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Passing our wealth to our children is the name of the game. Empowering ourselves for them in the new century is an important agenda, and our readers say we must start on the road today. The results of the black enterprise 2000 reader survey, which covered a wide range of economic, political, and social issues, indicate that we have once again put our fingers on the pulse of our community. We’re doing this survey in honor of our 30th anniversary. And to help us better understand, we also spoke to a selected group of readers who represent a cross section of our audience.
Creating wealth for our community is not only a major concern but a necessary challenge if we are to give our children a head start. Timothy T. Mahone, president and CEO of Lakeshore Health & Wellness Centers, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and a participant in our survey, says a mandatory first step toward creating wealth is to cultivate economic strength within our communities, within our churches, within our neighborhood centers, and among our leaders. Building an economic base allows us to shape the political and corporate agenda that allows us to solve our problems. We have to do it for the next generation.
“The survey revolved around looking and reaching back into our community and capitalizing on our own intellectual commodity,” says Mahone. “It’s important to reach back to our youth and teach them the basics of finance. To me, it revolves around trusting each other more. That’s how we improve the quality of life, reduce crime, and build our wealth.”
Julie Gordon White, chairman and CEO of She-EO.com, a dotcom media company providing information and inspiration for women business owners, says economic self-sufficiency is the key to everything. “Creating our own business is the key to building wealth. We can build through investment, but you have to have money to do that. I believe politics is involved, but money talks. Politics is definitely a major supporting factor, but he who controls the money controls the power.”
And Matthew B. Murphy III, director of planning and business development at Mays Chemical Co., in Indianapolis, says the survey is a healthy tool. “But in addition to wealth building, societal issues like the drug epidemic, the crime that’s plaguing us, and our concern for the quality of education rank equally as important. The combination of these three things, as far as the black experience is in America, is really what plagues us the most.”
The respondents to our reader survey, especially the selected group of people we talked to, offered many good suggestions, some of which we’ll examine. Some 1,200 online readers responded to the survey, which was posted on blackenterprise.com during the month of June. We wanted to hear your ideas and strategies for empowerment in the 21st century. The gender split was 56.5% female and 43.5% male. The average age was 36, and the median age was 34. The majority of respondents (60.8%) subscribe to black enterprise. Participants responded to 26 questions