A Time to Accentuate the Positive

 

“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”
~Carter G. Woodson, “Father of Black History,” founder of Negro History Week, precursor to Black History Month

 

Black History Month, February 1 to February 28, 2019, is an excellent time to reject the negative stereotypes and embrace the positive truths about African Americans. It is also a time to accentuate the positive and understand that all lives, including Black lives, matter.

This month, The Council joins the nation in pausing to remember the brave, innovative, and selfless Black men and women, from Benjamin Banneker, Fredrick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman, to Samuel Kountz, M.D., Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who have made invaluable contributions to build and advance this country for more than 240 years. We are particularly inspired by the African-American entrepreneurs who strive daily to give back to their communities and positively impact our economy.  We remain committed to providing the support these entrepreneurs need to thrive.

Between 2007 and 2012, the number of African-American-owned firms rose 34.5% from 1.9 million to 2.6 million, accounting for almost half (49.9%) of all small businesses owned by people of color. While minority entrepreneurship is on the rise, there is much more to be done.

Through our initiatives, we will continue to foster relationships between Council-certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) and corporate members and public agencies, while identifying procurement opportunities for prime suppliers and subcontractors. We will optimize educational and networking resources, including those that provide greater access to capital, throughout the year to give MBEs the essential tools to achieve and sustain profitability.

Let’s continue to embrace the important contributions made by African Americans this month and throughout the year.

 

Terrence Clark
President & CEO

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