31 Ways 31 Days for Chicago
Aug. 1 -- Buy products of black food manufacturers in grocery stores such as Baldwin-Richardson Foods, Sylvia's, Glory and Home-Style; if you don't see a section of such products, ask the manager why not. Purchase the wines of African-American vintners. See the list at africanamericanvintner.org. Join the African-American Wine Tasting Society. Eat at an African-American restaurant. Find detailed information in Say Grace and Wipe Yo' Hands: BlackRestaurant.NET Guide to America's Black Restaurants. Many people eat out at least once per day. Let that be your way to generate jobs. Visit the George Washington Carver F.A.R.M.S. farmers market at Fernwood United Methodist Church, 10105 S. Wallace St. operated for 30 years by Rev. Al Sampson.
Aug. 2 -- Invest in African-American owned businesses to reduce the capital access gap they face. Ariel Investments markets mutual funds to the public. Founder John C. Rogers was a major early backer of President Obama's campaign. The company also sponsors the Ariel Community Academy, an elementary school which has achieved growth in student achievement. Today's featured eatery is Soul Xpress, 2236 E. 71st St., a member of the I Love Food Group.
Aug. 3 -- Support the vitality of African-American business districts such as Bronzeville, including the National African-American Military Museum, a tribute to the 8th Illinois Regiment of World War I fame. Today's featured eatery is 5Loaves Breakfast Cafe, 405 E. 75th St.
Aug. 4 - Subscribe to the seasons or attend performances of African-American theatre companies such as the new Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark St. Today's featured eatery is Brown Sugar Bakery, 328, E. 75th St.
Aug. 5 - Attend, volunteer and contribute to the work of African-American churches like Quinn Chapel A.M.E. and Trinity United Church of Christ . Today's featured eateries is Yassa, 716 E. 79th St.
Aug. 6 - Contracting Accountability Day. According to Job Creation and Innovation: State of Black Business, 9th edition, only $13.3 million in 2011 completed work went to black firms from Illinois DOT. Three Chicago congressmen have called attention to the huge disparity. Overall, the state spent $65.2 million with black businesses in 2011. Call, e-mail or write your councilmember or state assemblymember or senator to insist that projects financed with federal funds comply with federal business equity regulations and laws. Today's featured eatery is Iyanze, 4623 N. Broadway.
Aug. 7 - Spotlight on Uncle Sam. Federal agencies spent $63.7 million with black-owned businesses in Illinois during the first six months of the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to Job Creation and Innovation: State of Black Business, 9th edition. Ask your congressional representatives to provide you with lists of local federal procurement officers and small business liaison officers. Visit the area office of the Small Business Administration to learn how to become a federal contractor. Today's featured eatery is the products of the local Baldwin-Richardson Foods, found in grocery stores throughout the Chicagoland area.
Aug. 8 - Higher Education and Health Focus. Northwestern, University of Chicago, Chicago State University and University of Illinois are among the major campuses in the area. Today's featured eatery is the New Life Health Foods and Restaurant, 3141 W. Roosevelt.
Aug. 9 - Utility and Energy Focus. Byron Witherspoon and Kendra Austin are supplier diversity executives for Ameren, an investor owned utility serving Illinoisi. Today's featured eatery is Marcus Samuelsson's C House, 166 East Superior St..
Aug. 10 - School the Administrators. Raising the achievement of African-American students is a national priority, thanks to an executive order by President Obama. The National Black Education Agenda also meets in Chicago in October. Attend school board meetings to ask how contracts are awarded; ask for small business utilization plans on major federal grants like School Improvement Grants, Title 1, and IDEA. Insist that local firms be used for professional development. Seek use of the new African-American educational channel ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage. Today's featured eatery is Marcus Samuelsson's Marc Burger, 111 N. State St.
Aug. 11 - Support an African-American non-profit organization such as Chicago Defender Charities, sponsor of today's Bud Billiken Parade since 1929. Today's featured eatery is Quentin Love's Quench, 678 River Oaks Drive.
Aug. 12 -Visit local museums like the DuSable Museum of African-American History and the Bronzeville Children's Museum. Today's featured eatery is Quentin Love's Quench, 4455 W. Lincoln Highway.
Aug. 13- Open an account with the African-American financial institutions like the 11 Chicago locations of Seaway National Bank, including sites at O'Hare and Midway Airports. Today's featured eatery is Quentin Love's Quench, 616 E. 79th St.
Aug. 14 - Utilize an African-American contractor, architect or construction manager. Visit the National Association of Minority Contractors for listings. F.E. Jordan and Associates designed the street in front of President Obama's home. Today's featured eatery is Quentin Love's Quench, 2236 E. 71st St.
Aug. 15 - Book a stay or an event with the 17 member hotels of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) in Chicago such as Holiday Inn Express Chicago Midway Airport, 6500 S. Cicero Ave. Today's featured eatery is Quentin Love's Quench, 5815 W. Madison St.
Aug. 16 - African-American doctors and dentists have been community leaders, entrepreneurs as well as healers. The National Medical Assocation has a gallery of its physician members as does the National Dental Association. Another NABHOOD hotel is Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Midway Airport, 6530 S. Cicero Ave. Today's featured eatery is Quentin Love's Quench, 4653 S. Michigan Ave.
Aug. 17 - The lack of information about property has led to such events as the shrinkage of black farm land and the predatory lending epidemic of the past ten years. Members of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers live in our communities and are part of an organization which has sought to make black consumers aware of their rights as consumers. Another NABHOOD hotel is Fairfield Inn and Suites, 6630 S. Cicero Ave. Today's featured eatery is Quentin Love's Fresh Family Foods, 336 E. 95th St.
