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"FROM BOOTSTRAPS TO LACES": ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE

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Uploaded on Jun 4, 2010

"FROM BOOTSTRAPS TO LACES": ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE Recession Proofing Ourselves By Re-Energizing Our Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Self-Sufficiency Reclamation Initiative One of the most historic (and controversial) figures in the Black experience is Booker T. Washington, founder of Hampton Institute an historically Black college. Washington advocated Blacks "picking themselves up from their bootstraps" meaning be self-reliant. With Black male unemployment in New York City hovering around 50%, it would seem that Washington's mantra might be useful and timely. As we enter the second decade of the new millenium, Black males may need to discard the long-favored strategy of being "employable" and replace it with a new-millenium strategy that concentrates on being "entrepreneurial." From Bootstraps to Laces is a series dedicated to reawakening the entrepreneurial disposition and providing concrete measures for becoming providers of products and services (i.e., entrepreneurs). The term "Bootstraps" is an hommage of sorts to Washington's philosophy; however, metaphorically speaking, we've gone from the "boot" to the "shoe" and therefore, we've moved from the "strap" to the "lace." The first forum is entitled: Recession Proofing Ourselves by Re-energizing Our Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Self-Sufficiency Reclamation Initiative which will examine: the historic underpinnings of Washington's philosophy; integration's impact on Black-owned businesses and patronage; how the college degree became to be viewed and used as a vehicle for employment, not entrepreneurship; and returning to pre-integration strategies for economic empowerment (e.g., Black Wall Street).

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