In recent times, influential Black people are using their voice to advocate for investment in Black communities and Black-led businesses. The push for investment in the Black community has been more pronounced coming on the heels of the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed Black men.
The latest person to use her clout and influence to push for investment in Black-owned businesses is Carolyn Brady. She recently made history when she became the first Black woman to be crowned Miss Maine.
“I think if we have the opportunity to choose where we put our dollar and we can invest in a way that gives back in the long term that’s a really important thing to do,” Brady told News Center Maine.
Brady believes that by investing in Black-owned business, it will help lessen the economic inequality in America. A recent report by US-based firm Citigroup claims the U.S. economy lost $16 trillion due to racism and discrimination faced by Blacks since 2000. According to the report, the loss includes gaps in wages, access to housing and higher education and investment in Black-owned businesses.
During Black History Month, Brady decided to ‘buy black businesses like Rwanda Bean in Portland. Rwanda Bean is a coffee company founded by Mike Mwenedata that gives 50% of its coffee proceeds to farmers and their families. “As an immigrant American, I think we are really focused on how commerce and how our progress relates to future generations as well as our past,” she said.
Brady said she feels fortunate to be among the Black voices calling for investment in Black communities. “I hold the title in a state that’s about five percent African American, if that,” Brady shared with her college, according to AfricaX5TV. “I think it really shows that we’re moving toward a more diverse and inclusive standard of beauty, which is amazing, and I just feel so fortunate to be able to represent that.”
The beauty queen is a graduate of Bowdoin College located in Brunswick, Maine. Brady served as Maine’s COVID-19 Recovery AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), according to Chicago Leader. As part of the program, she spent a year “assembling and dissecting pertinent information to recovery efforts of K-12 schools — and higher education institutions — due to the pandemic.”
At the age of five, Brady studied the violin and participated in the Bowdoin College Orchestra and a variety of Bowdoin Quartets and Trios. She also spent five years as a student at the Philadelphia International Music Festival where she studied with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.