Aug. 18 - The 65th anniversary of beauty products manufacturer Bronner Bros is a continuing sign of the presence of black businesses in the sector. Ebony Fashion Fair leverages the reach of the magazine to define beauty for black women. Look for the Proud Lady symbol of the American Health and Beauty Aids Institute, the trade association of black beauty products manufacturers, when shopping. The Black Owned Beauty Supply Association promotes the development of black retailers for the $9 billion industry. Another NABHOOD hotel is Fairfield Inn and Suites/Chicago SE/Hammond, 7720 Corrine Drive. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 7920 S. Western Ave.
Aug. 19 - The environmentally conscious Great Lakes area is a good launch pad for African-American environmentally-friendly manufacturers like Encap Systems Inc.,which makes cementitious remediation materials for asbestos. When doing remodeling or repair work in old buildings, one can ask for Encap brand. San Diego-based ChloroFill is making biodegradable building panels to meet the EPA's new standard for removing carcinogenic materials. Auto battery maker Dr. Lonnie Johnson of Excellatron Solid State presented his scientific findings at PARC, a Xerox company in Palo Alto. Another NABHOOD hotel is Doubletree Hotel-Oakbrook, 1909 Spring St. Today's featured venue is Harold's Chicken Shack, 8738 S. Kedzie Ave. in Evergreen Park.
Aug. 20 - Think about what you drink. Pioneering African-American beverage makers such as United Beverage are making such products as NuSouth flavored lemonades, available in Big Lots and other retailers. Heritage Link Brands is importing wines from South Africa and elsewhere on the continent. Another NABHOOD hotel is Courtyard Chicago Schaumburg, 1311 Schaumburg Ave. Today's featured venue is Harold's Chicken Shack, 14224 Indiana Ave. Riverdale.
Aug. 21 - Utilize African-American software and technology companies like Business Computer Applications, a digital health records pioneer founded by Albert Woodard. BCA is the largest African-American software developer. Another NABHOOD hotel is Courtyard Chicago Midway Airport, 6610 S. Cicero Ave. Today's featured venue is Harold's Chicken Shack, 7310 S. Halstead.
Aug. 22 - Visit Frontline Books, 5206 Harper Ave. or buy books published by Third World Press. Another NABHOOD hotel is Courtyard Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile, 165 E. Ontario. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 7158 S. Western Ave.
Aug. 23 - WVON 1690 is the 24-hour talk format station serving the African-American community. Another NABHOOD hotel is Amber Inn Hotel, 3901 S. Michigan Ave. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 7139 State St..
Aug. 24 -- The black press is the authoritative record of our legacy. Subscribe to a black newspaper like the Chicago Defender for the stories you'll never see in the daily press, or Johnson Publishing Co.'s Ebony and Jet magazines.. Black Money Chicago adds a new spark to business news coverage. Another NABHOOD hotel is Marriott Chicago Midway, 6650 S. Cicero Ave. Today's featured eatery is Harold's' Chicken Shack, 6843 S. Ashland Ave.
Aug. 25 - Purchase a video or buy a seat for a black filmmakers work. The Siskel Film Center hosts the 18th annual Black Harvest Film Festival Aug. 3-30 bringing stories and images of the black experience to life. Another NABHOOD hotel is Residence Inn Chicago Oak Brook, 790 Jorie Blvd., Oak Brook. Harpo Studios operates the Oprah Network and is a film producer. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 4828 S. Ashland Ave.
Aug. 26 - Support black musicians. Buy music produced by African-American companies. Another NABHOOD hotel is Residence Inn Chicago Schaumburg, 1610 McConnor Parkway. Help musicians by hiring them to train young people. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 39 N. Wells St.
ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage instructional network to provide culturally-responsive content for your child's classroom; urge principals to hire African-American educators and historically-black colleges and universities for professional development. Another NABHOOD hotel is Residence Inn Chicago Warrenville, 28500 Bella Vista Parkway. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 307 E. 51st St.Aug. 27 -- Select an African-American independent school. Ask your school to subscribe to
Aug. 28 - Purchase back to school items such as clothes and paper goods from African-American retailers like A Step Beyond, 19109 S. Crawford, Homewood; Sankofa Arts, 5820 W. Chicago Ave; or Safari Market Place, 1403 W. 111th St. Form buying clubs through churches or organizations to purchase goods in bulk directly from wholesalers or manufacturers. Another NABHOOD hotel is Sleep Inn, Midway Airport, 6650 S. Cicero Ave. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 2517 W. 79th St.
Aug. 29 - Purchase automobiles from an African-American dealer. Check the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers at http://www.namad.org Another NABHOOD hotel is Springhill Suites Chicago/Schaumburg, 1550 McConnor Parkway, Schaumburg. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 2444 E. 79th St.
Aug. 30 - Utlilze African-American lawyers. The National Bar Association has a directory of lawyers. Another NABHOOD hotel is Chicago South Loop Hotel, 2600 S. State St. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 2218 S. State St.
Aug. 31 - Make a political contribution to the African-American candidate of your choice. It should be obvious that there is an African-American candidate running for President for the second election in a row. However, that should not be a reason for complacency. The history of black political achievement is that such milestones can be followed by backlashes if vigilance is not maintained. By reading Job Creation and Innovation: State of Black Business, 9th edition, one will see the critical role of public policy at all levels of government to the success of black businesses. One of the objectives of National Black Business Month is that the entire African-American community be considered in economic decision-making. Book a night in the Welcome Inn Manor on Michigan Ave. Today's featured eatery is Harold's Chicken Shack, 2142 E. 71st St.