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Education, savings called keys to foiling bias in the workplace

Looking for a way to foil racial discrimination in the workplace?

Start by enriching your skills and saving a little cash.That was the message offered Tuesday by Weber State University business professor John Mbaku at Ogden's Black History Luncheon.

It's harder now to practice corporate discrimination, Mbaku said. Racist companies and banks have to look for subtle ways to keep jobs and business loans from blacks.

"If you come into a business with no skills, it makes it much easier for (employers) to discriminate against you," said Mbaku, to the racially mixed audience.

Ditto for banks and other financial institutes.

Blacks who have little or no savings give loan officers a chance to discriminate with little chance of discovery, he added. Unchecked discrimination ends when black students enter the work force with strong language, computer and math skills.

"Get as much education as you can, at minimum, a college education," Mbaku told young people gathered at the luncheon. "Improve your competence in English and learn another language. I suggest Spanish."

Keen math skills also empower black students with confidence and an understanding of the rules and forces operating within an economy.

Many American black families are trapped on a "poverty treadmill" because their entire paychecks are used to pay the interest on debt, Mbaku said. Start saving now to remain financially solvent and study stocks and other investments to allow your money to work for you.

Mbaku added many of the white people at Wednesday's luncheon could also improve the lot of many black families.

"Help by picking an African-American student and walk him or her through a college degree," he said.

Local business owners, Mbaku added, can also help black employees enrich their skills to benefit the company and themselves.