Monday, March 30, 2009

Black and Into Green Mentioned in Heart&Soul Magazine

Look for two black and green bloggers in the April/May issue of Heart&Soul Magazine. Green energy entrepreneur and electrical engineer, Dr. Sonja Ebron of blackEnergy is featured on page 58 and Black and Into Green's author Gloria Ware (yours truly), is quoted as well. The issue is packed with "150 Ways to Go Green", many of which I have covered over the last year (great validation for me). As you can see, the lovely Jill Scott is gracing the cover. I just started reading this magazine in February and have found it to have a wealth of useful information for today's woman. I think I'm gonna subscribe. We have to support great black businesses you know. While you're at it, buy some energy saving products from Sonja.

Good Eats Vegetarian Style: Black Bean Quesadillas

  • Check out my black bean quesadillas (courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine)! I am stuffed, even Mike is stuffed which says a lot for a 6' + teenager. This is a fiber and calcium rich food, both essential for optimum health. Black beans are also known to be a super food. Quick and dirty recipe:

Music (Wes Montgomery for me tonight)

24 oz black beans (1/2 mashed)

1 cup Low-fat Monterey Jack Cheese

1 thinly sliced jalapeno

8 whole grain tortillas

1 Avocado

Tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix mashed black beans with remaining beans. Spread on 4 tortillas, add cheese and pepper slices. Top with remaining tortillas. Cook each oiled skillet for 2-4 minutes each. Chop avocado, add lime, salt and whatever else you like with your avocados. Throw on top of quesidillas. Enjoy and wash down with some Trader Joe's mango lemonade. Say "Ahh!" The leftovers make a good breakfast, lunch or snack.

Spring Clean with Earth Friendly Charlies Soap

If my girl from Quiskaeya says that this is some good stuff, then darn it, I'll try it! Just in time for spring cleaning learn all about eco-friendly, animal friendly Charlies Soap products. Psst. You may qualify for some free stuff, but be careful, that how they get you hooked!

Earthhour Video of Cities Going Dark

I spent my Earthhour in the garden, clearing leaves, sticks and acorns by soy candlelight (mango coconut). Last year I played Mancala with my son, but he chose to hang out with his buddies this year (humpf!). The good news is that they were outside and not inside with the XBox. I had a good time anyway, reconnecting with the land after a long cold winter and getting a little exercise. The weirdest thing that happened was that I had two "aliens" and one alien focused radio show follow me on Twitter. A little creepy, but different. Anyway, check out this video courtesy of the Boston Globe of international landmarks going dark. Its pretty powerful. Makes you want to visit these places. (Click on the photo to see the Earthhour transformation)

More Green Job Tips: Entry level to Career Changers

You are probably going to throw up if I give you one more article on green jobs. Well, get your barf bags out, because here is one more article on green jobs, compliments of Hey! We are at the forefront of a brave new green economy, might as well be ready.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Greening Up Some Bankers

I am responsible for setting the agenda, finding the speaker and leading the next Middle Market banking sales meeting . You know what I was thinking when I found this out right? Hmmm. "How can leverage this opportunity to squeeze in a little environmental education?" Generally speaking, unless you are talking about making sure there are no environmental issues with a property being considered for financing, your average commercial banker is very conservative and just not that into sustainability. That is changing, but verrrrry slowly in the Midwest. Anyway, I am planning to at least get the topic on the radar next month, via a presentation on energy conservation leases. What is an energy conservation lease? Simple, it is a type of loan that factors the cost savings that one will achieve through investments in their buildings that reduce energy and water usage, into their ability to pay the loan. For example:

Joanne has an older building that has generates very high gas bills. She decides to make some investments in windows, insulation and solar panels that will save her $1000 a month. That $1000 savings is included in the debt service (ability to pay the loan) calculation along with the net profits of her business.

The benefit to the banker of this vehicle is that we generate interest income. You always have to lead with the financial benefits when you are talking to bankers! Though unlike some financial products developed over the last decade, an energy conservation lease is a win-win for banker, building owner, consumer and the planet!

