Friday, October 31, 2008

Grant Award: The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia

You may recall that BDPA Richmond and BETF submitted a $20,000 grant proposal to The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia back in July 2008. We requested the funds to support the 2009 youth education programs in the greater Richmond area.

We are pleased to report that The Community Foundation agreed to provide a $10,000 grant in response to our proposal!

It is worth noting that BDPA Richmond successfully worked with this funding source in both 2006 ($17k) and 2007 ($18k). We hope that the other 49 BDPA chapters take a close look at similar community foundations co-located with them. We are willing to work with any other chapter interested in funding from a Community Foundation in their geographic area.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grant Declination: Corning Incorporated Foundation

Last month BDPA Triangle chapter and BDPA Foundation submitted a grant proposal to the Corning Incorporate Foundation seeking $16,422 funding to support the 2009 SITES program in Raleigh/Durham area.

Unfortunately, we learned that our grant proposal has been denied. The Foundation wrote,

Thank you for your recent letter. After careful consideration of your request we have concluded, reluctantly, that Corning Incorporated Foundation is unable to provide support.

This decision in no way reflects on the merit of your organization. To the contrary, we appreciate the importance of your programs. However, Foundation resources area limited and funds are committed at this time. We simply are not able to take on additional projects, worthy as we know them to be.

Your interest in Corning Incorporated and the Foundation is appreciated. You have our every good wish for success in your fund-raising efforts.

Karen Carpenter Martin
Associate Director

Over the years, the Corning Incorporated Foundation has contributed more than $108 million through its programs of giving. Although we weren't able to direct any of that funding towards BDPA Triangle chapter this time ... we will keep looking for other funding sources!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades

Students must be present and engaged to learn, but thousands of this country’s youngest students are academically at risk because of extended absences in their early school years. Nationally, an estimated one in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students miss nearly a month or more of school over the course of a year.

This report, commissioned by the Casey Foundation, raises awareness of this issue, presents data on the scope of the challenge, and shares emerging insights about how to address it. An executive summary is also available.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grant Proposal: Bank of America Foundation

BDPA St. Louis chapter recently empowered a Corporate Advisory Council (CAC). One of the members of the St. Louis CAC is Keith Lanier, a manager with the regional Bank of America. Mr. Lanier informed us of an opportunity for an affinity grant with the Bank of America Foundation.

We submitted a $5,000 grant proposal on behalf of the Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in the greater St. Louis area. BDPA Foundation partnered with Lovis Daniels, BDPA St. Louis chapter president, to create this grant proposal.

Our hope is that other BETF-Blog Readers will contact us about corporate foundation funding opportunities, volunteer grant opportunities or matching gift grant opportunities. Will you?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Message from Washington DC Chapter President

BDPA Washington DC is the 3rd largest chapter in the nation. They are led by a young brother who I have known for the past 17 years ... Perry Carter. Perry was trained by the military (US Marines). He brings his precision skills to his leadership of the BDPA Washington DC chapter ... and the results are self-evident.

Here is a message that he wrote to his members and supporters earlier this month:

Dear BDPA Chapter Members and Associates

Thank you for your continued support of local BDPA Chapters. I am writing you on behalf of the BDPA Washington DC Chapter, an IRS 501(c)3 public charity, to cordially invite you and guests to celebrate our chapter’s 30th anniversary. The DC chapter’s mission is to promote economic development of minority and underserved communities in our region through utilization of information technology by providing professional and youth development programs, training support, and educational services.

On Wednesday, November 12, 2008, BDPA Washington DC chapter will host a Gala and Awards Banquet at the NDW Conference Center (Washington Navy Yard) to help raise $150,000 for award-winning youth development programs. Also honored will be our Founders, former Chapter Presidents, and industry milestones accomplished during our 30-year timeline.

