ISSUE 10 FEBRUARY 2013 A NAACP ECONOMIC PROGRAMS PUBLICATION WWW.NAACP.ORG/ECON
“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”
-W.E.B. Du Bois
Opportunity & Diversity: One Industry At a
Time, By NAACP President
Benjamin Todd Jealous
NAACP Celebrates Pennslyvania
NAACP Diversity Job Fair and
Financial Advocacy and
Community Tour (FACT)
Tremendous Success in
The Economic Lessons of Dr. King:
Remembering the Significance of
Dr. Martin Luther King’s Freedom Budget
Former NAACP Secretary in Montgomery
ISSUE 10 FEBRUARY 2013
EDITED BY NAACP ECONOMIC DEPT.
LAYOUT DESIGN: ERIC OLIVER
A NAACP ECONOMIC PROGRAMS PUBLICATION
Table of Contents
2 NAACP Celebrates Pennsylvania Payday Victory!
NAACP Diversity Job Fair and Financial Advocacy and Community Tour
3 (FACT) Tremendous Success in Minneapolis, MI
Opportunity & Diversity: One Industry at a Time by Benjamin Todd
4 Jealous, NAACP President & CEO
5 NAACP Unit Highlight - Columbus Youth Chapter
6 What’s Going On In Fair Lending
The Economic Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King: Remembering the
7 Significance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Freedom Budget
8 What’s Hot: How To Secure Your Dream Job and Knowing What It Takes!
9 February Partnership Highlight: Common Security Club
10 - 12 What’s New at the Economic Department: Welcoming Team Members
NAACP Economic Department Celebrates Successful Year with Holiday
14 -15 Upcoming Events
Note: All articles are written by Heather Qader, Economic Research Intern unless otherwise
T hanks to the efforts of President Jerome
Mondesire of the Pennsylvania NAACP
and a broad, diverse statewide coalition
in Pennsylvania, the state’s strong laws against
predatory payday lending remain intact. This victory
means hundreds of millions of dollars will remain in
people’s pockets rather than going toward predatory
During the recently concluded 2012 Pennsylvania
legislative session, the legislature voted on a bill
that would authorize 300 percent APR payday loans
in the state. If the bill had passed, Pennsylvania
neighborhoods would have soon been flooded
with payday loan shops and Pennsylvanians would
have been exposed to a range of harmful long-term
financial consequences including increased likelihood
of bankruptcy, delinquency on other bills and
involuntary bank account closures.
According to the Patriot-News, a Harrisburg
newspaper, concerns from a broad coalition of
groups—including the military, churches, senior
citizens and low-income residents—played an
instrumental role in stopping this bill.
Thank again to the Pennsylvania NAACP and all the
groups in Pennsylvania for making their voices heard
and achieving this important victory for economic
NAACP Diversity Job Fair and Financial
Advocacy and Community Tour (FACT)
Tremendous Success in Minneapolis, MI
By: Nicole Kenney, Communications Associate
On January 21st, The National NAACP
Economic Department brought its Financial
Advocacy and Community Tour (FACT) to the
Region IV NAACP Diversity Job Fair to assist
local residents with their economic recovery
in Minneapolis, MI.
Over 500 participants attended the NAACP
Diversity Job Fair, which featured employers
from Minneapolis and beyond, including
the Office of Veteran’s Affairs and VetJobs.
com. “We know communities of color are
recovering at a much more stagnant rate
with disproportionately high unemployment,
limited access to economic resources and
growing economic inequality. The Diversity
Job Fair and the Financial Advocacy and
Community Tour (FACT) is a demonstration
of the NAACP’s commitment to bringing
job opportunities, economic education Minneapolis FACT Tour Hosts
and resources to these communities,” says Dedrick
Muhammad, senior director of the NAACP Economic It was great to be a part of the event and discuss
Department. the local branches’ concerns and initiatives that are
The Financial Advocacy and Community Tour (FACT) being pursued to close the unemployment gap in our
provided approximately 300 participants with access community.”
to hands-on expertise
through financial This year marks the second year of the Financial
planners, HUD-certified Advocacy and Community Tour (FACT.) The inaugural
counselors and year was a tremendous success as the tour exposed
representatives from over a thousand NAACP members and locals to valuable
financial institutions resources addressing economic challenges affecting the
and nonprofit community. The NAACP Job Fair and FACT will be making
economic advocacy stops in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Houston, Orlando and
organizations including Dallas over the next several months.
