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Billionaire Robert Smith Unveils ’2% Solution’ Investment Plan for Black Communities

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Robert F. Smith
Robert F. Smith

Reuters

*Billionaire Robert F. Smith is calling on large corporations to invest 2% of their annual net income over the next decade to help empower Black communities. 

Smith’s proposal is part of his new “2% Solution,” which “calls on big banks to capitalize the financial institutions that service Black-owned businesses and minority-run entrepreneurial ventures,” per Minority Business Development Agency. 

“Nowhere is structural racism more apparent than in corporate America,” Smith said in a keynote address he gave at the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy last week “If you think about structural racism and access to capital, 70% of African American communities don’t even have a branch, bank of any type.”

Via mdba.gov:

In recent days, Smith, whose net worth is estimated to be $5 billion, has been sharing a concrete plan with the nation’s business leaders that argues that an investment equal to 2% of net income over the next decade would be a small step toward restoring equity and mobility in America.

He has implied that America’s big corporations should feel compelled to support such a plan given the exclusionary practices of many industries over several decades. Smith made the case that the average American household charitably donates 2% of its income annually and is asking corporate America to do the same.

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“The deprivation of capital is one of the areas that creates a major problem to the enablement of the African American community,” Smith said during the summit. “The first thing to do is put capital into those branch banks to lend to these small businesses to actually create an opportunity set… drive it into these small businesses, which employs 60 percent-plus of African Americans.”

via Revolt TV:

According to Forbes, the net worth of the US’s largest companies over the last decade was $1.3 trillion, which — with Smith’s plan — would leave around $25 billion to be used for strengthening healthcare infrastructure in Black neighborhoods, funding STEM education at HBCUs and more.

Over the next 10 years, Smith believes corporate spending could provide billions of dollars to Black-owned businesses, banks and community development efforts.

Here’s more from mdba.gov:

In his talk on Thursday, Smith pointed out that the net income of the ten largest U.S. banks over the last ten years was $968 billion. He figured just 2% of that would amount to $19.4 billion, which could be used to fund the core Tier 1 capital of community development banks and minority depository institutions that primarily service Black communities. 

See more from Smith’s message at the Forbes Summit here.

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Police - Police Abuse

VIDEO: Queens Man Filmed Saying ‘I Can’t Breathe’ in Struggle with Police / VIDEO

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RealPress-CopsTased-04

*Echoing what’s become a slogan for Black Lives Matter protesters, a stocky security guard yelled “I can’t breathe” as he was tasered seven times during his arrest earlier this summer, resulting in his death.

George Zapantis, a 29-year-old security guard with a history of mental illness from Queens, was killed after a five-minute struggle with police on June 21. The New York Police Department has now posted a new, three-hour video showing Zapantis’ cries during his arrest. In the footage, the suspect is seen at the door of his home before growing angry and attacking police. The mass of bodies bring him to the ground as his shouts turn to squeals, and then silence.

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He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital; results of an autopsy are still pending.

George Vomvolakis, an attorney representing Zapantis’ family, called the video’s release “an opportunity for the public to see with their own eyes the excessive force.”

“It doesn’t take a trained professional to realize that six people on top of somebody and tasering them repeatedly could potentially kill them,” Vomvolakis said.

THE INCIDENT

Police responded to Zapantis’ home in Queens, which he shared with his mother and sister, following a call from a neighbor.  The complaint said the security guard had approached their 25-year-old son carrying a sword.

After knocking on the door, Zapantis appeared through the glass panes wearing a gladiator outfit, which included a shield and a “sword attached to his left waist,” according to police.  He later reappeared at the door without the sword and helmet, moments before he charged officers shouting expletives.

George Zapantis arguing with the police officers. (Real Press)

However, the victim makes it clear in the video he is unarmed. He was reportedly tasered the first time when he barged through the screen door to apparently attack officers. While trying to detain the man, during which officers repeatedly shouted at Zapantis to stop struggling and to put his hands behind his back, the officers question whether he is OK after being tasered seven times.

“Does he have a pulse,” asked one officer.

“He’s breathing, right,” said another.

POLICE RESPONSE

A spokesperson for the NYPD says the matter is still under investigation by the department’s Force Investigation Division. “We do not draw any conclusions about whether an officer’s actions were consistent with department policy and the law until all the facts are known,” said NYPD spokesperson Carlos Nieves.

Physical confrontation between George Zapantis and police officers. (Real Press)

Three officers were identified as firing their tasers a total of six times. A fourth officer fired a colleague’s taser in “drive stun” mode—a setting intended to immobilize someone by causing pain.

Police brutality and excessive force have been in the media spotlight since George Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis over Memorial Day weekend. The death of Floyd, who also told the officers arresting him that he could not breathe, sparked protests across the United States and elsewhere.

The phrase first gained notoriety following the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who said it while held by New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in a chokehold prohibited by the department. Pantaleo was not indicted in Garner’s death but was fired by the department in 2019.

