Marginalized News Commentary for Changemakers

Insight, investment and impact are critical components of altering the poverty mindset. It is challenging for some Java Hope students to abandon learned behaviors and embrace new unfamiliar norms. Lifestyle changes are uncomfortable but required to escape a poverty environment.

Clyde Taulbert, the author of “Who Owns the Icehouse,” delineates the steps needed to help adult learners create personal economic change. The Kaufman Foundation partnered with Mr. Taulbert to create a powerful and sustainable program empowering students to create long-term wealth as entrepreneurs.

The objective of the program is using poverty triggers to alter and overcome barriers to prosperity. Some triggers are lifelong learned responses to poverty while other behaviors are progressive and adaptable to new norms. Cultural environment plays a major role in behavior modification.

Clyde Taulbert grew up in the Mississippi. At the tender age of 10, Clyde began working with his Grandfather (a businessman) delivering blocks of ice to his customers. The Grandfather used their time together to mentor Clyde. He taught him the value of money and ownership. During the route, he strongly instructed Clyde to amass assets because they appreciate and increase one’s net worth. He also admonished Clyde to choose his friends wisely. He believed association brings about assimilation. Clyde was like a sponge; he absorbed every word and stored it safely in his subconscious youthful mind.

Clyde had ample opportunity to ‘follow the crowd’ during his tour of duty in the military. However he chose instead to ‘listen and follow his Grandfather’s voice.’ He secured employment in the banking industry and later purchased several banks. Clyde credits his entrepreneurial success to the strong mentorship received from his Grandfather. Despite his challenges as an African American, he successfully navigated the treacherous business landscape to become a powerful resource for others to emulate.

Today Clyde Taulbert is a very successful African American businessman. He used the entrepreneurial mindset to escape poverty and create a world of abundance seldom enjoyed by people of color. Clyde Taulbert, along with Gary G. Schoeniger, the CEO of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) crafted eight life lessons describing timeless examples of the power of entrepreneurship to overcome adversity and achieve independence regardless of one’s circumstances (Clifton Taulbert, 2010).

Java Hope is proud to have a licensed ‘Who Owns the Icehouse’ Facilitator as a staff and board member to help our students transform their lives by following the eight life principals delineated in this book. We are confident our ladies will benefit greatly from this program and become successful businesswomen.

Clifton Taulbert, G. S. (2010). Who Owns the Ice House? Cleveland: ELI Press LLC.


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