Monday, March 31, 2008

Global IT Infrastructure Services (Chicago)

BDPA Chicago - April 18 2008 Program Meeting
UBS Tower, 1. N. Wacker Dr., Chicago, Illinois
38th Floor

Roger Jungst, Managing Director, ITI-Distributed Systems and Storage will be presenting on the topic of Global IT Infrastructure Services at UBS (Storage, Grid Computing, Databases, Networking and Telecommunications)

BDPA Chicago - April 2008 Program Meeting

Sunday, March 30, 2008 Tracks Black Authored Blogs

Drumbeats from AAPP took us to a new online community that tracks the best African American Authored Blogs ...

Enter the Invitation Code 8BEACFFBED8F834D when you register at and you'll automatically be connected to my Villager profile.

This unique site was created by Courtney Payne. He is a full-time contractor and budding entrepreneur from Fort Washington, Maryland. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University. runs on SmartCF Software that he created to run his online community/social networking package. Hopefully, this brother gets hooked up with the BDPA Washington DC chapter because he has skillz!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Financial Management 101 (Philadelphia)

BDPA Philadelphia is the 6th largest chapter in the nation. They strive to deliver business, education & technology topics at their monthly program meetings. The chapter notes that concerns about our national economy impact on IT professionals need to be addressed. As such, the next chapter program meeting will focus on 'Financial Management 101-6 Steps to Financial Success'.

The guest presenter is Camari Ellis. Camari Ellis is a Senior Associate with the First Genesis Financial Group. First Genesis, formed in 2005, is an African American owned wealth management firm that specializes in building financial freedom for business owners and individuals through a comprehensive suite of financial services expertise, strategies and concepts.

Here are the logistics for the meeting:

Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: CIGNA
2 Liberty Place (16th and Chestnut Streets)
Philadelphia 19101

You can RSVP online or call (215) 844-3235 for the April program meeting.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grant Declination: US Airways Community Relations Department

We were informed that our $3,991 grant proposal for airline tickets to support the BDPA Philadelphia chapter's youth education program was denied.

US Airways invests in community organizations and initiatives to enhance quality of life in markets served by the airline. The airline’s funding priorities include arts and culture, health and human services, and education and environment in the following hub markets and focus cities: Boston, Charlotte, Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Philip Emeagwali: 'The Graves Are Not Yet Full'

Philip Emeagwali is a giant in the information technology industry. He has served as a keynoter for BDPA in the past. Born in Nigeria, this computer genius studied for his doctorate from the University of Michigan. He is best known for linking 65,000 computers to form the fastest computer on Earth and founding the Internet. Emeagwali considers himself to be “a Black scientist with a social responsibility to communicate science to the Black Diaspora.”

He shared his reflections on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. last week in Atlanta. I invite you to reflect on his words as shared below:

Walk with me down memory lane. The time: 1968. In 30 months, one million dead. The setting: a dusty camp in Biafra where survivors waited and hoped for peace. The survivors: Refugees fleeing from the “Dance of Death.” My mentor: One of the refugee camp directors, whom I called “Teacher” out of respect.

“Martin Luther King has been killed,” Teacher said, with a pained voice and vacant eyes. I looked towards Teacher, wondering: “Who is Martin Luther King?” I was a 13-year-old refugee in the west African nation of Nigeria, a land then called Biafra. Martin Luther King. What did that name mean?

Eight out of ten Biafrans were refugees exiled from their own country. Two years earlier, Christian army officers had staged a bloody coup killing Muslim leaders. The Muslims felt the coup was a tribal mutiny of Christian Igbos against their beloved leaders. The aggrieved Muslims went on a killing rampage, chanting: “Igbo, Igbo, Igbo, you are no longer part of Nigeria!” In the days that followed, 50,000 Igbos were killed in street uprisings.

Killing was not new to us in Biafra. I was 13, but I knew much of killing. Widows and orphans were most of the refugees in our camp. They had survived the Igbo “Dance of Death” – a euphemism for the mass executions. One thousand men at gunpoint forced to dance a public dance. Seven hundred were then shot and buried en masse in shallow graves. When told to hurry up and return to his regular duty, one of the murderers said: “The graves are not yet full.”

A few days later, with only the clothes on our backs, we fled from this “Dance of Death.” That was six months before Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Teacher and I were eventually conscripted into the Biafran army and sent to the front, two years after our escape. After the war, Teacher – who had taught me the name of Martin Luther King – was among the one million who had died. I – a child soldier – was one of the fifteen million who survived.