Thus far, in 2008, local BDPA student members successfully captured over $125,000 in scholarships, internships and grants from various programs and foundations. Direct support from corporations, colleges, universities, and individual patrons for BDPA and related community programs, continues to advance our global STEM priorities through regional High School Computer Competition (HSCC) initiatives to the forefront of underserved and minority communities --- during the toughest of socio-economic times.

Throughout our rich history, BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, has distinguished itself through selfless contributions from its members. Moreover, previous DC chapter administrations sponsored strategic expansion initiatives by creating new charters that established BDPA chapters in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Richmond. Next quarter, our region formally adds a new BDPA chapter in the Hampton Roads area.

BDPA Washington DC chapter enthusiastically salutes our students, HSCC coordinators, members, corporate sponsors and non-profit partnerships. We welcome your continued support to become a more visible community advocate and infrastructure partner in 2009. To that end, please join me and our distingquished guests on November 12th for a fun-filled ‘Tuxedos & Technology’ evening. We encourage you to enter 2009 with exciting investment opportunities for BDPA programs, corporate growth and dynamic career engagements.

Perry Carter, president
BDPA Washington DC Chapter

I hope that those of you in the Washington DC area next month can make plans to attend the 30th anniversary celebration!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Oct 26 - Nov 2)

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.

We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Here is a preview of events taking place over the next week [SOURCE here or here]:

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.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dot Com to Dot Org: What to Expect When Employees Make the Transition to the Public Sector

by Molly Brennan

An increasing awareness of the need for business-world skills coupled with a looming leadership deficit has caused many non-profit executives to look to the for-profit world for talent. But transitioning from one sector to the other can be challenging for new hires, management, and co-workers alike.

Looking for Talent
According to some estimates, by 2016, as many as 640,000 new senior managers will be needed in the non-profit sector -- the equivalent of 2.4 times the number currently employed. This dearth of leadership is due in part to the departure of retiring baby boomers, but also to the significant growth of the non-profit sector as a whole and the need for greater financial and management expertise within leadership ranks. One of the most effective ways to address this deficit is to recruit and train employees from the for-profit sector who offer the skills that are needed by many mission-driven organizations.

You can read the rest of the article here.

HSCC Testimonial: Tarik Massac (Washington DC)

We are proud to introduce our BETF-Blog Readers to a young brother who came very close to bringing home a national high school computer competition (HSCC) championship to Washington DC for the first time since 1990. Tarik Massac was a member of silver medal HSCC teams trained by BDPA Washington DC in both 2007 and 2008. Tarik earned Jesse Bemley Scholarship funding of $4,000 for his HSCC efforts.

Here are his thoughts on the HSCC experience over the past few years:

My name is Tarik Massac; I was born and raised in Washington D.C, and eventually moved to Maryland where I completed most of my education. I just recently graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School. I plan to attend Prince George’s Community College (PGCC). I am majoring in computer science with every intention to make my career in the information technology industry. After my two years at PGCC, I plan to attend a local university to receive my bachelor’s degree in computer science. I have had work experience in the computer field as an administrative assistant at the Patriots Technology Training Center, where I found out about the BDPA and HSCC.

I have been part of the HSCC for three years, with this being my final year. I would have to say that my most memorable moment would be that of the actual competition. Despite all the stories you have heard, it really is something you have to experience for yourself. Participating in the HSCC, as well as preparing for it, has taught me many things about working in computer-related fields. The team does most, if not all, the work. Even then, you do not simply spend all your time programming, if anything, that’s the least amount of time spent on a project. Along with that, planning and designing is essential to coming up with a good product, which is something that I had never really thought about. I am very glad that the HSCC has really shone light on my field of choice.

