John C. and Maggie Anderson are ready to engage in an experiment that will change their lives. On January 1, 2009, the Andersons launched The Ebony Experiment, a yearlong effort to generate significant economic growth within the Black community. During this time, the Andersons will only support Black-owned businesses and professionals in efforts to motivate other Black consumers to do the same. With a concerted national push, the Andersons look to prove that Black communities can be improved when Black consumers and investors support their own.
Tracking Every Penny Spent
For the Andersons, The Ebony Experiment will be no small undertaking as they will transition their standing contracts and household expenditures, which include loans, utility bills, credit cards, etc., to truly execute their initiative. The Andersons will track their progress on the experiment's website, www.ebonyexperiment.com. The website will feature a ticker that tracks the Andersons' expenditures in real time, with a national goal of one million dollars by 2010. "During the coming months we want The Ebony Experiment to become a national movement connecting Black consumers and investors to Black businesses and professionals," said Maggie Anderson, president of The Ebony Experiment Group. Anderson continued, "Ultimately, this will unify the struggling and successful sectors of the Black community so we can determine and improve our standing together."
An Effort Worth Supporting
The practice of supporting your own community is not new and is often exercised by many races in the United States. However, The Ebony Experiment will be the first time that a Black couple steps outside of their daily conveniences in order to help build their community. There are nearly 2.5 million Black households with incomes over $100,000. The Ebony Experiment targets these middle-class and upper-middle-class families and asks them to make commitments to buy Black. "The Black community is energized and engaged as we look to 2009. This is the perfect time to leverage that excitement by maximizing the potential of our business community and the bargaining power of Black consumers and investors," said John C. Anderson, co-founder of The Ebony Experiment Group.
An effort of this magnitude has drawn the attention and support of esteemed Black scholars and leaders including world-renowned author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Steven Rogers, the director of the Levy Institute of Entrepreneurial Practice at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. At the end of the experiment, a comprehensive and revealing study will be published by Dr. Michael Bennett, the executive director of the Egan Urban Economic Center at DePaul University. Dr. Dyson will also co-author "The Ebony Experiment," a book that will chronicle the Andersons' journey and how their efforts impacted the Black community.
About The Andersons
John C. Anderson is a Harvard graduate with a MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management and is a native of Detroit. Maggie Anderson is a first-generation Cuban American, reared in a drug-infested area of Miami, and has a JD and MBA from the University of Chicago. The Andersons live in Oak Park, IL with their daughters Cori and Cara, who are ages two and three respectively.
About The Ebony Experiment Group, LLC
The Ebony Experiment Group, LLC, was created by John C. and Maggie Anderson of Oak Park, Ill., and is a community service oriented project that is seeking sponsors to support the experiment and maintain the website. The purpose of The Ebony Experiment is to infuse long-term wealth into the Black community by galvanizing and uniting Black consumers, investors, businesses and professionals.