Greening Up My Church: Maybe

Today was my second Sunday returning to church after a year long hiatus. Spiritually my soul has been rejoicing in this decision.It appears that my timing was perfect! During church announcements, our pastor asked us to complete a survey to assess our interests in this summer's education programming As I diligently searched the categories listed to determine where "stewardship of the environment" would best fit, my prescient son, Michael, pointed to "Other". I looked at him and questioned "Why did you point there?" He responded "You were looking for a green category weren't you?" Wow. I was both impressed by his knowledge of his mother and a little concerned that maybe I was overdoing the green thing? Not!

More Resources for Budget Friendly Green Goods

We can never have enough resources for finding deals on green stuff. Check out the sites listed on the blog of my fellow Clevelander turned Tacomaian, Green For The Rest of Us, for more money saving opportunities. The list includes to sites for parents.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

You Grow Girl Presents: Starting a Community Garden

Our lovely First Lady Michelle Obama has inspired us all to get green and dirty by planting a victory garden on the grounds of the White House. Talk about eco-feminism! I have to pinch myself whenever I see that we have such an amazing woman co-leading our nation (behind every man....). Anyway, did you notice that how involved the community into her efforts? If you are interested in starting a community garden or working with one, check out this comprehensive post from my favorite gardening website You Grow Girl. I am going to work on a community garden at an organization in Cleveland that provides rehabilitation services for women. I will be sure to post as I dig in! Just remember gardens can be beautiful as well as functional, be sure to toss in some edible flower seeds into your communities plot. In some areas flowers are a rare site. "Flowers are words which even a babe may understand." Arthur Cleveland Coxe


You may have heard of eco-apartheid, eco-colonialism and eco-diversity, but are you familiar with eco-feminism? I know some of you will be very interested in this article. I am woman hear me roar....about mother earth. We woman always add a unique spin and perspective right?

Treehugger Interviews Dr. Wangari Maathai

A unique opportunity to actually hear the voice of this ebony beauty, politician, planter of trees and empowerer of women, Dr. Wangari Maathai.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Timberland Gets Some Green Sole

A new reason to sport your Tims. Timberland is rolling out a green boot this year with soles made out of old tires. Increasingly, shoe companies are introducing green shoe lines, Keds rolled out a new green sneaker and several other tennis shoe manufacturers are incorporating more sustainably produced shoes into their product lines. Shoes are one of the most chemical, water and oil utilizing wearables on the market. Ask for and purchase these shoes to encourage other manufacturers to follow suit. Check out Eco Shoe Source for more info on eco-friendly shoes of all styles.

Insurance Companies Taking Climate Change Seriously

Insurance companies are taking a closer look at potential risks of loss due to climate change. They are being asked by their governing bodies to evaluate exposure to losses as a result of weather related calamities, including wildfires, floods and wind damage. They are also being asked to better engage customers and policyholders on the issue of global warming and plans for reducing personal losses as a result of catastrophes. Travelers Insurance is ahead of the game, having created a green building policy for small business owners and premium discounts for hybrid vehicle owners. The green building policy will provide coverage for owners that have had losses, to rebuild, renovate or replace with green building practices.

Green For All National Conference Call: Grassroots Action toward a Green Recovery For All — Green For All

Green For All National Conference Call: Grassroots Action toward a Green Recovery For All — Green For All

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From Pollution-Based to Inclusively Green — Green For All

From Pollution-Based to Inclusively Green — Green For All

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, March 19, 2009

They're Here....Green Stimulus Dollars

The first tranche of the $8B in weatherization stimulus dollars is on it's way to your state. If you work for a low income organization or advocate on behalf of low income families, now is a good time to request information on funding. The monies coming from the Department of Energy, can be used for such things as home energy audits, retrofitting of state and local government buildings, purchase of Energy Star appliances and energy conservation education. Click here for more information. Contractors are you on top of this opportunity?

