In The Balance

Sign Of The Times

When the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld California's controversial anti-affirmative action measure, Proposition 209, it sent a strong signal that the times really are a-changin'. But what are they changing to? Will Generation X--more ethnically diverse and entrepreneurial than any previous generation--eventually make mute all questions of inequality through the sheer force of its accomplishments?

"We're happy to be here, and fortunately for us, we've seen progress and growth," reflects Kirsten N. Poe, co-founder of Noelle-Elaine Media Consultants in New York City, a 5-year-old firm that works with many minority clients. "There is at least opportunity--and you've got to keep that outlook if you want to succeed."

"I don't think there's ever been a level playing field for women and minorities in America," says Sidney Warren, who owns two Cincinnati-based TCBY Treats/Mrs. Fields Cookies franchises. "So the best thing to do is say `Hey, I'm going to roll up my shirtsleeves and do whatever it takes [to succeed].' "

And, yes, Warren thinks his never-say-die attitude is shared by his peers. He proclaims confidently, "Generation Xers are taking no prisoners."

Contact Sources

Noelle-Elaine Media Consultants, (212) 370-5483,

TCBY Treats/Mrs.Fields Cookies, 108 William Howard Taft Rd. #400, Cincinnati, OH 45219, (513)569-8591.

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This article was originally published in the September 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: In The Balance.

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