Tuesday, May 01, 2007

BBSA Leadership Team 2007 - 2008

The Black Business Students Association at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business is pleased to announce the club's new leadership team for 2007-2008. The new leadership team will work to develop a term strategy towards further implementing the club's mission statement.

The Ross Black Business Students Association is dedicated to the professional, academic, and personal experiences of its members and the recruitment of black business students into the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.


Ted McElroy

Vice President

Ambra Heard


Brian Corbett & Nicole Green

Member at Large

Erika Lewis

Recording Secretary

Vicky Escrojin


Tiffani Moses

Corporate Relations Chairs

Kwaku Ntoso & Sonya Mays

Alumni Relations Chair

Marion Ntiru

Conference Chairs

Ante’ Britten & John Owens

Community Service Chair

Chris Rocha

Media & Communications Chair

Justin Williams

Social Chair

Jeanny David

UpClose Chair

Aisha Taylor

Academic Rep

Sherman Powell

Evening MBA Rep

Ante Britten

Consortium Liaison

Shara Senior


Friday, April 20, 2007

Good, Cheap Car Mechanics in A2 - Love Your Hoopty

Many MBA2s are leaving A2 to head off to MBA power jobs where they will make big bucks and then buy shiny new cars. Of course, you may still have to drive the hoopty you've had since you were 19 back to Some-where-town, U.S.A. If you need to take her in for one final check-up, tune-up, maintenance, etc. so that she will hold together long enough for you to drive her back, check out some of these "good, cheap car mechanics" recently recommended by some Ann Arbor natives and UMich students. For the MBA1s and incoming students, bookmark this page as you may need it for future reference next year!

"I would highly recommend Jamie Neylon, owner of Jamie's Lakewood Auto on South Industrial. (734) 668-9339. We have found him to be very knowledgeable, sincere, and trustworthy, as well as reasonably priced. "

"If you're car happens to be a Japanese brand, Joe at Japanese Auto -
563 S Main St, Ann Arbor, 48104 - (734) 996-4606 is the best around at
least in my experience."

"I heard from my friends that the Auto Shop in Shell on Plymouth Rd., North Campus is quite good. Two of my friends have their car fixed there."

"We've found Joe at Japanese Auto to be excellent too. They're thorough at inspections, and he'll tell you what you need to fix immediately and what you can live with. He's also told me that I didn't need a repair that I thought I did, which is always good in a mechanic. 743 930-2277"

"My previous car was a real clunker and I typically had it serviced at Mallek's. It's the gas station at the Y-junction when Huron splits and becomes Jackson and Dexter. They were brutally honest about the state of my car and how long I should keep it going :)" 1500 Jackson Avenue

"I have a lot of respect for Jack at the Marathon station on the corner of Miller and North Maple on the NW side of town. He seems to be able to fix any kind of car, and he's honest. "


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Internship Success Tips

Below are the top 10 internship success tips from the Ross MBA BBSA Class of 2007. The list was created by compiling feedback and advice from our individual members. We hope that you find this information helpful!


10. Go to ALL formal internship events and any informal events that you can. Your commitment to the internship and your interest in the company will be partially judged based on whether you make the internship social events a priority.

9. Find a mentor. Make sure you have a more senior “go-to” person in the company that you can bounce project ideas off of and ask for suggestions on how to do your best throughout the internship.

8. NEVER, EVER, present a negative attitude about the internship with anyone you work with. It WILL get back to people that make decisions even if you just think you’re having a casual conversation.

7. Meet with your manager weekly. Don’t give him/her an excuse to think that you’re not on top of your projects. Use this time to manage your boss’s expectations. If you’re getting the sense that your workload may be more than you can handle during 10 or 12 weeks, start to indicate that early so there are no surprises later.

6. Build a good working relationship with your direct manager and make sure that your manager’s boss knows who you are. These are the people that will have the most influence in your full time offer decision making process. They MUST have a good opinion of you and your work.

5. Ask for feedback – make sure you know where you stand throughout the summer. Whether or not your company requires it, make sure to have a sit down performance review with your manager mid-summer. Also make sure you’re getting a sense for your manager’s level of satisfaction with your performance during your weekly meetings.

4. Revise your final project presentation early. Run your project presentation by your manager and anyone else with an interest in your project at least a week before the final presentation. You want to make sure you have plenty of time to incorporate their feedback and to set their expectations about the direction your project is going.

3. Ask questions and ask for help when you need it! No one expects you to know everything. Ask your manager, people in other functions in the company, other interns, the BBSA - anyone that may be able to help. Leverage your networks to get the information you need. Do recognize a limit however. Asking questions to bring together all of the relevant data and come to a great conclusion will be respected. Getting so much help that other people are basically doing your project for you will not.

2. Understand the expectations early. Everything from your expected work hours to the preferred communication style to appropriate work attire to the format of your final projects should be very clear to you by the end of your first week. Fall short on these minor things and the company may feel you’re not the right “fit” at the end of the summer.