Magic Mushrooms: Tumor Killers

I need some of those magic mushrooms man. Not the kind you're thinking of, but one of the varieties you would find at the grocery store or farmers market. Turns out that mushrooms, especially white button (cook first) and maitakes, may reduce your risk of breast cancer via their tumor blocking chemicals. Green tea is also beneficial. There's a guy at the farmers market that makes the best mushroom pesto - lots of olive oil, garlic and shrooms. Me and my son break open a box of stone ground wheat crackers and go to town on that pesto! Body + Soul magazine has a great collection of recipes for those looking to incorporate this magical fungi into their diets. Recipes feature shrooms and green veggies, burgers, roasted balsamic shrooms, fried rice with shitakes and mushrooms with pasta, thyme, chili pepper and parmesan...yum.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wanted: Green Hotel in Atlanta Area

I am planning a trip to the ATL in May with my son and have started the search for an eco-friendly hotel. I found this article on the rise of the green hotel industry to be very helpful if you are looking to green your travel. I would love to hear your recommendations for eco-friendly hotels and other green venues in the area. Tips on restaurants are always welcome.

Thank you!

Hot Green Shoes!

Okay ladies, I know that you are filing, soaking, scrubbing and moisturizing this month so you can get those feet ready for some sexy spring gladiator sandals. You are also hitting the gym or the streets to get ready for beach season and may be in need of some new sneaks. But you are no ordinary lady, you are a conscious woman, so you need some conscious kicks. What in the heck are conscious kicks and where do you get them? Eco Shoe Source is a new blog that gives you the lowdown on eco-friendly shoes of all categories, including vegan, sustainable, vintage, ethical, fair trade and all styles - athletic, designer, sandals and boots. You can now go green from head to toe. Be sure to point out to your admirers of the provenance of your fashionable footwear. Thank you Eco Shoe Source!

Green Bible Rocks

I am so loving my new Green Bible! Inside you will find poetry, essays and green guides for Sunday School lessons. These features make reading the bible an even more pleasant and spiritual experience than usual. A search for a connection to God coupled with a love of nature drew me to want to know more about God's relationship and thoughts about nature. I started on my green spiritual journey several years ago, when I tried to grow a bible garden. Unfortunately Cleveland, Ohio, doesn't have the warm, sunny arid temperatures to successfully grow bible plants. So my garden is more inspired by the bible (and Africa), featuring vines, trees, stones and many bibically named plants. Did you know that trees, those great givers of oxygen, are mentioned 1,000 times and are featured in the first (Alpha) and last (Omega) chapters? Who knew? You will have a new respect for trees after reading this book. This green bible is truly amazing and wonderful. If you love God, nature, the environment and your neighbors of the world, you will fall in love with the bible all over again and look at the world from a fresh perspective. Spring is a perfect time for love and renewal so check it out for yourself! (You can buy it right on this site in the "Currently Reading" section, how convenient!)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Congress Finally Getting Serious About BPA Dangers

Our finances are not the only aspects of our lives affected by deregulation. This same lack of oversight has cause a meltdown in the lives of people who have died of cancer (who knows how many) as result of the synthetic estrogen BPA, found in common everyday household items-canned food, baby bottles, cups, dishes, you name it. Finally, legislators are promising to take action to ban this dangerous substance, please write your representative, to ensure they remain committed. People are dying for a bailout. 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

When The Only Way You Can Grow Is Up

I could really relate to the title of this book, because I have dug up so much grass in my yard, that I have indeed started looking upwards for gardening inspiration.

New Gardening Books I Want

This is a must have book if you don't have a lot of space to work with, it has great photos and ideas for gardening with limited space. $29 at Anthropologie or you can ask your librarian to order it for you.

Cloth Napkins at Anthropologie and Other Finds

Cloth napkins at Anthropologie $6 each vs floral cloth napkins at Thriftique, $2.50 for four.

Spring Accessories at Anthropologie

Since the thrift store closed in 15 minutes, I thought I would take a trip to Anthropologie to compare goods and prices. Do these floral saucers look familiar? Very similar to the saucers at Thriftique right? Only these are $34 bucks. They are actually measuring cups, but can't you just see yourself using these to make some lemon cupcakes? I was able to restrain myself and pass them by...for now at least. 

Spring Accessories at Thriftique

More Anthropologie like accessories at Thriftique.

Anthropologie Accessories, Kmart Prices

As I stepped into Thriftique, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was no musty, old scent. Relief. Quickly surveying the store, I realized that I wasn't going to make any clothing purchases (there was one lonely rack of clothes), but there was a strong possibility of finding some deals on household items. Sure enough, just in time for spring, there was a nice selection of vases, dishes, and cloth napkins. In fact, the napkins featured in the photo, are comparable to the colorful, fun, napkins I would find at Anthropologie. Major difference, these were four for $2.50 vs. one for $6 at my fav store. Not off to a bad start, except for the fact that I left my wallet at home! I'll be baaaack.

