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2015 Miss Black San Bernardino Held This Weekend

SB PAGEANT CONTESTANTS

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation is pleased to announce the 2015 Miss Black San Bernardino Pageant; an annual event held to celebrate young black women ages 16 to 20 years who are enrolled in school, engaged in community service and working to achieve academic excellence.

The goal of the pageant is to recognize and promote young women in the community that will be tomorrow’s leaders. The objective is to educate, train and encourage young women to represent the African-American community in a manner consistent with responsibility, ethics, motivation and integrity.

Miss Black San Bernardino Scholarship Pageant 2015 being held on February 21, 2015 at the San Bernardino Elks Lodge located at 2055 Elks Drive in San Bernardino  from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit www.sbbcfoundation.com/events/miss-black-san-bernardino-2015.

Ladder to Minority Business Success is in Danger

Don’t Take Away the Ladder to Success for Aspiring Minority Small Business Owners

Dexter and Djenane Bartholomew own seven Golden Corral franchises, with five in Kentucky and two in New Jersey. The couple has been married for 17 years and sponsors several community youth organizations at their home in New Jersey. Djenane, who is a registered nurse, also volunteers at a mobile clinic each year on a trip to her native Haiti.

Dexter and Djenane Bartholomew own seven Golden Corral franchises, with five in Kentucky and two in New Jersey. The couple has been married for 17 years and sponsors several community youth organizations at their home in New Jersey. Djenane, who is a registered nurse, also volunteers at a mobile clinic each year on a trip to her native Haiti.

By Djenane Bartholomew

Every day my husband and I make decisions that affect the lives of 450 people and their families. It’s a lot of responsibility but above all a labor of love. It is all part of being local franchise owners and living our American dream. The franchise model has been a gateway for millions of people over the years to achieve small business ownership, many of them from racial or ethnic minority groups. It is important to not only preserve, but to strengthen this business model.
My husband came from Grenada and worked for UPS for over 20 years. As a young man, he had the foresight to invest in a property in Brooklyn which grew in value over the years. Blessed with some money when we sold it, we considered how to invest our good fortune into a new livelihood and soon discovered that franchising was the way to go for us.
We started with Subway sandwich shops, then added Dunkin’ Donuts and Popeye’s Chicken and Buscuit but migrated to casual sit-down dining that did not include alcohol. The folks at Golden Corral shared our values and this began our journey to ownership, which ended with seven Golden Corral locations, five in Kentucky and two in New Jersey.
Franchising is a unique business arrangement. Golden Corral provides a known brand which includes a logo, advertising and marketing, and specifications on everything from the 160-item buffet/salad bar to the The Chocolate Wonderfall fondue dipping fountain. Instead of the challenge of starting a business from scratch, with franchise ownership our customers know what to expect when they walk through our doors.
Just the same, we are the bosses in the best sense of the word. We recruit, hire and train our staff. We are responsible for maintenance and watch the receipts so we can compete in our local community marketplace. We are responsible for schedules, wages and encouraging the members of our team to do their best work. It has been a pleasure to see people grow professionally. In fact, we have now employed the children of our employees and many see working for us not merely as a job but as a career.
This small business franchise model, which has worked so well for my family and other minority entrepreneurs, is in danger of being upended. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is trying to change the definition of “joint employer.”
This is more than just a technical issue. If Golden Corral is considered a joint employer, my husband and I would lose control over the day-to-day issues at our restaurants. If Golden Corral and their locally-owned franchise owners morph into one big employer, we could lose our restaurants – and with it the hard work and money we’ve put into them – altogether, as Golden Corral could be forced to assume direct control over the day-to-day operations of our restaurants. This would be a tragedy for us and our employees because they are not just part of our businesses, but part of our family.
I also worry about aspiring entrepreneurs who might be looking at owning a franchise themselves. Why would men and women looking at franchising consider it if the core of what makes it a proven and workable business model is removed? This would prevent jobs from being created and businesses expanded, in an industry that has been growing faster than the general economy in recent years.
What’s more, according to a 2007 report from the International Franchise Association, 20.5% of franchised businesses were owned by minorities, compared to 14.2% of non-franchised businesses. A little more than ten years ago they made up just five percent of franchise owners. Franchising works for people who may have faced barriers to succeeding with their own businesses and policymakers should encourage this trend.
If the franchise model is shattered by the NLRB’s revised definition of joint employer, instead of an economy populated with small business operators from all walks of life, we would likely see large corporations consolidating operations with big, regional companies created by buying up small business operations like ours.
These challenges will have a negative impact on the independent, entrepreneurial spirit that has helped fuel America’s growth and economic recovery, and has paved the way for thousands to achieve their dreams of running their own businesses and serving their own communities.