1. Network! Schedule as many lunch/coffee meet and greets as possible while still maintaining focus on your projects. Target Ross alums and senior level people at your company. Get on their calendars early in the summer and be proactive about introducing yourself. Even if the company does not end up being the best fit for you, relationships you build over the summer can help you later in your career.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Student Spotlight - Todd LeBlanc MBA 2007

Todd LeBlanc
Hometown: Houston, TX

Undergrad: Rice University, BA in Economics and Managerial Studies

Pre-MBA Career: Human Resources Consulting

Post-MBA: McKinsey & Company

What is your long term career goal?
Long term, I plan to transition into a role that will allow me make an impact on the delivery of health care in underserved communities. There are a significant number of hospitals that are failing their populace due to gross mismanagement. Many have provided quality care in the past, and were once beacons within their communities. My ultimate aspiration is to develop turnaround protocols which can be replicated and implemented in health care institutions throughout the country.

Favorite Course or Professor at RSB and why?
Entrepreneurial Turnaround Management. The course is taught by Keith Alessi, a corporate turnaround artist and former CEO (Ross alum as well). His class is great because it draws primarily on both his successes and missteps in managing companies. You can’t beat a teacher that is informative and entertaining in the same breath.

How has the BBSA shaped your Ross experience?
Interaction with BBSA members prior to business school was integral to my decision to attend Ross. There is no question BBSA is one of the most active and dynamic student groups on campus. BBSA professional programming has afforded opportunities to network with companies in intimate settings. Academic support has been available throughout my two years at Ross. Our community service activities have provided a forum through which we can give back. In spite of all of the programming BBSA provides, the best aspect is the support system that creates a true sense of family throughout the organization.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Student Spotlight - Nicole Thomas MBA 2007

Nicole Thomas

Hometown: Flint, Michigan

Undergrad: Florida A&M University (Architecture), University of Michigan-Flint (Computer Science)

Pre-MBA Career: Network Engineer for Computer Sciences Corporation and Motorola, Co-owner of a children’s book business

Why did you choose Michigan?

Among many other reasons, I chose Michigan because I knew that I could tailor my experience to strongly pursue my interests in social entrepreneurship and marketing. I also anticipated heavy international exposure through MAP, studying abroad, classes and what is now known as MAP2 (Global Projects) which made it very attractive. Additionally, I observed Michigan’s response to the Supreme Court case regarding diversity in 2003. The school dedicated significant resources to this case which solidified in my mind that I would have a strong support system and be surrounded by people who desired to lead organizations that represent the world around us. It also doesn’t hurt that Michigan has been ranked in the top 10 since BusinessWeek began ranking business schools.

How have you been active at Ross?

I decided to focus my activities on solidifying the communities of African-Americans and women at Ross by serving on the executive boards of the Black Business Students Association (BBSA) and Michigan Business Women (MBW). For the BBSA, I led student career workshops to prepare first years for the NBMBAA Conference, chaired a panel for the 2006 BBSA Conference, created the annual Meeting of the Minds, and I am planning a golf workshop for April, 2007. For the Michigan Business Women student club, I chaired Cocktail Connections, the kickoff networking event to the Women In Leadership Conference. I also led a team to put on the first ever professional dress fashion show with student models. Last year I also participated in Follies, a theater performance put on by the students at Ross, and led a team of 20 UM graduate and undergraduate African-American students to participate in the 2006 Super Bowl Halftime Show in Detroit.

Talk about the value of your MAP experience:

I expected to learn about social entrepreneurship in my MAP. I never imagined that I would learn it through the eyes of Indian people who make less than $10.00/day. I valued the opportunity to apply what I had learned for the first three quarters in a 7-week student consulting project. This type of experience was also great to have going into my internship. My MAP team worked really well together and we still meet monthly to catch up on each other’s lives.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

BBSA Alumni Gerald Erasme Heads Up Nike's Basketball Marketing Division in China

Gerald Erasme, like some 300 million others in China, loves to shoot hoops. He also has more than a passing interest in the sports business side. As Nikes marketing director for basketball in China, Erasme is responsible for all of Nikes basketball business.

“Basketball is the No. 1 participation sport in China, and we are the industry leader,” says Erasme, who moved to Shanghai in April. Its swoosh logo helps make Nike one of Chinas most recognizable brands.

“Were doing a good job as far as people understanding the value of our brand. I dont think were quite at the same level as in the United States or Europe because the Chinese havent had as much exposure.”

Because of the steep learning curve in his new post, Erasme often works 12-hour days. Still, he finds time to lace up a pair of Nikes to play point guard in a weekly game in an intramural league.

“There have been times when Ive asked myself ‘Why did I take this job?’ Then I look at the timing. The Olympics are one year away. China will be the next global superpower at some point. I am a black man working for a great brand and making history. Thats why I am here. “

Chinas 1.3 billion people and growing economy make it Nikes top growth opportunity globally, he explains. I look at basketball from the full 360 degrees, the entire marketing mix. Nike will sponsor 22 of Chinas 24 sports federations, including basketball, in the Olympics in Beijing.

Before earning his MBA, Erasme worked in banking for Dreyfus. When he was looking for a graduate program, one of the attractions of the Ross School was its proximity to Detroit and family. “I also had the opportunity to meet Professor Al Edwards. That sold me. Michigan is such a great program academically, socially and in sports. Everything is at the highest level. It made the best sense. I never regretted it.”

Erasme maintains his ties with the Ross School, serving on the Alumni Society Board of Governors, contributing financially, supporting alumni activities in Shanghai and recruiting future students.

