Monday, November 11, 2019

Black history in Alaska and for Nevada too

February 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Community

Black history in Alaska and for Nevada too

BY LOUIE OVERSTREET

Louie Overstreet

Up in Alaska, during a Black History Month summit, I will be giving a plenary session speech and conducting a workshop on economic development.

The summit is being held in honor of recently-deceased Senator Bettye Davis’ purpose-filled life. Knowing Bettye as I did, the speech will be an “I got this” one. However, experience tells me that the greater challenge will be getting those in attendance interested in making a collective economic difference for persons that look like me.

With due modesty, Bettye, your boy and others were able to make a difference in Alaska history during the fourth quarter of the last century. Her achievements are too numerous to list here, so let just say she was a difference-maker.

Thus, the personal challenge before me will be to revisit where we left off more than two decades ago — when we were addressing the need for equitable participation in economic development. I can say with certitude that a similar need, to this very day, exists in Alaska. Nevada, too.

The approach needed to promote economic development is a simple as ABC, but it’s as hard to do as walking the walk after talking the talk! I can’t do anything about the latter, but I can list A, B, and C.

  • Identify/Document Needs: 2020 Census outreach; onestop community service centers; business help centers; workforce development; and on-demand senior transportation services.
  • Write grant proposals and identify public and private funding sources: Community Development Block grants; state and federal grants; and National Science Foundation in the public sector. In the private sector, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA); venture capital; equity participation; foundations, i.e. Reynolds; and investment clubs.
  • Gather the needed support: such support needs to come from elected officials, community organizations, churches, and social networks.

Now knowing the ABCs of talking, it’s time to do the walking. But be sure you have your required licenses, insurance — and most of all good tax records.

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