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National CROWN Day 2022

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National CROWN Day 2022 Celebrates Black Hair Independence on the Anniversary of the Inaugural Signing of The CROWN Act

National CROWN Day is the commemoration of the inaugural signing of the first CROWN Act legislation in the United States in 2019 to “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” Presented by Dove and the CROWN CoalitionNational CROWN Day is back for its third year with a week-long celebration leading up to the signature star-studded CROWN Awards on Sunday, July 3, 2022.

We are excited to be back in New Orleans this year to celebrate National CROWN Day,” stated Esi Eggleston Bracey, CEO, Unilever North America Personal Care and President of Unilever USA. “The CROWN Act is a movement, with legislation against hair discrimination now in 16 states! We have a lot to celebrate and still much more to do to get the CROWN Act passed federally in each and every state! Dove stands for beauty inclusivity, and we will continue to galvanize the community to help pass The CROWN Act to eliminate hair discrimination nationwide.”

This year, National CROWN Day is being expanded to a week-long celebration starting June 26th during the 2022 BET Awards and continuing with daily CROWN conversations as we lead up National CROWN Day and the CROWN Awards on Sunday, July 3, 2022.

The CROWN Act legislation addresses unfair grooming policies that have a disparate impact on the Black community and has drawn attention to racial discrimination taking place within workplaces and public charter schools. The CROWN Coalition is the official national supporter of the CROWN Act movement; an alliance founded by DoveNational Urban LeagueWestern Center on Law & Poverty and Color Of Change, along with 90+ CROWN Act supporting organizations. The CROWN Act movement is led by a team of Black women: Esi Eggleston Bracey (CEO of Unilever North America Personal Care), JOY Collective Agency leaders Kelli Richardson Lawson and Orlena Nwokah Blanchard (CEO and President), and ABA Consulting CEO, Adjoa B. Asamoah working with a village of Black leaders and the community who share a desire to end discrimination.

On March 18, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CROWN Act, and if a companion bill passes in the Senate, it would make hair discrimination based on the texture of natural hair illegal under Titles VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, and other Federal civil rights laws. The CROWN Act and laws inspired by the CROWN Act have been enacted in 16 states: California (2019), New York (2019), New Jersey (2019), Virginia (2020), Colorado (2020), Washington (2020), Maryland (2020), Connecticut (2021), Delaware (2021), New Mexico* (2021), Nebraska* (2021), Nevada (2021), Oregon* (2021), Illinois* (2021), Maine (2022), and Tennessee* (2022). Three additional bills are awaiting governor’s signature in Alaska, Illinois* and Louisiana. In 2021, Illinois original bill, Senate Bill 3616 was a protection for schools ONLY; the new amendment to SB3616 would add the protection of workplaces as well.

*Legislation inspired by the CROWN ACT

Dove has also expanded its work to incorporate diversity in swimming, ensuring an end to hair discrimination in the workplace, schools, and pools. The CROWN Coalition members believe diversity and inclusion are key drivers of success across all industries and sectors. For a full list of CROWN Coalition members and Dove research studies that quantify the issue of hair discrimination, visit www.thecrownact.com

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Bexar County Couple Offers Counseling & Mentorship Program

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Community-based counseling is happening at Ken-Lyn Consultants and Associates, a vision Dr. Kenneth Brown and Dr. Lynda Brown had years ago. The couple is now considered a family counselor and life coach duo. 

Ken-Lyn has been serving Bexar County since 2017 and has grown almost immediately from serving 3-5 clients weekly to serving 50-70 globally. One of their greatest accomplishments is their continuous “5-Star” ratings. Amazingly, of the thousands of clients that have chosen to write a review, they all have shared the same sentiment.  

Dr. Lynda Brown is a product of the East Side, where her father, Dr. Walter Duncan, served as one of the leading dentists to Black clients. Her mom, Dr. Joan Duncan, spent 40 years as an educator and professor. Dr. Kenneth Brown’s mom was an office manager, church leader, and pianist in Southern Maryland. 

The Brown’s services have taken them to faraway places such as Australia, Dubai, Italy, Hawaii, and Alaska. They travel to perform workshops and officiate weddings all over the country. The Brown’s business partner, Tiana Hill, is an Air Force veteran like Dr. Kenneth Brown. A University of Texas at San Antonio graduate, Hill develops all website and software programming, mentors the youth, and is also a parent in the program. Ken-Lyn’s associates and partners are specialists in their fields, such as nurse practitioners, military human resources, special education professionals, attorneys, doctors, pharmacists, information technology specialists, movers, mechanics, realtors, credit recovery, insurance brokers, and many more. 

Ken-Lyn’s vast array of services is “everything family.” Their youngest client is four years old, and their oldest is 86. They have assisted over 110 students to get into four-year universities, helping them earn over $5.2 million in scholarships. Their clientele is diverse, from local families simply trying to keep their child in school to West Coast entertainers, East Coast politicians, doctors, lawyers, police officers, active military and veterans. They also serve as educational advocates during 504/IEP meetings from the school conference room to the Texas Education Agency and the Office of Civil Rights as needed.  