“I volunteer when I can and was incredibly flattered to be asked to join the alumni board. I get tons of e-mails and phone calls from students who are applying to the Ross School and from alumni.”

Before joining Nike 14 years ago, Erasme worked as a production assistant with NBC Sports at the Olympics in Barcelona. When the 1992 Olympics ended, he worked at the Metropolitan Athletics Congress, the New York metropolitan areas association of USA Track & Field, where he helped organize more than 70 track and field meets. “I pursued Nike the entire time,” he recalls.

Shortly after joining Nike as an assistant brand manager, Erasme was promoted to regional brand manager, a move that took him from New York City to Portland, Oregon, where he became director of sports marketing for Latin America and Canada. He returned to New York and worked at various positions within brand marketing before his latest promotion.

“Im constantly surprised at how quickly Chinas economy is expanding, Erasme says, making it possible for more Chinese to purchase consumer goods such as Nike athletic shoes.”

Also, China is experiencing the one-child generation. “These only children, sometimes called ‘little emperors’, have a lot of buying power. Their parents and two sets of grandparents wait on them hand and foot,” says Erasme, and will pay $120 to $150 (U.S.) for athletic shoes.

Although Canadian missionaries brought the game of basketball to the Chinese in the late 1800s, it didnt take off until basketball superstar Yao Ming, the 7-foot-6-inch center who dominated the Chinese Basketball Association in the late 1990s, transferred to the National Basketball Association.

Because the U.S. game represents basketballs pinnacle, the Chinese watch and mimic what is happening in the United States, Erasme notes. You cant take a cookie-cutter approach to marketing. We really understand the category very well and are able to bring enough of the basketball element and tweak it to make it appropriate for China.

The Chinese are passionate about basketball, explains Erasme, because the game allows participants, especially teenagers, the freedom to create.

“In China, much like in the United States,” says Erasme, “how well you do in high school determines the rest of your life, what college you get into and your career path. Parents place a high premium on schoolwork, so the kids are stressed. Basketball allows them to get out and express themselves.”

For the first several months after he arrived in Shanghai, Erasme says, “my head was spinning, trying to adjust to the nuances and culture. Im from New York so Im used to some aggressiveness, but here it’s at a whole different level. Theyre more aggressive, I think, because so many people are vying for limited space and commodities.

China has its own pace, especially in Shanghai. Theres communism and then theres capitalism. Theyre tying to learn to live with one another. It can be fascinating and frustrating to watch. All I learned about business had to be turned on its head. You have to make up a lot as you go along.”

By Mary Jo Frank


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Upcoming Social Events - Party with the BBSA!!


Ross Students Teach Business Skills to Area Youth

(click photo to enlarge)

Written by Monroe Street Journal Reporter Maureen Shay

In the midst of this frantic time that we at Ross call recruiting, forty of our fellow classmates took time out of their busy schedules to give back to the local community. On Friday, January 19th, the Black Business Students Association (BBSA), in partnership with Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan and Target Corporation, held the second annual BBSA Junior Achievement Teaching Blitz at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor. Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that strives to teach students in grades K-12 to value free enterprise, business, and economics in order to improve the quality of their lives. The event was organized by first year MBA student Kevin Hamilton and three second year MBA students Jiboye Adeoye, Erica Butler, and Omurhu Onokpise. Target Corporation’s monetary donation to Junior Achievement covered the cost of all of the educational materials used throughout the day.

A team of forty Ross volunteers, including members of the BBSA, HLBSA and Consortium gathered to teach over five hundred 6th – 8th graders. One to two volunteers were assigned to classrooms of approximately twenty students. The volunteers presented six individual lessons which were designed to teach the students about self-awareness, the link between education and income, and basic economic and financial concepts. While Ross students are adept at answering tough interview questions, several volunteers were surprised at the inquisitiveness of these youngsters. How much money did you make at your last job, do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, and can you get Flava-Flav’s autograph are typically not covered in the OCD recruiting guide, but certainly added some excitement to the day! Not to be outdone by his MBA volunteer, one enthusiastic 6th grader confidently defined opportunity cost correctly, prior to the concept being taught. A gunner in the making perhaps?

At the end of the day students were treated to “Target dogs,” Frisbees, and certificates of completion as a reward for their hard work. Ross volunteers attended a post-Blitz happy hour, where they were able to unwind, share their stories of the day, and pontificate about a career change to education. The Principal and teachers at Scarlett Middle School were appreciative and impressed by the Ross students and the volunteers left with a feeling of satisfaction, knowing that they had truly led ‘in thought and action’.

You can learn more about Junior Achievement at www.ja.org. More details about the Black Business Students Association can be found at www.rossbbsa.com.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Pictures from the 2nd Annual Coretta Scott King Jazz / Poetry Night

The 2nd Annual Coretta Scott King Jazz / Poetry Night was a huge success! With a turnout of over 70 people, we are happy to have had the opportunity to host this event and look forward to making it even bigger and better next year!

