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'Reaching America' A Dynamic New Vehicle For Battling the Poverty of Minorities

'Reaching America' A Dynamic New Vehicle For Battling the Poverty of Minorities
Derrick Hollie (Reaching America website)

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Sunday, 24 September 2017 07:55 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Two years after he founded “Reaching America,” Virginia entrepreneur Derrick Hollie has seen his 501©(4) organization attract support from private businesses, community leaders, and entertainers to achieve its vision: new ideas that will eventually defeat the poverty that plagues black Americans.

“We don’t have right-wing views or left-wing views—we’re just looking for views that make sense,” Hollie told Newsmax, “And that means ‘Reaching America’ studies a lot of issues — the relationship of our present energy policy to poverty, criminal justice and the black community, and the reduction of regulation.”

What makes “Reaching America” get things done is, in Hollie’s words, “something I’ve believed in all my life — good, old-fashioned hard work.

Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Hollie began working at age 12 by delivering the Virginia Pilot newspaper (“which later published my first op-ed”). After graduating from Eastern Tennessee State University, Hollie plunged into the advertising business and was a government contractor.

By 2010, while under contract with the U.S. Census Bureau, his firm was responsible for hiring 750,000 temporary workers and did so by including minorities and other hard-to-reach ethnic populations in 32 states.

“That was us — minorities,” Hollie recalled, adding that he came to the conclusion that obstacles to minorities in the business world would be overcome only when major issues that held them back were addressed.

In 2015, he launched “Reaching America.” Hollie set up a small office and quickly began doing research and holding public forums on issues he felt could be changed to benefit black Americans.

“Energy is a crucial issue,” he told us, “and if you can make it easier to obtain fuels and, at the same time, explore alternative means of energy, you will bring down the cost of energy among minorities and create fresh job opportunities. But you have to address the entire issue and bring our leaders in government along.”

Hollie pointed to criminal justice, saying he agrees with the growing complaint of conservatives that there is “overcriminalization” in the lawbooks. In his words, “When first-time offenders are lumped in with big-time felons, something is wrong — especially when prisons are as overcrowded as they are.”

Education and deregulation are other issues on which Hollie and his organization are studying, holding forums, and attempting to bring together disparate opinions.

“It’s not at all about ideology,” he told us, “It’s about what works and about reaching America.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Two years after he founded "Reaching America," Virginia entrepreneur Derrick Hollie has seen his 501 (4) organization attract support from private businesses, community leaders, and entertainers to achieve its vision: new ideas that will eventually defeat the poverty that...
john gizzi, derrick hollie, reach, opportunities, minorities
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2017-55-24
Sunday, 24 September 2017 07:55 AM
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