Africa is committing suicide: a two-decade war in Sudan, genocidal killings in Rwanda, scorched-earth conflicts in Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, and Liberia. The wars in modern Africa are the largest global-scale loss of life since the establishment of the Atlantic Slave trade, which uprooted and scattered Africa’s sons and daughters across the United States, Jamaica, and Brazil.

Africa’s wars are steering the continent toward a sea of self-destruction so deep that even the greatest horror writers are unable to fathom its depths. So, given our circumstances, Martin Luther King was a name unknown, a dead man among millions, with a message that never reached the shores of Biafra. Neither did his message reach the ears of “The Black Scorpion,” Benjamin Adekunle, a tough Nigerian army commander, whose credo of ethnic cleansing knew nothing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s movement: “We shoot at everything that moves, and when our forces move into Igbo territory, we even shoot things that do not move.”

As we heed Martin Luther King Jr.’s call, and march together across the world stage, let us never forget that we who have witnessed and survived the injustice of such nonsensical wars are the torchbearers of his legacy of peace for our world, our nation, and our children.

The passage above was excerpted from a speech delivered by Philip Emeagwali at Morehouse College's Science and Spirituality Week celebration.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

BDPA Member On The Move: Ura Puranda (Chicago)

Share some BDPA-Love with a BDPA member on the move! We understand that PMI Chicagoland elected Ura Puranda to serve as their Director of Certifications. Her new responsibility is to promote certification within PMI, the chapter and supporting organizations, both public and private. She establishes direct contact with any employer, organization or IT professional interested in learning any aspect of the PMI certification process. Ura handles periodic certification preparation workshops in the Chicagoland area and she will obtain post-examination feedback from PMP applicants.

Ura is currently using her PMP skills to help our BDPA Foundation create a YouTube presence. Use the comments option below to share some BDPA-Love with Ura!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Mar 25-31)

Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. As such, it is important that your 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. Finally, if you like what you are seeing ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Grant Proposal: AirTran Airways

BETF submitted a grant proposal to AirTran Airways requesting ticket donation for BDPA Philadelphia chapter's HSCC team to travel to Atlanta GA later this year. We should have answer in 4-6 weeks.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Computer Science Training for Middle and High School Students

The Dept of Computer Science at the University of Maryland is sponsoring their annual Passport Program this Summer for middle and high school students interested in computer science or computer programming. This program is offered at no cost to the student. The online application needs to be completed by the May 30, 2008 deadline.

Share this information with any student, parent or teacher that you think might be interested.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Celebrating Our Past and Soaring into Our Future (New Jersey)

BDPA New Jersey Chapter is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization organized to contribute to the development of professionals in the Information Technology industry and to extend this knowledge and experience to others in their respective communities.

The Newark-based chapter is committed to delivering IT excellence to its members, strategic partners and community. By all accounts, BDPA New Jersey is one of the most prominent professional organizations in the state.

As such, I was honored to be contacted by the chapter to provide the keynote address at their annual awards banquet. The chapter will celebrate its past and share its vision for the future while recognizing sponsors and individuals who have dedicated their time and resources to BDPA programs and services. The theme of this event is "Celebrating Our Past and Soaring into Our Future".

Click here to purchase tickets for the banquet. Admission includes hors d'oeuvres at the reception as well as a gourmet meal at the banquet. Cash bar available. This is a corporate attire event.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What is BDPA All About? (New Jersey)

Are you currently a member of BDPA and you want to learn how you make the most of your membership? Or, are you not a member but looking to join and are asking yourself, "What is BDPA all about?". If you answered YES to either one of those questions, then BDPA New Jersey chapter has the program meeting for you! The special guest speaker is Mr. Wayne Hicks, BETF Executive Director and former National BDPA President.

The following topics will be discussed:

  1. Tips on networking within BDPA
  2. How to get the most out of being a member
  3. How to market yourself in the IT industry
  4. What you can do to strengthen BDPA's relationship with other corporations and yours

Refreshments will be served. Here are the logistics for the program meeting:

When: Wednesday, March 26th
Where: Prudential, 213 Washington St, Newark, NJ 07102
Time: 6:00pm

If you have any questions and to request PARKING please email Goldie Bonney, Vice President (Membership Management).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Winston-Salem State University Hosts ITSMF CIO Summit

Concerned by increasing shortages of African Americans within the information technology (IT) industry, a number of the nation's most successful African American information technology executives will join forces with Winston-Salem State University's (WSSU) Computer Science Department for a summit on the campus of WSSU at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 27 in the Elva Jones Computer Science Building.