Check out some of these photos from the event.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Black History Month Trivia

During the Month of February in celebration of Black History Month, the BBSA will be sponsoring a weekly Black History Month Trivia question. Each week one individual with the correct answer will be awarded $25. Please find this week's question below:

Black History Month Trivia Question #4
I am ____

This gentleman founded the largest African American owned publishing company in 1942. His international media and cosmetic empire includes magazines, cosmetics, and fashion. The covers of early issues of his magazines were graced with celebrities like Lena Horne and Dorothy Dandridge. Unfortunately, he recently passed away, but during his years he sat the Board of Directors for Dillards Inc., First Commercial Bank of Little Rock, Dial Corp., Zenith Radio Corp., and Chrysler Corp. Credited as the first African American on the Forbes 400, his influence can still be felt throughout the African-American community.

Please send your replies to Onokpise@umich.edu by 5pm on Thursday, February 22. A winner will be selected and notified on Friday, February 23.

Black History Month Trivia Question #3

Congratulations to Katie Piet!!

I am

(1) Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Al Amoudi, $6.9B; Corral Petroleum Holdings and MIDROC - construction, oil refineries, real estate

(2) Michael Lee-Chin, $2.1B; CEO of AIC Limited (Canadian mutual fund), Chairman of the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica

(3) Oprah Winfrey, $1.4; Entertainment / TV / Magazine, HARPO Productions

(4) Robert L. Johnson, $1.0B; RLJ Companies Inc., Founder and former President/CEO of Black Entertainment Television, Owner of Charlotte Bobcats (NBA franchise)

(FYI…Sheila C. Johnson, former wife of BET founder Bob Johnson, is considered the first African-American female Billionaire, but is not currently on the list of Forbes’ Billionaires)

In 2006 Forbes reported that there were approximately 790 international billionaires. Of these, there is currently four of some African/Black descent. Three of these four reside in the North America. Please name all four of these individuals and in what businesses they came to prominence.

Please send your replies to Onokpise@umich.edu by 5pm on Friday, February 16. A winner will be selected and notified on Sunday, February 18, when the next question will be posted.

Black History Month Trivia Question #2
Congratulations to James Somers!!

Who am I ???


The case was Oliver Brown et al. v. The Board of Education of Topeka et al., Kansas.
Linda Brown Thompson was the girl who attended Monroe Elementary while the all-white Sumner Elementary denied her access.

The plaintiffs were: Oliver Brown, Darlene Brown, Lena Carper, Sadie Emmanuel, Marguerite Emerson, Shirley Fleming, Zelma Henderson, Shirley Hodison, Maude Lawton, Alma Lewis, Iona Richardson, and Lucinda Todd.

Thurgood Marshall, who was later appointed to the US Supreme Court, argued the case before the Supreme Court on behalf of the plaintiffs.
The defendants were: Roderick Elliott (Briggs), Board of Education of Topeka Kansas (Brown), County School Board of Prince Edward County Virginia (Davis)

In 1954 a case was decide regarding a young lady who was denied admission to her local elementary school because of her race. The landmark decision by the US Supreme Court explicitly outlawed racial segregation practices in public education facilities. This unanimous decision overruled the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson. The chief counsel of the plaintiffs would later be appointed to the US Supreme Court. Please name ALL the parties involved in the case (including Plaintiffs and Defendants) and the name of the case itself.

Please send your replies to onokpise@umich.edu by 5pm on Friday, February 9. A winner will be selected and notified on Sunday, February 11, when the next question will be posted.

Black History Month Trivia Question #1 - Week Ending Feb. 3

Congratulations to Jason Forton!!

Who am I ???

I am Patricia Roberts Harris

I served as a law professor and Dean at Howard University, one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, during the 1960s. President Lyndon B. Johnson named me Ambassador to Luxembourg, making me the first African-American woman to hold such a position. Later, President Jimmy Carter appointed me secretary of Housing and Urban Development again becoming the first African-American woman to serve in a cabinet post. Unfortunately, I lost my Washington, D.C. mayoral run in 1982; nonetheless I am still a part of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Who am I?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

An Interview with Kwame Jackson: Keynote Speaker at the upcoming Alfred L. Edwards 31st Annual BBSA Conference

Kwame will be a keynote speaker at the Black Business Students Association's upcoming Alfred L. Edwards 31st Annual BBSA Conference at the Four Points Sheraton Ann Arbor on February 16 – 18, 2007.

Kwame, a final candidate from the reality TV show “The Apprentice”, received an MBA from Harvard University and is the chairman of Legacy Holdings LLC.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My mother Marilyn has been the most influential person by far. She passed away due to cancer when I was 15 and she was 41.

However, she provided the can-do spirit of confidence and self-esteem that I have now. My grandfather was illiterate and my grandmother completed the 9th grade, but my mother found a way to go to college on scholarship at Howard University where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta and became the first person in our family to attend and graduate from college.

She later went on to start her own CPA firm and to provide a "Cosby-like" upbringing for me full of blessings. She was the ideal professional and personal role model, someone who created a “no excuse” culture of rising above your circumstance.

What would you have done differently if you had to redo your experience on “The Apprentice”?

Obviously most would say not hire Omarosa! Ha!

But I don't live a woulda, shoulda, coulda life. I conducted myself with professionalism, dignity, and class which have all taken me thus far as an entrepreneur, business owner, professional speaker, media personality, and to the doorstep of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. For all of that, I'm very proud of the way I conducted myself on the Apprentice and would not change a thing.