Bank of America,
National Foundation We look forward to seeing you at the NAACP Diversity
for Credit Counseling, Job Fair and the Financial Advocacy and Community
Operation Hope, Neighborworks America, Center for Tour. Come equip yourself with economic empowerment
Responsible Lending and other local partners. President opportunities and bring this valuable information back
Jeff Martin of the NAACP St. Paul Branch attests to the to your community!
success of FACT: “Despite the frigid weather, job seekers
came out to keep their quest for a job alive.
Opportunity and Diversity
One Industry at a Time
By: Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President & CEO
here is a missing component to the
national discussion concerning how to outreach. And while people of color are 36 percent of
strengthen and rebuild the American the population, they make up only 13 percent of the
economy. It is true that high unemployment, a weak governing bodies in the hotel and lodging industry.
national infrastructure, the need for stronger public One of the most disconcerting findings of our report
education, the concentration of wealth and the deficit card is that all of the top five hotel and lodging
are all challenges to the nation’s economy but being corporations do not collect diversity data from their
left out of the discussion is the continued economic franchise properties. This means for four out of five
marginalization of racial and ethnic minorities. of these leading corporations no data is collected
for the majority of their individual hotels. This is
The American economy has always been strongest unacceptable.
when it’s kept the middle class within reach for most
Americans. But with white households holding nearly The NAACP is calling for these corporations to
20 times the wealth of black or Latino households, collect the diversity data already mandated by the
and with rising disparities in unemployment, poverty, government through EEO1 reports. We are also asking
and income, the future of the middle class has for planners of major events to request EEO1 reports
never looked more uncertain. As the country rapidly from any individual hotel they are considering for their
becomes a majority-minority the nation’s economic event so they can make diversity and inclusion part of
well-being is increasingly tied to overcoming racial their assessment as to which hotel is worthy of their
economic inequality. business. The National Coalition of Black Meeting
Planners has already voiced support for this action and
The economic challenges that people of color we will be working with our community and civil rights
face is reflected in the recently released NAACP partners as well as local bureaus of tourism to make
Opportunity and Diversity Report Card which analyzes widespread the use of EEO1 data as an important
the hotel and lodging industry. Mediocre grades and widely used factor for determining which hotels
among the five leading hotels we examined—Hyatt, qualify to hold major events.
Starwood, Wyndham, Marriott and Hilton—reveal The EEO1 survey is a primary means that the Equal
the widespread lack of investment in minority Employment Opportunity Commission uses to
suppliers, the overrepresentation of people of advance its mission derived from the 1964 Civil Rights
color in the lowest-paying entry-level positions, the Act. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act focused on
underrepresentation in the more highly-paid career- prohibiting racial discrimination in employment and
track positions and finally a lack of commitment to almost 60 years later we still find great racial and
collecting basic diversity data that could be used to ethnic disparities in business and its workforce. The
strengthen inclusion efforts.Our report shows that Opportunity and Diversity Report Card and our call to
black-owned businesses, which comprise 7 percent of action for greater use of EEO1 data should not be seen
all businesses in the U.S., make up only 0.9 percent of as just a civil rights matter but should be understood
all vendors receipts —a troubling red flag that signals as a means of dealing with one of the greatest threats
how far corporate America has to go in their supplier facing the American economy over the next thirty
diversity years: racial economic inequality. We at the NAACP
have always seen racial inequality as a grave threat to
For more information about the Opportunity and Diversity the country. In the next few decades, if serious action
Report Card, visit: naacp.org/blog/entry/opportunity-and-diver-
sity-report-card isn’t taken to bridge this divide, the entire nation will
see the economic results of this inequality.
NAACP Unit Highlight: 4
Columbus Ohio Youth Chapter
T he NAACP Economic Department
would like to recognize the Columbus
Ohio Youth Council and its president
Recently, the Council held a financial literacy
workshop at Bexley High School for 15 stu-
Cheyenne Williams for their efforts to promote dents where Williams and her team presented
financial literacy among youth in their com- on budgeting, saving and using money wisely.
munity. Cheyenne, a high school junior, has
been with the Council (which has over 200 We’d like to thank The Columbus Youth Chap-
members) for four years and is passionate ter and President Williams on their hard work
about working with the NAACP Youth Council in bringing youth a few steps closer to financial
to strengthen membership and educate her literacy.
members around important life skills neces-
sary for success.