WSSU and the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) are joining forces to host the first such panel of its kind. The Summit will feature discussions between the senior information technology management community and students from the WSSU computer science department and high school students selected from the Bill Gates Academy. Summit attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to develop and advance a career in IT.

"The focus will be to discuss ways to address shortages and begin filling a pipeline for tomorrow's African American Information Technology executives," said Dr. Elva Jones, chair of WSSU's Computer Science Department and professor of computer science. "African American Chief Information Officers and Chief Executive Officers from Fortune 500 companies will participate in an informative panel discussion and conduct interactive breakout sessions, in conjunction with the annual WSSU Computer Science Day."

Ultimately, officials will tackle the issue in several ways: Providing an IT career road map for junior- and senior-level college students in the computer science and business schools at Winston-Salem State University; Offering select high school students from the Bill Gates Academy, exposure to career options within information technology; Raising funds and awareness for the WSSU's Computer Science Endowment Fund, according to Jones.

"The members of ITSMF recognize the need for initiatives that foster growth and nurture the next wave of talent among non-C-Suite African-American IT professionals and students seeking to enter the field," says Zackarie Lemelle, vice president and chief information officer, Johnson & Johnson Information Technology Corporate Systems and ITSMF chair.

ITSMF/WSSU CIO Summit Panelists will include CIOs from companies such as Hanesbrands, Wachovia, State of Ohio and Johnson & Johnson.

African Americans represent a small percentage of those in the IT industry's C-Suite and the talent pool is becoming increasingly smaller. The percentage of employed African Americans in IT managerial and staff professional positions declined nearly 26 percent over the past 6 years, while the proportion of whites inched ahead by 2.3 percent. Employment within IT among Asians soared by more than 17 percent.

"Winston-Salem State University's computer science department continues to graduate great candidates for employment, and with experience, will be more than ready for the IT C-Suite," says Jones.

ITSMF is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to fostering upper-level executive talent among African American IT professionals. The organization's goal is to prepare African American IT professionals for senior-level responsibility by offering executive career development, mentoring, and networking opportunities for advancing their career.

Monday, March 17, 2008

WellPoint Associate Giving Campaign

BETF proudly accepted pledges through the WellPoint Associate Giving Campaign made by Yiddy Chaves, Wilma Green, Wanda McGee, Justine Turner and Annette Yates. WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. The donations made by these five BDPA members will be used to support programs and services put on by our BDPA Richmond chapter. WellPoint leveraged the generosity of these BDPA employees with an additional 50% 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 Yiddy, Wilma, Wanda, Justine and Annette!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fundamentals of the Personal Computer (Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter is the 6th largest chapter in the nation. One reason for the long-term strength of this chapter is their focus on providing technical education to members and the community. BDPA Cincinnati offers a Computer Workshop for the adult interested in learning the basics of the personal computer. This workshop is designed for those folks considered the help desk expert among their family and friends.

Michael Fallings will be our workshop presenter. He designed the workshop with both instructional and hands-on learning that is mainly for the non-technical person. Some of the topics to be covered:
  • How to shop for a computer
  • Types of Computers
  • Monitors
  • Printers
  • Security
If you are an adult interested in learning the fundamentals of the personal computer and its associated parts, then is what you need to know about the logistics for this workshop:

When: Saturday, March 29, 2008
Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm (lunch provided)
Location: Cincinnati Business Incubator (CBI)
1634 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202
(Downtown near Findlay Market)

The cost for this useful workshop is only $20.00 due upon registration. You can RSVP or register online. If you have questions or wish to discuss further, please reach out to Henrietta Hill by email or phone (513.956-0636).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Preventing Identity Theft (Richmond)

BDPA Richmond chapter is the 3rd largest chapter in the nation. Much of their success flows from their guiding principle -- 'Educate to Elevate'. One way that the chapter acts on that guiding principle is with monthly program meetings. The March 2008 program meeting topic covers something all of use can learn more about to protect our livelihood ... Preventing Identity Theft. With the enhanced ability to share knowledge so rapidly over the Internet, criminals are using our personal information to arm themselves with more knowledge about how to use your assets towards their personal pleasures. We must beat them at their game. In order to accomplish this, we need to know what tools to add to our arsenal.

BETF-Blog readers have this personal invitation to protect yourselves and your family from the information snatching predators, by gaining additional knowledge at this month's program meeting in Richmond, VA. The meeting will take place at the Genworth Financial Headquarters building (6620 W. Broad St; Richmond, VA 23230)on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 6:00 pm.