Heading Out For A Brief Afternoon of Thrifting

The Reluctant Thrifter: Thrift Stores Don't Have Mall Hours

Finally, a Saturday with no obligations, just time to relax, play cards with my son and go thrifting! As you can see from the photo, I was a little excited about my thrifting adventure. My destination for the day was TGP, which supports The Gathering Place (a place for those touched by cancer). Fifteen minutes later, I found myself in front a CLOSED sign. What!? It turns out that thrift stores don't have mall hours. TGP closes at 4pm. But....Thriftique, right next door was open until 5pm. It was 4:45pm, so I had to work fast. Check out my next post for details on my findings. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

SBA Offers Green Financing for Small Businesses

As a banker this piece of news caught my eye - the Small Business Administration is offering "green financing" of up to $4 million to small business owners pursuing green projects. Examples of projects include:

  • Construction and renovation projects which incorporate energy savings or use of alternative energy
  • LEED building projects

The benefits of pursuing an SBA loan include, preference to diverse business owners, longer terms (lower payments), lower rates and lower equity requirements (10% vs. 15-20%). Click here to search for an SBA office near you.

Another source of funding for small businesses with green initiatives are state programs, contact your state's development office for more information.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Need Cash for Your Green Business? Green Business Competition

Need funding, exposure and support for your New York green business? There is a great opportunity for emerging green businesses to earn not only cash, but the following:

  • Legal services
  • Public Relations services
  • Mentoring
  • Office Space
  • Advertising on Grist
  • Accounting services

Enter a competition for the best green business plan, but hurry it ends March 22, 2009.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sustainability Consulting: Can You Handle It?

I know that many of you are "going green" experts, particularly in a niche area. That is great! You have accumulated some green capital as a result of your consciousness, that may be converted to cash via sustainability consulting. Not sure? Check out this post from the Bright Green Talent (green recruiters) blog that may bring some clarity to your confusion. Be sure to read part II of the series.

I would elaborate, but I'm blogged out for the day!


A Woman Before Her Time

My grandmother Gloria - always ahead of the trends- showed me this cool purse the other day that she purchased at an art festival about ten years ago. It is made from recycled rubber tires. She claims that at the time I thought it was ugly. Never! Well maybe, but now.....I have got to have it! Hmm. Maybe she will trade for some home baked goodies...

The moral of this story...listen to your elders. They know what's up quite frequently!

What Ails You? "The Green Pharmacy" May Have a Solution

I felt compelled to purchase this book at Whole Foods today, though I was a little suspicious of it's claims. My thinking is, if this stuff really works, then why do so many people continue to suffer from these ailments? But then, coming from a vitamin and supplement addicted family, I resolved that it couldn't hurt to at least be knowledgeable of natural alternatives, so I splurged and plunked down $7.99 for a copy. Hey, it was even endorsed by natural medicine guru, Dr. Andrew Weil! In addition to covering herbal solutions for conditions from A-Z, there are sections on safety, shopping for, growing and storing green "pharmecuticals" and methods of concoction and application. My sister bought me a pocket guide to herbs a couple of years ago which gave me a new respect for the healing powers of everyday plants in the garden, parking lot and wooded areas. This book will take you to another level of independence and control over your body, though I would always consult with my doctor for major or persistant health issues.

Post Surgery Diet Tips for Healing

I have been sliced and diced so many times in the last two years, it's ridiculous. But what is more ridiculous is the fact that not once in any of my post-op instructions was any reference to made to the importance of diet in the healing process. After enduring my last procedure today (woo hoo!), I had an epiphany and decided to do some research on what and how I should eat for maximum healing. Well low and behold, it turns out that your diet is extremely important in this process. Here is what I found after reading several articles and surgeon's suggestions:

  1. Drink 10 to 12 glasses of water daily (whoa!)-add a splash of lemon juice to one or two glasses

  2. Eat at least three servings of high quality protein - low-fat cheese and yogurt, eggs, beans, nuts, chicken and fish. Protein is essential in rebuilding tissue. Who knew?

