Atlanta University Center Consortium

ARC Program Helps Area Businesses Move to ‘Next-Level’ Status

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Atlanta claims 127,214 of the 1.9 million black-owned businesses according to the U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners, reporting some $2.5 billion in receipts. However, most of these businesses are sole proprietors and most are self-funded, says Cindy Yang, a small business analyst with NerdWallet. With the exception of H.J. Russell & Co., most West Atlanta black-owned businesses fall into the sole proprietorship or less-than-four employees category. In an effort to increase business growth within the 30310 and 30314 areas, CommUniversity, a program of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, and the University Community Development Corp., are helping area businesses reach “next-level” potential through its inaugural Small Business Assessment, Resources and Consultation workshops.

Divided into three programmatic phases – assessment, resources and consultation – six businesses identified by business and community representatives from the MLK Jr.-Ashby Merchants Association and the West End Merchants Coalition were selected by AUCC to receive seven weeks of training development, technical assistance, and mentorship from industry experts in the three areas.

“So many of the businesses in our community are very small-run operations, and they do relatively well for the most part,” said Anthony Otey, CommUniversity program coordinator. “But, they want to step up their operation to the next level. These businesses want to boost not only their revenue but also their visibility, capital development, and clientele, and we want to help them achieve these goals.”

From Feb. 8 to March 21, 2016, with a grant from REGIONS Bank, the Small Business ARC program aimed to set the small businesses on a new trajectory of success. Sessions included business plan development, best practices and strategies to increase revenue and customer retention, credit correction and capital acquisition, marketing and measured growth. The participating businesses completing the sessions included BAOBab Custom Design/Tree Enterprises, Dora’s Custom Reupholstery, Dynamic Designs, iwi fresh Garden Day Spa, Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Bookstore, and Your Edenic Welcome.

The Rev. Milton “Ahdwele” Fann, chair and administrator of the Atlanta Shrine of the Black Madonna, explains his business concept.

“This was a very useful program that helped bring awareness of what it takes to analyze a business,” said the Rev. Milton“Ahdwele” Fann, chair and administrator of the Atlanta Shrine of the Black Madonna. “As small black businesses, we think we know what is important to our businesses; however, this helped me know where we should focus our efforts and direct our energies.”

While several of the sessions were of great use to Fann, it was the financial session led by Roy Johnson, a senior consultant with Bankers-Insight Group, that was most beneficial to his organization. Fann, along with his fellow business owners, wants to continue to expand his business footprint in the West End community. Although the workshop sessions are completed, the six businesses will now begin their assessment and consultation services with area business experts.

For more information on the Small Business Assessment, Resources and Consultation (ARC), contact Anthony Otey at 404-523-5148, ext. 1525.

 

AUC CONSORTIUM PROGRAM BRINGS COMMUNITY INSIDERS TOGETHER FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER WORKSHOP

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WHAT:            Free Home Buying 101 Workshop

CommUniversity, a program of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, and its partner sponsors, will host a first-time homebuyer workshop. This is just one of several community-focused, lifelong learning events hosted by CommUniversity and its partners.

WHO:              Atlanta University Center Consortium, Metro Fair Housing Services Inc., Regions Bank, University Community Development Corp. (It would be better to have the names and titles of the people presenting)

WHERE:         Spelman College Suites Private Dining Room

WHEN:            Saturday, March 19, 2016, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHY:              While 54 percent of Atlanta’s population is classified as Black or African-American, according to U.S. Census Bureau quick facts, homeownership currently hovers close to 47 percent. That is higher than the national average of 38 percent, according to “The Cities Where African-Americans Are Doing The Best Economically,” but it is still less than its burgeoning population.

Homeownership is considered to be one of the best financial investments and provides financial benefits. In an effort to increase homeownership in the metro area, CommUniversity, a program of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, and its partner sponsors, are hosting this HUD-approved homebuying workshop that is an excellent resource for first-time homebuyers and provides a general overview of the homebuying process, with presentations given by real estate, mortgage, and other housing professionals. While our primary focus is preparing residents in the 30310 and 30314 Zip code area for homeownership, all metro Atlanta residents are welcome,” said Anthony Otey, CommUniversity program coordinator.

Topics covered include:

  • Down-payment assistance certificate;
  • Credit counseling;
  • Homeownership budgeting;
  • Other homebuying information needed to broker the process.

For more information, Anthony Otey, aotey@aucenter.edu or404-523-5148, x1525.

COMMUNIVERSITY

CommUniversity, is a program of the Atlanta University Center Consortium and reflects the collaborative efforts of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College and the collective communities of West End … It provides innovative community-focused learning opportunities that enrich the lives of individuals, strengthens the workforce, and enhances the community. Our programs and services are designed for residents, community leaders, business owners and other stakeholders.

AUC CONSORTIUM

The Atlanta University Center Consortium is the world’s oldest association of historically Black colleges and universities. Comprised of four member institutions – Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College, the consortium is a vibrant intellectual community with a long tradition of scholarship, service and community engagement. AUC Consortium Inc. is a nonprofit organization that operates on behalf of its members to advance each institution’s mission and strategic goals by fostering collaboration, managing centerwide initiatives, offering services that benefit our students and community, and leveraging our shared resources.

Attendees at the conference in Ghana

A Historic Meeting: African & African Diaspora Women Convene in Ghana

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At the conference in Ghana in July—a portrait of attendees

When I started seminary in the late 1980s, liberation theology still was influential. Liberationists’ arguments, often based in

Christian scripture and theology, so compelled theological discourses that class time in most US seminaries, divinity schools, and schools of theology engaged them, even if only to challenge their validity. During the late 1980s, womanist theology (a strand of US black liberation theology presenting perspectives by and about African American women’s experiences) was emerging, and transnational organizations linking liberationists were in full swing.

Rodney Perry class president at Clark Atlanta University

Males a distinct minority at HBCUs

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution By Ernie Suggs

Rodney Perry is freshman class president at at Clark Atlanta University.
Photo Credit: Bita Honarvar

It is not hard for Rodney Perry to stand out on the campus of Clark Atlanta University.

Impeccably dressed in all black and a crisp white shirt, he brushes back his shoulder-length dreadlocks as he mingles and laughs with fellow students on a recent freezing Wednesday morning.

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