I have no regrets, I'm living life on my own terms, defining my own success, all while owning my own time! I can't complain, I have been blessed.

In your opinion, what are the top three traits of a successful entrepreneur?

1. Tenacity!
2. Vision
3. Passion
4. When all else fails, remember point 1

At Harvard, you were involved in several dot-com start ups; you've worked on Wall Street and also for P&G. Which of those experiences has been most meaningful in terms of shaping your approach to business?

I think they have all helped to shape the business person that I have become in different ways
1. HBS provided a stellar pedigree, problem-solving framework, and network to access almost any business opportunity seen or unforeseen.

2. The dot-com ventures provided me with a glimpse into the high stakes world of entrepreneurship and vision manifestation. They also connected me with what it means to be passionate about an idea in business. Lastly, they taught me the tough lessons on business failures and the difference between being a preferred equity versus common share holder in the event of a successful buyout. Always be on the right side of the fence on that one!

3. P&G was my first foray into the Fortune 500 world of Corporate America. I literally went from working fries at McDonald's in high school to interning at Procter for 4 summers via the Inroads minority internship program (http://www.inroads.org/).

I did a lot of growing up and learning in my 4 summers and 2 full-time years at Procter and I'm proud to say that it was one of the most nurturing business environments I've ever experienced. They really know how to train managers, leaders, and world-class marketers...for that, I'm eternally grateful and will always know that they placed me on solid footing for my eventual application at HBS and future marketing/brand endeavors. I have so many great supporters and friends from my time at Procter & Gamble, I can not say enough about my overwhelmingly positive experience!

You have been quoted as saying street smarts are better than book smarts. How do you define street smarts? How have street smarts contributed to your success?

I've lived in Brooklyn and Harlem now, so I know a little bit about street smarts first hand. Street smarts are learned instincts from your environment. How to interact with people, assess situations, stay on your hustle, grind, make a dollar out of 15 cents!, etc.

Book smarts are learned in the hallowed halls of UNC, HBS, and the Ross School. They are great at opening doors, building relationships, establishing a pedigree...but in the end, this is a HUSTLER'S world (legal of course, the illegal is a whole other subject matter)! You either have that innate drive to succeed and hustle or you don't, school can't teach you that! But school will open doors for you and provide the needed credibility that so many minority professionals must have just to be given a chance or treated fairly.

I think the combination of both street smarts and book smarts is critical, but I give the edge to street smarts if you have to pick one over the other and/or what will make the average person more successful.

Street smarts have helped me with my #1 skill: Social/Human intelligence. How to interact with people, charisma, communication, influence, etc. are all key factors for a successful visionary or entrepreneur.

Most importantly street smarts reinforce this notion of hustle, ambition, desire! That separates middle management from the CEO and activist entrepreneurs from passive dreamers.

Your website describes Legacy Holdings LLC as a company involved in 'real estate development, fashion, television, and film production'. How have those interests come about? Also, what are the biggest challenge facing minority-owned businesses?

Legacy Holdings LLC like all entrepreneurial ventures and start-up firms is a fluid work in progress, so don't read too much into our interest areas. We have worked on projects in all of those areas but have narrowed our focus through tough lessons. We have continued to reinvent ourselves in order to find our niche and we are currently focused on private investment in real estate, development, and my personal media ventures under the Kwame Inc. banner.

I think like any entrepreneur, I had so many things coming at me, that we all had to drink from the fire hose for a while... and after gorging yourself on fools gold sometimes you get a tummy ache and wake up!

I think access to capital continues to be the #1 issue for minority owned business in particular. We face all the common challenges of other entrepreneurial firms and established ventures but continue to suffer from the inability to access friends and family for initial funding as well as formal capital markets like home equity lines of credit, bank lending, venture capital, and investment banks for later growth rounds.

I always refer to the first challenge as the historic lack of "rich uncles or aunts" in our community. I have so many colleagues of different ethnic backgrounds that are able to access $250,000+ from a friend or family member pre-business plan based on an idea, passion, and a family relationship.

Minority owned businesses are still struggling with establishing these types of relationships, net worths, sense of family fiscal responsibility and shared risk taking that allows entrepreneurs and business owners to be successful.

Even among the talented tenth of monied [well- payed] elite athletes, entertainers, and business owners in our community there is not always that emphasis on reaching back, each one teach one, nor celebrating the journey of entrepreneurship vs. the destination once someone has become successful.

Or more simply, just the mentality that says, let me invest in this young talented sister or brother behind me!

Unfortunately, we are often afraid to be duped and/or help our own for various reasons be they legitimate or illegitimate. We have to break this cycle!

For more information about Kwame Jackson, please visit his website: http://www.kwamejackson.com.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pictures from Winter Break!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Alumni Profile - Agai Jones (MBA 2003), Country Representative, Population Services International

Agai Jones, a native Washingtonian, graduated from the School Without Walls High School and went on to complete his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After finishing Morehouse, he served for two years as a Secondary Education, US Peace Corps volunteer in Luderita, Namibia where he taught physics and chemistry to 9th and 10th graders. He also taught English as a second language to 12th grade students.

After completing his Peace Corps service in Namibia, he returned to the United States and worked for AARP before earning a Master’s in Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2003. His area of focus was Corporate Strategy and International Business. Currently he is living in Ezulwini, Swaziland and working in AIDS prevention for PSI.