McDonald’s and the American Black Film Festival Challenge Rising Filmmakers to Show Lovin’ through a National Video Competition

Award-winning filmmaker, Malcolm D. Lee (Best Man; Best Man Holiday), partners with McDonald's and the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) for McDonald's "Lovin'" Video Competition (PRNewsFoto/McDonald's USA, LLC)

Award-winning filmmaker, Malcolm D. Lee (Best Man; Best Man Holiday), partners with McDonald’s and the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) for McDonald’s “Lovin'” Video Competition (PRNewsFoto/McDonald’s USA, LLC)

OAK BROOK, IL-  McDonald’s USA and the American Black Film Festival are joining forces to launch the McDonald’s Lovin’ Video Competition. To complement the new “Lovin” campaign, up-and-coming filmmakers are challenged to create one 90-second film that brings to life McDonald’s philosophy that, “A little more lovin’ can change a lot.”

Aspiring filmmakers nationwide are encouraged to enter their best, original submissions by 11:59 p.m. Eastern March 24, 2015, for their chance to win the grand prize and earn accolades from film industry leaders. Three finalists will be selected to attend the 19th annual American Black Film Festival in New York City, June 11 -14 and have an exclusive opportunity to be mentored by critically-acclaimed film director Malcolm D. Lee (Best Man; Best Man Holiday), who will provide the finalists with invaluable film industry tips and advice.

The top three short films will premiere at the highly-anticipated festival and will be judged by a panel of industry experts. Each submission will be critiqued on creativity, implementation of concept and quality. In the end, only one finalist will take home the grand prize — a film equipment package valued at $2,500 and an opportunity to have their film featured on prominent websites, including McDonald’s 365Black.com and other media entities. More information about the competition can be found atwww.abff.com.

“We are excited to partner with McDonald’s USA on this most unique digital video contest,” said Jeff Friday, American Black Film Festival founder and chief executive officer. “The ABFF is committed to supporting emerging artists and providing trailblazing opportunities for them to gain exposure and visibility in the film and television industry.”

“I’m honored to mentor our next generation of aspiring filmmakers through ‘Lovin’ Video Competition’,” said Malcolm D. Lee.  “Many have mentored and guided me along my journey to make an impact in film, and it’s important for all of us to do our part to bring the next generation up.”

McDonald’s newest campaign reignites the spirit of “i’m lovin’ it” and will inspire everything the brand does moving forward. By focusing on the lovin’ people show each other every day, the campaign provides an opportunity to celebrate and bring more lovin’ to customers.

“McDonald’s is excited to embark on this initiative with ABFF and the filmmakers of the future from the communities we serve,” said Kristen Wells, External Communications Manager, McDonald’s USA. “We hope that the idea of sharing love throughout our communities will motivate and inspire the filmmakers as they work tirelessly to make their dreams a reality.”

The Lovin’ Video Competition and ABFF’s vision to promote diversity in the film and television industry align with McDonald’s 365Black platform — an initiative that celebrates the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year round.

McDonald’s encourages those who live out lovin’ in their lives each day to follow @365Black on Twitter and join the conversation using #365LovinFilm. To learn more about the 365Black initiative, visit www.365Black.com.

To learn more about the American Black Film Festival and the Lovin’ Video Competition, visit www.abff.com. Follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram.