2017 Mid Year Update

We are proud to share the accomplishments of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) since our Annual Meeting in November.

Much progress has been made…yet there’s a lot more work to be done. Here are some of our activities:

1.      Inclusionary Language for Contracts:

BECMA presented to Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Jay Ashe and Massachusetts State President Stanley C. Rosenberg inclusionary language that we recommend the administration and all the authorities adopt to ensure greater inclusion especially for black businesses. We are working with elected officials to implement this inclusionary language in all RFPs at both the municipal and state level. 

 

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What Happened at Our 2016 Annual Meeting?

The 2016 BECMA Annual & Community Meeting held on November 9, 2016 was a huge success! Thanks to all who participated and…importantly…volunteered and hosted!

Here are the results:

The proposed slate for the BECMA Board of Directors was unanimously approved. Thank you! We’ve now expanded our board to include directors from Worcester and other parts of the Commonwealth establishing BECMA as a state wide organization. Our first board meeting will be held on November 20th.

We launched our #BuyBlack Campaign by distributing a list of over 500 BECMA Certified Black Owned Businesses. This list can be found by clicking HERE

We ask everyone to use this list to do more business with Black owned businesses. In the development of BECMA, we have used Black owned firms for almost everything including legal services, website development, printing, event planning, food services, advertisements and internships. We seek to lead by example! We will be promoting our #BuyBlack campaign, pushing policy initiative for a more inclusive economy and surveying Black owned businesses annually to measure our results.

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Black Economic Council of Massachusetts 2016 Annual Meeting

We invite you to the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. The location has changed from Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge to the Media Arts Building at Roxbury Community College located at 1234 Columbus Avenue in Roxbury, MA

During our Annual Meeting, we will provide an update on our activities over the past year including:

  • Founding the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA)
  • Obtaining non-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Exceeding our annual net asset goals
  • Hiring an acting Executive Director
  • Recognizing our Members, Sponsors and over 1,000 Supporters
  • Moving the agenda/strategy of BECMA forward to achieve our mission to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses, organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts.

 

We will also launch “#BUYBLACK as an ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT STRATEGY”. 

 

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BECMA Board of Directors: 2016/17 Proposed Slate

Black Economic Council of Massachusetts - Proposed Slate of Board of Directors 2016/17

 

If you are a member, you can vote at the BECMA Annual Meeting or simply send your vote by emailing us at info@becma.org.

____ I Vote YES for Slate      ___ I Vote NO for Slate         ____ I abstain

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What's Going On?

It has been a while since we updated you about our progress over the last eight (8) months.  We have been extremely busy!  

We created the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, established a mission to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses, organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts and applied for and received our 501c (3) non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service.  We would like to thank Denzil McKenzie, of McKenzie & Associates, for guiding us through the I.R.S. process.

We also launched a website (www.BECMA.org) and moved forward with the election of a Board of Directors with hopes of expanding board membership throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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Important Steps Taken...More to Come!

Yes…the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) continues to build on the work we began in 2015 to improve the economic well-being of the Black community in Massachusetts. We are pleased to announce the expansion of our board from 5 to 11 directors! This important step increases the diversity of representation on our board and gives us more volunteers to move forward. (A brief bio for each board member is below and under About Us>Board Members on our website www.becma.org.)

 

We also completed our filing with the Internal Revenue Service for tax exempt status. We appreciate the guidance of Denzil McKenzie of McKenzie & Associates, P.C. to ensure compliance.

 

Building a sustainable organization takes time, energy and resources. We are pleased to share these important steps…and have many more steps to come. Stay tuned…and join our efforts by becoming a BECMA member or donor today!

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Freeze Frame Strategy Session - What Happened?

On Thursday, January 21, 2016, we held a Freeze Frame Strategy Session with over 80 people at Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center. From this session, we received feedback on our Next Steps, recommended action steps, people and organizations to partner with and recommendations for the board, advisory board and other areas.

Please note that we consider all Next Steps outlined on our website to be important and essential to advance the economic well-being of the Black community in Massachusetts. The Strategy Session was simply to help us prioritize our upcoming action steps.

This is a summary of the meeting and feedback.

 

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Welcome to Black Economic Council of Massachusetts

Welcome to the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) website! We look forward to your support!

The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts is created to support the advancement of the economic well-being of Black-owned businesses, organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents in Massachusetts.

The failed bid for Boston 2024 laid bare the unspoken reality for Boston that even the game's biggest supporters were not willing to include Black residents and other residents of color in the planning process. That experience provided the impetus for the movement that has become Freeze Flame Black Boston 2015: Time for an Inclusive Economy, a compelling data-driven case for drastic, innovative change in the way business is done to advance the economic well-being of the Black community. The presentation is powerful and provocative and has been done for various stakeholders, including business leaders and local elected officials. The largest gathering for the presentation was on November 4, 2015, when close to 700, mostly Black residents, gathered at Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall and confirmed that Freeze Frame is on the right track! 

Join, volunteer and donate to the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts today!

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Black Economic Manifesto

FREEZE FRAME BLACK BOSTON 2015:  TIME FOR INCLUSION

BLACK ECONOMIC MANIFESTO

November 4, 2015 close to 700 Black Bostonians met at Prince Hall Grand Lodge in response to a call from a coalition of Black leaders and reached a broad based consensus to make Boston an inclusive economy. The powerful and provocative presentation, entitled Freeze Frame Black Boston 2015: Time for an Inclusive Economy, makes the data-driven compelling case for drastic, innovative change in the way business is done.  This document represents a major first step in this movement.  The rationale is clear:

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Freeze Frame Memo: Time for an Inclusive Economy

FREEZE FRAME MEMORANDUM: BLACK BOSTON 2015, Time for an Inclusive Economy

 

OVERVIEW

The specter of Boston hosting the 2024 Olympics provided the context for robust discussion about Boston’s future.  Much speculation ensued before the bid went bust regarding the potential for Boston to reap billions of dollars in the lead-up to, and eventual execution of, the 2024 Games.  Absent from any meaningful participation or discussion was the habitually-ignored issue of the role and benefit for Boston’s sizable minority community.

The decision that led to Boston’s withdrawal from consideration to host the Olympic Games has unfortunately resulted in the cessation of any further incisive discussion of Boston plans for 2024 and into the future.  As such, the harsh reality for the City’s Black and Latino communities – which includes negative indicators in income, employment, education, wealth-building, health, criminal justice, housing, and other measures of prosperity, or the lack thereof – is there are no prospects for meaningful, transformative change.

Even in the absence of the 2024 Olympics-inspired growth, Boston is nevertheless enjoying a very strong economic boom which appears on track to continue and shows no sign of abatement in the immediate future.  The questions remain then: With all of the business and economic development activity taking place in the City of Boston: (1) How will Boston's Black and Latino communities benefit? (2) Is there something that can be done? (3) Are there economic, political, and social interventions and policies that can be employed to alter the paradigm that has resulted in the paralysis in advancement of Boston’s communities of color?

We start here with a snapshot of the current state of affairs of some of the key and important metrics of the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan, i.e., the heart of the Black community in Boston.  The snapshot tells the story of where things are today; and our portrayal will give one a better understanding of the “what” and the “why” of these unsavory and unfortunate circumstances.   It, however, is not a document of remedies, although some will surely jump off the pages for you – but a statement of the some obvious steps that can be taken to ameliorate this seemingly unmalleable malaise.

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