Some of the events the Youth Council orga-
nizes include an annual back-to-school drive
to prepare families with school supplies, and a
civil rights celebration where the Youth Council
educates its members and their community on
less recognized civil rights icons.
The Columbus Ohio Youth Council is also a
recipient of a microgrant from the Financial
Freedom Center to promote financial educa-
tion work in its community.
What’s Going on in
Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement
I recently sat down with Charles Lowery, director of the
NAACP Fair Lending and Inclusion division, to discuss
the $8.5 billion Independent Foreclosure Review
Settlement for those affected by faulty foreclosures.
Originally, homeowners were required to fill out
documents explaining any mistakes that were made in
their foreclosure process, including wrongful foreclosure.
After submitting the paper work, homeowners had to
wait and see if they would receive compensation from
their servicers. “The deadline for the homeowners was
December 31st, 2012. Shortly before that deadline, there
was a change in the IFR process and that’s when the
settlement came into play,” says Lowery.
The change in process illustrates a difficult but very common problem between regulators and homeowners.
While the NAACP and various other nonprofit organizations were involved in publicizing the program, many
homeowners were met with a process marred by confusion, delays and secrecy. Ultimately the regulators
ended the program and instead announced an $8.5 billion settlement that included $5.2 billion in credits
the banks will receive for actions they take to avoid foreclosures. Borrowers will be contacted by the end
of March with news of their payment amount and the
NAACP will continue to monitor how individuals can
receive damages for improper foreclosure.
City LIFT and Neighborhood LIFT
The unique Wells Fargo City LIFT and Neighborhood LIFT
Program offers qualified borrowers the opportunity to
buy a home with the potential for loan forgiveness if
the owner has stayed in the house five or more years .
“It [City LIFT and Neighborhood LIFT] is a really good program. It has the potential to help many people,”
Lowery says. The Wells Fargo LIFT programs support sustainable homeownership and neighborhood
stability. The LIFT programs are a part of a collaborative effort sponsored by Wells Fargo and local nonprofit
organizations. The programs offer down payment assistance for qualified buyers, financial education to help
buyers prepare for homeownership and events to showcase area homes for sale. The program is designed
to attract qualified homebuyers to neighborhoods struggling with a high inventory of unsold homes.
The Economic Lessons of Dr. King: Remembering the
Significance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Freedom Budget
By: Dedrick Muhammad, Senior Director NAACP Economic Programs
O ne of the most overlooked aspects of Martin
Luther King’s legacy is his work around
economic justice and poverty. Though the
landmark rally in 1963 during which King delivered
To truly honor Dr. King, we must remember that he
died on the battlefield fighting for an agenda, which
to this day remains unrealized. Dr. King’s dream of
racial equality is still a dream that requires ongoing
his “I Have A Dream” speech is now widely known struggle to make a reality.
as “The March on Washington,” the complete
title of that event was “The March on Washington Dr. King and the movement he represents offer us
for Jobs and Freedom.” In fact, in the last year of many valuable lessons, both as a country and as
his life, Dr. King was organizing the Poor People’s individuals. A core principle of the 1967 Freedom
Campaign, a multiracial effort to alleviate poverty Budget holds that smart investments that spur
and provide guaranteed income for every citizen. economic growth are the best way forward for a
King understood that without greater economic weak economy. This also holds true for our own
equality, racial disparities and divisions could not be personal economy. For a young adult out of high
overcome. school, or an unemployed worker forced to undergo
In 1967, Dr. King wrote the foreword for the a career change, it may be tempting to keep treading
Freedom Budget — a far-reaching and ambitious water and avoid risk — but it is often precisely
social proposal created by economist Leon during these times of personal economic uncertainty
Keyserling and March on Washington organizer that we should invest in higher education or job
Bayard Rustin. It involved massive investments certification programs that will, over the long run,
in public works and infrastructure, training allow us to bring in more income and gain economic
programs that would upgrade skills and education, stability.
