Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog 191: YEN – Young Entrepreneur’s Network

By C. Maria Macon
Guest Writer

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a group of young business people got together and began to create a microcosm of the infamous “Black Wall Street”?  Just such a group has emerged, and they have begun the process with 20 small businesses. Their mission is to create a clearinghouse of young business-minded entrepreneurs-in-training as they develop a system for future resources sharing. Their goal is to set into motion a structure to facilitate wealth retention among today’s young Black entrepreneurs.  
Stay Tuned…..

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog 190: NAACP

By Ahmad Daniels
Guest Writer

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s decision to come out in support of same sex marriage is being proudly lauded by some and vociferously castigated by still others in the Black community.  This bold decision to equate gay rights with Civil Rights will be debated for years to come in many Black households and faith institutions. The NAACP has long fought a battle against those who claim that the oldest Civil Rights organization in the nation has outlived its usefulness. This audacious and prudent decision shows there continues to be much work for it to do.
To your journey!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Blog 189: The Civil Rights Act

By Ahmad Daniels
 Guest Writer

The U.S. Supreme Court has asked Congress to reconfigure the formula that will determine which states and municipalities are mandated to submit proposed voter related changes to the Justice Department. There are many who believe the election of a Black president is proof positive the times of changed and the Civil Rights Act of 1965 is anachronistic. Yet, many of the states who are listed in the “penalty box” of Section 5 are states that did not vote for President Barack Obama. Can a Congress, wrangling with immigration, expediently and impartially address issues related to so-called minority voting?  Stay tuned.

To your journey!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blog 188: The Fourth of July

By Ahmad Daniels
 Guest Writer

It has been said a word takes on its meaning at the moment of its conception. And while time and pop-culture may attempt to give new meaning to words, the essence of words is immutable.

Such is the case with the “N” word and what inevitably will become the “R” word presently used by a Washington NFL team.  Perhaps the same rule applies to historical events.

On July 5, 1852, Abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered a speech at Rochester, New York entitled, “What to the American Slave is Your 4th of July?”  Mr. Douglass knew the irony in speaking of an independence that Afrikan people had never known.

Which begs the question; Can the “Fourth of July” be divorced from a day of remembrance that embraced the enslavement of Blacks in 1776?  Or, can one apathetically dismiss the history of the day and blindly “jump on board” as has long been the case with the “N” word?  Each person must decide this for him/herself.

To your journey!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blog 187: Starting a Non-Profit Organization or Business

By C. Maria Macon
Guest Writer

If your passion is helping others, you can start a nonprofit organization and avoid expensive legal fees. Getting a nonprofit agency up and running is not as difficult as you may think. Here is a brief checklist to assist you in taking the most appropriate steps:

[  ] Mission Statement - Craft a mission statement in a few sentences that communicates exactly what your nonprofit organization intends to do. Or, what societal “ill” you want to be a part of helping to solve.

[  ] Articles of Incorporation - To legally establish your nonprofit and register a name and purpose, you want to become an entity by filing Articles of Incorporation with the secretary of state, in the state that your nonprofit will have its primary office.

[  ] Tax Identification Number - which is an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number will provide your nonprofit organization with an identification number. This is similar to your personal Social Security number.

[  ] Board of Directors - This is a group of individuals that you bring together around the mission of the organization.  This group comes with skills to benefit the organization and carry your mission forward. This group also has the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of helping to set policy and procedures for the organization and raise funds. Boards are temporary peopled with volunteers who from time to time move on.

[  ] Bylaws - This is a document written specifically for your organization and serves as the governing document (rules & regulations) for your board of directors. This document defines how your nonprofit will be managed, which duties directors, officers and committees will have. In addition, how those responsibilities will be carried out.

[  ] Budgeting - Think realistically about the potential earning power of your organization and the annual expenses. Create a list of the anticipated start-up expenses that your organization will have. Then create a start-up expense sheet, project the first and second full year of expenses. Give some consideration as to where the revenues could reasonably be generated. Once you have this, set your projections before the newly created board of directors for feedback and approval.

