BET Founder Robert L. Johnson’s “RLJ Rule” to Increase Employment Opportunities for African Americans

Robert-L.-Johnson-CNBCRobert L. Johnson Urges President Obama to Encourage U.S. Businesses to Adopt Version of the NFL Rooney Rule for Employment. News Release. December 17, 2012.

Robert L. Johnson, chairman of The RLJ Companies and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) today calls on President Barack Obama to renew his commitment in addressing the employment gap between African Americans and White Americans, by encouraging U.S. corporations to adopt the RLJ Rule to address the overwhelming gap in unemployment.

Last December, Johnson met with President Obama, who voiced his support of the RLJ Rule during a meeting at the White House assembled by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver and a number of Black business owners to address the critical and timely needs of African American employment. Once learning about the RLJ Rule, President Obama thought this was also something his Jobs Council could support. The RLJ Rule (1) encourages companies to voluntarily implement a plan to interview a minimum of two qualified minority candidates for every job opening at the vice president level and above; and, (2) companies would interview at least two qualified minority-owned firms for vendor supplier/services contracts before awarding a new company contract to a vendor. The RLJ Rule is an adaptation of the National Football League’s (NFL) Rooney Rule, which afforded minority candidates seeking head-coaching or general manager positions within the League to be considered before a final hiring decision….

BET founder offers plan to cut racial disparity in hiring. Michael A. Fletcher. The Washington Post. December 17, 2012.

Robert L. Johnson Urges U.S. Corporations to Establish a Version of the NFL Rooney Rule to Increase Employment and Business Opportunities for African Americans. News Release. October 2, 2011.

Robert L. Johnson Announces the Congressional Black Caucus Has Issued a Letter Strongly Supporting the RLJ Rule. News Release. December 13, 2011.

Robert Johnson, First Black American Billionaire, Proposes Plan To Reduce Black Unemployment. Janell Ross. October 11, 2011.

Robert L. Johnson Calls for Business Version of Rooney Rule. Nsenga Burton. October 3, 2011

TJMS: BET Founder Bob Johnson Offers The RLJ Rule To Tackle The Black Unemployment Crisis. Video. October 31, 2011. BET founder Bob Johnson joins Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show to discuss the RLJ Rule which is aimed at tackling the African-American unemployment crisis. The RLJ Rule is supposed to mimic the NFL’s Rooney Rule.

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