Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Ten Information Technology Stories of 2008


Kudos to Philadelphia Chapter for pointing us to CIO Insight slideshow listing the Top 10 IT Stories for 2008.
  1. It's the Economy, stupid - The financial crisis and recession created the lens through which all other stories -- including IT stories -- will be viewed.
  2. The First Internet Campaign - Barack Obama integrated technology into every phase of his campaign.
  3. The Smartphone Revolution - As iPhone-mania swept the consumer market and began to seep into the enterprise. The age of mobile computing is here.
  4. Forecast: Clouds - Cloud computing became so mainstream that Dell tried to copyright the term.
  5. Vista Missed-a - Early disgruntlement at Microsoft's latest operating system didn't go away.
  6. 2.0 Everywhere - Most companies still aren't so good at public-facing blogs and social networks.
  7. The Greening of IT - High energy costs made Green the color of the year.
  8. Globalization and its Discontents - Business slowed for big outsources, who responded by moving up the value chain and purchasing western companies.
  9. Media Unravels - The Net continued to remake the media marketplace.
  10. Big Deal - HP swallowed EDS, creating a worthy competitor for IBM in the IT-services industry.
Use the COMMENTS link below if you have any thoughts on these top 10 IT stories. Also, what do you see at the top 2-3 BDPA-related stories for this year?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BDPA IT Corps: Can We Go Global?


Norman Mays is a man with a vision. His vision led him to become the founder of BDPA chapters in Cleveland and Washington DC. His vision led him to become our national BDPA president from 1981 thru 1984.

Norman Mays currently has a vision about taking BDPA to Africa.

He partnered with Ademola Solaru to propose that our Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program be expanded to include students from different countries in Africa. Norman and Ademola traveled to Tanzania earlier this year to meet with African officials at the Leon Sullivan Summit to talk about creation of a BDPA IT Corps ... loosely based on the Peace Corps concept.

We are now entering into the second year of the pilot program. The BDPA IT Corps is a program that is characterized by connectivity on an international level - through computer technology as well as by establishing direct social ties. It is designed to work hand in hand with the SITES and the BDPA IT Showcase. Its mission is to broaden the experiences and professional preparation of its participants through exchanges of technology and cultural knowledge that address community issues in the United States and in developing countries.

The mission will be fulfilled by visits to African countries by teams of BDPA high school computer competition (HSCC) alumni students. While in Africa, the students and chaperones will participate in visits to educational institutions in order to meet, socialize and work with local peer group students. They will engage in discussions on a variety of technology topics and creation of African-based computer competitions.

At this stage we need to raise money to fund this program. You can help by making a pledge to the BDPA IT Corps program. Or you can direct us to a funding source in America or Africa that you think might be interested in working with the BDPA IT Corps program.

Please share your thoughts via the COMMENTS option below. We need to generate some enthusiasm and support for this program. What say u?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Grant Proposal: Microsoft

Microsoft offers two primary ways for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs, also known as nonprofit organizations) to acquire the Microsoft technology they need:
  1. Use Windows Live or Microsoft Office Live services and other online applications to access free software through the Internet.

  2. Apply for a software grant through the Microsoft Software Donation program.

The BDPA Foundation and BDPA Cincinnati chapter partnered with the Microsoft management team to submit a $935,475 grant proposal through the software donation program. The proposal focused on providing software necessary to upgrade 25 desktop computers in the chapter's Community Technology Center.

Steve Gutter (chapter VP-Finance) and Frank Hill (chapter past president) worked closely with the BDPA Foundation to finalize the grant proposal. We feel that the grant will be positively received by Microsoft. BDPA Cincinnati chapter plans to use the software to expand their Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in a centralized CTC facility in 2009.

We will let you know the final disposition on this grant proposal. Is your chapter working with the BDPA Foundation yet?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

3rd Annual ScienceOnline Conference

Soulclap to SES: Science, Education & Society for telling us about 3rd annual ScienceOnline Conference, the annual science blogging conference, to be held Jan. 16-18, 2009 in Research Triangle Park, NC.

The goal is to bring together scientists, bloggers, educators, students, journalists and others to discuss, demonstrate and debate online strategies and tools for promoting the public understanding of science.

The event is already sold-out.

One of the interesting panel discussions will focus on race in scienceonline and offline — moderated by Danielle Lee and Samia Ansari. Do most people still assume that if there is no profile picture, most readers will automatically assume that the author is white. What can be done to promote minorities blogging? How can blogs by minorities be used to attract kids into science careers? How the Web provides new methods and means for action and effecting positive change. Go here to discuss.

I hope that BDPA finds a way to use Web 2.0 tools ... including blogs ... to market and promote itself over the coming weeks and months. In fact, I wonder if we are promoting our 2009 BDPA Technology Conference ... that is also being held in the Research Triangle area ... at the 2009 ScienceOnline Conference.

Please share your thoughts on this conference via the COMMENTS option shown below. What say u?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Message from Greater Tampa Bay Chapter President


One of my great joys in BDPA is to watch the successful growth of the BDPA vision in a community. I've been watching that growth in Tampa Bay, FL over the past few months under the focused leadership of BDPA Greater Tampa Bay chapter president Frank Shines. Frank stepped up to challenge issued earlier this year by immediate past president Leslie Mozon.

Here is the message that Frank shared with his members and supporters about the progress over the past year and plans for next year:


Beginning in August 2008 we began an effort to rebuild the Greater Tampa Bay chapter. Our chapter had become dormant over the past three years and only 2-3 members were showing up for monthly program meetings. However, in the past five months, we have made enormous strides; this due largely to the efforts of our immediate past president, Leslie Mozon, Wayne Hicks and our current officers: Gilda Mack (VP of Strategy & Planning), Michelle Graham (VP of Finance) and Ian Elius (VP of Member Services).

