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Supporting Our Own


Grambling State University celebrated National Women’s History Month with a Women’s History convocation Tuesday in the T.H. Harris Auditorium.

Miss Senior Kayla McClellan introduced speaker Margarita Anderson, the founder and CEO of the Empowerment Experiment, who informed the audience about uplifting the African American community.

Anderson, a first generation Cuban-American, is a Black entrepreneurship activist. Her family lives exclusively off Black businesses and talent.

They purchased only Black-made products for an entire year, which was essentially the first-ever real life case study in self-help economics , which she called "The Empowerment Experiment (EE)."

The Anderson family experiment led to a landmark study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.

The study provided the data from the family’s journey, showing how incremental support of Black businesses can improve the economy.

At the convocation, Anderson gave key points. Throughout history, Black owned businesses have slowly come to a halt due to African Americans not supporting them.

She explained that the dollar in the Asian community lasts 28 days versus the dollar in the African American community lasting only six hours.

"That hit home for me, that’s ridiculous," said McClellan, a senior social work major from Kansas City, Missouri. "I was completely inspired."

The speaker encouraged students to start their own business and invest in Black-owned businesses.

Anderson also acknowledged history, mentioning how Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and other civil rights activists helped African Americans advance.

She said they did not do it for no reason and that we should take advantage of opportunities.

"I love how she came in and showed the other side of business," said Noelle Barnes, a freshman education major from San Bernardino, Calif.. "She wasn’t being a hypocrite because she even supported Black businesses herself. I just think it’s harder for college students to go out and support when White businesses are more convenient."

Anderson tours the country inspiring many different consumer crowds and corporate firms of Black professionals.

She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CSPAN, PBS News Hour, and CBS Morning News, among several other shows.