The popular “…And Justice for All” series at Muskegon Community College resumes on Tuesday, Sept. 19, with a discussion of “Economic Injustice: The Empowerment Experiment” by Margarita “Maggie” Anderson, the CEO and founder of the Illinois-based Empowerment Experiment Foundation and author of Our Black Year.
Community members are encouraged to attend the free event, which runs from 6-8 p.m. in Collegiate Hall. MCC Sociology Instructor Nicholas Budimir will moderate the discussion.
Anderson and her family made a much-publicized, year-long stand living exclusively off businesses, professionals, and products from the Black community. This real-life case study in self-help economics was called The Empowerment Experiment and led to a landmark study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. The results demonstrated how incremental support of these businesses and professionals can rescue the Black community and improve the American economy as a whole.
The first-generation American daughter of Cuban immigrants, Anderson earned a BA in Political Science from Emory University and a Juris Doctor and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
Prior to the Empowerment Experiment, Anderson was an aide to civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis, the speechwriter for the Mayor of Atlanta, and a corporate strategy executive at McDonald’s Corporation.
Since the experiment, Anderson tours the country inspiring more consumer and corporate engagement of unsung, top quality African American professionals and firms. Chosen by BET and Centric as one of the “16 Most Fascinating Women of 2016,” Anderson has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS News Hour, TV One, and CBS Morning News.
Anderson, who resides in Oak Park, IL, with her husband John, and their two daughters, seeks to “increase awareness about economic inequalities that starve Black neighborhoods, breed racism and disenfranchisement, and prevent business and entrepreneurial opportunity and growth.” Anderson advocates for “proactive, strategic investment in wealth-building tools and support of Black-owned businesses (to) create jobs, curb crime, eradicate poverty, drive entrepreneurial and educational achievement, and grow the economy.”
She is creating Maggie’s List, a web listing to help consumers of all backgrounds empower struggling communities by supporting the high-quality, local Black-owned businesses and franchisees, banks, and professionals from doctors, lawyers and accountants to contractors, realtors and mechanics.