The end of a year is a great milestone point to pause, reflect and plan for the future. Let me take a moment to tell you what we have achieved this year and where the Tampa Bay chapter is headed in 2009. First, we took the time to look at other top-performing chapters and conduct some benchmarking against other national and local competitors. We also spent lots of time listening to the wise counsel of
Wayne Hicks, whose invaluable experience, business insights and uncanny ability to detect trends in IT, were a Godsend. Based on that input and the hard work of our officers in 2008 we:
  • Completed our three year strategic plan (an ongoing work in progress)
  • Created our program for 2009 HSCC/SITES competitions
  • Launched twice-monthly chapter communiques to all members and partners
  • Added conference call-ins and Web meetings to all monthly program meetings
  • Developed and launched chapter website and added Web 2.0 and cloud computing tools
  • Increased our monthly attendance and membership by 4-5 times its past level
  • Developed partnerships with Computer Mentors Group (IT training to at-risk youth), Smarter Solutions, Skill of Success, and Streale to further grow membership, and to increase marketing and branding in both the local and online communities
  • Developed a roster of public speakers from Wachovia, Pilgrim Software, Camstar, Industriaplex, and Skill of Success who spoke with us on the topics of SOA/Web Services, Project Management, Six Sigma, Regulatory Compliance, Enterprise Quality and Wealth Management
In 2009 we have very ambitious plans, chief among these:
  • Working with IBM and Computer Mentors Group to showcase events for the Feb 2009 Black Family Technology Awareness Week
  • Following up on more than 23 grant and sponsorship opportunities
  • Executing the March 2009 charity golf tournament with Computer Mentors Group and many local businesses and sponsors
  • Developing our team for HSCC/SITES to compete at the national conference
  • Launching training curriculum and entrepreneurship programs for at-risk youth working with Computer Mentors Group, Apex Digital Imaging and Skill of Success
  • Providing Web based training on Management & Communication Skills, Executive Presence, SaaS/Cloud Computing and Building Your Online Image
  • Speaker topics will include: Recession-Proofing Your Career, Building Your Online Image, Becoming an Accomplished Public Speaker, The Growth of Saas/Cloud Computing, Zoho and Google Apps, Entrepreneurship / Intrapreneurship, Future of SAP, Lean Six Sigma 2.0, ITIL & Virtualization, Money Matters and Getting Promoted

Our heartfelt thanks go out to our founder, Earl Pace, the national BDPA leadership and staff, and all of the chapter presidents who have helped us to revitalize the Tampa Bay chapter in 2008. We wish you all peace and joy this holiday season...and all the success in 2009!

Frank Shines, president
BDPA Greater Tampa Bay

BDPA Greater Tampa Bay is the 36th largest chapter in the nation. I anticipate that they will be in the 'Top 20' before the end of next quarter! Please share your COMMENTS on Frank's message if you have time or inclination.

Friday, December 26, 2008

2002 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Rankings

The 2002 National BDPA Technology Conference was held in Orlando FL. The theme "Changing the Culture of IT: From Access to Ownership".

One of the highlights of the conference was the national HSCC championships. There were 22 chapters competing that year. The top four teams were only separated by nine (9) points in the scoring of the 3-parts of the competition. The final rankings turned out as follows:
  1. Memphis
  2. Atlanta
  3. Chicago
  4. Detroit
  5. Cincinnati
  6. Dayton
  7. Los Angeles (shown in photo)
  8. Bay Area
  9. Greater Columbia
  10. Southern Minnesota
  11. Dallas
  12. St Louis
  13. Richmond (shown in photo to the right)
  14. Charlotte
  15. Greater Tampa Bay
  16. New York
  17. New Jersey
  18. Seattle
  19. Cleveland
  20. Philadelphia
  21. Kansas City
  22. Central Savannah River Area
Three of these chapters (Central Savannah River Area, Kansas City and Seattle) have not sent a team to the national competition since 2002. BDPA Washington DC missed the competition this year ... however they have competed every year since 2002.

The members of the 2002 national HSCC champions, trained by BDPA Memphis chapter, each earned $1,000 Bemley Scholarships. The winning students were Akeylah Battle, Cornell Gaulmon (University of Tennessee), Brittany Middleton (University of Tennessee), Trevor Williams (University of Tennessee) and Mitchell Word (University of Memphis)

Are there any BDPA members or HSCC alumni who remember the 2002 HSCC held in Orlando? If so, we would love you to share your thoughts using the COMMENTS option below.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

BDPA Career Center


The BDPA Career Center serves the career needs of African American information technology (IT) professionals. The career center has a robust resume databank that provides exposure for you and your skill set to some of the best companies in the country. It has an excellent search facility in the form of a Job Bank that allows you to search for the perfect position for you and your skill set anywhere in the country.

The BDPA career center also supports the IT College Student with a Student Internship Program with resources to assist you in securing that desired college internship over the summer or any time of the year.

BDPA advances the careers of African Americans in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom. The BDPA Career Center should be your first stop in fulfilling all of your career goals. Have you used this member service yet?

Message from Columbus Chapter President

BDPA Columbus is currently the 19th largest BDPA chapter in the nation. Reggie Hillery came on board this year as the new chapter president in Ohio's state capital city. Reggie and his leadership team have big goals for the chapter in 2009 and beyond.

He shared some of his thoughts in the following holiday message to his chapter members and supporters:



On behalf of the BDPA Columbus Chapter, I want to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year. I want to thank our members, guests, chapter sponsors and executive board members for making this one of the best years for the chapter.

As we reflect back over 2008, we can see how much our chapter has
accomplished and the value we have provided to the community:

  • Career Building Information Exchange meeting with over 100 attendees
  • Participated in one the largest Leadership and Empowerment Networking
    events for African-American organizations in Central Ohio (National Association of Black Accountants, National Black MBA Association and National Society of Black Engineers)
  • Provided the Community with Voting Information
  • Reached a Membership Milestone (Top 10 Nationwide in August 2008)
  • Joint Holiday Party with National Society of Black Engineers (Pictures)
In 2009, we will continue to provide the community, our members and sponsors with outstanding programs, training and networking opportunities.