[  ] Tax Exempt Status - Only nonprofit entities can apply for tax-exempt status. Once you have completed the above six steps, your legally established nonprofit can then apply for tax exemption through a process that can take as few as ninety (90) days, depending on the scope of activities in your nonprofit. This status is sometimes called a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status.

[  ] Fund Raising Committee - One of the first committees that you should establish is a fundraising committee. This is a group of individuals that should include some board members and outside folk with a vested interest in the mission of the organization. This group seeks continuous funding to run the nonprofit organization you have just established. Your bylaws should allow for committees.

[  ] Grants - It is most advisable that your nonprofit organization has received 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status before applying for grants. Grants are the process of securing money for the day-to-day operations, to promote the mission, programs and activities of your nonprofit organization.

Have you always wanted to run your own business? Then think about starting a small or large business. Either way, you will need to map out your road to success; which is referred to as a “Business Plan” to assist you in this endeavor, we have listed an outline and its order of what should go into your business plan in the form of a table of content.

Business Plan
Table of Content

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (this is the last thing you write, but should comes first in the business plan layout)



A.   The Industry
B.   The Company
C.   The Product or Service


D.  Customers
E.   Market Size and Trends
F.    Competition
G.  Market Share and Sales


H.  Overall Market Strategy
I.     Pricing
J.     Sales Tactics
K.   Advertising and Promotion


L.    Location
M. Facilities and Improvements
N.  Strategy and Plans
O.  Labor Force


P.   Organization
Q.  Key Personnel
R.   Management Compensation and Ownership
S.    Board of Directors


T.   Sources and Users of Funds
U.  Pro Forma Cash Flow Analysis
V.   Profit and Loss Forecasts
W.Pro Forma Balance Sheets


Polish I.N.C. an international Business and Nonprofit Consulting company can initiate and prepare all of the above mentioned documents and work-related preparation for you. Just give us a call at 980/202-9149

1101 Sunset Road Unit # 681805
Charlotte, NC 28216
Ph: (980) 202-9149

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Blog 186: Shoulders

By C. Maria Macon
 Guest Writer

According to Louise L. Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life,” copyrighted in 1984 and gifted to me by Obadijah Ogoonda Mmh, sadly the date gifted is unknown:

Shoulders represent our ability to carry out experiences in life joyously. We make life a burden by our attitude. But we can work toward change by a simple affirmation “I choose to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving.”

With the understanding garnered from Mrs. Hay’s book, I started to think about and make a list without thinking too hard, of the shoulders both living and those gone on that I have encountered and now upon which I stand. Here is my abbreviated list, not necessary in any order.

Lest we forget: Dr. Mildred Baxter Davis; Robert ‘Bob’ Walton; William ‘Pete’ Cunningham; Mr. Charles Thomas; Mrs. Sarah Stevenson; Hattie Anthony; George & Alberta Lampkin (my father & mother), George Lampkin, Jr.; Dr. Paula Newsome; Frankie Johnson; Sekou Glass; Ron Leeper; Larry Leon Hamlin; Malcolm X; Barbara Proctor-Gardner; Nathan Ross Freeman; Dr. Vernon Herron; Patrick Cannon; Valerie Woodard; Chloe Buchanan; Patricia Ford; Willa Mae Pearson; Lucille Small; Lela Prater; Ezekiel & Ruth D. Lowe; Sylvia L. Grier; Mayor Dan Clodfelter; Troy Watson; Dr. Gyasi Foluke; Connie Williams; Mr. James Fox; NC Arts Council; Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council; Judge Yvonne Mims-Evans; Ella Joyce Stewart; Governor Pat McCrory; Maya Angelou; Jessie Jackson; Pop Staples; Sammy Davis Jr.; Michael Marsicano; Johnny Allen; Dr. Rev. Sheldon Shipman; Bishop Walker; Bishop Battle; James E. Sanders; Doc. Marini Emile; Dr. Sam & Mrs. Maxine Davis. And, every client that ever walked through my doors from 1995 until the present.

