By Donitra Clemons
CBx Vibe: “Melanin Magic” Remy Ma Feat. Chris Brown
Pinterest, a social media network known for its emphasis on visual discovery and digital inspiration boards, recently rolled out a new technology within the platform to filter hair and beauty searches based on skin tone. As many tech companies struggle with diversity and inclusivity, has Pinterest unlocked the perfect way to tap into the $1.3 trillion that African American consumers spend?
Why This Matters: The black community spent $54 million in the ethnic hair and beauty industry, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by platforms like Pinterest. Simply stated this translates to Black dollars accounting for about 86% of the market. Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “Ring The Alarm” Beyonce
Tech companies Microsoft (MSFT +1.23%) and Google (GOOG -0.72%) have sounded the alarm on just how harmful artificial intelligence can be for investors and brands alike. A.I. is still the most disputed part of technology and is becoming increasingly more commonplace as companies look to incorporate it across their platforms. While critics call for justification for the use of the technology and in some cases an all-out ban, A.I. continues to be a billion dollar industry, with many tech companies willing to withstand a tarnished brand reputation for lucrative profits.
Why This Matters: In Google’s recently released SEC annual report it highlighted their brand concerns around A.I. that could impact the company’s bottom line. “New products and services, including those that incorporate or utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning, can raise new or exacerbate existing ethical, technological, legal, and other challenges, which may negatively affect our brands and demand for our products and services and adversely affect our revenues and operating results,” the company wrote. Read More
By Fredrick Lee
CBx Vibe: “Just Got Paid” Johnny Kemp
Hip hop’s first denim brand Levi Strauss officially filed to return to the public markets under the ticker “LEVI,” three decades after it went private. The move comes after Levi’s hugely profitable 2018, including collaborations with Virgil Abloh’s Off-White and Beyoncé at Coachella, all helped the denim maker capitalize on the resurgence of denim.
Why This Matters: Long-term loyalty with the hip hop and African American community dating back to the 1980’s only heightens Levi’s growth. Last year, the iconic denim brand had a reported increased revenue of $5.6 billion and $283 million in net income. It is seeing emerging markets like China, India, and Brazil develop a growing interest in denim fashion. In 2018, the denim market grew four percent to a worldwide retail value of more than $100 billion. Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “Mean Mug” Yung Bans
Italian fashion house Prada is pulling out all the stops with a new diversity council to pre-empt any blackface backlash. They’ve brought in sculptor Theaster Gates and filmmaker Ava DuVernay, both will be tasked to “elevate voices of color.” With hip-hop’s influence on the luxury fashion sector, can Prada’s diversity council help to close the massive gap between a post-racial fashion industry and today’s reality?
Why This Matters: It has been said by many people the fashion industry has failed the black community, all while appropriating its culture. Case in point, Prada had come under fire for products and marketing seen as racially insensitive. Last December, the company displayed a monkey figurine that resembled blackface. With this new diversity council Prada has pulled together they want to address these issues and create internship and apprenticeship programs in diverse communities. Read More
By Taylor Durham
A.I. healthcare programs risks socioeconomic and racial bias
By 2025, the A.I. in healthcare market is estimated to reach $36.1B
CBx Vibe: “Ghost In The Machine” B.o.B.
The healthcare industry continues to incorporate artificial intelligence into many of its platforms, and early indicators reveal the technology outperforms and offers more accurate diagnoses than doctors. Healthcare has always struggled with income and race based inequities rooted in various forms of bias. A.I. seems like a sensible investment for the facilitation of most day-to-day healthcare activities, so should minorities approach the subject matter with apprehension?
Why This Matters: A.I. is an attractive proposal but with any technology, it comes with a list of growing concerns. In regards to A.I. in the healthcare market it’s estimated to be valued at $2.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $36.1 billion by 2025. This sector is heavily reliant on large complex data sets, and medicine has long struggled to include minorities in research, leading to erroneous conclusions. Read More
CBx Vibe: “OSOM” Jay Rock Feat. J.Cole
Many parents seek the best schools, the best neighborhoods, and the best opportunities for their children. Cultural identity is crucial, but how do you spot it in your child’s classroom and what do you do when it’s not there?
Why This Matters: Black parents typically have to ask themselves a myriad of extra questions when it comes to their child’s education, especially when it’s clear that our the kid will be the minority in the group. Some of them focus on how will this opportunity, place, or person impact my children’s cultural identity? Will examples or samples that look like my children show up in the learning and/or experiences? If so, how? And is this culturally affirming? Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “2 Phones” Kevin Gates
Recently departed FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn announced she’s "advising" T-Mobile (TMUS +0.15%) as the company pushes towards regulatory approval for its $26B merger with Sprint. Obama nominee Clyburn is working as a paid adviser and has been seen as an ally to public interest groups who oppose the tie-up. Many people are left wondering if this deal closed and left the U.S. wireless market dominated by three national players, are low-income budget conscious consumers going to be stuck with higher prices and fewer options?
Why This Matters: Clyburn’s eight-year tenure focused on the needs of low-income and minority communities came to an end last year. She always weighed the human cost or benefit of a decision on things like net neutrality, broadband access and media regulation, which is why her advocacy for this deal is huge for T-Mobile and Sprint, but also a bit puzzling. In 2011, Clyburn actually opposed AT&T's (T +0.34%) bid for T-Mobile on the basis it was not in the public’s best interest. Read More
By Justin Moore
In 2016, it’s estimated that privately-held prison technology firms made $1.2B off phone systems alone
Artificial Intelligence used to store and analyze voices is subject to racial disparities
CBx Vibe: “Watching Me” Mike WiLL Made-It feat. Rae Sremmurd & Kodak Black
Prisons across the United States, in an attempt to bolster security and crack down on fraud, are quietly compiling the “voice prints” of prisoners. Voice print technology identifies a person based on the user’s unique vocal pattern. Once the unique voice print is collected, it can be used to identify the user in future and previously-recorded calls. Prisoner rights and privacy advocates have criticized many such programs for enrolling prisoners without their consent or with the threat of severely reduced phone privileges if consent is not provided.
Why This Matters: Prison in the U.S. is big business and in 2016, it’s estimated that privately-held prison technology firms made $1.2 billion from phone systems alone. In efforts to expand the bottom line, some prison tech firms have advocated to replace in-prison family visitation rooms with “video-visitation” terminals at the expense of the visitors. In addition to concerns about involuntarily enrolling inmates, facilities in New York and Arizona have confirmed their voice recognition systems can identify and catalogue the voices of outside callers. Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “Django Jane” Janelle Monae
Amazon's (AMZN -1.62%) board just became a little more woke with the appointment of Rosalind Brewer, Starbucks (SBUX +0.88%) COO. Its 10-person board now has four women members, and of course 6 white guys as well. The e-commerce giant and other big companies have been under pressure to diversify their boards. Given Brewer’s breadth of retail experience, could she be exactly what Amazon needs to kill two birds with one stone; traditional retail and its ongoing diversity struggles?
Why This Matters: Amazon has proven it can dramatically reshape whole, seemingly disconnected industries and now they’ve figured out board diversity. However, Rosalind Brewer is the second black woman to ever become a board director at Amazon. Myrtle Potter, former president and COO of Genentech, was on the company’s board from 2004 to 2009. It’s possible that Brewer holds the keys based on her former role as CEO of Walmart (WMT -1.19%) owned Sam's Club to help Amazon crush what’s left of retail. Read More