If you have questions or wish to discuss further you can reach out to the BDPA Richmond chapter by email or phone (800.727-2372).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Vallerie Parrish-Porter Keynotes Black History Month Program for EDS' Unity In Action

Electronic Data Systems (EDS) is a Bronze level corporate sponsor. The company has a strong African American affinity group called Unity In Action (UIA). UIA recently worked with the company's diversity office to deliver a remarkable Black History Month program earlier this year that included a keynote address by one of the most powerful African American women in the information technology industry. Here is a recap of the event as shared with EDS employees in their company newsletter:

Corporations that recognize and encourage the strengths that diverse teams offer will forge ahead of the competition, according to Vallerie Parrish-Porter, chief information officer of EMBARQ, an EDS client. The communications company executive shared her thoughts on diversity with a global audience on Wednesday as the employee network group, Unity in Action (UIA), observed Black History Month and presented its annual awards.

The sharing that takes place in diverse groups, from peer-to-peer, is invaluable to companies today, Parrish-Porter said. "Both of our companies are really ensuring we are the employer of choice," she told the diverse gathering.

Each February, EDS celebrates the contributions of African Americans to culture, knowledge and heritage. Parrish-Porter was the keynote speaker at EDS' ninth annual Black History Month event in Plano, Texas. This year's theme was "Cultural Diversity Empowers Competitive Advantage." Parrish-Porter leads the strategic and tactical deployment and operations of information technology (IT) development and infrastructure resources for EMBARQ. Before this role, she was vice president for enterprises services with Sprint, and vice president and group information officer with Hewlett-Packard's personal systems group.

Recently, Parrish-Porter was selected as one of the "50 Most Important Blacks in Technology" for the third consecutive year by the editors of U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine.

BDPA is very proud of the career growth of Vallerie Parrish-Porter. I tried once to get her as keynote speaker for our annual awards gala. Hopefully, she will be up there one day in the future. She is truly a remarkable person. UIA demonstrated great judgement in reaching out to her for their event last month. Is your company actively working with African American employees as we see here at EDS?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Karen Ventii - Science Blogging Star

Bora Zivkovic conducted an interview series at the 2008 North Carolina Science Blogging Conference. One of his interview subjects is Karen Ventii, African American Ph.D student of bio-chemistry at Emory University. Karen is interested in science and medical journalism as a career.

Karen studies full-time, however she found opportunities to create her own blog -- Science To Life (BBR #670). Her blog focuses on current and interesting science news that may affect people's lives. Karen used her expertise to moderate a panel on 'Gender and Race in Science: Online and Offline' that dealt ith issues of racial diversity. The topic seems right on time in light of what we continue to hear in the presidential campaign lately.

I hope many of us can meet Karen either in July at the Blogging While Brown conference or in August at the BDPA Technology Conference ... both being held near Emory University in Atlanta GA. In fact, I hope that Dr. Bemley sees this blog post and reaches out to this Ph.D candidate as a role model for the students in the BDPA IT Showcase sponsored by Johnson-Johnson.

For now we shine our spotlight on a Black blogger and a rising star in Science blogging. Click here to read her interview.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

Monique Berry leads the defending BDPA Chapter of the Year. Her chapter is the fifth largest in the nation and it continues to grow in terms of influence and activity. Monique shared the following message with her chapter members, sponsors and supporters:

Last month in front of an audience of nearly 40 people, Chuck Stewart, founder and President of Computer Techies LLC, WURD 900am radio personality as co-host of "Tech Talk Philly" spoke on the topic "Empowering Yourself with Your Own Technology."

Leading off with the question "How did PlayStation 3 (PS3) make technology history?"; Chuck began lively discussion about convergence. Former HSCC student and scholarship recipient, Jon Hernandez answered the question dead on with his recount of how a cluster of PS3 consoles was used to solve a complex math equation in record time. The ensuing conversation touched on topics such as the innovation of iTunes and Apple's transition from PowerPC to Intel processors allowing Mac users to run Windows.

Chuck also spoke of how the video game
Enter the Matrix revolutionized the entertainment industry by effectively blurring the line between Hollywood films and next-generation video games. This very interactive session, enjoyed by all in attendance ended with advice to our youth to set goals and write them down for reference at a later date.

Thank you to everyone that responded to our request for volunteers for our February Changing Expectations Career Tour. A special thanks to
Ellen Rutledge, a Wyeth representative in BDPA and a member of Wyeth's IS Diversity Council. Ellen offered to coordinate a team of Wyeth employees to present career information to approximately 264 students at Pepper Middle School.

Eleanor Roosevelt said "Do one thing every day that scares you." I'm not sure about every day, but taking risks does take practice, and if we keep doing the same things we already know, in the same way, our willingness to dare to be different atrophies. Each day, week, month, or year that goes by without doing at least one thing we weren't sure we could do, we lose more of our ability to Just Try Stuff.