Whose shoulders do you stand on?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog 185: The Males’ Place

By C. Maria Macon
Guest Writer

It is all too often that one gets an opportunity to tell someone else’s story and doesn’t.
I am thankful for the opportunity and can ill afford not to speak on behalf of our young Black boys. Not to mention the fact that President Obama did an outstanding job of tackling this issue from the vantage point of being in the highest position Americans can offer, the Presidency.
I’d like to bring to your awareness, The Males’ Place. You may have been introduced to the Males’ Place some 15 years ago, because they have been around that long. Others may have passed by and failed to pay attention and too few have made tax-deductible donations listening to the brief tug on their hearts. Well:
The Males’ Place was founded in 1981 as a clinic. In 1993 it was transformed by Reggie Singleton and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2013. Mr. Singleton and the board of directors have embarked upon community youth outreach projects that have already changed the lives of young men in Charlotte, NC. The projects have played a major role in expanding young minds toward community and civic involvement. Operating from a prospective of intervention through self-awareness, the organization’s byproduct is the reduction of the percentages of youth delinquency and gang involvement in Charlotte and surrounding counties.
The mission of the Males’ Place is to serve as a guided journey for young African American boys ages 12-18 as they transition into manhood. While at the same time we are providing a comprehensive and prevention-based behavior-health educational program of mentoring and life skills training necessary for manhood development; thus creating a safe environment for young men to grow experientially in community settings in North Carolina and abroad. Our focus is on working with economically disadvantages youth by offering programs that promote youth development, encourages citizenship awareness, enhance leadership skills and involve family interactive dialogue.
The project for which they are currently seeking funding involves 20 young men and their chaperones traveling to Senegal and Gambia, West Africa in search of answers to their cultural heritage. These answers will help them to gain historical cultural awareness tools. The tools, both visually and hands-on, will allow the young men to unlock their paths and equip them in taking on leadership roles and dispelling poverty thinking patterns that currently hold them in poverty situations.
This project is important because young boys are not seeing a way out of the poverty-stricken neighborhoods where they live. While they are learning about the meaning of Sankofa (“Go back and fetch it”) from the Males’ Place after school training; the connection is not being made by them toward a means of moving forward. The most feasible option is to go back to Africa, which is many of our ancestral cultural beginning.
Because of the life-changing experience that was gained in 2010 when they took a group of our young boys to Ghana, West Africa; they are re-establishing their World Travel Exchange Program (WTEP) as a moral fiber launching pad for young men who complete their programs.
This program is slated to become an annual world excursion as funding and chaperones are available. The WTEP program offers males an opportunity to extend and broaden their learning and cultural awareness outside of the United States, which also encompasses learning coping skills and exploring the knowledge of farming on a universal scale.
 The Males’ Place will impact the lives of approximately 248 youth African American males over a period of five (5) years. They are equipping these young males with the needed skills that will enhance their social and interpersonal abilities and augment their academic performances state-side.
Approximately 85% of the program’s participants are from low-income, low wealth, disenfranchised communities and in need of fee subsidy.
There are few or no places in Charlotte for men to gather and assimilate information which creates male bonding; such as women had in their kitchens or quilting rooms where young women were able to acquire “elder” wisdom and guidance.
Now, we have the Males’ Place, a structure where we can monitor and foster self-sufficiency which will correct identifiable unaccepted community behavior and provide a road map early in a young man’s development
The programmatic vision to help combat youth delinquency and adult apathy issues was established to respond to the lack of community parenting in several disenfranchised areas of Mecklenburg County with Charlotte being the largest municipality where 70% of its low-wealth children are from single-parent households and/or families with one income.
We should recognize that today’s urban (and rural) families face an increasingly difficult struggle to survive and thrive amidst a myriad of social and economic problems.  These social and economic realities have potential implications that we can no longer afford to ignore.  There are disturbing increases in the incidence of family stress and crises in isolated areas of Charlotte (i.e. single parenting, parental unemployment and underemployment, insufficient childcare, increase in behavior health issues – drug activity and alcohol abuses, parental incarceration, teen pregnancy, and violence).  The proportion of children who are undereducated, underachieving, and involved in criminal activities continues to grow at an alarming rate.