BDPAers, we want to give out 2-year scholarship commitments to the HSCC winners next year at the 2009 conference in Raleigh NC. We can only do that if we raise sufficient money for the Bemley Scholarship Fund. Won't you consider making a pledge today? You can do so by making an online donation or an email pledge. What say u?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Most Recent Scholarships Paid by BDPA Foundation

Chris Johnson is chair of the BDPA Foundation Scholarship Committee. He shared an update with the Foundation's board of directors on recent scholarship funds sent to post-secondary educational institutions around the country on the behalf of deserving BDPA student members:

  • $3,000 to Khalia Braswell, Charlotte chapter (N. Carolina State Univ)
  • $3,000 to Christian West, Philadelphia chapter (Northwestern Univ)
  • $ 500 to Jessica Tipton, Atlanta chapter (Georgia State Univ)
  • $3,000 to Kunle Roberts, So. Minnesota chapter (Rice University)
  • $4,000 to Tarik Massac, Washington DC chapter (Prince George's Community College)
  • $3,500 to Christopher Lindsay, Washington DC chapter (Carnegie Mellon)
  • $3,000 to Daniel Puente, Dallas chapter (Univ of Texas at Arlington)
Brothers and sisters ... we need your help! Please consider making a tax-deductible pledge to the Bemley Scholarship Fund. Just COMMENT on this post with the amount of your pledge. We'll take it from there.

Or ... you can make an online donation!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recent Trends in Black Higher Education

Dr. Manning Marble

For generations, African American parents have told their children that the surest path to professional advancement is a college education. The good news is that millions of African Americans are attending colleges, and thousands more are enrolled in graduate and professional schools. But in the aftermath of the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger Supreme Court decision, and legislative and electoral assaults on affirmative action, a decidedly mixed picture emerges on the state of Blacks in higher education.

First, some positive news. According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (Winter 2007-2008 issue), as of 2007, about 4 million African Americans hold a bachelor’s degree, representing 18.5 percent of all Blacks 25 years and older. Of that group, nearly one million (952,000) also hold master’s degrees. About 166,000 African Americans have earned professional degrees in fields such as medicine, business, engineering and law. And approximately 111,000 Blacks in America now hold PhD’s.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feedback: Parents of HSCC Alumni Lee Reed (Chicago)

Lee Reed, Jr. was the captain of the high school computer competition team trained by BDPA Chicago chapter. Lee earned $13,000 in scholarships from BDPA for his participation in our youth education programs. Also, he won three computers, a printer, an iPod, a Zune, a nice watch, and an XBox 360 Elite. Not to mention complimentary all-expense paid trips to seven of the 50 states.

Do you ever wonder how parents of our HSCC alumni feel about BDPA? I don't recall ever seeing anything written by a parent before. As such, we are proud to share with you words from the parents of Lee Reed Jr. Here is what they wrote:

As you know, we are so appreciative of the experience and knowledge that Lee has gained as a student member of BDPA! Because of BDPA, Lee is comfortable speaking with C-level executives, as well as his peers. This past summer, Lee interned with JP Morgan Chase, a BDPA supporter. Because of the comfort level that Lee gained speaking with executives through his BDPA involvement, the CFO of his division at JP Morgan Chase, as well as other top-ranking executives, became his personal mentors.

BDPA teaches the students teamwork and networking skills; how to facilitate meetings, deliver speeches, plan, organize and execute, in addition, to programming. In addition, Lee was taught how to conduct himself at conventions, and has traveled with BDPA to Atlanta, Detroit, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Washington DC.

When Lee applied to colleges, he was able to demonstrate skills by reference in his college and scholarship applications, because he learned them through BDPA. Lee was accepted with scholarships to: Duke, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, and the University of Michigan. He is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan in engineering. He was awarded the U of M Bell scholarship, ($80,000), primarily, because of his computer skills and other skills he acquired as a member of BDPA. All in all, Lee received $150,000 in total scholarships (full-ride), that will be used toward tuition, room and board and fees at U of Michigan.

Colleges are looking for students with the background that BDPA teaches its students. I encourage all parents to introduce BDPA to other students, families and friends. Lee plans on being a lifetime member of BDPA, and will be a participant at future events and conventions, further expanding his knowledge base.

