[Video] Morehouse Grad Creates Bitcoin Alternative

There are a lot of alternative cryptocurrency coins currently on the market. One, in particular, is called Storj, created by Morehouse grad Shawn Wilkinson. In short, the Storj platform is a distributed, encrypted, and blazing fast object storage, where only you have access to your data. In addition to that, the company has a cryptocurrency Storj token that you can invest in. 

Wilkinson set down with blockchain founder and influencer Lamar Wilson, to discuss how he got started in crypto, his platform Storj, and how he launched his first token. read more

This Mom Launched a Business to Empower Children to Swim

When Yolanda Flournah-Perkins was sentenced to three years in prison during her senior year in college, she thought her life was over. But after her release, she pressed the reset button on her life and landed a job at a non-profit organization. Several years later, the wife and mom adds twice-published author, TEDx speaker, doctoral candidate, and, most recently, entrepreneur and founder of Swimmie Caps, a line featuring images of black and brown kids.

We caught up with Perkins to learn more about the inspiration behind Swimmie Caps. read more

How “Time’s Up” Could Help Black Women Get Their Deserved Pay

By Ryan Velez

Maryland-based writer Niki McGloster considers the Time’s Up initiative a net positive, but explains to The Grio, this marks the right time to discuss the gender gap for women of color.

“But while the industry seemingly adores the nuance of our stories and the subsequent high ratings, disparities between the earnings of melanated darlings in comparison to their male and non-Black counterparts, reflect that the gender pay gap is still ever-present for women of color,” she explains. read more

Descendants Of Slaves Demand Reparations From Georgetown University

By Ryan Velez

Recent events showed that Georgetown University owes its continued existence to slaves, as a massive slave sale contributed to paying off many of its old debts. Now, The Grio reports that the slaves’ descendants are demanding reparations.

Georgia Goslee, lead counsel for the GU272 Isaac Hawkins Legacy group, which includes 200 people, says her clients “do not believe Georgetown has fully atoned for the wealth it unjustly accumulated off the back of unpaid slave labor,” according to the Washington Post. The Post reports that Thomas Craemer, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, helped the group calculate its request for restitution, based on the idea that forced labor created wealth for others rather than the enslaved people. He also said descendants would otherwise have inherited money earned through their foreparents’ wages and interest. read more

Ethiopian-American’s Startup StackShare Raises $5.2 Million in a Series A

StackShare, a company that helps developers and engineers discover and compare software tools, recently closed $5.2 million in a Series A led by e.Ventures. Other investors included Cervin Ventures and angels Nick Rockwell, Aston Motes, Dave Johnson, and Bill Smith according to Tech Crunch.

In the beginning, the platform was slow to grow but founder Yonas Beshawred saw an opportunity and specifically focused on data after StackShare ramped up its user base. “When we look at it, it is professionals finding and communicating with each other.” read more

Three Reasons Why Groupon Slayed By Hiring Tiffany Haddish as their Spokesperson

Groupon recently tapped comedian and author Tiffany Haddish to be their spokesperson, the first one they’ve had in seven years. The deal comes complete with Haddish starring in the Chicago-based company’s first Super Bowl ad, which will air on Feb. 4 during the game’s fourth quarter.

While it was a major win for Haddish, it’s also a major move for the discount e-commerce marketplace. The company’s quick-thinking to capitalize on Haddish’s viral—and hilarious—story about using a Groupon for a New Orleans swamp tour with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith offers a prime example in building brand recognition and valuing top customers. read more

The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Plans To Pay Off Nigeria’s Debt

By Ryan Velez

Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the billionaire philanthropists made a promise at one point to rid polio in Nigeria, as part of a bid to eliminate the preventable disease completely. Now, MSN reports that they are putting things into action, starting by targeting the country’s debt and paying off $76 million of it. The payments, which will be made over the course of 20 years, are due to begin this year.

The story of the debt begins in 2014 when Nigeria agreed to borrow the sum from Japan to fight against polio. The Gates Foundation had agreed to repay the loan if Nigeria met certain conditions, namely “achieving more than 80% vaccination coverage in at least one round each year in very high-risk areas across 80% of the country’s local government areas,” according to an email from the foundation to Quartz. Nigeria held its end of the bargain and then some. In 2017, no cases of polio were reported. By comparison, in 2012, it had nearly half of all cases worldwide. read more

How One Woman Is Giving Back After 23 Years In Prison For A Wrongful Conviction

By Ryan Velez

Despite not pulling the trigger, Tyra Patterson served 23 years in prison for murder. Now, she is finally free, and The Black Loop reports that she has found new work in the legal field, looking to give back to those who helped her over her long sentence.