Ken-Lyn Consultants and Associates has been where undergraduate psychology students come to “cut their teeth” and learn how to run a practice and market their services. As of spring 2023, 80% of their undergraduate interns have come from UTSA. Interns serve in the tradition of “camp counselors” as they aid students within the Ken-Lyn mentorship program. 

They say, “We monitor grades. We aid them with everything from hygiene, makeup application, grooming, and college prep to cleaning and organizing backpacks. We help our mentees to discover themselves, despite the possible odds and misunderstandings they may face daily.”

This spring, Ken-Lyn has a busy community schedule while serving clients daily:

  • Their office has recently expanded, and on March 23 at 6:30 pm, they will host a brief “Business Blessing Ceremony.” Dr. Otis Mitchell, pastor of Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, will officiate.  
  • On Thursday, March 30, the six-week “12 Steps Toward Communicating Better” workshop will conclude at the Windmill Ice House at 2769 Nacogdoches Rd, featuring artist Elizabeth Holmes and the Ken-Lyn Communicators Band.  
  • Their mentorship program will host female and minority pilots at the Boerne Stage Field, 100 Boerne Stage Airfield, on Sunday, March 26 at 5 pm. 
  • Other mentorship guest speakers this semester will include professionals in tech fields, professors, and adults who have turned their lives around for themselves and their families.  
  • Every semester, students in their program will tour at least two colleges. This semester, they will visit Our Lady of the Lake University and Texas A&M University at College Station.  

To learn more about Ken-Lyn’s services, visit (KenLynConsultants.com) or call 210-761-4345. 

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Black Life Texas

The Black Fund Awards Show in Austin

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Austin Community Foundation, in partnership with leaders of The Black Fund, recently announced tickets are on sale for The Black Fund Awards Show, presented by Netspend, on Feb. 27 from 6 pm to 9 pm at The Paramount Theatre at 713 Congress Ave. in Austin. Members of the community are invited to celebrate 21 Black-led and Black-serving nonprofits selected to receive $355,000 from The Black Fund, a signature partnership of Austin Community Foundation and Black Central Texans

The Black Fund Awards Show will feature appearances by Roland Martin, Taméca Jones, Alesia Lani, Ballet Afrique, Cha’ keeta Banita, and Tje Austin. General admission and VIP tickets are now on sale from $25 to $100 at austincf.org/BlackFundAwards

The Black Fund is a collective giving network launched in 2022 that aims to unleash the power of Black-led organizations and uplift solutions to benefit the Black community in Central Texas. Driven by data and community voice, The Black Fund strives for an equitable, just society that nurtures the growth, economic security, and wellness of Black people. The Black Fund is a key strategy in the Foundation’s effort to close the opportunity gap in Central Texas. Notable contributors and artists will walk the red carpet from 6-7 p.m. 

 The unrestricted, general operating grants will be distributed to the following nonprofits:

  • African American Leadership Institute (AALI)
  • Allure Alliance
  • Austin Black Physicians Association
  • Austin Urban Technology Movement
  • Black Makers Market
  • Black Mamas ATX
  • Black Mamas Village Austin
  • Black Trans Leadership of Austin
  • Capitol View Arts
  • Changing Expectations
  • Excellence and Advancement Foundation
  • Family Preservation Leadership Council
  • Grassroots Leadership
  • Maternal Health Equity Collaborative
  • Roslyn’s Novel
  • The Man in Me
  • Plus, five grassroots organizations to be announced on Feb. 27.
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Increasing Financial Literacy is Critical in Black Wealth

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The nation’s 44 million African-Americans account for 13% of the U.S. population and significantly impact the economy, with $1.2 trillion in purchases annually. But the financial well-being of African-Americans lags behind the U.S. population and whites in particular. 

The reason for these gaps is increased financial literacy. According to the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index, there is a strong link between financial literacy and financial wellness among African-Americans. The report examines the current state of financial literacy and financial wellness among African-American adults.

The P-Fin Index measures eight key areas of personal finance knowledge: earning, consuming, saving, investing, borrowing and managing debt, insuring, comprehending risk and uncertainty, and go-to information sources.

Personal finance knowledge among African-American adults lags behind that of whites. On average, African-Americans answered 38% of the index questions correctly, with only 28% answering over one-half of the index questions correctly. The comparable figures among whites were 55% and 62%, respectively.

Financial literacy varies across demographic groups within the Black population. The observed patterns are consistent with variations identified in the U.S. population—financial literacy is greater among men, older individuals, more formal education, and higher incomes.

Insurance is the area where personal finance knowledge is lowest among African-Americans. Other areas where knowledge lags are in comprehending risk, investing, and identifying go-to information sources.

Borrowing and debt management is the area of highest personal finance knowledge among Black Americans.

There is a strong link between financial literacy and financial wellness among African-Americans. Those who are more financially literate are more likely to plan and save for retirement, have non-retirement savings, and to manage their debt better; they are also less likely to be financially fragile.

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