Charlotte’s urban demographics pattern the national trend. Children from poor and crises families are at double jeopardy.  They are the least healthy and the most likely to live in unhealthy communities (low education, high drug usage and crime rates); they are at the greatest risk of school failures; and their family life is the most stressed.  According to the latest national polls, Charlotte ranks 47 nationally in child well being with 27% of its children living in poverty. These children are the most vulnerable and as President Obama recently stated in his State of the Union Address, “I believe the continuing struggles of so many boys and young men – the fact that too many of them are falling by the wayside – this is a moral issue for our country. It’s also an economic issue for our country.”
Early on we acknowledged that we are allowing young African American boys to grow up without having a clear sense of who they are and what is really expected of them. And, they are not seeing examples of it in the poverty-stricken neighborhoods where they live. Providing for the opportunity, within the program, to travel the world equips them with a starting place – their ancestral cultural beginning. WTEP also serves as a natural expansion of the Males’ Place.
This year’s WTEP program will continue from Dec. 18-28, 2014. The training process will begin Stateside and extend from an itinerary package that involves learning the process of getting a passport to the pre-preparations required for foreign travel. They will travel by bus to the Douglas Airport and by air to be met in West Africa on the ground by a pre-arranged host group. They will be assigned living quarters and exposed to structured tours, schooling and academic & farming exchanges between the Males’ Place group and young boys who are residents of Senegal and Gambia.
They will have a complete offering of holistic curriculum of programs incorporating educational, spiritual, social, civic, recreational, and cultural enrichment for the young boys. The Males’ Place will integrate artistic expression as a means of broadening the learning aptitudes of young men, while in West Africa.
Through collaborations with local businesses, community centers, churches and the school system, it is our desire to help the entire family progress and solidify a foundation based on hands-on learning from a cultural perspective. It has been found that this program along with other components of the Males’ Place will instill self-pride which translates into civic responsibility.
As they engage the young men in their year-end “classroom without walls” World Travel Exchange Program, they believe that they are redirecting energy within young men and fully equipping them through their self-awareness and discovery to take on leadership responsibility in the 21st century arena and beyond.
The Males’ Place, Inc. is an approved 501c3 tax-exempt organization.  The Males’ Place has an operating budget comprised of Grants 33%; Earned income and fees 20%. The World Travel Exchange Program (WTEP) Budget and operating budgets can be submitted upon request.
The Males’ Place is currently querying funding sources for grant and/or corporate support. They are involved in fundraising activities and establishing an on-going vehicle for individual giving for this project. In addition, parental contribution collectively will equal 1% of our total budget
The Males’ Place has a nine-member board of directors with diverse corporate affiliations. You can visit them online at www.themalesplace.org or simply make a phone call to Reggie Singleton 704-713-3824.

About the author: CHARLÉON MARIA MACON
Ms. Macon’s background is in theology, finance and literary arts. She has spent 20 years in the insurance industry and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a Certified Grants Specialist (CGS), and a Certified Nonprofit Management Consultant (CNPOC). She entered the insurance industry in 1976 and became a member of the Women’s Leader Round-Table 1977 and Star Club President in 1978. In 1981, she became a Regional Director with Capitol Life Insurance Companies and in 1985 moved her successful insurance agency to Charlotte, North Carolina to head up the North and South Carolina regions. Ms. Macon retired from the insurance industry in 1990.
In the Interim, Ms. Macon founded the International Black Writers’ Charlotte (IBWC) and served as its President and executive director for four (4) years (1986-1990 and 1990-1995 respectively). Her work in the nonprofit arena propelled her into the advocacy role for nonprofits in the arts and in 1992 she won the Spirit Award for Arts presented by Spirit Square Center for the Arts and Royal Insurance Company.
In 1994, she combined her background skills in religion, the arts and writing to form Polish, Inc., a business & nonprofit consulting, training and technical writing corporation; currently known as Polish, I.N.C. (International Nonprofit Consulting). Currently, Ms. Macon is in Law School to become a certified Paralegal.