Thank you,
Mr. and Mrs. Reed
Lee Reed's parents

Are you a parent? If so, what do you think about what Mr. and Mrs. Reed had to say?

Monday, October 20, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Darius Gaines (Detroit)

We are proud to introduce you to Darius Gaines. He is one of the rare students in our history to be a 3-time competitor in the national BDPA high school computer competition (HSCC). He represented BDPA Detroit chapter at national conferences held in Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington DC. Darius earned a $1,000 Jesse Bemley Scholarship when his team finished in 4th place at the 2007 competition.

Darius and I connnected on Facebook. We have a HSCC Alumni group on Facebook with over 160 subscribers. Darius was kind enough to share his thoughts on the BDPA youth education program:

“I built websites for my school and became a Graphic User Interface Programmer for the Black Data Processing Associates' High School Computer Competition Detroit chapter, discovering the vast creative perspectives in the field of IT technology on a nationwide competitive level.

My connections with the BDPA even got me a job with a local small business as a program developer in turn, setting me off to do web development as my own employer to various clients -most of which express high customer satisfaction of the work I do. The people I got to meet were very helpful, and became a hardwired network of opportunity.

Now I'm a freshman student at Lawrence Technological University, majoring in graphic design and imaging. Over the entirety of my academic career, I'd have to say my love for arts and technology has been the most consistent - even over sports, and politics - I can honestly say I believe what I have planned for myself will make a difference. As a student in graphic design, I can obtain the skills to influence thinking through art and concept.”

Our hope is that BETF-Blog Readers will support our efforts to fund BDPA programs so that we can make a difference for more young brothers and sisters like Darius. It begins with you. Can you make an online donation today?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Oct 19-25)

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, October 18, 2008

Tayo Ibikunle Appointed to BDPA Foundation

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF), a tax-exempt non-profit organization that provides financial support for education and technology programs of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), announced the appointment of Tayo Ibikunle, Ph.D as a member of the BETF Board of Directors. Mr. Ibikunle is a seasoned IT executive with decades of years of experience in strategic planning initiatives.

"I am excited to work with Dr. Ibikunle in his new role as a Board member to continue delivering value to BETF stakeholders, students and sponsors,” said Wayne Hicks, BETF executive director. "He comes to us highly recommended by his peers in the industry. Tayo's executive experiences with JPMorgan Chase over the years, as well as his current role as the JPMorgan Chase executive sponsor for BDPA, make him uniquely qualified to assist BETF. BETF is fortunate to have her in this leadership role."

Tayo Ibikunle is a Senior Technology Director in Chase Credit Card Services and is currently the head of Core Processing technology for the business. After leading the successful migration of one of the largest credit card processing systems in the world, Tayo has accountability for end-to-end IT services for the core processing platform going forward, with direct responsibility for Application Delivery. Since 2006, Tayo has been Executive Sponsor of JPMC’s engagement with BDPA.

Tayo Ibikunle has also held several senior IT roles at JPMorgan Chase, across many of the key businesses – including the Investment Bank, the Middle Market Business, the Retail business, the Corporate Sector and most recently the Credit Card business. In these capacities, Tayo was responsible for delivering IT solutions to enable an integrated customer experience across customer channels and touch-points. He also assumed IT leadership responsibilities for the Middle Market business segment, which managed the firm’s relationships for over 12,000 corporate clients.

Among other key roles, Tayo has held positions of Co-Chief IT Architect and Chief Technical Architect. Prior to joining JP Morgan, Tayo was Senior Strategic Manager at Sybase Engineering in California. Before taking the role of Senior Strategic Manager, Tayo was a Principal Consultant working with several Wall Street and Telecommunication Firms to build large scale, distributed trading and processing engines for their businesses. At Thorn EMI Central Research Laboratories in the United Kingdom, Tayo was a Principal Research Engineer and worked on key pattern recognition and image processing technologies.