At the age of 19, she was convicted of the murder and robbery of a Dayton, Ohio teen. However, she maintained her innocence, and after a five-year-long legal battle, she was freed, with the help of new evidence, the dead teen’s sister, old jurors, and the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. The Center, based in Cincinnati, now is also Patterson’s employer. It may be just an office space for most people, but to Patterson, “It’s freedom.” According to WKRC, she has proudly stated, “This is my desk, my office.” read more

These Entrepreneurs Are Helping Black Millennials Travel Better

Two African American women, Alishia Richardson and Randi Williams, created the company We Go Too in order to help black millennials with their travels abroad. In a world where traveling seems inaccessible, Richardson and Williams are tackling this feat by providing users with country information that includes all of the essential info they need to know before landing in the country, pro tips from insiders who have already been to these destinations, and travel guides that include custom-curated recommendations. read more

Government Shutdown Disproportionately Hurts Black Families

It’s the year 2013, redux. Now, as in that year, the United States’ government has officially shut down due to a policy impasse between the Republicans and the Democrats. This means thousands of federal workers may be furloughed indefinitely without pay. According to a report from American Progress, African Americans make up 18% of the civilian federal workforce  (not including military) while only comprising 13% of the population. The impact of the shutdown is likely to wallop the black community financially. read more

Daymond John Set to Release New Book ‘Rise and Grind’

After three successful releases, The Brand Within; Display of Power; and The Power of Broke, the Shark Tank entrepreneur and investor is at it again with his latest book, Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life.

What we know is Daymond John is a hustler in every sense of the word, but this is not for someone looking for a shortcut or quick come-up. John is all about hustling hard and smart. “Convenient though it might be to believe that you can shortcut your way to the top,” says John, “the truth is that if you want to get and stay ahead, you need to put in the work. You need to out-think, out-hustle, and out-perform everyone around you. You’ve got to rise and grind every day.” read more

Why Entrepreneurial Thinking Is About More Than Starting a Business

Entrepreneurial thinking is about more than just longing to become your own boss, or even successfully launching a business. The good news: You don’t have to be born an entrepreneurial thinker; you can learn to be one.

Randal Pinkett, Ph.D., author, speaker, and CEO of the Newark, N.J.-based research, training, and technology firm BCT Partners, offers himself as a prime example. Pinkett, the former Rhodes Scholar who first came to national attention as the winner of the fourth season of the NBC reality competition The Apprentice in 2005, says that despite becoming a successful business owner, he did not grow up thinking like an entrepreneur. read more

How This Entrepreneur is Motivating Moms to Prepare for Their Future

While LaToyia Dennis was facilitating a parent engagement workshop, she realized many moms were struggling with being involved in their child’s education, so she created Motivated Mom. Motivated Mom is an initiative focused on helping mothers raise the next generation of leaders and fund their dreams without compromising their family life. In 2017, the Motivated Moms tour hosted events in Newark, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Atlanta. Plus they landed Coca-Cola and Prudential as partners in conducting workshops to help moms build wealth, improve their parenting skills, and learn to be an engaged advocate for their child’s education. read more

Black Changemakers Are Using Bee Farms to Save Detroit Neighborhoods

Although the city of Detroit is known for its vacant lot and abandoned housing problem, the innovation and talent that exists within Michigan’s largest city should not be overlooked—thanks in part to social entrepreneurs Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey, the founders and beekeepers behind Detroit Hives. Detroit Hives is a social impact program on a mission to transform vacant lots in Detroit into urban farms for the community. While many people run at the mere sight of a bee, these two changemakers spend their days finding and saving honey bees while educating the community about bees and their contribution to the environment. read more

Crypto Crash Costs Winklevoss Twins $700 Million In 48 Hours

By Ryan Velez

There are a lot of crypto-investors who are feeling pretty bad about now, with massive drops for all of the major coins. However, you probably aren’t feeling as bad as the Winklevoss Twins. Celebrity Net Worth reports that the two lost $700 million from their Bitcoin investment in the last two days.

The twins are known for hiring Mark Zuckerberg to develop a website for them, which would eventually become Facebook after he reportedly stole their concept. After a long legal battle, the twins received a $65 million settlement from Zuckerberg and Facebook. Their settlement consisted mostly of pre-IPO Facebook stock. Within two years, their settlement had grown to be worth over $100 million. They took $11 million of that money and invested it in Bitcoin in 2013, a move that was widely laughed at. At one point, they had as much as $2.1 billion on paper. read more

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