We should not take foolish risks, but we don't want to be like Hem of "Who Moved My Cheese" either. So consider this, as Eleanor Roosevelt also said: "Do something today you don't think you can do." Consider volunteering to speak at a chapter program meeting or facilitating a workshop on a technical subject of interest to you. Do you know how to use Microsoft Word, Excel or Access? If you do, you could teach MS Word during a SITES class. You could even attend a chapter meeting or the annual conference.

Are you where you want to be professionally? I challenge you to be conscious and deliberate about moving out of your "Comfort Zone" as often as possible. Live your life on purpose. Do something that scares you EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We are always an
email away. Thank you for all of your support as members.

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

I hope that someone reading this message with share some BDPA-love with Monique by using the POST A COMMENT feature below!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Putting BDPA Foundation on Facebook

Chris Bomar agreed to serve as our project manager for an effort to get the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation onto Facebook. He is currently looking for any volunteers interested in helping us put our non-profit on Facebook. Are you willing to step up as a volunteer on this project?

Monday, March 10, 2008

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Technology Tour (Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter is the 5th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter arranged for a unique Black Family Technology Awareness Week event at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC).

NURFC is currently experiencing record attendance from the public to see the unique exhibits. However, BDPA and NURFC plans to take you behind the scenes with a Technology Tour of the Center. BETF-Blog Readers are encouraged to come out and explore how the use of technology has enhanced the display of our history in this tour of the NURFC from a technological perspective!

The guest speaker for this technology tour is Ronald Williams (NURFC Technology Director of Technology). Enjoy refreshments while networking and learning the "behind the scenes" technology perspective of the Freedom Center.

Here are the logistics:

Date: Thursday March 20, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (bring your business cards!)
Cost: This event is free

Where: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
For more information, you can contact Tashawa Perrin (BDPA Cincinnati Professional Development Director) by phone (513.956-0636) or email.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wayne Hicks is Guest on Harambee Radio Network * Mar 10 @ 8pm ET

Saadiq Mance is the managing director for Emerging Minds. He invited me to be a guest on an Internet radio show he is hosting Monday, March 10 @ 8pm ET. He wants me to talk about the Electronic Village blog, The AfroSpear, society news, and politics.

Emerging Minds has created a unique alliance with the Harambee Radio Network. Harambee radio features explosive commentary from some of the most respected activists from all over the world. During the live shows, please call in toll-free and let your voice be heard at (866) 851-5279.

When the show is not live, there is a constant 24/7 stream rebroadcasting the live shows from the previous week. Anyhow, I hope that some of you can tune in on Monday night. Talk shows are always better when there are guests dialing in to ask provocative questions!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Service Oriented Architecture (Los Angeles)

BDPA Los Angeles Chapter Webinar

Speaker: Simon Boyce-Maynard

Topic: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a computer systesm architectural style for creating and using business processes, packaged as services, throughout their life cycle.

This is a 'MEMBERS ONLY' event. Be sure that your membership is current as the meeting link and conference number will be sent out for the BDPA Global Database.

A couple of reminders:

  • Simon will begin promptly at 6:45 PM PST
  • (Please plan to be on time as we are starting a bit early in consideration of a couple of our east coast BDPA chapters who plan to join us.)
  • You will receive your normal Evite prior to the meeting. Be sure to save this date and time.

The guest speaker, Simon Maynard-Boyce, is a dedicated BDPA member and has shown his commitment to Los Angeles area youth by volunteering as a HSCC Student Instructor for the past five years. Professionally he is a Systems Architect with Strategic Vision Consulting in Los Angeles, CA. Simon has 12+ years of experience in Software Development and Systems Architecture. He has extensive entertainment experience, providing expertise to major clients in the areas of Film, Music, Broadcasting, Production (including Pre & Post Production), Radio and Live Events. He has extensive operational and strategic experience in the areas of Digital Asset Management, Content Management, Digital Rights Management, Digital Media Process Automation and Piracy Protection.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Giveaway Contest * Young Black Professional Guide

Drumbeats from Young Black Professional Guide let us know about a giveaway contest that they are hosting over the next week. They are encouraging villagers to make a donation to a non-profit this week. They look to announce ten winners on March 14th. The winners will receive a copy of Bill Cosby's book, Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors.

I encourage you to make your donation to either the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation or the Cincinnati Business Incubator. You can click on either link to make an immediate online donation that will provide you with an immediate receipt. Use the receipt to become eligible for the YBP Guide contest. At the same time you will be supporting two non-profits that I believe in very much!

