Making a Black Chamber Effective

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Harry C. Alford and Kay DeBow

Beyond the Rhetoric

By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow

The National Black Chamber of Commerce® is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora.

In essence, the NBCC is on the leading edge of educating and training Black communities on the need to participate vigorously in this great capitalistic society known as America.

The time has come for us to gather up all the organizations that refer to themselves as “Black Chamber of Commerce” or something similar. We will start evaluating and rating chapters according to their efficiency and accomplishments.

They must be astute in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,18 Ways to Kill a Chamber, Section 3 of the HUD Act, have viewed our biography Parren J. Mitchell and of Dr. Arthur A. Fletcher, Executive Order 11246, The Origins of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the structure of the NBCC, etc. as a minimum.

As a minimum each prospective member (chapter) should read and understand our description of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. We provide this important explanation below.

January 14, 1994

OFFICIAL OPINION NO. 94-2

INFORMATION COPY

The Honorable William A. Crawford, Chairman

Indiana Black Legislative Caucus

State House Room 4 – 2

Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Re: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Dear Representative Crawford:

This is in response to your request for an official opinion concerning the interpretation and application of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, et seq. Your request attached opinion 92-47 of the Attorney General of the State of Tennessee, which addressed six questions concerning Title VI:

  1. Whether Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted to prohibit racial discrimination in federally funded programs.
  2. Whether state agencies, local government entities, educational institutions, private for profit and non-profit corporations are “recipients” subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987.
  3. Whether Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 affects state and local government boards, commissions and authorities when they are making public policy concerning the expenditure of federal funds.
  4. Whether federally funded recipients subject to this legislation are required to monitor the program and activities of their subrecipients.
  5. Whether federal funding may be terminated or withheld for non-compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and
  6. Whether the minority community and/or its representatives may be denied the rights to participate in the planning and development of public policy as it relates to federally funded programs.

CONCLUSION: Title VI is one of the key provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the most far-reaching and important civil rights legislation in our lifetime. It firmly establishes the public policy of the United States in opposition to racial discrimination and strictly forbids such discrimination in programs receiving federal financial assistance, a mandate binding on all those who administer such programs. While the focus of the statute is on voluntary compliance, it provides a range of sanctions, including, ultimately, the termination of federal financial assistance to offending programs. This office, and all of State Government, firmly supports the goals of Title VI and of the entire Act. We are committed to eliminating invidious discrimination wherever it may appear.

Respectfully, Pamela Carter

Attorney General of Indiana

Getting certified as a recognized member of the National Black Chamber of Commerce federation is not an arduous task. However, the first step is to fill out a membership form and pay your initial dues. Contact the National Office for official paperwork and registration at info@nationalbcc.org. It is our goal to make each and every member of the National Black Chamber of Commerce an efficient champion and warrior for the empowerment and effectiveness of BLACK BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT.

Don’t wait another moment to become a part of this historical and pace setting organization. It is the only missing link from our historical Civil Rights Movement.

Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®. Ms. DeBow is the Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of the Chamber. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Emails: halford@nationalbcc.org kdebow@nationalbcc.org.

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