Things to come...

  • CIO Forum
  • Revamped Website
  • Opportunity to Mentor High School Students
  • Increase Online Presence (CollectiveX, Facebook and Members Blogs)
  • Information and Exchange Webinars and Podcasts
  • Social Networking Events
  • Training Programs
  • Joint Events with other African American Professional Organizations

Please remember those less fortunate and donate your time and resources to the community by providing support to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Toys for Tots or a local homeless shelter.

God bless you and your family this Holiday Season!

Thank you,
Reginald Hillery, president
BDPA Columbus Chapter
(614)746-1963



The state of Ohio is blessed to have five BDPA chapters (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo). These chapters play an important role in the future success of African Americans in the state's growing information technology industry. Reggie and his crew from Columbus are uniquely positioned to 'make a difference'. Join us in wishing them well next year!

VIDEO: Computer Troubleshooting and Fixes Made Easy

Merry Christmas BDPAers! Did you get a computer as a gift for Christmas this year?

If so, you will likely need to know about 'Computer Troubleshooting and Fixes Made Easy'. Enjoy this interview of BDPA Memphis chapter member April Jackson, Desktop Support Specialist conducted earlier this year on the Business Compute-N-Show by host Nancy Ford in Memphis, TN.



I think it is great that one of our BDPA chapters has a television show! What are your thoughts on the idea of BDPA marketing itself via television (in general) and this televised interview (in particular) using the COMMENTS link below.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Message from Orlando Chapter President


BDPA Orlando is the 20th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter was the 36th largest chapter at this time last year. One of the reasons for the rapid growth in Orlando is the drive and determination of its new president ... Pablo More.

Pablo shared the following holiday message with his members and supporters:

Good morning, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and FABULOUS New Year! I believe that 2009 is going to be a FANTASTIC year for BDPA. As we close out 2008, let us reflect on all the remarkable things we have witness in our lifetime thus far and the change that is coming.

There are A LOT of great opportunities that exists and that we can be in the forefront if we take advantage of them. The
ComputerWorld articles were just the beginning. We have BDPA chapters in some of the hardest economically hit areas and we can be agents of change transforming peoples lives and giving them the much needed skills and be a team player in Governor's councils across this country.

There are going to be Federal funds available once President-elect Obama takes office to stimulate this economy and get people back to work and get training to improve their skills. Technology is being seen as a catalyst for revitalization of this economy and BDPA can play a major role in that.

Happy Holidays and safe travels!

Pablo More, president
BDPA Orlando Chapter


Use the COMMENTS feature below if you would like to share your thoughts about Pablo's message. Do you see a place for BDPA in the coming economic revitalization plans of our country?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

BDPA IT Institute: PMP Exam Prep Course (Winter 2009)


Are you thinking about becoming certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP)? If so, you should consider registering for the PMP Exam Prep course hosted by the BDPA IT Institute.

The Winter 2009 PMP Exam Prep course, taught by Gregory Brown, begins January 19th. PMP Exam Prep Course covers all of the project management knowledge areas and includes exercises, practice questions and practice exams to help students determine their preparedness for the exam. The emphasis of the course is on passing the PMP certification examination using the latest edition of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as the reference. Other texts may be assigned based on the experience level of the students enrolled in the course.

For more information, please contact us at institute@bdpa.org.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Message from New York Chapter President

BDPA New York is the sixth largest chapter in the nation. They are led by one of the most enthusiastic presidents in BDPA history ... Judaea Lane. Judaea shared the following message with her members and sponsors:


Heading into the Holiday Season provides us an opportunity to reflect on the positive things we have experienced during the past year and prepare for the New Year with even bigger goals and aspirations. It is time to feel grateful for our health and family and to be thankful for the many things we take for granted. The Holidays also give us a chance to recharge and assess the true meaning and purpose of our lives.

I am very proud of the BDPA New York Chapter and our members. I am thankful for the achievements of our Executive Board and dedicated members who worked hard to serve our chapter.

BDPA New York continues to close the Digital Divide by helping the community maintain an awareness of the value of computer technology. This year we delivered programs such as Network Management, Data Centers: Challenges & Overview, Cybercrime: How to Protect against it, Building Leadership Skills as a BDPA Volunteer, and The Role of IT in Voting Machines.

In addition, thanks to the UBS Executive Team and Randall Mosby of MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). Our students had an enriching tour of each facility's technical data center. Our students also had the opportunity to network with the Executive Team of Wachovia and Urban Financial. You can read about our students' experiences in our past newsletters (view essays). With our continued support of the SITES program- Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship Programs, our students will receive $2,500 in scholarships in 2009.

We also have built collaborative partnerships with NSBE, NAAAHR, Harlem Business Alliance and SmallBizTechnology.com. These partnerships have resulted in workshops such as Project Management of IT Professionals, Where do I Go from Here: Tools for Career Transition, the Harlem Business Economic Summit and SmallBiztechnology.com's Taste of Technology Series.

This year our chapter was the fourth largest chapter in BDPA. This is remarkable growth and proof that interest in our organization continues to grow. This also means that our collective wealth of BDPA member experiences has grown phenomenally and our professional networking opportunities are more abundant than ever.

I feel indebted to each and every officer, board member, committee member and sponsor, as well as all those who actively engage themselves in our chapter, for their remarkable efforts and achievements this past year. Whether it was organizing a program meeting, planning a social or networking event, or introducing an IT profession to high school students, our volunteers do it all. Thank you everyone.

As you look back on 2008, take pride in what you have accomplished personally and professionally, and take a moment to acknowledge what others have done to help you along the way.

As you set your New Year's resolutions, consider putting your involvement in BDPA high on that list. The benefits you will reap include professional development, networking and social opportunities, and simply making our profession better, which in my mind is priceless!

On behalf of the New York chapter's Executive Board and all of our key volunteers, I wish you and yours a joyous and a very safe holiday season.