Payroll Pledge via Annual Employee Giving Campaign

BETF proudly accepted pledges through the AT&T Employee Giving Campaign made by Gary Justin and Gibran McDuffie. The AT&T Employee Giving Campaign is an annual event designed to create awareness for non-profit organizations while encouraging employees to make a pledge to the charities of their choice. The donations made by these two BDPA members will be used to support programs and services put on by BDPA chapters in Los Angeles and Chicago.

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 join us in giving a soulclap to Gary and Gibran!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

100 Niche Job Boards for Web Workers

Soulclap to Bootstrapper for helping those IT workers with web design or networking capabilities who are unemployed or under-employed. To make your job search a little less complicated, Bootstrapper compiled a list of the top 100 niche job boards that will direct you to the best Web jobs out there. Online forums, staffing services, and government boards are just some of the resources that follow. These websites are devoted to helping programmers, networkers, designers, system administrators, and other Web workers land the perfect job.

Click here to see 100 Web-worker job boards!

Going Geek is the New Chic (Chicago)

BDPA Chicago Program Meeting: 'Going Geek is the New Chic'

What does it take to build a successful career in the IT Industry?

Click here to access Youtube video

Anyone interested in pursuing a long-term career in IT should attend the next BDPA Chicago Program Meeting on March 21st featuring Milt Haynes, Past BDPA President and Founder of Blacks Gone Geek, a social networking initiative dedicated to promoting Blacks in Technology.

Milt Haynes has been tracking hot jobs in the IT Industry for over 30 years and he'll be there to share important and timely research results that you won't be able to find anywhere else. Several IT recruiters and hiring managers will be there to share their perspectives too.

So if you're looking for a job or just looking to stay abreast of the changes coming down the pike, come out to the BDPA Chicago Program Meeting on March 21st. Be there or be square!!

Meeting Logistics:

Event: BDPA Chicago Program Meeting

Date: March 21, 2008

Time: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Location: IBM Training Center, 71 S. Wacker. Chicago, IL

(312) 575-8503

Featured Speaker:

Milt Haynes (Chair of the BDPA Chicago Corporate Advisory Council) is a sought after motivational speaker, coach and mentor and has helped thousands advance their careers in IT. Milt Haynes is the founder of Blacks Gone Geek, a social networking initiative dedicated to promoting Blacks in Technology. Milt uses blogs, podcasts, wikis, Facebook groups, Yahoogroups and his web site, to network with an online community of over 20,000 IT professionals.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Daniel Puente Wins Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) announced one of the recipients of the Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students. The purpose of the Eli Lilly Scholarship is to recognize outstanding minority students, with an interest in information technology, who make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential, and make an impact on their communities through service to others. Eli Lilly determines the scholarship winners by review of application, essay, and letters of recommendation.

“Eli Lilly and Company continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to the development of tomorrow’s leaders within the information technology industry,” said Wayne Hicks, BETF Executive Director. “The BDPA Foundation is pleased to work with Eli Lilly to help cultivate these future leaders.

The first scholarship recipient is Daniel Puente, a high school senior at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center School of Business and Management. Ranked 15th among 128 in his graduating class, he maintains a 3.5 GPA. Daniel has been a member of BDPA Dallas Chapter since the summer of 2006. He plans to compete on Dallas chapter's high school computer competition team at the 30th annual BDPA Technology Conference in Atlanta later this year. It was actually by an odd twist of fate that Daniel ended up in the program. He was in a summer technology enrichment program, Extreme Techno Camp, at El Centro College and was recruited by Letitia Andrews (El Centro College professor and past president of BDPA Dallas Chapter).

Daniel Puente will be awarded a one-time $3,000 scholarship that he plans to use at Texas A&M University where he will pursue a degree in Computer Information Systems. Daniel may use this scholarship to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board, and other college-related expenses.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Matching Funds * Bank of America Foundation

We are pleased to report that Bank of America Foundation agreed to match a $50 donation made this week by one of their associates, Shamiek Brown. Shamiek is a past board member of our BDPA Charlotte chapter.

The Bank of America Foundation matching funds will be used to support BDPA education and technology programs.

Does your company have a matching funds program?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Evan Hilliard (2000-2001)

The purpose of our blog is to encourage you to donate to the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation. Quite frankly, we need your support with donations, payroll deductions via United Way or Combined Federal Campaign, legacy bequests in final wills & testaments and other investments in scholarship and endowment funds so that we can support these young people.

