CHARLESTON, SC — Dr. Tony Coles, Co-Chair of the Black Economic Alliance, joined CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Wednesday to discuss the launch of the Black Economic Alliance and its first round of candidate endorsements in nationally-watched statewide races in Georgia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. Dr. Coles, who is also the Chairman and CEO of Yumanity Therapeutics, helped create the Black Economic Alliance to support political candidates who are committed to championing economic policies that will improve outcomes for Black Americans.
Dr. Coles on why BEA, why now
“Several of us have all written checks individually to support candidates. But this is really the first time that we’ve collectively come together and as a group to focus on economic progress for Black Americans. The statistics are critical. We know that even amongst adults, college-educated adults, Black Americans earn 25 percent less than white Americans. Even if you look at household net income, for instance, it is 60 percent lower in Black households. So, we think that this is a critical moment in the conversation, particularly as the economy appears to be rebounding for us to play a role and support this mission.”
Dr. Coles on nonpartisan approach to endorsements
“Because we’re nonpartisan, we try very even-handedly to reach out to both sides. We are looking for tractable solutions that are pragmatic and that can be implemented. We don’t think that’s a good idea, that is a Republican idea or Democrat idea necessarily, but we are looking for the idea that will work and be most productive. It is what we as business people are trained to do.”