On March 5, 1969, RN signed Executive Order 11458, establishing plans for a national program for minority enterprise. The program would lay the groundwork for an Office of Minority Enterprise within the Department of Commerce tasked with expanding opportunities and assisting in the creation of new businesses so that minority groups could enjoy “full participation in the American economy and society.”
RN stressed that the plan’s success would be measured by “tangible results, not by the volume of studies.”

The results are among the center-pieces of the 37th President’s legacy. According to historian Joan Hoff, 45 of the top 100 Latino businesses and 56 of the top 100 black owned firms had been established between 1969 and 1976. Among the top leaders working on President Nixon’s initiative was White House Special Assistant Robert J. Brown (pictured above), recently elected Foundation board member, and Chairman and CEO of B&C Associates, the oldest black-owned public relations firm in the United States.

President Nixon’s record in minority enterprise was also the subject of the Foundation’s 7th Legacy Forum this past October, Creating Opportunities for Latino Americans.

Click here to watch.

Photo (left to right): RN with William H. Brown, member of the Equal Opportunity Commission; Robert J. Brown, Special Assistant to the President; and Arthur Burns, future Chairman of the Federal Reserve.