employment opportunity expansion, affordable During Dr. King’s famed speech at the March on
public health services, and raising the minimum Washington for Freedom and Jobs, he stated, “We
wage to two dollars an hour — an amount refuse to believe there are insufficient funds in the
equivalent to $13.79 in buying power today, though great vaults of opportunity of this nation.” One of the
our federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an great economic lessons Dr. King has for us all is this:
hour. The road to prosperity requires of us faith, struggle,
The Freedom Budget, along with many of the sacrifice, and investment, particularly for the most
economic goals of the civil rights movement, never vulnerable. On Martin Luther King’s birthday, let us
came to pass, leaving a racial economic chasm that commit ourselves to Dr. King’s economic principles.
persists to this day. Today the Freedom Budget
remains startlingly relevant, emphasizing issues
such as job creation, living wages, access to better
health care, and wealth redistribution — relevant
and urgent problems that still impair our country.
In remembering Dr. King and the legacy of the Black
Freedom movement for which he gave his life,
too often we revise history and speak as though
the white supremacy he fought against is now a
problem of the past. The truth is since Dr. King’s
time, the Black unemployment rate has remained
twice that of whites, and in the last three decades,
racial wealth inequality has ballooned out of control.
What’s Hot: How to Secure Your Dream Job:
Knowing What it Takes!
We all know the job market is tough. Securing a job determines how strong of an employee you are.
is difficult and securing your dream job might seem
impossible, but it’s not! With the help of Randall S. Stress Interpersonal Abilities: The ability to mitigate
Hansen, Ph.D., and Katharine Hansen, Ph.D. from conflict, relate with your co-workers and inspire
Quintessential Careers, I highlight some skills below them to participate is essential given how much time
that will help make your resume stand out among you’ll spend with them each day.
the rest. Emphasizing
values, personality Stress Project
traits, and personal Management &
characteristics are Organizational
also important. Look Skills: Your
for ways to highlight ability to design,
these skills and plan, organize
characteristics on and implement
your resume, cover projects and
letters and interview tasks within
responses. an allotted
Below are a few employability skills to help you imperative to the success of a company.
strengthen your resume, build personal values and
become more proactive in your work environment Employability skills and personal values are the
and/or in your job search. critical tools and traits you need to succeed in any
workplace. These skills and values are all elements
Stress Communications Skills: Successful that you can learn, develop and cultivate over your
communication—the ability to listen, write and lifetime. Once you’ve identified your strengths,
speak effectively—is one of the most critical remember to document and market them in your
business skills. resume, cover letter and interview answers for job-
Stress Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple search success.
Priorities: Your ability to manage multiple
assignments and tasks, set priorities and adapt
to changing conditions and work assignments
February Partnership Highlight:
Common Security Club
A s our recovery from the Great Recession
continues to chug along at a sluggish
pace, economic security is slipping out
of reach for millions of Americans. Many of us are
worried about our financial future and our ability
Three Components of a Resilience Circle:
Learning – A Resilience Circle breaks down the
structural components of our financial challenges
on an individual and macro level. Facing these issues
may be emotional, so a supportive community is
to provide for our children’s futures. Although essential and beneficial.
the economic climate is tough, many of us still Mutual Aid – Resilience Circles develop steps toward
internalize these economic problems. We should personal security through mutual aid activities. For
rely on communities where we can openly express example, in session five, participants create lists of
our frustrations and fears around our economic services they can offer and services that they need.
challenges. This helps individuals grasp a new sense of wealth
and understand how members of the community
at large can help each other become financially
Social Action – We need to realize that many of our
financial challenges are impossible to solve on our
own. Banding together for local, state, national or
even global change is an important step toward
financial empowerment. Many groups choose to take
action based on their own interests and morals.
“We used to meet in the basement of the local
library, about twelve of us, each week. The librarian
was always asking us what we were laughing at.
Somehow we just always had a lot of fun when we
met. And we helped each other in all kinds of ways.”
