Templeton returns to the African-American Civil War Memorial where he spoke for the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass in 2018 to close the Year of Woodson
capitalizing our heritage
WASHINGTON -- Capitalizing Our Heritage: State of Black Business, 20th edition reports a missed opportunity to transform African American communities because states and localities are not directing unprecedented investments to Black owned businesses and institutions.
John William Templeton, author of the study since 2004, reveals findings Monday at 3 p.m. in Washington, DC and is joined by a delegation of business and civic leaders from seven states describing the challenges they've faced.
For example, he is urging swift action on the civil rights complaint by legislators and Atlanta officials on the use of $100 million in ARRA funding to close two Atlanta hospitals, one of which trained more Black interns and residents than any other hospital in the nation. The moves put 2,000 out of work and removed $2 billion from the local economy.
Increasing the 0.7% of research spending to historically Black colleges and universities is a a welcome development from the Biden-Harris administration that directly fosters wealth creation and job growth. The President makes a commencement speech at Howard University, which just received its first Defense Department research contract in 156 years despite being named for a Union Army general.
The program also features transformational African leader Folake Ani Mumuney, global head of marketing for First Bank Limited, Nigeria's oldest bank at 125 years, discussing the May 22 opening of the Dangote Refinery in Lagos, giving Africa's largest country independence for refined fuel.
New York state, where Templeton is chair of Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corp., tops the annual Black Business Affinity Index. Sen. James Sanders, D-Queens, father of the state's MBWE legislation, joins the release of the study. He is also chair of economic development for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, which has partnered with Templeton on the study since 2015.
The 2020 study Hope Over Hate revealed that only 1/1000 of PPP loans were going to Black-owned firms, leading to changes in 2021 that caused a 30-fold increase to more than $16 billion.
At stake in 2023 is the opportunity to restore Black construction employment through infrastructure and energy spending. It had dipped to 3 percent of the total construction workforce in 2014 and has rebounded over the past three years to 7.1 percent.
"It's the hidden formula for reducing homelessness, violence and displacement," says Templeton, whose CBEDC is slated to break ground on a 400 unit affordable housing mixed use development in June in NYC's Brownsville community.
It is in the midst of a three year $1.3 million grant from Robinhood Foundation and has been tapped by Borough President Antonio Reynoso to open Black businesses along the Belmont corridor as a strategy to reduce the city's highest Black unemployment.
He also gives four days of professional development during the Conference on Architecture AIA23 June 7-10 on how to equitably plan Black communities.
He is lead developer for the Sargent Johnson National Museum of African American Art at Fisherman's Wharf and the Dr. T. Nathaniel Burbridge Center for Inclusive Innovation.
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