Protester Interrupts Trump Speech: ‘You Can’t Send Us Back!’

The protester, a Democratic state lawmaker, referenced Trump’s racist attacks against four Democratic congresswomen of color.

Lil Nas X Drops ‘Seoul Town Road’ With RM of K-Pop Group BTS

RM added his own flair to the lyrics, making references to a Korean farming tool in his verses.

Grow Your Business with a Digital Transformation Strategy

It is an undeniable fact that technology has changed the way that we live, work, and play. If you run a business, you know firsthand how important technology is to your customers, vendors, and employees. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to develop a digital transformation strategy for your business.

Developing a digital transformation strategy may sound overwhelming but working with a trusted business adviser can help you design and implement processes that work for you. Implementing automated business strategies can also help free up your time so you can focus on what’s important—helping your customers. 

Get started with three easy steps.

Assess your processes

The first step in implementing a digital transformation strategy is to assess your processes. For example, how do you manage your business finances? Are they managed in-house, outsourced, or DIY? Do you use an accounting system? If so, which one? Determine if your accounting system meets your current needs and is scalable. Does it integrate with other functions such as payroll, tax planning, and business planning platforms?

Another major area to assess is your customer relationship management system. Are you using a manual process or your email provider to capture the data? If so, it may be time to upgrade to a cloud-based platform such as Hubspot or Salesforce. These solutions allow you to not only capture customer contact data but incorporate email marketing and sales solutions. By developing a fully integrated customer contact system, you’ll streamline your CRM and stay in front of your most promising prospects and customers. 

Measure your growth

Business owners can become easily distracted due to the many demands for your attention. However, the importance of measuring your growth cannot be overlooked or overstated since it increases the probability of business success. Cloud-based solutions like QuickBooks online help you stay on top of your financial metrics. Are sales trending up or down? Why are my expenses increasing and what can I do to streamline or reduce them? This information will appear on your dashboard. From there you can do a deep dive to find answers to these questions. 

A comprehensive CRM solution will enable you to run reports on ad spending, website traffic, prospect emails opened, and deals in your pipeline. These analytics will empower you to make informed decisions on where to deploy valuable marketing dollars to obtain the best return on investment. 

Monitor your progress

As a business owner, the buck stops with you. Once you’ve incorporated new tech-enabled processes into your business, it’s critical that you monitor their performance. How much time and money are these new processes saving you? How do these increases in productivity lead to new revenue? And how can you continue to scale? What other processes can you transform? There are several business planning solutions, such as LivePlan and Adaptive Insights, that can deliver metrics and key performance indicators to keep you on top of your growth. 

 

Black Woman Yale Grad Is New Acting President of Planned Parenthood

Alexis McGill Johnson has just been named the new Acting President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Acting President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF), according to a press release from Planned Parenthood.

McGill Johnson’s appointment comes after the Planned Parenthood board of directors ousted Dr. Leana Wen as the organization’s leader. Several reports cite that Wen was forced out after disputes over the direction the organization should take in its advocacy for reproductive rights.

[RELATED: THE MOST POWERFUL (BLACK) WOMEN IN CORPORATE AMERICA]

As a former member of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund board, and former chair and member of the board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, McGill Johnson’s career has focused on philanthropy and service.

She was a co-founder and co-director of the Perception Institute—described on its website as “a national consortium of researchers, advocates, and cultural strategists that turns cutting-edge mind science research on identity difference into solutions that can be applied to everyday individual interactions and institutional practices.”

McGill Johnson holds degrees from Princeton and Yale. She also taught Political Science and African American studies at Yale and Wesleyan. In 2004 she served as Russell Simmons’s political director and headed up a grassroots nonprofit founded by Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs.

[RELATED: ABORTION BANS ARE A HEALTH CRISIS. FOR BLACK WOMEN, THEY MEAN DEVASTATION]

“Alexis is a renowned social justice leader, lifelong political organizer, and a tireless advocate for reproductive rights and access to quality, affordable healthcare,” PPFA board Chair Aimee Cunningham and PPAF Board Chair Jennie Rosenthal issued in a statement.

“We look forward to working with Alexis McGill Johnson to build on Planned Parenthood’s great legacy as a trusted healthcare provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world,” the statement continued.

McGill Johnson also released a statement about her new appointment, “I am proud to step in to serve as Acting President and facilitate a smooth leadership transition in this critical moment for Planned Parenthood and the patients and communities we serve. I thank Dr. Wen for her service and her commitment to patients. I look forward to getting to work alongside the incredible team at Planned Parenthood who work every single day to help people access high-quality reproductive healthcare.”

 

African Americans are More Likely to Be Denied a Mortgage Without Reason

Congress enacted the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) in 1975 to increase lending opportunities in urban neighborhoods throughout the United States. However, more than 40 years later, discrimination practices are still salient.

According to a recent study released by real estate data company Clever, African Americans are twice as likely to be denied a mortgage loan to buy a home than white applicants. The research showed that 26% of African American applicants were denied mortgages compared to 10% of white American applicants. Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Discriminatory lending practices are most visible in the South: Only 76% of black applicants are approved in Southern states, compared to 89% of white applications.
  • More than half of black applicants (52%) had no reason listed for their mortgage being denied.
  • African American home buyers are 105% more prone to receiving exorbitant interest rates to buy a home, putting them at higher risk of foreclosure.
  • When controlling for income, African Americans are still twice as likely to be denied a mortgage than their white counterparts.

Clever used data collected by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) to help identify possible disparities in lending practices. They also analyzed over 1.7 million applicants from 2016 using the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act database to build the dataset for their analysis. The numbers painted a picture that hinders the story of progression for blacks in the mortgage lending space. Clever reviewed regions of the country where African Americans were at an increased probability of experiencing lending discrimination. If you live in southern states such as Kansas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, your chances of being approved for a mortgage would be lower than average. Without controlling for income, the study showed that 49% of black applicants were denied mortgages compared to 8% of white applicants.

Reveal and The Center for Investigative Reporting conducted interviews with lenders and homebuyers to better understand the racial disparities during the mortgage lending process. The responses reveal that credit scores and debt-to-income ratios are leading factors. But the problem lies in the HMDA policy mandates that don’t require key applicant metrics such as credit scores and debt-to-income ratios to be disclosed to the public. The Dodd-Frank Act explicitly amends HMDA to require lenders to disclose these important metrics to the public while keeping applicant identities confidential.

What’s the solution?

According to Clever’s overview of the mortgage study, the Dodd-Frank bill could impact the mortgage lending experience for African Americans.

“If there’s one sliver of hope within this rather bleak analysis, it’s that the Dodd-Frank bill requires several new applicant metrics to be recorded by mortgage lenders for 2018 data sets and beyond. Data points like credit scores, fees, prepayment penalties, and interest rates will be available to the public, allowing for greater transparency into predatory and discriminatory lending practices.”

New legislation and standards may not cure the problem or unravel years of discrimination, but it can be a step in the right direction.

Michelle Obama Recalls Daunting Sleepover Security Rules For Daughters

The Secret Service presence when Sasha and Malia spent overnights with friends was intimidating for parents, the former first lady said at the Essence Festival.