Best Regards,
Judaea Yarde Lane, President
BDPA New York Chapter
Vision: Providing Tools to Globally Compete

I encourage you to reply back to Judaea using the COMMENTS feature below!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Use Online Auction to Meet African American Chief Information Officers


We have been exploring the issues and challenges facing African Americans in the IT industry. Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) created an online auction that provides you with a chance to continues this exploration with some truly dynamic executives in our industry.

Thirteen CIOs and Executives from global organizations have donated their time for you to have the opportunity to meet them one-on-one. The auction is open to all bidders so tell your colleagues and business associates to place their bids today!

Executive Participants:
  • Derek Adams, Chubb & Son
  • Shellye Archambeau, MetricStream
  • Robert Blackwell, Blackwell Consulting
  • Shirley Bridges, Delta Air Lines
  • Bruce Carver, Cummins
  • James Dallas, Medtronic Corporation
  • Martin Davis, Wachovia
  • Robert Dixon, PepsiCo
  • Vercie Lark, EMBARQ Corporation
  • Zackarie Lemelle, Johnson & Johnson
  • Greg Morrison, Cox Enterprises
  • Larry Quinlan, Deloitte
  • Kevin Summers, Whirlpool Corporation
Proceeds raised from this online auction support the ITSMF Scholarship Fund. The scholarship promotes the success of IT professionals striving to reach the executive level by funding attendance to leadership development programming.

Bid Now! Share your thoughts via the COMMENTS link below on this online auction concept. Who do you see on this list that you would like to meet with one-on-one? Who is missing from this list that you would like to see added in future years?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

BDPA Will Host Presidential Inaugural Reception

BDPA will host a formal reception on January 20, 2009 from 5-8pm in the District of Columbia. Click here for more information.

Monday, December 15, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Kelly Robinson Tarver (Cincinnati)


Kelly Robinson was a member of the 1999 high school computer competition team trained by BDPA Cincinnati chapter. It has been 10 years since she competed in this annual BDPA program. She is now married and a graduate of Syracuse University. Here is what she had to say about her BDPA experiences:
My experience in BDPA taught me the value and importance of teamwork. In addition, it exposed me to the world of computer science. I learned to use my critical thinking skills and solve problems analytically. Working with my peers in the HSCC was a lot of fun and helped my grow in my ability to contribute to a team and have a competitive spirit. Being a part of BDPA broadened my horizons and helped build the foundation for my future success.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Dec 14-20)


Our foundation hopes that you find value in the work that we are doing. If not, please feel free to share your thoughts on ways we can improve. In the meantime, we hope that you will seek out the BDPA chapter in your area. Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere:
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

Please make tax-deductible online donation to the BDPA Foundation before the end of the year. Do it now!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Q&A: Tech Pioneer Earl Pace on Racism in the IT Workplace


Earl Pace is BDPA Foundation board chairman. Early in his career, while working as a programming manager for a financial services company, Earl A. Pace, Jr. attended a computer conference where he was the only African American among the 200 attendees. He decided that needed to change.

Pace spoke with Computerworld about the obstacles in the IT workplace that African Americans have worked for decades - and are still working on -- to overcome.

Read the full Q&A session here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Seeking Students * IT Showcase Call for Participation


BDPA seeks participants for the 2009 IT Showcase. BDPA created this program for two reasons. First, we wanted to provide an opportunity for our High School Computer Competition (HSCC) alumni to continue their participation at the annual BDPA Technology Conference. Second, we wanted to encourage more African American students to pursue Ph.D. level education in the hard sciences. There are too few African Americans moving into this educational track. We want the IT Showcase to increase the flow in the Ph.D. pipeline.

BDPA IT Showcase participants are high school and undergraduate college students. The focus is leading edge technologies, hardware and software methodologies, research proofs of concepts encompassing, but not limited to, intelligent technologies (i.e., smart toys, machine learning, and genetic algorithms), power systems analysis, wearable computing, web technologies, high performance computing (HPC), computing curricula, computational science, robotics, virtual reality and much more.

Demonstrations are incorporated in the presentations where applicable. Presentations are judged in two categories, college (undergraduate) and high school. Three awards will be made in each category.

Presentations at previous showcases have answered questions such as the following:
  • What is a smart toy?
  • Can machines actually learn?
  • Is there a difference between virtual humans and avatars?
  • How will high performance computing change IT as we know it?
  • What are benefits of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) System?
  • Will genetic algorithms put more programmers out of work?
  • Can neural networks actually be trained?
  • Why would anyone want to wear a computer?
  • Should I get an Internet phone?
  • Are those movie/video scenes actually computer-generated?
  • Can I actually make maps on my computer?
Do you know any HSCC alumni or college students who might be interested in earning all-expense paid trip to Raleigh NC in order to participate in the 2009 BDPA IT Showcase? If so, share the 'Call for Participation' with them!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

BDPA Blogger: Julius Clark (Charlotte)


We are pleased to welcome BDPA Charlotte chapter president-elect Julius Clark to the afrosphere! He recently created a new blog, Clark Thought Leadership. The purpose of this blog is to provide Thought Leadership in the area of Information Technology and Security.

Julius seeks to satisfy his humanitarian inner being by assisting and encouraging others to give back to their communities and champion creativity while solving problems.

I look forward to seeing the evolution of Julius' blog (BBR #1508) over the coming weeks and months. Please use the COMMENTS option below to share your thoughts on the whole blogging phenonenom.

Are there any other BDPA bloggers out there?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Race And The Web: Going After Niche Markets Or Practicing Digital Segregation?