Overall, American police kill citizens at a much higher rate than in other wealthy nations. Specifically, in the U.S., police kill 33.5 people per 10 million people, which is more than three times higher than the second-most measured country, Canada, at 9.8, according to the Prison Policy Initiative.

(Edited by Stephen Thomas Gugliociello and Matthew Hall.)



The post VIDEO: Queens man filmed saying ‘I can’t breathe’ in struggle with police appeared first on Zenger News.

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Events

Mary J. Blige, Kenya Barris and More to Appear At 2020 ABFF Online Edition

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ABFF 2020a

KENYA BARRIS, MARY J. BLIGE, CURTIS ‘50 CENT’ JACKSON, BARRY JENKINS, GABRIELLE UNION, LENA WAITHE AND MORE TOPLINE PROGRAMMING SLATE FOR 2020 AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL

Ten Day Virtual Fest Available to Global Audience August 21-30
Features Mix of Live and On Demand Content

ABFF 2020

*The first virtual edition of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), now in its 24th year, will feature a robust slate of speakers including Stacey Abrams, Kenya Barris, Mary J. Blige, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Barry Jenkins, Gabrielle Union and Lena Waithe, as well as panels ranging from the business of Hollywood to spotlights on new films and television series. The festival will offer a mix of live and on-demand content from August 21st to 30th at abff.com.

Opening night will feature the HBO Short Film Competition, a platform which has been responsible for showcasing the early work of such industry notables as Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Ben Watkins (Hand of God) and Stephen Caple Jr. (Creed II) followed by a virtual version of ABFF’s legendary “White Party.” It will close with “The Best of American Black Film Festival Awards” Ceremony, hosted by Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker and simulcast on IMDb.com, followed by a post-awards celebration. Presenters include: Lee Daniels (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Laz Alonso (The Boys), Bevy Smith (BEVELATIONS) Logan Browning (Dear White People) and Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods).

Jemele Hill will host a Cadillac sponsored one-on-one conversation with Blige, who is this year’s festival ambassador. In addition to “Conversations With” Blige and Abrams, Angela Rye will moderate a discussion with Barris. Evening programming will also include “Comics on Comedy” hosted by Yvonne Orji (Insecure) featuring Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), a screening of Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, presented by HBO, a first look at the highly anticipated Universal Pictures film, Candyman with director/co-writer Nia DaCosta, and a panel on the new animated series Woke from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Additional highlights include a conversation with directors Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard), Christine Swanson (The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel) and Jacqueline Olive (Always in Season). Amazon Studios presents a Hot at Amazon panel featuring Barry Jenkins, Lena Waithe and Tracy Oliver; a Garrett Bradley Time conversation as well as a discussion with Stacy Abrams. STARZ presents Power Book II: Ghost panel with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Michael Rainey Jr., Naturi Naughton, Mary J. Blige and Cliff “Method Man” Smith. Netflix brings a discussion with The 40-Year-Old Version writer/director Radha Blank.

There will be opportunities to meet the filmmakers from the competitive categories, panel discussions on “The Hollywood Executive Experience Through The Black Lens,“ ”Navigating the Network and Studio Process,” and ”Black Female Perspectives on Directing and Storytelling” among others. The 90 films featured during the program will be available on-demand for the duration of the festival. The schedule is available here.

“We are gratified by the outpouring of industry support for this year’s ABFF, creating an opportunity for us to reach a global audience with a broad range of compelling content both live and on-demand,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO ABFF Ventures. “Although we plan to be back in Miami for 2021, this year’s virtual festival enables us to engage with an audience that might never be able to attend a destination event. Thanks to our sponsors and everyone who participated, we are able to deliver provocative conversation and compelling entertainment when our community most needs it.”

Sponsors to date include WarnerMedia, HBO® (Founding), Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (Presenting Sponsors); Comcast NBCUniversal, Amazon Studios (Premier Sponsors); Cadillac, Sony Pictures Entertainment, IMDb, Netflix, Motion Picture Association (MPA), Jeff Friday Media, Prudential Financial, Starz, a Lionsgate company UMC, Verizon Media (Official Sponsors); AspireTV, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, and Universal Production Music (Supporting Sponsors); Blackfilm.com, Film Independent, and Variety (Marketing Partners).

For more information on ABFF and up-to-date news, go to abff.com and follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook. Join in on the conversation by using #ABFF20 and #ABFF.

 

 

 

 

source:
ABFF (American Black Film Festival)
[email protected]

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** FEATURED STORY **

Supermodel Don Benjamin Opens Up About Tyra Banks, His Faith And Making Babies / The Trend

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Don Benjamin

*Supermodel Don Benjamin Talks Tyra Banks, His New Novel “My Truth,” His Faith and Making Babies / The Trend W/ Derrial Christon and Courtney Stewart.
@derrialchriston
@stewartstarlit

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