HotChat Featuring Franklin Lee & Anthony Robinson to chat about Some LandMark Milestones at MBELDEF

About the Episode:

Minority businesses are making great strides but still face the challenge of rising above systemic discrimination. Affirmative action continues to face an uphill battle in providing equality and economic inclusion for minority businesses. Despite the efforts of advocates and activists, there is still a large gap between the opportunities afforded to minority-owned businesses and those afforded to majority-owned businesses. This inequality has tangible consequences for the social and economic well-being of minority communities across America. It is essential that we continue to fight for affirmative action policies that will ensure equitable access to resources, opportunity, and success for all.

Join me in this Hotchat conversation with Franklin Lee & Anthony Robinson to chat about the history of economic inclusion advocacy and how capital has been the greatest impediment to minority businesses.

Franklin Lee is a Partner at Tydings & Rosenberg LLP. He is one of the country’s leading authorities on socio-economic policies that promote the use of small, minority-owned, and woman-owned businesses in government contracting.  For more than 25 years, he has advised businesses on regulatory compliance with such policies and the federal, state, and local governments on establishing and defending commercial non-discrimination policies and public contracting programs. Anthony Robinson was the president (for over 25 years) of the Minority Business Enterprise Education and Legal Defense Fund, founded by Parren J. Mitchell, the first African American to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of Maryland. MBELDEF, under Robinson, has engaged in activities on behalf of MBEs that have been comprehensive in nature, including litigation, testimony before legislative bodies, legal guidance, and technical assistance to local, state, and federal agencies. 

Tune in!

Here’s What You’ll Get In This Episode

[00:10] Episode intro and a quick bio of today’s guests; Franklin Lee & Anthony Robinson

[03:33] A bit about Parren Mitchell, the icon who championed for minority businesses

[04:59] How Franklin’s and Tony’s work with Parren informed what they do today

[06:10] The first time Franklin met the Congressman Parren

[07:28] Why Parren founded MBELDEF and what inspired Frank & Tony to be a part of it

[14:13] The Supreme court lawsuits against constitutionalizing minority businesses

[17:11] Franklin’s hallmark achievements in his tenure at MBELDEF

[21:39] A quick description of some court battles

[29:13] The 95507 legislation and predictions of the future of minority businesses

[38:49] Episode’s golden nuggets and advice on what can be done

[48:18] Ending the show and call to action

Notable Quotes

  • Congressman Mitchell always believed that failure is not an option. There was no way to lose the battle for economic empowerment for all. 
  • Minority businesses must succeed if the minority communities will succeed. Therefore, championing financial inclusion is imperative. 
  • There’s always a continuous attack on affirmative action on equality and economic inclusion of minority businesses.
  • Access to capital has always been an impediment to the growth of minority businesses. 
  • If you believe in fighting racism, you make a commitment for the rest of your life.

Connect with Franklin Lee & Anthony Robinson

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