The BEAT Sheet – May 2023
By Black Economic Alliance |
Our inaugural BEA Solutions Summit on March 21 brought together over 250 decision-makers from business, government, and philanthropy to build consensus on the leading solutions to advance work, wages, and wealth across the Black community.
The Summit, co-hosted by BEA and the BEA Foundation, highlighted research, on-the-ground solutions, and insights from prominent leaders such as Vice President Kamala Harris, Ambassador Susan Rice, Ariel Investments Founder John Rogers, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Minority LeaderHakeem Jeffries, author Heather McGhee, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
We are grateful to our Summit sponsors Deloitte, Bank of America, Capital One Insights Center, AARP, Apple, and Bloomberg Philanthropies for their partnership.
The truth is, we need to do more of what we’re doing here at these two universities, around the country, to unlock the unrealized talent in the Black community.
–Deputy Secretary Adeyemo
In February, the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE) – a partnership between the BEA Foundation and Spelman and Morehouse Colleges – was honored to host Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Wally Adeyemo, U.S. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams (GA-05), and other state and local officials.
Following a CBE student showcase, BEA CEO Samantha Tweedy moderated a roundtable discussion with Deputy Secretary Adeyemo and Administrator Guzman. The discussion highlighted the need for an entire ecosystem designed to support and invest in a new class of Black entrepreneurs – an ecosystem the CBE is actively building.
On May 12, President Biden nominated Dr. Philip Jefferson for Vice Chair and Dr. Lisa Cook for an additional full term as a Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Both of these eminent economists were originally nominated last year following a campaign by BEA and partner Black-led organizations urging the Administration to diversify economic appointments as a means of ensuring a more equitable economy.
If confirmed, Dr. Jefferson will become the second Black Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, and Dr. Cook – the first Black woman member of the Board – will serve a full 14-year term. BEA is proud to have advocated for these nominees and are confident their contributions will advance work, wages, and wealth for Black Americans.
On February 16, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. BEA has worked closely with the Biden-Harris Administration to identify opportunities to reshape federal policies and programs to drive economic mobility in the Black community.
As BEA CEO Samantha Tweedy said in a statement, the EO “…is an important step towards dismantling deeply entrenched and pervasive systems that have long held back the Black community.”
As he closed out his historic first quarter as the first Black lawmaker in our nation’s history to lead a party in Congress, the BEA PAC held a fundraiser for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. The BEA PAC is proud to stand with Minority Leader Jeffries as he champions our agenda of advancing work, wages, and wealth across the Black community.
On February 17, BEA Board Member Richelieu Dennis rang Nasdaq’s opening bell alongside a group of 75 Black and Brown entrepreneurs. Dennis is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors in the world. Born in Liberia, he grew up amid the country’s bloody civil war. The opportunity came for Dennis to attend Babson College on a scholarship. But just hours after his mother flew out of Liberia to attend Dennis’ graduation ceremony, rebels invaded and destroyed their home.
Without a job or home to return to, Dennis turned to a family tradition: creating natural bath and body products and selling them on the streets of Harlem. With his mother and college roommate, Dennis launched Sundial Brands which was acquired by Unilever in 2017. Together, the partnership created the groundbreaking $100M New Voices Fund to invest in and empower women of color entrepreneurs.
Dennis continues to make it his life’s mission to build an entire ecosystem to support other Black entrepreneurs.