Agai has worked in over nine African Countries; he especially loves Southern Africa. He enjoys jazz, DC summers, homecomings, family celebrations and Covenant Baptist Church located in Washington, DC. He dislikes “blissfully contented ignorance, kleptocracy and gum under tables and on the pavement.” The one thing that he knows for sure is that “God is and all is possible with faith, planning and action.”

Over the next few years, Agai hopes to transition from health development into economic development and entrepreneurship. He also plans to own property in at least two counties in Southern Africa. He believes that “family businesses are viable and necessary and that we must support them!” Additionally, Agai believes that “Africa needs our talents and contributions, and for those willing to educate and humble themselves, the possibilities are limitless!”

To Read the full Where Are They Now profile, click here (coming soon).

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

BBSA "Meeting of the Minds"

Before the Winter Break, BBSA first and second year students joined together to talk about the state of the African American community at the second run of what is an annual club event called "The Meeting of the Minds". Absolutely nothing was left off the table - club members discussed the definition of success, giving back to the community, relationships, and class and racism in America.

Above are a few pictures from the event. The Media & Comm chair had to use photoshop to brighten the pictures up so apologies for the hard to view shots...she also couldn't help but use a couple of photoshop effect features on a couple of the pictures...Anyway, below are paraprhased thoughts of just a sampling from opinions at the brain meeting.

"I want to move back to the hood. I feel a sense of responsibility to help the community that I come from. Maybe I can help children in my neighborhood make better decisions."

"Perhaps the reason black people aren't united on a single front anymore is because there isn't one issue that concerns everyone. Socioeconomic status within the black community has created distinct classes that don't relate..."

"My problem with people like Bill Cosby is that they attempt to separate black people into 'us' and 'them'."

"No one can argue that Bill Cosby has not given back to the black community."

"I think many black women are without love because they are intelligent and have wonderful careers...but this doesn't mean that they are loving, caring individuals..."

"I do not need a partner in order to feel successful. If I don't meet the person who can contribute/compliment my lifestyle, I am okay being alone."

"I influence the perception that I want people to have about me. I make sure that people remember me as the most articulate black man they've ever met."

"Success to me is mentoring and having an affect in the lives of children."

"Success means being true to my own personal code. Simply, that means treating others as I want them to treat me."

"As women get over 25, I think many of them find their choices limited in terms of potential compatible partners. Women should be a little more assertive about going after what they want instead of waiting for their knight in shining armour."


Black History Month 2007 - Celebrate with the Black Business Students Association

(image from TimeInc)

Join the BBSA in celebrating Black History Month 2007 with the following schedule of activities:

Friday. January, 19th
8:30am – 2:30pm
Junior Achievement (JA) at Scarlett Middle School, Ann Arbor, MI

Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that has the goal of educating young people about business and economics. Volunteers from the business community teach JA materials to children ranging in age from kindergarteners through seniors in high school. (Event sponsored by Target)

Friday, February 2nd, 5pm – 7pm, Ross Business School Student Lounge
2nd Annual Jazz/Poetry Night in memory of Coretta Scott King

Come join us for a night of Jazz, Song, Spoken Word, and Poetry, with refreshments to set the aura. This is an opportunity to see the talents of classmates as well as the local community. Please feel free to bring some of your own work and talents to display!!

Sunday, February 11th, 6pm – 9pm
Movie Night - "Boys of Baraka" - Discussion following – K1320

"The Boys of Baraka" won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Independent or Foreign Film, as well as Best Documentary Awards at the Chicago and Newport film festivals, a special Jury Award at South by Southwest (SXSW), and Audience Awards at the Woodstock and SILVERDOCS film festivals.

Read more about the film here.

Friday, February 9th, 8pm – 10pm
Young Professionals Happy Hour
Location: Four Points Sheraton (Boardwalk)

For more information please contact Omurhu Onokpise at Onokpise@umich.edu

Friday, January 12, 2007

Black History Month Events @ Michigan

Monday, January 8, 2007

MLK Symposium Opening Lecture: Frank Wu 4:30 PM Michigan Union, Pendleton Room Click here for more information.

The MLK Symposium Planning Committee and the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives invite you to discuss key issues of the day with Frank Wu. In 2004, Frank H. Wu became the ninth Dean of Wayne State University Law School in his hometown of Detroit. From 1995 to 2004, he served on the law faculty of Howard University, including two years as Clinic Director. He has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University, a visiting professor at University of Michigan, and a teaching fellow at Stanford University. Dean Wu is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment. His writing has appeared on a professional basis in such periodicals as the Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Chronicle of Higher Education, Legal Times, and Asian Week.

Dean Wu serves as a Trustee of Gallaudet University, the only university in the United States serving primarily deaf and hard of hearing; in late 2006, he became Vice-Chair of the Board. He has taught over several short periods at Deep Springs College, a highly-selective full-scholarship all-male school enrolling twenty-six on a student-run cattle ranch near Death Valley. He served briefly by appointment of the D.C. Court of Appeals on its Board of Professional Responsibility, which adjudicates attorney discipline matters, as well as two terms on Board hearing committees. He was appointed by Mayor Anthony Williams as Chair of the D.C. Human Rights Commission for 2001-02. He joined the Board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund in 2004. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the Committee of 100, a civic group founded by Yo-Yo Ma, I.M. Pei, among others, to promote Asian American political participation, as well as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He testified at the trial of the University of Michigan affirmative action case.