I met Angela Benton and Markus Robinson at the 1st annual Blogging While Brown conference. They are co-founders of Black Web 2.0, a site that covers the Internet industry from an African American perspective. TechCrunch published an interesting article from Angela and Markus that I thought BETF-Blog readers would enjoy:



The release of Blackbird, an African American focused web browser sparked quite a bit of controversy this past week. The TechCrunch post about it elicited reactions from both sides of the aisle (it has 275 comments and counting). Some argued for the value of niche audiences while others debated that the idea of a Black browser is in and of itself separatism, racist even. But catering to niche audiences online is nothing new. In fact, browsers that focus on a specific market segment isn’t all that new either. For example there’s Gloss, a women focused fashion and beauty browser created using Flock, the social media browser. But what makes the launch of Blackbird both a controversial and sensitive topic, is that it is focused towards an ethnic segment versus a special interest group. Race is still an extremely touchy subject in America, and the Internet and web are not immune to this sensitivity regardless of how open it is. But aren’t most businesses, especially web businesses, started in this “Web 2.0″ era defined by catering to a particular niche?

Really, if race-based niche sites are racist, then this inflated “Web 2.0 bubble” has played a major role in the segregation of the web overall. Many of the sites we all follow right here on TechCrunch, like Digg, Techmeme, and Mixx, were built and launched to service a niche, therefore fragmenting the web making it so we all think it’s “more personal” and “more authentic.”

Remember when Global Grind was once the more authentic counterpart to Pageflakes for the hip-hop culture? Or how about the collaborative advice site for parenting Minti that was described by Mike Arrington as a “walled garden” even though he “…like(s) to see niche content sites spring up that use Web 2.0 ideas - these services will help the masses start to use and understand things like tagging, ajax, etc.”

Read the rest of this article here.


Any thoughts about this article that you care to share with us in the COMMENTS section below?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

4-H Foundation

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. 4-H is a non-formal educational, youth development program offered to individuals age 5 and in Kindergarten to 19. Youth are involved in hands-on, experiential learning that allows learning by doing. All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences which stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills.

It turns out that there are 4-H Foundations in virtually every state in the union. Many of them give out scholarships for youth education programs, such as SITES. BETF is willing to explore the option with any BDPA chapter in need of funding for their 2009 SITES program. If you see something that interests you ... let me know in the COMMENTS section below. BETF is willing to submit joint grant application to try to obtain the funding with any interested BDPA chapter.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Dec 7-13)

Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. However, it is all for naught if you don't support or attend these activities all around the country. Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere:
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

If you like what you are seeing on this blog ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Grant Declination: AutoZone

BETF partnered with BDPA New York chapter on a letter of inquiry to AutoZone. We wanted permission to submit a full grant proposal to fund $2,000 towards the 2009 SITES program in New York.

Autozone declined our request. They wrote,


Thank you for your request of AutoZone. We appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your organization and the outlined proposed program.

After much deliberation and careful consideration, it was determined that AutoZone is unable to honor your request at this time. Factors that may have influenced our decision include: 'No budget funds available at this time.'

Sincerely,
AutoZone Community Relations


BETF will continue to seek funding support for BDPA New York chapter in the coming weeks and months. Please use the COMMENTS option below to make your own tax-deductible pledge in support of BDPA.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Grant Award: Sempra Energy Foundation

BETF is proud to announce that the Sempra Energy Foundation has made a contribution to support the after-school technology education of young people in Los Angeles, CA. The donation will support efforts by the BDPA Los Angeles chapter to advance the careers of African Americans from the 'classroom to the boardroom' in a comprehensive high school computer competition.

Sempra Energy Foundation executive director, Francisco Urtasun, wrote, "I'm pleased to enclose a contribution in the amount of $5,000 to support the Student Information Education & Scholarship (SITES) program for Los Angeles area youth. The Sempra Energy Foundation is proud to support this program."

Andree Justin, BDPA Los Angeles chapter president responded, "We are excited to get off to a good start for next year. A special thanks to our volunteers for submitting the package and working with Sempra to make sure they had all the details needed to ensure a successful outcome."

"I know that we will get all the support we need to have an exciting and successful program in 2009."
One of the key players in this grant process was Angela White-Parker. Angela is both a Sempra Energy associate and a past BDPA Los Angeles chapter president. Our hope is that other BDPA members will take a close look at the grant-making options from corporate foundations run by their employers.

Please use the COMMENTS option below to share your thoughts on this grant award. Does your employer have a corporate foundation that we can talk to about a grant for BDPA programs in your city?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Grant Declination: Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

We learned that the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation reviewed our letter of inquiry. Earlier this year we submitted a letter of inquiry on behalf of the 2009 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program delivered by BDPA New Jersey chapter.

Dodge Foundation makes grants in the education area because they know our democracy cannot thrive without access to educational excellence for all. Thus they focus on the lives of children and the culture of schools, particularly public schools in New Jersey.

BETF and BDPA New Jersey sought $15,000 in grant funding from Dodge Foundation. The Dodge Foundation staff reviewed our initial inquiry and notified us not to submit a full proposal.

They wrote,


Dear Mr. Hicks,

The inquiry is here and I do apologize for my lateness in responding. However, the project you propose does not fall within our funding guidelines.

Sincerely,
RoseAnn DeBois
Grants Coordinator


We will move forward in a positive and proactive manner. Please use the COMMENTS section below to let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions about raising funds for BDPA New Jersey or other BDPA chapters that are seeking support of their SITES program.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

2008 African American Information Technology Experience

by: Guest Blogger Julius Clark

I pulled these statistics from different sources to make a compelling point regarding the state of the African American Information Technology Professional in 2008. Barack Obama used the Internet to help him win the presidency like no other and has re-written the book on political campaigning.

African Americans receive 20% of all undergraduate Business degrees awarded in this country. Very impressive statistic, but we receive only 3% of all Computer Science undergraduate degrees, when technology professionals are in such a despite demand in this country; despite the color of an individual, and despite the slowing economy.

We have a lot of work to do in influencing our children to pursue careers in technology. It can be difficult when on one end of the spectrum, Science and Technology competes with little punch against the images of athletics and entertainment, which are so dominant in the African American culture for just a small few of individuals to successfully get into.