  3. Eat lots of fruit (bananas, cantaloupe and pineapple especially good) and leafy green veggies

  4. Maintain a stable blood sugar level by eating at least 5 times a day - 3 meals, 2 snacks

  5. Avoid fried, refined and processed foods - they actually block the healing process

  6. Do not restrict your calories, your body needs the nutrition to heal, but eat wisely

  7. I save this one for last, because I don't like it - avoid caffeine (boo!) - it dehydrates you (you can always offset it with more water right?)

This actually sounds like the way that I eat daily, minus the heavy doses of protein and 4 or 5 glasses of water, which are the two essential keys to healing. I like this particular article, because it includes some yummy recipes. There are multiple meat based recipes, but vegan and vegetarian recipes are also represented. These tips work well for any type of surgery, including labor.

Let the healing begin!

CNN Profiles Green Jobs

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Van Jones Tapped by Obama as Green Jobs Advisor

Guess who emailed me today? Van Jones. You know, Van Jones, eco and social justice activist, green jobs promoter extraordinaire, author, co-founder of Green For All. Actually, he emailed me and about a hundred thousand other people to inform us of his selection to advise the Obama administration on all things related to green jobs. To quote him "my job will be to help shape the administration's energy and climate policy, so that climate solutions produce jobs and justice for all Americans." Oh yeah! His official title will be Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. How cool is that? A brother in charge of directing and strategizing on employment policy for one of the nations fastest growing fields. Change is here. Van, can you hook me up?

Alternative Energy Stocks to Watch

Barron's magazine thinks these five companies, focused on alternative energy are safe bets for your struggling 401K plan:

  • ABB
  • Waste Management
  • FLB Group
  • Jacob Engineering
  • Eaton Corp (Cleveland! I recently attended a great presentation on their social responsibility process)

Click here to learn more. Now is a great time to get some deals in the market. Consider using for a simple and affordable way to purchase individual stocks.

More on Green Jobs

This is the best green jobs for professionals article that I have seen in a while, it highlights companies that are committing more to greening their businesses, unique green careers, strategies for those changing careers and educational opportunities.

Industries Benefiting from the Stimulus Package

Industries that may benefit from the stimulus package:

  • Construction (many green applications here - architecture, weatherization, landscaping)
  • The Green Sector - carbon trading, event planning, waste management, green design,
  • Medical Information Technology
  • Education
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Federal government

See the full article from Yahoo!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Green Jobs Report: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Looking for more details on opportunities in the green industry? The Sierra Club has put together a 46 page report on the state of and future of green jobs in America. The report assesses opportunities, labor and wage issues of the the environmental energy, primarily around the areas of manufacturing, construction, alternative energy and recycling. While the emphasis is on high quality living wage blue collar jobs, keep in mind that where there are blue collar workers, there are managers, engineers, accountants, HR professionals, salespersons and marketing folks. So if you like many Americans, are evaluating your current career and its viability against what the future holds in employment, it may bode you well to check out this report.

Van Jones Rumored to Be Top Green Czar Candidate

Van Jones, green jobs activist and founder of Green For All, is rumored to be in the running for a "Green Jobs Czar" position in the Obama administration. Check it out.

Cheap and Chic Slogan Eco-Friendly Tees for Men

GREED says this tee. Boy we are all paying for Wall Street and our own greed, aren't we? $12.90 at H&M retailers.

Organic Tees for Guys at H&M

Under $13 bucks!

Organic Fashion Tee's for Men

$12.90 at H&M.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can You Eat Consciously/Organically on Food Stamps?

