. This new flight is the next step in expanding the relationship between Houston and China.
Created on August 15, 2013
Fifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King Jr. led a “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” that culminated at the Lincoln Memorial. A quarter of a million traveled to Washington, DC, to hear what Dr. King had to say. Millions more listened on television and radio.
The day began with Marian Anderson, one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, singing the National Anthem. The day ended with Dr. King delivering one of the greatest speeches ever given in American history.
It is interesting to note that no one ever called Dr. King’s speech the “I Have a Dream” speech until after he finished it. The original title of his speech was “The Cancelled Check.” He also called it “The Normalcy Speech.” Dr. King chose those titles because an important part of his speech was about jobs. America, he said, was defaulting on a “promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.” He said “America has given… a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds’” because of discrimination in jobs, limited job mobility, jobs that offered only minimum wages and high unemployment for the rest.
Created on August 15, 2013
Mobile MBDA Business Center Holds Forum to Help Minority Business Owners
Striving to help the Gulf Coast’s minority-owned businesses succeed, the Mobile MBDA Business Center held their first Gulf Coast Economic and Industry Development Forum at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce on July 26.
The event provided a platform for government, financial, community, and business leaders to discuss the successes and challenges of the minority business community, and to formulate new strategies to ensure their growth and global competitiveness.
“In the 15 states represented by the Southern Office of the Council of State Governments, there are more than 1.5 million minority-owned businesses,” said Pamela Ramos, Mobile MBDA Business Center’s executive director. “Our forum gave minority-owned businesses an opportunity to find ways of networking and access to capital—two of the biggest hurdles they face in their path to success.”