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How HBCUs are Responding to a Flood of Corporate Diversity Initiatives

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It is widely known that HBCUs have received fewer resources, leaner endowments, and less interest, with the exception of recent times. However, time can make all the difference, when it comes to seeing spirited change manifest. Back in September 2020, Fortune published an article written by Barbara L. Adams. The business school dean and accounting professor at South Carolina State University wrote an article concerning the risk of companies who do not recruit from HBCUs. She suggested that they may miss out on promising employees when they overlook the potential candidate pool.

“Attending a historically Black college or university comes with challenges that students at other institutions might not face, particularly a lack of funding and name recognition. Many recruiters seem to exclusively chase pupils from large state schools or well-known private schools. What they don’t realize is that they’re missing out on promising employees,” Adams wrote.

Interest in HBCUs from the mainstream population is shifting in a new direction, while attempts to increase diversity have been direct. Quartz at Work recently reported that HBCUs are now dealing with an onslaught of interest from company recruiters in response to last year’s resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, following killings of Black Americans by police.

Quartz at Work mentioned that Spelman is among the HBCUs that have been inundated.

“Harold Bell, director of Spelman’s office of career planning and development, says his seven-person department has been flooded with emails and phone calls from hundreds of companies, each armed with a list of diversity recruitment initiatives. The increased outreach has been “stressful,” Quartz at Work reported, also noting that handling recruiters is only a portion of his office’s job.

Quartz at Work also cited North Carolina Central University as another example of an HBCU receiving a surge of interest. Catrina DosReis—the director of the career and professional development center at the college—reportedly said that she has observed increased interest from employers in sectors including IT and pharma, which she stated are looking to recruit and to provide skills training and support. The article mentioned that 60 organizations reportedly took part in a business and IT recruitment fair in September—which was double the previous year’s participation. However, the staff realized it was not capable of taking all of the inbound calls the following month, although they wanted to ensure students were being matched with the correct jobs.

“What we’ve been really looking at, though we are very excited about the interest, is that conversion to actual hiring,” DosReis said in the interview with Quartz at Work. “We’ve yet to see that.”

DosReis also mentioned that a portion of employers provided feedback. According to them,  students are not showing up for virtual events, but she noted that many of the school’s students are dealing with burnout, and that recruiting takes investment and time. DosReis also stated to Quartz at Work that it is also important for recruiters to go beyond the act of hiring, whether that’s paying for round-trip airfare for internships or providing a housing stipend, for instance, since many students come from low-income households.

Kimberly Scott, vice president of student affairs at Tuskegee University, reportedly said in the Quartz at Work interview that a different type of engagement is underway. Scott remarked that more Fortune 100 and 200 companies inquired about how they could connect with students. They also volunteered to offer opportunities and provide donations.

Scott reportedly added the school “redirected the conversation” to get a broader commitment from businesses. Her office is open to trying strategies, such as connecting companies with academic departments, inviting them to become part of the school’s business advisory council, as well as providing helpful guidance on academic preparation and soft skills preparation outside of class.

Lyron Foster is a Hawaii based African American Musician, Author, Actor, Blogger, Filmmaker, Philanthropist and Multinational Serial Tech Entrepreneur.

Business

Today is Malbec World Day. This is how it is celebrated in Mexico

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Wines of Argentina celebrates the eleventh edition of Malbec World Day with a Mexico online store. The festivities run from April 15 to May 15.

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Vegan Fried Chicken Entrepreneur Rejected $1 Million Shark Tank Offer; Acquired Multi-Million Dollar Facility to Expand Company Vision

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California entrepreneur Deborah Torres pitched her vegan fried chicken on season 11 of ABC’s hit TV show “Shark Tank.”

Torres offered the Sharks a $500,000 investment opportunity in exchange for a 10% stake in the company. Instead, billion-dollar investor Mark Cuban decided to partner with guest shark Rohan Oza and offer $1 million for 100% of the company. Torres would receive a 10% royalty.

Torres rejected the offer. Recently, her company acquired a multi-million dollar former food production warehouse in a San Diego Opportunity Zone to expand their vision.

“We are so blessed and excited to acquire our own warehouse facility while still maintaining 100% ownership of the company. I have God, my family, our team, and our awesome fans and customers alike to really thank for the incredible support. Dreams really do come true when you don’t give up or let someone steal your imagination. This is only the beginning,” said Torres told Times of San Diego.

Vegan Fried Chicken Entrepreneur Turned Down Shark Tank Offer

When Torres introduced her fried vegan chicken to the Sharks, they immediately fell in love with it. “This batter is extremely tasty,” shark Lori Greiner said. “It’s got some zip to it.”

“You fooled me,” Barbara Corcoran said.

The Sharks bought into the idea of fried vegan chicken but challenged the financials that Torres delivered.

“On [Shark Tank] there were many edits of conversations to make it appear that I wasn’t intelligent enough for obvious dramatic effects of the ‘shocking’ ending,” Torres told VegNews.

She felt that her appearance on Shark Tank did not accurately portray her business acumen. Torres graduated from high school at 15 and received her first degree at 17.

“I think God works in mysterious ways because what was meant to harm me propelled me to where I am today—the proud and sole owner of the world’s largest vegan fried chicken manufacturing company and 100-percent owner of a multi-million dollar manufacturing facility.”

Torres felt that the Shark Tank offer was not a reflection of the true value of her company. In 2019, she declined the offer and now she projects exponential growth for the company going forward.

Giving Birth to a Plant-Based Brand

Deborah Torres is the founder of Atlas Monroe. The plant-based company specializes in fried vegan foods. According to VegNews, Atlas Monroe is on track to become the largest manufacturer of deep-fried vegan chicken in the world.

What motivated the creation of vegan fried chicken? Her father’s type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Torres decided to experiment with a vegan diet. One of her main priorities was to develop delicious foods that were healthy.

“My whole family and I went on a raw, vegan and organic diet for 90 days. We grew really ‘hangry’ at each other from just eating salads and fruit salads,” Deborah told CNBC. “After the 90 days, [my father] was completely healed. We vowed to stay organic, plant-based and natural. We continued to experiment, and Atlas Monroe was born.”

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Memorial Service for DMX Will Be Held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn

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A memorial for late rapper DMX will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday, April 24th. According to TMZ, the memorial will only be open to close friends and family. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Barclays Center can only accommodate 10% capacity. The memorial will be live-streamed to give the public a chance to honor DMX with family and friends.

“My brother would take care of everybody before he would take care of himself. I never seen a human like him. The closest I’ve ever seen to a prophet,” Swizz Beatz shared during a heartfelt video tribute to DMX. “His humanitarian work should be celebrated.”

DMX Memorial at Barclays Center 

According to sources, DMX’s family decided to hold the memorial at the Barclays Center instead of DMX’s home county at Yonkers Raceway.

Opened in 2012, Barclays is an indoor arena in New York City that is home to the Brooklyn Nets. The venue can seat 19,000 people. In June 2019, DMX made his last stage appearance at the Barclays Center. He was a part of the Masters of Ceremony alongside 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and other hip-hop artists. He also performed at the arena in 2017 as part of the Ruff Ryders reunion show.

The details of the memorial service are still being ironed out. TMX reported that a church service for DMX’s close family and friends will take place on Sunday, April 25th.

Remembering DMX

DMX, whose birth name was Earl Simmons, died on Friday, April 9th. He was 50 years old.

The iconic rapper was admitted to the hospital on April 2nd after a drug overdose. He suffered a heart attack and was taken off life support while at White Plains Hospital. DMX was surrounded by family during his final days.

“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever.”

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