CNN reporter Sean Calleb highlighted the limitations of families getting by on food stamps last month. Check out his blog posts chronicling his attempt to live on a $176 food budget (what a single person would qualify for in New Orleans, LA). At first I was dismayed by his initial food choices early in the month (processed packaged foods), but encouraged that he learned that actually was cheaper and healthier to purchase fresh or frozen foods and prepare for himself. Though you pay in time (planning, preparing and cleaning). Sean received many emails, including one that suggested that we return to growing community gardens. His experience caused me to wonder how much my conscious eating habits would change if I had to rely on food stamps. Here are a few thoughts:

  • My diet would evolve around beans -soup, stew, casseroles, fritters, hummus and falafel
  • Eggs would be featured more often in dinner entrees via frittatas and omelets
  • Breakfast - oatmeal, toast, fruit, eggs
  • Would bake my own bread - quick breads for breakfast, yeast breads for lunch/dinner, more cornbread and biscuits and homemade cookies
  • Whole wheat pasta with bean or ground turkey/chicken as secondary proteins
  • Grow my own produce via home or community garden, freeze and can excess
  • Pick fruit and veggies from farms that allow this (freeze and can)
  • Buy in-season produce or frozen produce
  • Eat more soups
  • Drink a lot more water and green tea (loose leaf home brewed) to stay full
  • Buy in bulk and purchase concentrated juice products
  • Would have to limit organic to "dirty dozen", sale items and buy in bulk when on sale
  • Eat a more vegetarian/vegan lifestyle (would have to evaluate cost of protein substitutes like tempeh, seitan and tofu, though I would have to watch the soy given my history)
  • Fiber, fiber, fiber...keeps you full and flushes out disease causing toxins

Would you be able to live as consciously or organically? How?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin, No Really Don't

I guess we just saw too many Mr. Whiffle commercials in our youth. Americans can't seem to give up their fluffy bear bottom friendly toilet paper, though our rainforests and water supplies are at risk due to this need for softness down under. Recycled toilet paper constitutes only 2% of our toilet paper purhases compared to 20% in Europe. The economy may wipe out this disparity however, as fluffy toilet papers sales were down 7% in 2008. One problem I have with recycled toilet paper, though I use it 75% of the time, is that you seem to need more, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying recycled. After reading this article, I will continue to rough it out for the rainforest.

U.S. Troops Guardians of the Environment?

Check out this interesting article which contrasts U.S. troops efforts to preserve the environment in Germany and Japan against what is happening on the ground in Iraq.

Pear Up with Your Local Food Producers

This article chronicles how a rural boy's contempt for his local agricultural products evolved to love and appreciation for the products of his Oregon homestead, decades and many miles traveled later. Second time this week, someone spoke of European's appreciation for foods of their region and even their own backyards over foreign imports. With gardening season upon us in Zone 6 (formerly Zone 5), now is a great time to take stock of local products, seeds and plants.

World Coalesces Around Obama's Leadership on Climate Change

For years now, folks have been saying that if the United States got onboard and took some leadership in reducing global warming, the rest of the world would follow. This article from the NYT reflects just how quickly the rest of world is lining up since President Obama's time in office. There will still be challenges in Washington and abroad to generating an agreement that world leaders and populations can live with, but we are marching in the right direction and President Obama is one heck of a drum major! And you know how they do it.

Changing the White Face of the Green Movement: Time Magazine

Wow! I could really relate to the sentiments expressed by environmentalist, Sanjayan, in this Time Magazine article. Especially as I attended a number of green events last month. Highlights from the article:

  • An incredible lack of racial and economic diversity exists in the environmental movement
  • Needs to reflect the growing diversity of the United States
  • Perception exists that only wealthy white liberals can afford to "go green"
  • Difficult to relate to groups that don't seem to reflect your culture, lifestyle
  • Suggests green groups diversify their workforce and identify and recruit students of color
  • Encouraged by exposure and activities of environmental justice and green jobs activists, Van Jones and Majora Carter
  • I would add - seek diverse representation on boards, advertise or write in culturally diverse media outlets, educational programs to K-12 urban schools, fraternities and sororities and business groups, aggressively seek representation at events, seek diversity training

Though I am a fearless networker, I have found that it is definitely more comfortable to attend these events with a friend or another African American, because sometimes there is a feeling of "what are you doing here?". This way both of you can network together, without that awkward feeling. Maybe, I am paranoid (not a personal trait), but the very fact that I feel this way, tells me that at least organizers should make a better effort to make "minorities" feel welcome. Another benefit of cultural, racial and economic diversity is that organizations can achieve the successes of of corporations that have diverse boards- greater performance metrics vs those entrenched in the "old boy" network. A broad range of backgrounds, styles, experiences and approaches spurs innovation and gains in market share. And Lord knows we need innovation in this country now more than ever.