- Published: Wednesday, 17 January 2007 16:00
- Written by Nancy Mccarthy of The Skanner
Martin Luther King Jr. brought the country closer than anyone to the vision contained in the United States Constitution — of equality for all — and the Black middle class has benefited from his legacy, noted Luke Visconti, publisher and co-founder of DiversityInc magazine and keynote speaker for The Skanner Foundation's 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on Monday.
Still, however, the country's economic potential is being short-cutted because it hasn't yet moved past what Visconti called the "White-centric" model.
It's time for Black consumers to take action to ensure their place in a society that will remain mostly White until at least 2040, said Visconti, whose magazine publishes an annual list of top 50 Companies for Diversity.
"You have an obligation to act: Vote your ethics," Visconti told the 1,100 people who attended the breakfast on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. "Reward companies that share your vision, go to work for those companies.
Visconti was joined by other speakers, including Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who awarded The Skanner Foundation a $147,250 grant to develop a neighborhood multi-media training center in North Portland. The grant, from the Economic and Community Development Department, will enable local residents to learn video, technology, media and other skills for jobs in the film, video and multimedia industry.