His media appearances have included the Oprah Winfrey show, Now with Bill Moyers, Lehrer Newshour, O'Reilly Factor, Book Notes with Brian Lamb, Talk Back Live on CNN, NPR, Voice of America, Fox Movie Channel, and the Al Franken show. He has hosted episodes of the "Asian America" PBS-syndicated television show. He was named among the top twenty scholars in the nation by Black Issues in Higher Education in its twentieth anniversary issue, to Crain's magazine's list of "40 under 40" and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's Best Lawyers Under 40.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Racism: Where Does It Come From? 4:00 PM Classical Studies Library, 2175 Angell Hall Click here for more information.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Dream Alive Program featuring Joe Rogers 6:00 PM University of Michigan - Dearborn Social Science Building 1500 (Lecture Hall B) Click here for more information.

A Dedication to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Open Mic Night: Expressing Identity Through Words" Part of our MLK Resistance through the Arts Series 7:00 PM The League Underground Click here for more information.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

American Diversity in the Global Community 2:00 — 3:30 PM Room 9 International Center (next to Michigan Union) Click here for more information.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Black Volunteer Network High School Visitation Program William Monroe Trotter House Click here for more information.

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition Noon AM — 5:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

Monday, January 15, 2007: Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior Day

The 20th Anniversary MLK Symposium Memorial Lecture: Kweisi Mfume 10:00 AM Hill Auditorium Click here for more information.

Click here for information about this event.

Simulcast of the 20th Anniversary MLK Symposium Memorial Lecture: Kweisi Mfume 10:00 AM Gallery in the Duderstadt Center, 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard, Ann Arbor; on the North Campus of the University of Michigan Click here for more information.

People who are interested in the Keynote presentation by Kweisi Mfume, but who are unable to attend in Hill Auditorium, will be able to view a live broadcast of the presentation on North Campus in the Duderstadt Center.

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

March to Undo Proposal 2 Noon Meet at the corner of South Forest and South University Click here for more information.

This year's Martin Luther King holiday must be more than a routine expression of respect for the work and beliefs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now, more than ever, the Martin Luther King holiday must become the day when the new civil rights movement asserts our power and places our demand for full political and social equality before the American people. The key to defeating the ill effects of Proposal 2 and to stopping the spread of anti-affirmative action ballot proposals to other states is building the strength and determination of the new civil rights movement. The broad passive support that exists in Michigan and throughout this nation for affirmative action programs needs to become active this Martin Luther King Day holiday. On January 15, 2007, students and youth from across the state will march and rally at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor demanding that there be no drop in minority enrollment in higher education in Michigan. Following the rally will be a state-wide conference where further actions will be planned..

Journeys Toward Understanding (film presentation): The Long Walk Home 12:10 PM Rackham Amphitheatre, 4th floor, Rackham Graduate School Click here for more information.

Rackham will present two films that illustrate how racism can be eradicated when there is concern and commitment toward equality for everyone. This is the first of the two films. Between films there will be a short intermission.

The Long Walk Home (1990); Starring Whoopi Goldberg and Sissy Spacek; Directed by Richard Pearce; 1.5 hours

This exceptional 1990 film is set against the backdrop of the emerging civil rights movement of the 1950s South. Spacek plays a Southern socialite who becomes gradually enlightened by the plight of her housekeeper, played by Whoopi Goldberg, as she struggles to raise her family amid the increasing turmoil, prejudice, and violence around her.

See the 2:00 PM entry below for information on the second film.

Inside-Out: Re-entry from Prison into the Community 1:00 PM Room 126 East Quadrangle, 701 E. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Click here for more information.

Building the Beloved Community by Acknowledging and Preserving Our Past 1:00 PM Center for Afro-American and African Studies Conference Room, 4701 Haven Hall Click here for more information.

19th Annual B & F MLK Convocation 1:00 — 3:00 PM Rackham Auditorium Click here for more information.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux – "Economic Justice in the Beloved Community: Where Do We Go From Here?" Lecture at 1:30 PM, followed by a reception Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre (Located at the Michigan League) Click here for more information.

Recognized for her provocative, progressive and insightful observations, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist, accomplished author and commentator, is the president and CEO of the multimedia production company, Last Word Productions Inc. Described by Princeton's Cornel West as "the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country," Dr. Malveaux's observations on issues such as race, culture, gender and their economic impacts, are helping to shape public views in 21st century America.

As a writer and syndicated columnist, Dr. Malveaux's work appears regularly in USA Today, Black Issues in Higher Education, Ms. magazine, Essence and the Progressive. Her writings focus not only on the economy, but also on issues of affirmative action, social status and class, women's rights and the American educational system. Her weekly columns appear in numerous newspapers across the country and she is well-known for her appearances on national television network programs.

In addition, Dr. Malveaux is an accomplished author and editor. She recently co-wrote "Unfinished Business: A Democrat and a Republican Take On the 10 Most Important Issues Women Face."