For example, how can we find more powerful young people like Evan Hilliard? We asked Evan to share his testimonial about the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) program. Here are his words:

"My name is Evan J. Hilliard. I am 23 years old and currently reside in Charlotte NC. I am a Computer Operator for Novant Health (a large health care provider here in the southeast) as well as a Lab Facilitator for Central Piedmont Community College (one of the biggest community college systems in the country). I participated in the BDPA HSCC in 2000 and 2001.

When I first learned about the BDPA, I had already been into computers and technology for quite some time. The HSCC program seemed to be right up my alley to develop new skills as well as the opportunity to network amongst my fellow I.T. peers. What I thought would initially be something cool to do for a summer quickly turned into very lengthy and life changing experience.

I cannot put into word how much I grew as an IT professional, but just as a person interacting with an organization that had a family feel to it. There are so many positives about being on a HSCC team … I do not even know where to begin. You learn how build team work skills, working with a deadline, presentation skills, leadership development, networking skills, research\creative skills, technical skills…..the list is almost endless.

The only negative the ever comes to mind is the amount of students who are unaware and do not take advantage of all the wonderful things HSCC program has to offer. After the HSCC, I went on to participate in the first IT Showcase and served as a mentor/volunteer for students in my local chapter as well as the national level.

I hope that by sharing my experiences and knowledge with rest of my peers that it will motivate everyone to get involved and come together to do some great things. I thank the BDPA for all of the wonderful people and experiences I have had throughout the years and I only expect more from the premiere IT organization in the nation.

Take a moment to share some BDPA-Love with Evan in the comments section below.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Top Ten Black Blogs (Mar 2008)

Have you ever wondered where you can find excellent bloggers of African descent out in the so-called afrosphere?

That was my question when I saw a list of so-called influential bloggers with no people of color included. Often, it appears that Black folks are only blogging about entertainment or hip-hop issues. I wondered if there were other Black-owned and operated blogs out there.

Today we announce the Villager's Black Blog Rankings (BBR) for March 2008 with over 850 blogs in the mix. We began tracking the Top Ten Black Blogs in September 2007 with only 75 blogs listed. The number of blogs on the list grew to 602 by the beginning of the year. Last month the BBR listed 751 Black blogs. Post a comment below if you are a Black Blogger interested in learning what your ranking is this month!

We need your help First, we hope other blogs link to us so that more blog readers are aware of the diversity of thought in the afrosphere. Second, we remain open to ideas and suggestions from all villagers on ways that this project can be more useful to you. Finally, I really want to create a nice button that folks can place on their own website or blog pointing folks to the Villager's Black Blog Ranking perhaps with a visual of a rhino on it. Any creative folks out there with ideas?

It is worth noting that On The Black Hand Side (BBR #238) is placing a wonderful spotlight on Black Bloggers with their '20 Questions With' interviews. This is outstanding opportunity to learn more about talented brothers and sisters that you see listed in the Villager's Black Blog Rankings.

Anyhow, with no further ado, here are the Top Ten Black Blogs for March 2008:

  1. The Bossip: (Authority: 1,217 / Rank: 1,887) - [Entertainment] holds down the BBR #1 slot for the second month in a row. It is worth noting that is the first Black blog that we've seen break into the top 2,000 blogs in the world ranking! is a fast growing urban-focused new media property that draws a loyal following of young and influential trend setters who are up to date with what’s hot in society. The Bossip relies on tips for photos, ideas and such. I encourage villagers to give 'em a tip that they are the #1 Black blog in the universe.

  2. Pam Spaulding: Pam's House Blend (Authority: 1,143 / Rank: 2,136) - [Politics] This is a prolific blog averaging over 110,000 hits per month. Last month, she discovered that some things are more important than blogging. Pam took time to share tips on growing your blog. She wrote, "Are there secrets to getting eyeballs? Hmmm. I don't think so, though having religious right nutcases calling you "a leading source of radical homosexual propaganda, anti-Christian bigotry, and radical transgender advocacy" probably helps. Seriously, there is no one suggestion to gain larger readership. It's luck, timing, and blogwhoring at other sites similar to yours to entice readers to take a peek at your stuff. Having your own "voice" that stands out as different as well as authentic and true to yourself helps a lot."

  3. Angel Laws: Concrete Loop* (Authority: 1,100 / Rank: 2,291) - [Entertainment] This is a Black celebrity entertainment blog with gossip, music, celebrity interviews, pictures and such. Angel Laws, a 23-year-old college student in Jacksonville, NC, started this blog as a hobby. It is now one of the top-ranked Black blogs in the world. Angel recently walked the red carpet herself. Last month, Angel collaborated with Love B. Scott (BBR #24), one of the fastest growing blogs on our list.