Here is what I found in my research:

  1. Community - African American children have made strives and the digital divide is narrowing in our community, but we need to stop boring our brightest children to death with continued basic computer literacy. They need to be taught how to solve problems with computers and the Internet.
  2. Academia/ College
    • African Americans represent 13-14% of the American Population, but only represent 3% of BS degrees awarded in Computer Science. This could change if we emphasize early to kids to use computers to solve problems.
    • Only 1% of PhD degrees are earned by African Americans this year and each year in the near future. People with the PhDs get money to research problems. The problem here is that our community has lots of problems, yet only 1% of African Americans with PhDs are qualified as researchers at universities to seek the funding to research solutions for our communities problems. This is not an efficient problem solving method.
  3. IT Professional
    • Only 3% of Information Technology jobs are held by African Americans. Hmmm... this number is the same as BS degrees awarded to African Americans.
    • African American IT professionals are making 85.9 cents to every dollar of our white computer Professionals. Last year we made 86.4 percent; we lost some ground.
    • One identified gap for the salary lag: "intangibles" -- subjective factors that determine where in the compensation range an individual falls. The building of trusted relationships that enables people to reach the higher end of the subjective range apparently hasn't strengthened in the past year and is disappointing.
    • Whites saw a 3.4% compensation increase from last year, compared with 2.7% for African Americans, the lowest increase for any ethnicity
  4. 2008 Computerworld Salary Survey - Click here to the survey
  5. Heartening Discoveries -
    • African American children are addicted to computers and the Internet and want to be challenged more. Let's not bore or ignore them.
    • When asked how satisfied they were with their decision to pursue an IT career, 89.3% of African Americans said they were satisfied or very satisfied. That's the highest percentage of support for the career path voiced by any ethnicity, including whites, at 84.5%. Hey, we love what we do!!
  6. eCommerce - In 2008 African Americans made up 11.8% of all Internet purchases. Very high numbers here and they are rising. We need to get more African American students interested in Computer Science and get some of this eCommerce money.
My Final Thoughts - An Information Technology career is the best return on investment for your money and time. The satisfaction rate of African Americans in IT demonstrate our perseverance as a people in the wake of continuing disparities. I welcome the future with hopeful feelings. Let's keep it with the "Change We Need" and "From the Classroom to the Boardroom" mantras. Go BDPA Information Technology Thought Leaders!!!

Championing the cause,
Julius Clark, President-Elect
BDPA Charlotte Chapter


We are very pleased to post this op-ed piece from Julius. Please use the COMMENTS below to share your thoughts with Julius on his research and commentary. Julius is an example of the IT Thought Leaders that are in BDPA. Are you active with BDPA in your city?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President


Our hope is that we can publish a message from all 50 chapter presidents on a monthly basis. In the meantime, we will publish the message from any interested chapter president. Today, we share with you a message from the BDPA Philadephia chapter president.


Dear Members, Friends and Colleagues,

Heading into the Holiday Season provides us an opportunity to reflect on the positive things we have experienced during the past year and prepare for the New Year with even bigger goals and aspirations. It is time to feel grateful for our health and family and to be thankful for the many things we take for granted. The Holidays also give us a chance to recharge and assess the true meaning and purpose of our lives.

I am very proud of the BDPA Philadelphia Chapter and our members. I am thankful for the achievements of our Executive Board and dedicated members who worked hard to serve our chapter.

BDPA Philadelphia continues to close the Digital Divide by helping the community maintain an awareness of the value of computer technology. This year we delivered programs such as Agile Development Methodology, Working with SAP Nothing but NET, The Future of Software Delivery, and the Third Annual Recruiters Round Table. We also continued our SITES - Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship Programs giving area students over $4,000 in scholarships.

This year our chapter has grown by more than 50%. This is a remarkable growth and proof that interest continues in our organization to grow. This means also that our collective BDPA wealth of member experiences has grown phenomenally and your professional networking opportunities are more abundant than ever.

I feel indebted to each and every officer, board member, committee member and sponsor, as well as all those who actively engage themselves in our chapter, for their remarkable efforts and achievements this past year. Whether it was organizing a program meeting, planning a social or networking event, or introducing our profession to high school students, our volunteers do it all. Thank you, everyone.

As you look back on 2008, take pride in what you have accomplished personally and professionally, and take a moment to acknowledge what others have done to help you along the way.

Our challenge in 2009 is to continue the implementation of our Chapter's five year Strategic Plan, plus start launching the design and implementation of our college student chapters. The purpose of the strategic plan is to link chapter priorities and objectives to the BDPA National strategic priorities, local member needs and community requirements.

As you set your New Year's resolutions, consider putting your involvement in BDPA high on that list. The benefits you will reap include professional development, networking and social opportunities, and simply making our profession better, which in my mind is priceless!

On behalf of the Philadelphia's Executive Board, our corporate partners; CIGNA, Rohm & Haas, Merck, Deloitte, Wyeth, and all of our key volunteers, I wish you and yours a joyous and a very safe holiday season.

Best Regards,
Monique F. Berry, President
BDPA Philadelphia
Vision: Partnering for Continued Growth!


BDPA Philadelphia is the defending chapter of the year. I think that Ms. Berry is planning to make a run for a third straight award!

Would you like to see similiar communication from your chapter president?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Message from Richmond Chapter President

BDPA Richmond earned the 'Chapter Membership Award' earlier this year. I marvel at the work done by this chapter in social networks (CollectiveX, YahooGroup, Facebook), comprehensive SITES program and aggressive fundraising initiatives. So, I wasn't surprised when Jackie Pryor, one of the strongest BDPA presidents in the nation, shared the following message with her chapter stakeholders:


Dear BDPA Members, Friends and Colleagues,

Heading into the Holiday Season provides us an opportunity to reflect on the positive things we have experienced during the past year and prepare for the New Year with even bigger goals and aspirations. It is time to feel grateful for our health and family and to be thankful for the many things we take for granted. The Holidays also give us a chance to recharge and assess the true meaning and purpose of our lives.