- Bill R., Indiana
Resilience Circles are small groups of ten to twenty “This is one of the best pastoral tools I’ve used in
people who come together to discuss their financial terms of giving members of my congregation a sense
successes and struggles. The main goals of Resilience of agency in their economic lives.” - Rev. Cecelia
Circles are learning, mutual aid, and social action. Kingman, Edmonds, WA
Resilience Circles help us bravely face our financial Visit localcircles.org to find a circle near you or to
challenges, identify the root causes behind our start up a circle in your community!
financial problems, develop relationships with
people undergoing similar situations in our
community, reevaluate the blessings in our lives and
help us view ourselves as members of a larger group
looking to advocate for economic change.
Many people across the country have either started
or joined a Resilience Circle. The free curriculum
provides seven initial sessions, and then the group
proceeds as it sees fit.
NAACP Welcomes Economic
Research Intern, Heather Qader!
By: Kristie Dalesandro, Coordinator, Special Projects
We are pleased to welcome our new Economic Research intern,
Kristie Dalesandro: Welcome to the NAACP HQ: I began work-
Economic Department! Tell me some details ing two months
about yourself and your experience with the ago at the end of
Heather Qader: I am very grateful to be work-
ing at the NAACP. I align with the NAACP’s KD: What has been your favorite part of the
mission and I believe in the work they com- job so far?
plete. HQ: I really enjoy the workload and the va-
riety that the staff provides all the interns. It
I am a graduate from Penn State with a keeps it interesting and engaging this way. I
bachelor’s degree in international politics. I am also honored to be working for the NAACP
was fortunate to have many opportunities because of my tremendous experience during
in college in terms of civil and human rights college.
projects. I was president of the Students for
Justice in Palestine club and was also a board KD: What brought you to this position as an
member of the Penn State NAACP college Economic Research intern?
chapter. In college, we put on a fundraiser HQ: I was drawn to the challenge of learn-
titled, “Showtime at the Apollo”, which was ing more about economics. My experience is
our version of the popular variety show. based on civil rights but I felt the Economic
We raised funds for our NAACP chapter and Department’s goals match with my own in-
everyone had a fun time participating and terests in minority rights and inclusion. I have
showcasing their talents. already learned quite a bit in my short time
here and hope to further my knowledge on
KD: When did you start working for the all aspects of economic education.
New Staff Highlight: NAACP Economic
Department Team Welcomes
We would like to welcome our newest member to the NAACP Economic Team, Kristie
Dalesandro. In January 2013, Kristie was promoted to the position of economic coordinator,
Special Projects division, after serving as an intern at the NAACP Economic Department since
September 2012. A native of Southern California, Kristie graduated from The University of
California, San Diego and sought out the NAACP because of her interest in economics, civil
rights and her commitment to public service.
Kristie is very excited to join the Economic Department team full time. “Getting this position
and working with an organization like the NAACP, which has advanced social and economic
justice for over a century, is like a dream come true,” says Kristie. Her favorite part of the job is
the wide variety of projects. “There’s never a dull day here at the NAACP,” she says.
I asked Kristie to share a few tips for other interns and volunteers hoping to secure full-time
• Brand yourself as the “go to” person. Be open to supporting staff on different tasks.
• Attitude is important. When you are consistently energetic about assignments regardless
of type, you’ll likely be noticed and receive a greater variety of projects.
• Get to know people in your office. While your supervisor may be the person you interact
with most, the other staffers likely have resources, contacts and knowledge to offer.
• If you’ve completed your tasks for the day, don’t be shy to ask for more. Even if your
supervisor doesn’t need help at the moment, ask other staffers if they could use your
• Time is the greatest resource in the office. So use your time wisely instead
of leaving early or being unproductive.
• Ask questions! Some things that your supervisor asks of you may be
• confusing or complicated. Ask questions to clarify rather than completing
a project badly.
NAACP Welcomes Spring Semester
Interns to Economic Team!
The NAACP Economic Department would like to welcome new spring
intern Similoluwa “Simi” O’Denyi from the University of California, San
Diego. Ms. O’Denyi explains why she wanted to intern at the NAACP: “I
admire their work to help underserved groups. It is a great opportunity
to give back to minority communities! I’ve never been a part of
anything like that,” she says.
Simi is excited to be working with her supervisor Mjiba Frehiwot and
feels welcomed by the department. “Everyone has been helpful in
acclimating me with the new environment.” She looks forward to the
increasingly valuable work that the NAACP Economic Department is
When asked how she’s adjusting to the east coast, she says, “The Similoluwa O’Denyi
weather is drastically different, it’s really cold. But I prefer D.C. to Economic Program Intern
California because it feels central. It’s easy to get around, more diverse,
transportation is easy and everything is closer.” Simi plans on attending
law school one day.