  4. ESKAY: Nah Right (Authority: 790 / Rank: 3,916) - [Entertainment] This is another Black blogger that is steadily moving up in the rankings. Some say that Nah Right is the most important East Coast hip-hop blog there is. There was a focus on eye candy when he began his blog in May 2005. The growth of his blog grew exponentially when he began to focus on music and entertainment. Are there any Nah Right fans out there?

  5. Fresh Crunkjuice: Crunk & Disorderly* (Authority: 713 / Rank: 4,646) - [Entertainment] This blog was created in August 2004, however, it didn't get serious until May 2005. This is an active entertainment blog that tackles the world of African American celebrity gossip. From Kanye West to the Reverend Al Sharpton, C&D takes no prisoners. This blog has admirers in some unusual places.

  6. Oliver Willis: Oliver Willis (Authority: 625 / Rank: 5,701) - [Politics] Oliver is a fan of the Washington Redskins. His blog alternates between posts on the NFL and presidential politics. Oliver has been taking flak about his views since he began his blog in April 2005. One thing I'll say about the brother ... he posts more times per day than anyone else on the list!

  7. Natasha Eubanks: Young, Black & Fabulous (Authority: 524 / Rank: 11,410) - [Entertainment] Natasha is a 25-year old law student in Washington DC. Her blog is one of the hottest Black celebrity gossip sites on the net. Natasha began blogging in June 2005 when there were few Black celebrity gossip blogs. Natasha says that her blog '...focuses on gossip, enteratinment journalism, fashion, fabulousness, and foolywang'. Can someone tell me what foolywang means?

  8. La Shawn Barber: La Shawn Barber's Corner (Authority: 507 / Rank: 8,181) - [Social Commentary] Formerly a political blogger, La Shawn writes about faith, culture, digital technology and, occasionally, how these three things intersect. She is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who consults with interested bloggers. Her blog began in Nov 2003. I 'met' Sis. Barber during NPR Blogger Roundtables that we did in Nov 2007 and Jan 2008.

  9. Jack Turner and Jill Tubman: Jack and Jill Politics* (Authority: 430 / Rank: 10,323) - [Politics] - We welcome this blog to the BBR Top 10 for the first time! J&JP offers a Black bourgeois perspective on American politics. The 2008 election cycle provides remarkable content choices for Jack (real name: Baratunde Thurston), Jill and other guest bloggers. This blog showed up as BBR #31 in Sep 2007 rankings and rose consistently for the past six months. I strongly encourage all villagers to take a moment and check out this insightful blog!

  10. Gina McCauley: What About Our Daughters* (Authority: 382 / Rank: ) - [Social Commentary] This blog was created by a sister who believes that now is the time for organized action to combat the destructive portrayals of Black women in popular culture. 2007 was a remarkable year for this blogger. Sis. McCauley was named one of the 25 most influential African Americans by Essence Magazine.

HONORABLE MENTION (11-25): Afro Bella*, The Field Negro*, Young, Black, and Fabulous (blogspot version), How To Split An Atom, Entre mes Lignes, Rod 2.0:Beta, Real Talk NY Provides The Latest Hip Hop News*, Keith Boynkin*, Ill Doctrine, Sandra Rose, A Hot Mess!, Darla Mack News & Reviews, Clutch Magazine, Love B. Scott and Republic of T

The only qualification is that the blogger needs to be of African descent. The blogger does not have to be a member of The AfroSpear or the Afrosphere Bloggers Association, although we invite all Black bloggers to join either (or both) of those organizations.

Those blogs with an asterisk after their name are 2007 Black Weblog Award winners. This is the final month that we will be recognizing the 2007 winners. Next month we will use the asterisk to let you know which of these leading bloggers are members of The AfroSpear.

Black Blog Rankings lean heavily on the Technorati Authority and Rank score for each blog. The Technorati authority and rank numbers are shown in parenthesis. The authority figure includes a number of factors including the number of blogs that are linked to this blogger over the past six months. The rank number indicates how many blogs are between the person listed and the #1 ranked blog in the world.

We do think that these Black blogs are important spheres of influence. Let them know that you appreciate the work they have put in over the past few months and years to get on this list. My vision is that many of the brothers and sisters on this month's BBR will join us later this year at the Blogging While Brown conference in Atlanta, GA on July 25-27, 2008.

Finally, I encourage you to provide some link-love to this post so that others can learn about the Villager's Black Blog Rankings! Next step is yours ... what say u?