EQUALITY & OPPORTUNITY

Marc Morial, National Urban League President & CEO who was a featured speaker at The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman’s Breakfast, is here with an analysis of equality and opportunity in New York and beyond.

Aired on November 13, 2017.

TRANSCRIPT

> MARK MOERIAL IS NO STRANGER TO PUBLIC SERVICE.

FORMER MAYOR ENTREPRENEUR, PRACTICING ATTORNEY, PROFESSOR, LEGISLATOR, AND PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE, LARGEST CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION IN THE COUNTRY.

IN A MULTIFACETED CAREER OVER A QUARTER OF CENTURY HAS CONSISTENTLY TACKLED ISSUES DIVIDING THE NATION AND JOINS US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE CHALLENGES TODAY AND HOW WE CAN COME TOGETHER TO OVERCOME THEM.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

I DESCRIBED IT BRIEFLY, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE.

BUT COULD YOU TALK ABOUT IT?

FOUNDED IN 1910.

HISTORIC CIVIL RIGHTS AND URBAN ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION.

WE HAVE A CIVIL RIGHTS MISSION.

FOCUS WORK IN URBAN COMMUNITIES.

IN CITIES ACROSS THE NATION SERVE OR PROVIDE SERVICES TO ALMOST 2 MILLION PEOPLE A YEAR.

WE HELP PEOPLE FIND JOBS, BECOME HOMEOWNERS, YOUNG PEOPLE FIND THEIR WAY TO COLLEGE THROUGH INCREDIBLE PROGRAMS AND DIRECT SERVICES INITIATIVES WE UNDERTAKE IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE NATION.

TELL US HOW IT IS.

I HEARD YOU SPEAK AND TALKED ABOUT SPECIFIC DIVIDES.

YOU TALKED ABOUT THE DIGITAL DIVIDE.

WANTED TO GET INTO THE CAPITAL DIVIDE.

CAPITAL DIVIDE, TALK ABOUT THAT FIRST.

SINCE I JOINED THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE, WE'VE PUT A LOT OF FOCUS ON SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT, FOCUSING ON AFRICAN-AMERICAN OWNED AND WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES.

WE NOW HAVE 13 CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES THAT PROVIDE COACHING AND COUNSELING.

AND SMALL BUSINESS LOAN FUND IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MORGAN STANLEY, A NUMBER OF BANKS, FOCUSED ON LOANING IN CLEVELAND, LOOKING TO EXPAND BEYOND.

MANY SMALL BUSINESSES, AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES STRUGGLE NOT BECAUSE THEY DON'T WORK HARD, HAVE GOOD IDEAS OR BUSINESS ACUMEN, BUT DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO CAPITAL.

INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT IT, WE ADVOCATE STRONGLY SBA SHOULD DO MORE, BANKS SHOULD DO MORE.

WE DECIDED TO BRING BANKS AND OTHER NONPROFITS TOGETHER TO CREATE THIS LOAN.

WHEN YOU WERE MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS, YOU WERE SUCCESSFUL AT THAT.

WHAT CAN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS DO?

BRING STAKEHOLDERS TOGETHER.

A MAYOR CAN BRING THE BANKS TOGETHER WITH THE SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY, CREATE INITIATIVES AND USE HIS OR HER BULLY PULPIT OF PERSUASION TO ENCOURAGE THE BANKS TO INVEST MORE.

BANKS CAN USE THE LEVERAGE THAT THEY'RE MAJOR CUSTOMER AND HAVE DEPOSITTORY RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE BANKS.

DIGITAL DIVIDE.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT IS IT DIVIDING?

IF YOU DON'T HAVE IPHONE OR CELL PHONE OR PHONE WITH BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY OR DESKTOP AND HOME COMPUTER, YOU'RE GOING TO MISS OUT.

KIDS CAN'T DO HOMEWORK, YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR JOB, ACCESS CITY SERVICES.

DIGITAL DIVIDE TO THE EXTENT THERE ARE COMMUNITIES WITHOUT HIGH SPEED BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY.

NUMBER ONE.

AND GOES BEYOND THAT.

DIGITAL DIVIDE ALSO GOES TO WHO IS ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BROAD ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES THAT THIS DIGITAL REVOLUTION HAS CREATED.

COMMUNITIES OF COLOR AND POOR AMERICANS OF ALL COLORS ARE ON THE LOSING SIDE OF THAT DIVIDE?

INTERESTING THING.

PEOPLE OF COLOR, THE PENETRATION RATE FOR CELL PHONES IS HIGHER FOR THEM, PARTICULARLY YOUNG BLACKS AND YOUNG LATINOS, THAN FOR THE MAINSTREAM.

BUT WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE MORE PRIZED OR TREASURED ASSET, WHICH IS A COMPUTER AT HOME THAT HAS BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY AND LOTS OF, IF YOU WILL, POWER AND ABILITY TO DO THINGS, PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE BEHIND.

PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE LEFT OUT.

IN SOME CASES EVEN RURAL COMMUNITIES ARE LEFT BEHIND.

BUT I'M NOT SATISFIED WITH JUST CLOSING THAT DIVIDE.

I THINK THAT THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO ENSURE IN THIS VAST OCEAN OF OPPORTUNITY, THE DIGITAL ECONOMY, THAT THE JOB AND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES, CHANCE TO TRULY, TRULY BENEFIT, GROW COMMUNITIES, HAS TO BE BROADLY SHARED.

GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON THAT, PRIVATE SECTOR SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON THAT, URBAN LEAGUE IS ABSOLUTELY FOCUSING ON THAT.

AS YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS ARE POSTURED TOWARD TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WITH PROTEST AND RESISTANCE.

WE WILL RESIST ANY POLICY UNDERTAKEN BY ANYBODY OFFENDS OR IS INCONSISTENT WITH OUR VALUES, PRINCIPLES AND MISSION.

WE WILL HOWEVER, APPROACH THINGS THAT WE HAVE NO PERMANENT FRIENDS OR ENEMIES, ONLY PERMANENT INTERESTS.

THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING WE'RE CONFRONTING A PERIOD OF HATE AND INTOLERANCE WE HAVEN'T SEEN IN A LONG TIME.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT'S THE CASE AND HOW CAN WE, ALL OF US --

IT'S REGRETTABLE.

-- END THAT?

IT'S REGRETTABLE IT'S THE CASE.

NUMBERS OF HATE CRIMES HAVE SPIKED IN THE UNITED STATES.

HATE AND BIGOTRY ARE INCONSISTENT WITH WHAT AMERICA IS ABOUT.

WE HAVE TO OPPOSE IT.

I THOUGHT THAT AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE, YOU SAW A BROAD ORCHESTRA OF VOICES, A BROAD SYMPHONY OF VOICES FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, FAITH COMMUNITY, POLITICAL COMMUNITY.

CERTAINLY FROM CIVIL RIGHTS COMMUNITY WHICH ALWAYS ON THESE ISSUES LEADS THE WAY, UNIVERSALLY CONDEMNED THE HATE ACTIVITIES AND INCITING OF VIOLENCE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE.

AND ALSO, CALLED THE PRESIDENT TO TASK ON HIS LACK OF CLARITY.

THAT WAS AN IMPORTANT POINT FOR THE NATION.

MR. MAYOR, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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