Theodore Grant Roderick Nelson
The NAACP Economic Department would like to welcome new spring
intern Theodore Grant Roderick Nelson. Theo, as his fellow interns call
him, is a literature major at the University of California, Merced.
Theo is excited to work with the NAACP because he’s always wanted
to get involved with causes that addressed social inequities. “I decided
that this was a great fit for me because as child I always wanted to
be a part of this historic organization,” he says. When accepted to
the program Theodore was most excited to step into the professional
world. “I wanted to see how the organization worked and what I could
do to help,” says Theo.
Theo is a native of San Pedro, California. His adjustment period has
been going well, although he does feel that the weather is a bit
extreme. He believes that D.C. moves at a faster pace than other cities
Economic Program Intern
he’s visited but enjoys it nonetheless. “I look forward to aiding the
collective efforts of the NAACP,” he says.
NAACP Economic Department Celebrates
Successful Year with Annual Holiday Party
2012 was a tremendously busy but
successful year for the NAACP Economic
Department. The NAACP Economic
Department Annual Christmas
Party is one of the most anticipated
opportunities to celebrate our hard
work. On December 21, the NAACP
Economic Department team gathered to
celebrate the season’s merriment. Each
department member prepared a special
dish to share and also participated in the
extremely popular “Secret Santa” gift
exchange. Photos highlighting some of
the best moments of the holiday party
are below. We hope all our readers had
a great holiday and are looking forward
to an even better 2013!
February 19th Chicago Navy Pier NAACP Diversity Black Fraternities
Career Fair includes ‘Special Veteran Initiative.’ Open July 15th Orlando NAACP National Convention
to all job seekers. FACT Tour included. Orange County Convention Center NAACP National
February 26th Washington DC Embassy Suites Crystal Convention Diversity Career Fair includes 8 Industry
City NAACP Professional & Technology Career Fair. Pavilions. Open to all job seekers. FACT Tour included.
Open to all with a 4-yr degree & above July 25th Philadelphia NUL Conference Convention
March 12th Houston George R. Browns Convention Center National Urban League Conference & Career
Center NAACP Diversity Career Fair includes ‘Special Fair. Open to all jobs seekers
Veteran Initiative.’ Open to all job seekers. FACT Tour August 8th Houston Convention Center Kappa Alpha
included. Psi National Grand Chapter Meeting Career Fair. One
March 19th Dallas Embassy Suites Market Center of America’s historically Black Fraternities
NAACP Diversity Career Fair includes ‘Special Veteran August 16th Washington DC Washington DC Hilton
Initiative.’ Open to all job seekers Hotel National BDPA Technology Career Fair. Open to
April 2nd Boston The Revere Boston (formerly the all IT & Engineering candidates
Radisson) NAACP Professional & Technology Career September 17th Minneapolis Minneapolis
Fair. Open to all with a 4-yr degree & above Convention Center NAACP MN State Conference
April 23rd Pittsburgh Marriot City Center NAACP Diversity Career Fair. Open to all with a 2yr degree &
Diversity Career Fair includes ‘Special Veteran above
Initiative.’ Open to all job seekers FACT Tour October 1st Veterans CONNECT Virtual Career Fair.
May 6th New York Hilton Times Square NAACP Open to all veterans and their spouses
Professional & Technology Career Fair. Open to all October 8th Dallas Embassy Suites Market Center
with a 4-yr degree & above NAACP Diversity Career Fair includes ‘Special Veteran
May 14th Denver Embassy Suites Tech Center NAACP Initiative.’ Open to all job seekers
Professional & Technology Career Fair. Open to all October 15th Philadelphia Embassy Suites Airport
with a 4-yr degree & above NAACP Professional & Technology Career Fair. Open
May 18th Veterans CONNECT Virtual Career Fair. to all with a 4-yr degree & above
Open to all veterans and their spouses November 1st Veterans CONNECT Virtual Career Fair.