I am very proud of the BDPA Richmond Chapter and our members. I am thankful for the achievements of our Executive Board and dedicated members who worked hard to serve our chapter.

BDPA Richmond continues to close the Digital Divide by helping the community maintain an awareness of the value of computer technology. This year we delivered programs such as LEGO, the Middle School Computer Terminology Quiz Bowl, and the High School Computer Competition Training program. With our continued support of the SITES program- Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship Programs, we gave students over $3,500 in scholarships in 2008.

This year our chapter has been the third largest chapter in BDPA. This is a remarkable growth and proof that interest continues in our organization to grow. This means also that our collective BDPA wealth of member experiences has grown phenomenally and your professional networking opportunities are more abundant than ever.

I feel indebted to each and every officer, board member, committee member and sponsor, as well as all those who actively engage themselves in our chapter, for their remarkable efforts and achievements this past year. Whether it was organizing a program meeting, planning a social or networking event, or introducing our profession to high school students, our volunteers do it all. Thank you everyone.

As you look back on 2008, take pride in what you have accomplished personally and professionally, and take a moment to acknowledge what others have done to help you along the way.

Our challenge in 2009 is to continue the implementation of our Chapter's two-year Strategic Plan. The purpose of the strategic plan is to link chapter priorities and objectives to the BDPA National strategic priorities, local member needs and community requirements.

As you set your New Year's resolutions, consider putting your involvement in BDPA high on that list. The benefits you will reap include professional development, networking and social opportunities, and simply making our profession better, which in my mind is priceless!

On behalf of the Richmond chapter’s Executive Board and all of our key volunteers, I wish you and yours a joyous and a very safe holiday season.

Best Regards,
Jackie Pryor, President
BDPA Richmond Chapter
Motto: “Educate to Elevate”

Please use the COMMENTS section below to share some love with Jackie! Is your chapter president sending out messages like this as well?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Nov 30 - Dec 6)


Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. As such, it is important that our blog readers know about the plethora of BDPA activity all around the country. Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere:
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

If you like what you are seeing on this blog ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

President Profile: BDPA South Florida Chapter (Jeff Cunningham)


Jeff Cunningham, President
BDPA South Florida Chapter

Address: PO Box 680086
Miami, FL 33168
Phone: (212) 696-6892
Website: None
Newsletter: None

BDPA South Florida Chapter was at a crossroads earlier this year. The chapter activity slowed down considerably over the past year or so. The chapter either needed a new leader to emerge or face possible end of BDPA in that city. Jeff Cunningham rose to the challenge when he agreed to become acting president pending elections.

Jeffrey Cunningham is a seasoned technology professional in South Florida and a principal with J. Cunningham & Associates. His firms delivers information technology services including Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance, Corporate Governance, Assessments of ERP applications, HIPAA Compliance, Document Retention & Management, Project Management, and Enterprise Security.

Jeffrey is active in the his community with organizations such as: BDPA South Florida, Black MBA Association, Project Management Institute, Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Professionals Association, and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

Jeffrey received a Bachelor of Arts degree from LeMoyne Owen College and Masters Degree from Central Michigan University. He is currently pursuing a second Masters degree in SAP.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Jeffrey was awarded in 2002 by the Memphis Business Journal as one of the Top 40 Executive under 40 for the state of Tennessee. In 2007, Jeffrey was nominated Who's Who in Black South Florida.

Jeff's wants to move BDPA South Florida chapter in three specific areas over the coming weeks and months:
  1. Increase membership by reconnecting with past members
  2. Build strategic alliances with other professional, technical, business and member organizations
  3. Build a BDPA presence on the campus of Florida Memorial University
Jeff's favorite quote: "Watch your mouth kid, or you'll find yourself floating home" - His Mom!

His favorite BDPA memory: "Attending my first BDPA National Conference many years ago and seeing so many people of color in Technology."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Allstate Giving Campaign

BETF proudly received pledged payments through the Allstate Giving Campaign made by Malvirse Dervin, Yvette Graham, Lewis Hamer, Felicia Mansfield, Chandra Morton, Ura Puranda and two anonymous employees. Our foundation is proud to be part of the annual giving program for Allstate Insurance. The donations made by these six BDPA members will be used to support BDPA Chicago programs and services. Allstate Insurance leveraged the generosity of these BDPA employees with an additional 15% matching fund donation.

Our hope is that other BDPA members will consider making payroll deductions during annual giving campaigns put on by United Way, Combined Federal Campaign or the company itself. Others may simply want to make a one-time donation directly to BETF in support of the youth education programs taking place all over the country.

Please share some 'BDPA-Love' with Malvirse, Yvette, Lewis, Felicia, Chandra and Ura by using the COMMENTS section below!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

McKelvey Foundation: Entrepreneurial Scholarships

The McKelvey Foundation is honored to award $40,000 scholarships to young entrepreneurs nationwide who have started their own businesses. Each scholar will be awarded up to $10,000 per year to attend any four-year college within the United States.

Applicants will be required to meet scholarship criteria. Winners of the Entrepreneurial Scholarships will enjoy being part of a larger entrepreneurial networking community and will be given the opportunity to meet with other scholars during our summer e-Venture program.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Okwudili Udeh (Hartford)

Very few BDPA students participate in the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) in multiple years. So it is a remarkable feat when one of our HSCC alumni compete in four (4) separate national conferences. I give you that background so that you will be sufficiently aware of the unique nature of Okwudili Udeh. Okwudili was a member of HSCC teams trained by BDPA Hartford chapter to compete nationally in 2005 (Detroit), 2006 (Los Angeles), 2007 (Washington DC) and 2008 (Atlanta).

Another reason that we are proud of Okwudili is that he is one of our Bemley Scholar! He earned $1,500 Bemley Scholarship from the BDPA Foundation. He is using those funds to earn a college degree from Ithaca College. Enough from me ... take a moment to check out his personal testimonial:


I am Okwudili Udeh, a member of the BDPA Hartford Chapter. Right now, I am a freshman at Ithaca College, majoring in Computer Science and Creative Writing. I plan on building applications to improve the comic book industry, like page layout design programs, new technology ideas and such, but currently, I’ve got my hands full with other work (college is no joke).

