I am pleased to play a role in the coming national conference (which will include their international delegate of mayors as well) for the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM).
NCBM played a very positive and important role in assisting me and the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability, Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment, which I chair, in creating the first in a series of Local Financial Literacy Councils across the nation. Special commendation here goes to Vanessa Williams, executive director of the NCBM, who provided incredible leadership throughout this process.
For more information on the NCBM national conference click here.
Let me start by saying I am not a medical professional, and on the topic of the medical sciences, I hold zero credentials. I know nothing in the medical sciences which can be relied on.
That said, I believe this -- most disease is not disease at all (in its origins). It is dis-ease, that turns into disease.
We are all 70% water. That is our makeup, and yet we obsess about the physical body.
We are, to quote author Deepak Chopra, "not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings, having a human experience."
To quote David Brooks in Social Animal, "the human mind can take in 11 million pieces of information at any given moment. The most generous estimate is that people can be consciously aware of forty of these." Brooks goes on to note that "some researchers have gone so far as to suggest that the unconscious mind does virtually all the work and that conscious will may be an illusion." He concludes this section by noting "the conscious mind merely confabulates stories that try to make sense of what the unconscious mind is doing of its own accord."
Today I was speaking with one of my HOPE Team members, who recounted a story to me of a friend who had passed, and the subsequent conversation with that friend's parents. The parents, were obviously and understandably in grief over their loss. The question though, that one of the parents asked the priest, got me thinking about a larger issue. The parent asked, "if there is a God, why did he take my child?"
It is a good question, but in my view, respectfully the wrong one. God gave life, breath and discernment to mankind. God gave this one creation of His -- this one 'animal' in His Kingdom -- the ability to think, reflect, to love, to grow and to evolve in our consciousness. To the point, I want to say again, God gave us consciousness.
He put us in charge of His planet, and asked us to do a good job taking care of it.
He also put us in charge of the other animals, and asked us to be responsible to and for them too.
Importantly, He also asked us to take care of "the least of these God's children."
The short version here, is that God placed his children -- mankind (and of course this is shorthand for mankind and womankind) -- in charge of things. Most important of all, He gave us free will.
To do as we like.
To select the red pill, or the blue one.
To go left in life, or to go right.
To do the right thing, or to do something else altogether.
Acquisition of DUS® Lender with $3.9 Billion Servicing Portfolio
Expands ACRE’s Product Offering Into Fannie Mae and FHA Loans
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: ACRE) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire EF&A Funding, L.L.C, d/b/a Alliant Capital LLC from The Alliant Company, LLC and Alliant, Inc., for approximately $62.8 million through a combination of cash and stock.
Under the terms of the transaction, Alliant Capital LLC is expected to become a wholly owned taxable REIT subsidiary of ACRE. Alliant Capital, Ltd., which on a national scale provides tax credit equity for the financing and development of affordable housing, is not included in the acquisition and will remain a part of The Alliant Company.
ACRE is part of the $60 billion Ares Management family.
I am proud to serve on the board of directors of Ares Commercial Real Estate. Read the complete release on the acquisition announcement here.
The organization I founded after the Rodney King Riots, Operation HOPE, was honored to host a special HOPE Forum this week at the HOPE Financial Dignity Center Ebenezer. The HOPE Center Ebenezer is the signature partner for the new Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Compex in Atlanta, Georgia, across from the King Center.
Current small business start-ups are presently around 350,000 for the last recorded 12-month period in the U.S., but America needs approximately 1 million small business start-ups annually to sustain high GDP growth.
But small business start-up numbers have been tracking down for about 10-years, around 400,000 a year. But now, that small business "starts" number is around 350,000, and that number can be deadly -- for America's future.
Today parts of our HOPE Atlanta and national teams both toured the King Center here on the larger King Center campus, and Operation HOPE sponsored the purchase of a single book on or by Dr. King, or Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for each HOPE team member who worked on today's project.
Mary Hagerty-Ehrsam, president of the HOPE Global Youth Empowerment Group, today is headed to the United Arab Emirates where she will meet with our new partners there, the Emerates Foundation, a global best-in-class foundation, around our new 'silver rights' empowerment work in the region.
The old model of racism was based on race and the color line. The new model of racism is rooted in class and poverty. The old racism was obvious in signs that read White Only, from the southern states in the U.S. to South Africa. The new racism is more obvious in Misery Row.
Whether it is a feature on a boulevard in an urban city or a rural town, or whether it is at the entrance of a military base, the Misery Row looks pretty much the same. Predatory check cashers, next to rent to own stores, payday lending stores, title lending stores, and liquor stores.
One group of financial predators takes advantage of your financial problems and misfortune, while another associated group benefits by helping you to forget you actually have any.