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June
11, 2020

7 minutes of reading


Last Wednesday Connie Evans testified before the Senate Small Business Committee. Evans is president and CEO of the Association of Enterprises. During the 25-year career with which he began to engage mental health and moved towards “using the market” for equity solutions, ”she advised everyone to the Clinton administration.

When Evans gathered his testimony, George Floyd was still alive. She planned to acquaint senators with structural inequalities for the minority that consisted of exclude the vast majority entrepreneurs who receive color from receiving incentives, and recommend corrective legislation. But when she made her way to Capitol Hill, the country convulsed.

“The protests didn’t change my main message,” Evans says. “I wanted to stop by talking about the damage that is sometimes done to entrepreneurs during protests. But one thing I was talking about, more or less, was, ‘I can’t be an African-American woman leader of a minority-supported organization, a black owner.’ Latin American businesses, etc., at least without pointing to the inequality, injustice and problems that the demonstrators are talking about. Main Street cannot solve all these problems, but they are still played out on the main street. “

Main streets across millions of people anointed their voices – most of them peacefully. But where there were riots and robberies, it also happened on Main Street, yes Main streets. Especially at the beginning of the protests, at the dinner tables and in the newsrooms, most white commentators seemed to fixate on the robbery as a difficult factor in more broadly supporting the protests. The destruction of public property posed a threat to people who always felt comfortable and serviced these spaces on Main Street. It was difficult for them to understand how other people might feel such little loyalty to entrepreneurs and buildings in their communities, or see the excitement as an opportunity to gain material benefits.

In a conversation with Evans, she touched on this difficult issue. And he did it in a language that will probably be familiar to many entrepreneurs: “Assessment.”

Similar: These entrepreneurs have been affected by the riots, but they “see the forest, not the trees”

In the context of business and how do you think the more chaotic elements of the protests are best understood?

Evans: Well, I would like to think that all races and ethnicities understand the outrage of protests and years of injustice and inequality.

What they may not understand is burning, robbery, pogroms. Seeing these things on television raises questions and fears – perhaps more for white people. And I think we need to share that such behavior is a reaction to underestimation. Valuation is a term that entrepreneurs recognize, right? Company evaluation.

Think about how black people were treated by governments and institutions. We can talk about banking, or we can look at the shops and restaurants in the black neighborhoods that are mostly chains – not in black ownership and does not belong to people in this area. I think these things are difficult to make people in these communities feel that they are not valued. People who rise up in riots or robberies feel why they value these things around them – these buildings, the shops, these the corporate networks – when there is no mutual value or gratitude for them?

This whole issue, which is seen as valuable, I believe has conveyed a message that everyone should hear. We are in a country that has devalued the black person over the years – not only their communities, but also the people themselves. To understand what is happening now, we need to truly realize that all people have value and need to be treated as such.

Thus, the economic “assessment” of black life is an integral part of our country’s past.

Evans: Think stories of this country in slavery. It was an assessment placed on black people – on slaves and their work. They were literally sold. So our ideas are rooted in racism discrimination and the terror that remains with black people today. I’m sure in your life you’ve heard someone say, “We need to work twice as hard for half of our white peers to be recognized as such.” It all has to do with evaluation and how we are evaluated in this country.

Similar: How should you talk to staff about racism?

What other areas of the economic landscape see the devaluation of black communities?

Evans: I recently read an article about home ownership and it was shameful. It was about how every bank offering a mortgage in Chicago would devalue every building or house in a black neighborhood compared to the same house a square foot and everyone in the white neighborhood. Value appraisal of houses in black quarters it’s a penny compared to the same houses in the white quarters.

We know that black businesses have problems search for capital start a business and tend to stay small because they continue to receive funding for growth. The bad part and the transfer with what in the family is the usual black 10 times less wealth than the average white family. What are some less considered barriers for black individuals gaining wealth?

Evans: I was doing some research back in 2006, in the midst of people talking about remittances. [Remittances are funds that migrants send back to their families in their home countries.] I was the first black woman ever appointed to the Chicago Board of Directors, and during that time many people talked about all remittances going to other countries. At one point remittances accounted for the highest share of GDP for the Mexican government. So the banks and Western Union and all these players were looking at how they were going to get a piece of it .

I did some research and wrote an article about how black men, and especially black women, always sent money to take care of our family. Yes? I’m up north but sending money to help my mom south pay the rest of my siblings to go to school, or do after school, or just keep warm, or whatever.

My research has shown that a significant part of the reasons why black women found themselves at the bottom of almost all financial indicators was that – more than any other group – they cared about the extended family. And this hindered their ability to accumulate their own financial wealth. And these contributions were valued so much that any system in this country recorded and counted them. We believe we appreciate. If this country appreciates it, they have a way to calculate it. The Federal Reserve can tell you exactly how much money is going to Mexico in remittances because it has been estimated. It was not – and still is – that it was appreciated that black people sent money across the country to take care of their large family members.

The issue of value and valuation has been so distorted because of race and discrimination in this country. It began with the importance of people in slavery, and it has permeated so many of our systems: banking, business startups, the legal and justice systems. Colored people, and especially blacks, just weren’t appreciated.

Similar: Minority-owned small businesses receive no incentives. Could this finally change?

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