Helen Zia — "Diversity Challenges and the Coming 'Minority Majority': Crossing Boundaries in Search of the Beloved Community" 2:00 PM Michigan Union Ballroom Click here for more information.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

Majora Carter and Regrowing our Cities: an open dialogue/discussion 11:30 AM CAAS Conference Room, 4701 Haven Hall, 505 S. State Street, Ann Arbor MI 48109-1045 Click here for more information.

Why Are You in My Space?: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Relations in TCAUP 4:00 PM Art+Architecture Building Click here for more information.

Beloved by Toni Morrison Book Club Discussion facilitated by U of M Asst. Professor Meg Sweeney 5:00 — 6:00 PM Room 1334 at the University of Michigan School of Nursing Click here for more information.

"Jazz: Resistance Through Song" part of our MLK Series Resistance Through the Arts 7:00 PM The League Click here for more information.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

Defending the Poor, Prisoners, and People of Color: the Work of the Equal Justice Initiative 2:00 PM 250 Hutchins Hall Click here for more information.

Multicultural Career Fair 2:00 PM — 6:00 PM Michigan Union Click here for more information.

Separate is Still Unequal: Reflections from an Advocacy Trip to Washington DC 6:00 PM McGregor Commons, School of Social Work Building Click here for more information.

In December 2006, over 30 University of Michigan students went to march on Washington as the Supreme Court was hearing two court cases that addressed racial integration in public schools. Hear about their experiences from this trip, how the Supreme Court's decision will impact K-12 education, and future steps to address this issue. This event is sponsored by the Association of Black Social Work Students, the Social Welfare Action Alliance, and the School of Social Work Office of Student Services.

"Shaping the Profession" — Marshall E. Purnell 6:00 PM 2000 Bonisteel - Art & Architecture Bldg, Room 2104 Art & Architecture Auditorium Click here for more information.

Innovation, Purpose, Courage and You: Annual UROP MLK Symposium 6:00 — 7:30 PM Rackham Auditorium Click here for more information.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

A New Look at an Old Challenge: Whither Diversity in STEM? 4:00 PM Biomedical Research Sciences Building Auditorium Click here for more information.

Why are You in My Space?: A Conversation about Race, New Urbanism and Public Housing 6:00 PM Auditorium in the Art+Architecture Building Click here for more information.

Finding Filipino-American Identity 8:30 PM Michigan League Underground Click here for more information.

FOKUS Film Series: Unsound Mind Time to be determined Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty Street Click here for more information.

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

"Shaping Space" — Allison Williams 6:00 PM 2000 Bonisteel - Art & Architecture Bldg, Room 2104 Art & Architecture Auditorium Click here for more information.

Allison Williams sets the design strategy for the San Francisco Perkin+Wills office's major projects including corporate headquarters facilities, cultural institutions and urban, high-rise and civic mixed-use developments. Allison has led the design of such nationally significant projects as The San Francisco Civic Center Complex, The San Francisco International Airport Terminal, and currently The African American Cultural Center of Pittsburgh and The International Museum of Women in San Francisco. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in the Practice of Art and a Master's of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Recently appointed to the Harvard Design Magazine advisory board, Allison is a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and also serves on the University of California, Berkeley's Capital Planning Design Review Committee, and on the boards of directors for The Museum of the African Diaspora and The Exploratorium.

Open Mic Night: MLK Expression 8:30 PM Michigan League Underground Click here for more information.

For January's Open Mic Night we would love to showcase musical and spoken word performances inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s beloved community. This event is free and open to the public. Performers should sign up for a 10 minute slot at 7:30 PM on January 19th in the Underground.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

The 26th Annual King's Feast 6:00 PM Michigan League Ballroom Click here for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a free event. General tickets are $25, student tickets are $15

Sekou Sundiata: the 51st (dream) state 8:00 PM Power Center Click here for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a free event. Please visit http://www.ums.org for prices.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition Noon — 5:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

Establishing Truth and Responsibility in Post-Conflict Societies 4:00 PM Room 1636, SSWB/International Institute, 1080 S. University Click here for more information.

Dr. Calvin Mackie 5:00 PM Chesebrough Auditorium in the Chrysler Center on North Campus Click here for more information.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

MLK Symposium Closing Lecture: Tim Wise Noon Michigan Union, Pendleton Room Click here for more information.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

9th Annual MLK Luncheon and Discussion Series Noon — 1:30 PM Johnson Rooms - 3rd Floor, Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center, College of Engineering, 1221 Beal Avenue Click here for more information.

Movie of the Month: Hotel Rwanda 8:30 PM Michigan League Ballroom, 911 N. University Click here for more information.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM Palmer Commons, Windows Room Click here for more information.

Monday, January 29, 2007

B & F MLK Closing Lecture: Prisons of Image 3:30 — 5:30 PM Palmer Commons Auditorium — Forum Hall Click here for more information.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Equity and Access in a Post-Affirmative Action Environment 1:00 — 3:00 PM Forum Hall, 4th floor of Palmer Commons Click here for more information.

12th Annual North Campus MLK Spirit Award Ceremony 5:00 PM Art and Architecture Auditorium, North Campus Click here for more information.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Genetics and Health Disparities: Building Communities to Address New Scientific Challenges and Opportunities Noon — 1:30 PM Palmer Commons – Great Lakes Central Click here for more information.


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