African American News

"Black Enterprise Own Your First Home Contest will award $10,000 to a qualified first-time home buyer"

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NEW YORK - With its August 2005 issue, BLACK ENTERPRISE (BE) begins its 35th year as the nation's premier business and investment resource for African Americans. In the process, the publication has championed its Declaration of Financial Empowerment (DOFE), 10 principles guaranteed to build wealth and increase net worth. With its emphasis on homeownership as the primary wealth-building tool, the Black Enterprise Own Your First Home Contest will award $10,000 to a qualified first-time home buyer.

"The goal of this contest is to increase the average net worth of black households by inspiring more African Americans to pursue homeownership -- the cornerstone of securing financial prosperity for American families," says founder & publisher Earl G. Graves Sr. "There are also a number of tax breaks that benefit homeowners, and the equity can help leverage other opportunities such as financing a business or paying for higher education." For more information on the BLACK ENTERPRISE Own Your First Home Contest, log on to http://www.blackenterprise.com until Sept. 1 (Pg. 74).

From education to health, African Americans make charitable giving a priority. For the August special report "America's Leading Black Philanthropists," BE identifies and ranks generous individuals and private foundations in terms of donated dollar amount. Media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey ranks as the top individual donor with $132,580,000 set aside for education, the arts, public health, and women's causes between the years of 2002-2004. In addition, Winfrey's various charitable organizations, including Oprah's Angel Network, tops the leading foundations list. Also ranked highly are radio personality Tom Joyner; hip-hop star Chris "Ludacris" Bridges; and Sheila C. Johnson, who has quietly earmarked more than $7 million for causes close to her heart. The full methodology and selection criteria are included in the August feature (Pg. 105).

When BLACK ENTERPRISE launched its first issue in August of 1970, founder & publisher Earl G. Graves Sr. noted that "lacking capital, managerial and technical knowledge-and crippled by prejudice-the minority businessman has been effectively kept out of the American marketplace." Thirty-five years later, black executives, many identified early in their careers as rising stars by BE, have gained a solid foothold in the senior leadership of the nation's major public corporations, with more than 20 earning the once-unreachable CEO title.

In 1973 BE began to rank America's largest black-owned companies, eventually establishing the be 100s as the pinnacle of black entrepreneurial success. To date, four be 100s companies have surpassed the billion-dollar revenue milestone. Levels of success, power, and wealth once deemed impossible by people of color have been attained by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ken Chenault, Colin Powell, and the late Reginald F. Lewis.

In the anniversary features "Then & Now" and "An Agenda for Black America," BE's editorial team looks back on these and other accomplishments since the publication established its editorial mission, detailing a future plan of action to ensure that African Americans continue to move toward full participation in the American dream (Pgs. 134-156).

The August issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE is on newsstands now.

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