May 21st Minneapolis Minneapolis Convention Open to all veterans and their spouses
Center NAACP Professional & Technology Career Fair. November 5th Los Angeles Embassy Suites LAX North
Open to all with a 4-yr degree & above NAACP Professional & Technology Career Fair. Free &
Jun 4th Chicago Navy Pier NAACP Professional & open to all with a 4-yr degree & above
Technology Career Fair. Open to all with a 4-yr degree November 8th Chicago Navy Pier National Society of
& above Black Engineers Alumni Professional Development
June 26th Austin Alpha Phi Alpha National Conference & Fair. Open to NSBE members and
Conference Career Fair. One of America’s Historically technology candidates
Empower Me Tour: 2012 – 2013 Program Schedule:
March 2, 2013- CIAA/Wells Fargo Family Day:
March 9, 2013- University of Illinois- Chicago:
March 30, 2013- University of Southern California:
Los Angeles, CA
For more information, visit www.empowermetour.org
Bank of America: Home Preservation Events
Denver Homeowner Assistance Event
Tuesday, February 26 – Thursday, February 28
Sheraton Denver Downtown
1550 Court Place
Denver, CO 80202
Newark, NJ Homeowner Assistance Event
Thursday, March 7 – Saturday, March 9
1048 Raymond Blvd
Newark, NJ 07102
Wildwood, NJ Homeowner Assistance Event
Tuesday, March 12 – Thursday, March 14
Wildwood Convention Center
Wildwood, NJ 08260
Portland, OR Homeowner Assistance Event
Tuesday, March 12 – Thursday, March 14
Red Lion on the River
909 N. Hayden Island Dr.
Portland, OR 97217
Economic Department Staff
Dedrick Muhammad: Dedrick is the Senior Director of Economic Programs for the NAACP and Executive
Director of the Financial Freedom Center. Mr. Muhammad’s responsibilities include the totality of work coming from
the NAACP Economic Department, overseeing the Financial Freedom Center as well as leading the NAACP Economic
Department in meeting the great economic challenges faced by the nation.
Lillian Singh: Lillian is the Director of Economic Research and Strategic Partnerships for the NAACP. Ms. Singh’s
responsibilities include working in the areas of economic equality and education by cultivating strategic partner-
ships to provide valuable resources to communities suffering from the current mortgage crisis and providing
research insights to help the unemployed.
Mjiba Frehiwot, MSW, Ph.D: Mjiba is the Director of Education and Training for the NAACP. Dr. Frehiwot’s
responsibilities include coordinating the national Economic Education Strategy. This includes managing our Finan-
cial Freedom Campaign which is comprised of 21 units, coordinating the Economic Departments presence at State
Conference and Regional Conventions and coordinating all curriculum creation, resources guides and tool kits and the
implementation of these tools. Additionally, Dr. Frehiwot is the primary liaison between the Economic Department
and our Unit leadership.
Charles R. Lowery, Jr.: Charles is the Director of Fair Lending and Inclusion for the NAACP. Mr. Lowery’s
responsibilities include working on consumer financial services issues such as predatory lending and asset building;
monitoring the activities of financial institutions which have signed on the NAACP Responsible Mortgage Lending
Principles; and working with NAACP units on consumer finance advocacy campaigns.
Mellisa Gopie: Mellisa is the Office Manager for the Financial Freedom Center and Executive Assistant to the
Senior Director. Ms. Gopies responsibilities include providing support to the Senior Director, managing travel requests,
accounts payable, meetings & events and the internship program.
Dawn Chase: Dawn is the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at the NAACP. Ms. Chase’s responsibilities include
cultivating partnerships and programs that create opportunity for enhancing the economic stability of people of
color. She is also responsible for managing over fifty corporate partnerships that support our corporate fairness and
Nicole E. Kenney: Nicole is the Communications Associate, Economic Programs for the NAACP. Ms. Kenney’s
responsibilities includes managing all communications including publications, communications operations and online
presence to advance the Department’s campaigns and providing strategic support around special projects.
Jason Richardson: Jason is the Fair Lending & Inclusion Campaign Specialist. Mr. Richardson coordinates and
supports NAACP Economic Department fair lending campaigns at the state conference level. Jason also assists in
advancing campaigns around pay day lending, mortgage lending, and predatory or discriminatory lending along with
aiding the NAACP Economic Department in building capacity of state conferences to monitor and advocate around
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