News Briefs

Black Population
As of July 1, 2008, the U.S. Black population (Black alone and Black in combination with other races) stood at 41.1 million, or 13.5 percent of the total U.S. population of 304 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 2000 and 2008, Blacks alone accounted for 14.8 percent of the increase in the U.S. population, while Blacks alone and in combination with other races accounted for 17.8 percent of the change. Numbering 31.9 million in 2008, the increase in the Black-alone population from 2000 was more than the increase for the U.S. population in the same period, at 9.1 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively. Females made up 52.2 percent of the Black population in 2008, against 50 percent of the entire U.S. population.

Open Internet
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the National Council of Negro Women praised the Federal Communications Commission?s recent vote to preserve the open Internet, saying it will allow for decision makers and key Internet players to refocus efforts to ensure better broadband access, adoption and affordability in Black communities. ?Technology has enabled a transformation of how we, as communities, approach education, jobs, health care, business opportunities and civic engagement. ?Without equal access to such benefits enabled through high-speed Internet, African-Americans across the U.S. would be at a disadvantage,? the two groups said in a joint statement.?

Diversity Accord

Comcast and NBC Universal reached agreement with the NAACP, National Urban League and National Action Network on diversity. In a Memorandum of Understanding filed with the Federal Communications Commission, they pledged to launch at least eight independently owned and operated networks where minorities have substantial participation through ownership or operational control; establish a $20 million venture capital fund to expand opportunities for minority entrepreneurs in the development of new digital media applications; create diversity advisory councils to facilitate open communication over the development, monitoring and evaluation of diversity initiatives and to advise senior executives; enhance minority participation in news and public affairs programming; expand investments in building tomorrow?s leaders, digital literacy and community service; and increase philanthropic efforts to African American-led and African American-serving institutions.

NASA Science Careers
NASA selected the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corp. of Falls Church, Va., to administer a $1 million career development and educational program aimed at addressing the shortage of minority students in science and engineering fields. The NASA Astrobiology Institute?s Minority Institution Research Support program in Moffett Field, Calif., is providing the funding for the four-year effort, which will allow up to four faculty members and eight students from minority-serving institutions to partner with astrobiology investigators. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and the future of life on Earth and the potential for life elsewhere. The UNCF Special Programs Corp. will develop an online community to provide webinars, virtual training and videoconferences, and provide outreach and recruitment for program participants.?

Multicultural Broadband
According to Horowitz Associates? latest study, Multiplatform Content and Services: Multicultural Edition, 84 percent of Asian and 83 percent of Hispanic and Black broadband users can access video on a handheld, compared to 74 percent of whites; 48 percent of Asian, 46 percent of Hispanic, and 35 percent of Black and white broadband users watch TV content online; 16 percent of Asian, 22 percent of Hispanic, 19 percent of Black and 15 percent of white broadband users watch TV content on a handheld (weekly data); 70 percent of Asian, 75 percent of Hispanic, 74 percent of Black and 75 percent of white broadband users who watch TV on alternative platforms report that most of their viewing still occurs primarily on the TV set; for 29 percent of Asian, 22 percent of Hispanic and 24 percent of Black broadband users, alternative platforms are now used equally or more than traditional TV; and 18 percent of Hispanic and 13 percent of Black multichannel subscribers say they are considering/might consider canceling their TV subscriptions if more of their favorite content were available online.?

Civil Rights Litigants
Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, and David Rivkin, attorney who served in the administrations of presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, filed a bipartisan amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National Black Chamber of Commerce in the Anna Nicole Smith estate case known as Stern v. Marshall to defend the constitutional rights of civil rights litigants in state courts.?The attorneys contend that drastically expanding the authority of specialty courts, which lack legal expertise or appropriate evidentiary procedure, infringes on the rights of individuals to a fair and fully heard case, and that shifting legitimate claims in matters of privacy, gender bias, gay rights and civil rights to bankruptcy courts or any other specialty court could allow for the usurpation of Article I courts? authority and potentially violate minority litigants? rights to due process. NBCC President Harry Alford said Stern v. Marshall highlights the importance of maintaining the tradition of allowing state and federal courts to hear cases involving potential violation of civil rights.

Emerging Markets Institute

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University established an Emerging Markets Institute. Javier Perez, the institute?s acting executive director, says the goal for EMI is to be a premier research center that can handle the most challenging emerging market issues; a hub for knowledge dissemination and network for lively exchange between leading thinkers and influential business leaders; and a highly regarded academic program for the study of emerging markets that will prepare current and future business leaders for success. Through study trips, research seminars and a global speaker series, EMI students will be able to become immersed in topics and strategies that have affected the global development and growth in emerging economic regions in ways that will assure their value as professionals in the marketplace.

Figuratively Speaking: Health Care
? Total amount spent on health care for each man, woman and child in 2008: $7,600;

? Percent of gross national product that health-care spending currently accounts for: 16;

? Percent it?s expected to reach by 2015: 20;

? Average percent of state budgets attributed to health-care costs: 32;

Percentage of firms offering health insurance to its employees in 2000: 69;

? In 2007: 60;

Percent of the U.S. population covered by employer-sponsored health insurance in 2006: 54;

Percent covered by Medicare: 14;

Percent covered by Medicaid and other public programs: 12;

? Percent covered by private non-group policies: 5;

Percent uninsured: 16;

? Age group most likely to be uninsured: Adults 21 to 24 years;

Percent of men in that age group likely to be uninsured: 37;

? Percent of women: 29;

? Number of people uninsured in 2006: 45.4 million;

? Number underinsured: 16 million;

? Percent of the Hispanic population uninsured in 2009: 32;

? Percent of the African-American population: 17;

Percent of the white population: 11;

? Percent of workers in managerial / professional occupations uninsured in 2009: 34;

? Percent of workers in service occupations: 65;

? Percent increased risk of mortality among the uninsured: 10 to 25;

? Number of deaths in 2006 linked to the absence of health insurance: 22,000.

?Source: Journal of The National Medial Association, December 2010