MACKINAC ISLAND (WXYZ) - Appearing at the Mackinac policy conference today was Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET).
His keynote speech included a call to hire more African-Americans and to rid the use of payday lending.
Like the NFL’s “Rooney rule” Johnson wants companies to adopt the “RLJ” rule” allowing for greater diversity among corporations.
Johnson gained success when an investor took a bet on his idea to develop BET with a $500,000 loan which started his business idea that led to Johnson selling BET to Viacom in 2010 for $ 3 billion.
Johnson encouraged attendees at the Mackinac Policy Conference to do the same and invest in African-Americans through hiring
“I want HR people to interview two African-American candidates before they decide who to hire," says Johnson addressing the crowd on the first day of the Mackinac Policy Conference.
Johnson doesn’t want to mandate or pass legislation to enforce it, he's just offering the suggestion to strengthen diversity among corporations.
Johnson also criticized payday lenders - saying they prey on minorities charging them 450% APR on loans. Johnson wants investors to compete against lenders to lower the rates.
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