Debt Burden on Black Families Throws College Into Question

By Alexandra Bacchus

  • Black students take on more debt for the same degree than other students

  • College-educated black families earn about $68k of lifetime net worth

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It’s no secret that the cost of college is climbing faster than American wages and the inflation rate, 8x faster, to be exact. Yet even as costs climb, the importance of earning a college degree remains. Black families typically have less wealth and fewer resources to pull from, which means they borrow more money for the same expensive degree. Specifically, college-educated white families earn about $400k of lifetime net worth, compared to $68k earned by black families with the same degree.

Why This Matters: Students of color have to focus on paying off their student debts for longer, meaning they are unable to focus on other financial goals like buying a home, paying off credit card debt, and saving for retirement. Studies show that white men have paid off 44% of their student loans twelve years out of college, while black women owe 13% more. What's more, the amount of loans that are 90 or more days delinquent has not changed much since 2012, proving that the financial burden is still high even as unemployment rates get lower, now at 6.7% for African Americans and the economy improves.

Cashing In On Racial Justice Through Index Funds

By Taylor Durham

  • OpenInvest has started to divest from organizations plagued by diversity controversies

  • By 2045, people of color will become the majority in the U.S

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OpenInvest, a fintech startup in the Bay Area is betting on impact investing, creating one of the first “racial justice” index tools, giving investors the opportunity to customize their portfolios based on metrics like diversity and social impact. Millennials are the first generation to effectively voice their concerns with their wallets, and are more likely than previous generations to take businesses to task over practices that harm the climate, deceptively target minorities, or worse.

Why This Matters: The creation of a racial justice index may finally force companies to take stock in how to become more involved in the conversation or, at the least, address their lack of action. While large pension funds factor environmental, social and corporate governance, there’s still a desire for investing aligned with social issues. “There’s no mathematical justification for 20 million people to pile into the same cookie-cutter mutual fund anymore,” according to OpenInvest co-founder Josh Levin. “We’re optimizing the financial markets, in real time, for your goals and your values.”

Byron Allen Levels Up To The Supreme Court In $20 Billion Comcast Appeal

By CultureBanx Team

  • The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Byron Allen’s $20B racial bias lawsuit

  • There are 50 pay-TV operators that already distribute Allen’s content to 80M subscribers

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Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen has officially put Comcast on notice, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear his $20 billion racial bias lawsuit. Comcast (CMCSA +1.49%) and Charter Communications (CHTR +0.61%) cable distribution reaches about 36 million subscribers and they’ve been blocking Allen from getting access to them. As one of the few black owned media companies, will the highest court in the land put an end to the refusal to carry his slate of channels?

Why This Matters: This is more than a case of racial bias, rather one of civil rights, which is why he’s seeking $20 billion. Allen’s hoping that under the umbrella of a Reconstruction-era civil rights law, that says companies can’t discriminate based on race in business contracts, he’ll put a stop to the dismissive nature of these cable companies. His Entertainment Studios media empire consists of 43 syndicated television series, eight cable networks, The Weather Channel, and a movie studio. Currently, there are 50 pay-TV operators that already distribute its content including Verizon Fios, DirecTV, RCN and Suddenlink to 80 million subscribers.

When Eating Our Greens Makes The Black Community Some Green

By Majella Mark

  • 1.62M people of the U.S. population are vegan

  • The top vegan friendly cities are Portland, LA, NYC & Detroit

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Many years ago, the only vegan representation the black community had were Rastafarians and Russell Simmons. African Americans are the highest consumers of meat in the United States, but that may soon change. Plant based food had a retail sales growth of 20% last year, totaling $3.3 billion in the U.S. and £443 million in the United Kingdom.

Why This Matters: Forbes declared 2019 “The Year of The Vegan” and they may be right. In 2017, the fifteen most funded food startups received a total of $1.5 billion in venture capital money. All of them were founded by white people and only two companies had at least one female founder. Luckily, Dr. Sebi and Ma’a gained momentum for the black vegan movement when the Black Panther Party began to fade, in the early 80s, still having a thriving business after Dr. Sebi’s death in 2016. This has led to other black owned empires, such as Naturade, Juice For Life and newcomer, Trap Vegan.

Watch Your Coins, Dollar Tree’s Raising Prices

By CultureBanx Team

  • Dollar Tree testing pricier products in its “Dollar Tree Plus” collection

  • 40% of Dollar Tree’s products are made in China

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Dollar Tree’s  (+3.34%) one dollar promise may be going away as the U.S. tariff war with China continues to play out. The discount chain has been testing pricier products in its “Dollar Tree Plus” collection in an effort to increase sales. Minority communities across the country may be shelling out more money as they battle rising prices from stores catered to low-end consumers, especially when the majority of its products are made in China.

Why This Matters: After PresidentTrump announced an increase in tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods last month, many retailers will pass down the costs to consumers. Since Dollar Tree manufactures about 40% of its products in China, they must find a way to manage costs. The discount retailer began initial testing of its higher priced items in May and noted they would expand to more than 100 urban, suburban, and rural Dollar Tree store locations, according to Business Insider.