The HSCC program was my “summer camp”. For four years (five if you count the YTC), I’ve gone to different BDPA conferences around the United States, and learned new things about the IT industry, my teammates, and myself at each of them. In my opinion, those conferences provided knowledge and me the training I needed to be successful in college and high school. It taught me how to write a resume, network, how to utilize different software development strategies, teamwork, team management, new technology, and more. None of my high school classes covered those important topics!

My fondest memory throughout the five years was winning second place in Detroit. We did not win first place, but at that point, it sure felt like we did. I am usually not one to cry after something good happens, but I was close at that point. My high school caught word of it quickly, and for the first few weeks of school, a bunch of people were congratulating me, including my school’s principal, since I was the only one in my school that was on the Hartford Chapter’s HSCC team at the time. Even the Hartford Courant newspaper featured our team.

Although that is my fondest memory, the programming classes have influenced me the most. They were vigorous at times, but I always tried to attend each class because I felt so comfortable there. It was a place that I could hang out and talk about Information Technology with people that understood me. In addition, through these classes learned about things that actually fit my future career path, which is more towards computer programming.

I do not know what type of person I would have been without the HSCC program and BDPA in general, but I am sure he would not be as intelligent, or as happy, as I am. Through the BDPA, I gained a tighter bond with my family, new friends, a lot more knowledge about the Information Technology and business worlds, and a whole lot of self-confidence. In college, some of my friends wonder why I act so professional and methodical, and I give them all the same answer: it is because of what I learned through the BDPA.



It feels good knowing that BDPA is having such a positive impact on young folks like Okwudili. How do you feel about it?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Google Digitizes Books


In this space I continue to make the case that we need to get down with computers and technology. There are no more excuses. The Internet, SmartPhones, and Computers are no longer a luxury. This technology is now a requirement to participate in the world. Many still beleive that this is an economic issue. It is not. African Americans have plenty of disposable income. And for those of us who are unable to afford access to technology there are many free avenues that provide the kind of access I am advocating. If we need to discuss these resources please comment here and I will be happy to provide.

There are so many areas in your life that you can simplify and save money simply by owning a computer and having a high-speed connection to the Internet. Here is another example. Google has a project that entails digitizing books. What this is means is that you will be able to access books online electronically. I think this is an excellent project. In education we are always hearing about the poor quality of the textbooks in the urban public schools. Technology once again can play the role of the great equalizer. If you are prepared to take advantage of it.

Read more about the google project here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guest Blogger: 'Art of Thanksgiving' (Callie Herd)

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to take the time to promote my blog, Planning and Preparing for College (Scholarships, Internships, Etc) with you. It is my hope that you would take the time to share with others and bless as many students/parents that you can.

I have found out during the years that "it is you that determines how far you can or can't go." We must stop allowing others to limit us on what we want to do in life. One of my favorite motto is: "Your vision is not my vision and just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it won't manifest."

I had the pleasure of advising a young man from the "Class of 2008" who had barely graduated with almost a 2.0, but still had the desire to attend college. The young man had also never taken the ACT or applied for college. I went into my speech that "if he believes in himself and have faith that anything is possible." The young man told me his goal was to attend college, but he felt that his current grades and not taking the ACT would make that an impossible dream. I advised him on what he needed to do in order to prepare for the ACT exam. Last month, I received a call from him and he told me he scored a "21". He was very enlightened and couldn't believe that he scored so high. The young man plans on attending college this January '09.

My challenge to you, the "Class of 2009" and current college students is that you create a plan when applying for scholarships that would allow you the best opportunities to obtain one. For instead the Sam Walton Community Service college would be a great programming project and could be the base for future scholarship formats. You see this particular scholarship is nation-wide and for every Walmart, Sam's and Walmart Neighborhood Store their will be a recipient of the scholarships. The value of the scholarship is $3,000.

Just think if you could devise a way to have a layout of the impacted stores, store numbers, average income for the area, how many schools are within the range of the store(s) and then assign a student per store for that area. This would provide statistical data that would allow the odds of them receiving a scholarship to be higher. The previous sentence is just a few requirements needed, but you will have to plot in the rest. In the end, planning how to apply and select a scholarships is the biggest thing to conquer.

In 2004 both my daughter and friend's daughter were recipient of the scholarship because they had a plan along with the requirements needed in order to receive the scholarships. So in the end, "life's challenges goes to the man who thinks he can."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Does Racism Still Exist in IT Industry?


Don Tennant is editor for Computerworld who shared disturbing news from the results in Computerworld's 2008 IT Salary Survey. Mr. Tennant wrote about the survey last year. He noted that African Americans were underrepresented in the IT profession, with only a 3% showing, and that their compensation was significantly lower than that of their white counterparts.

Unfortunately, Mr. Tennant points out in his editorial entitled, 'Hoping for equality in the IT profession' that the 3% figure is unchanged, and if anything, the compensation gap is even wider. Last year, African-American IT workers made just 86.4 cents for every dollar white IT workers made (average total compensation of $78,582, compared with $90,901). This year, it was 85.9 cents ($80,733 vs. $93,977).

Maybe the issue is deeper still. There are so many in our industry who feel that racism no longer exists ... after all, didn't we just elect a Black man to be our president?

What is your take on the standing of African Americans in the IT industry as we move into the new year?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grant Proposal: LimitedBrands Foundation

LimitedBrands Office of Inclusion agreed to fund $750 in support of LimitedBrands associates working with the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in the Columbus, OH area. We were asked to formalize the funding using the LimitedBrands Foundation grant process.

Since 1994, LimitedBrands Foundation has invested nearly $48 million in the community to support causes that align with their agenda to advance women, children and education.

We will keep you informed on the progress of this grant proposal.