Tayo has both an MS and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College, University of London, as well as a BS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Ife, Nigeria. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Tayo is happily married and together with his wife of 19 years, has three sons. He is also actively involved and has leadership responsibilities in a number of non-profit organizations – including ACF USA, a non-profit organization focused on socioeconomic development in Africa. He is also an active sponsor of an inner city school in the city of Philadelphia. He has also led fund-raising activity for major business units at JPMC for the United Way and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Ibikunle to the BDPA Foundation family.

Friday, October 17, 2008

2009 Imagine Cup Student Technology Competition

Soulclap to Kai Dupe for letting us know that Microsoft is sponsoring a global student technology competition called Imagine Cup. This is a great opportunity for BDPA student members.

For more information please visit

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Participant in 'Black Bloggers for Education' initiative

We are happy to learn that Kristina Brooke, who owns the Mom on the Rise blog, is now the 8th member of the Black Bloggers for Education initiative.

Our blog is participating. You can track our progress in the left-hand sidebar. As I type this we have stalled with 1 donor providing $25 to support 28 children.

I know money is tight, but the minimum donation is only five dollars. Can you afford to provide at least five dollars to support these classrooms in poverty-stricken areas of our country? We would really appreciate it - and so would the students. It's tax-deductible.

Click here if you want to make a small donation right now. Asante sana!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

High School Computer Competition (Chicago)

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to know that Bemley Scholarships, BDPA Scholarships sponsored by Bank of America and Eli Lilly Scholarships for BDPA Students have supported the educational goals of many BDPA Chicago high school students over the past few years.

In fact, Lee Reed,one of the top BETF scholars in our history, won all three of these scholarships. Lee is shown in the photo with other members of the bronze-medal winning team from Chicago at the 2008 national competition. Lee is now a freshman at the University of Michigan.

Anyhow, it should be noted that BDPA Chicago is already recruiting for its 2009 High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team web site. They have created a website,, to help you find information about their program, resources they use, and links to key web sites.

The HSCC program in Chicago and elsewhere prepares students to participate in computer programming competitions utilizing the Java programming language. Students learn to build web based, database driven, software applications. The principle goal of HSCC to teach students to use technology to solve business problems.

Are students being recruited in other chapters around the country?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grant Declination: The Gannett Foundation

We learned that our $13,570 grant proposal to The Gannett Foundation was denied. We sought the funding to support youth education programs in New York. It turns out that for the deadline for funding in New York passed on August 25. The folks at Gannett Foundation wrote:

Dear Wayne,

Thank you for your proposal to the Gannett Foundation. It was reviewed by a committee of employees from USA WEEKEND and Gannett Company.

Unfortunately, we are unable to support this request due to receiving the proposal after the deadline. It is never easy to say 'no' to worthwhile projects such as yours.

I'm sorry we cannot assist you, but wish you success in securing funds from other sources. Thank you and for letting us know about your activies and goals, and for taking the time to submit a proposal to the Gannett Foundation. Please check our website later in the year for our 2009 priorities.

Laura MacFie
Gannett Foundation

Ms. MacFie was kind enough to give me a call to talk about our grant proposal. We intend to try again in advance of the February 2009 deadline.

BETF is willing to work with any chapter that is co-located in a community in which Gannett owns a daily newspaper or television station.

Monday, October 13, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Frantzy Jean Philippe (New York)

Many of you have supported our fundraising efforts to support the youth education programs taking place in 50 cities around the country. However, we still need more funding if we are to continue bridge the 'digital divide'. We thought you would appreciate hearing directly from one of the students impacted by your generousity.

Frantzy Jean Philippe was a member of the high school computer competition team trained this year by BDPA New York chapter. Here is what he had to say about the experience.

"It has been an amazing experience being part of the BDPA HSCC team. When I first started pursuing a spot in being part of the HSCC team, I never realized how much BDPA would have changed my life. I had great experiences from the trip to the Museum of Modern Arts to the 2008 BDPA National Conference held in Atlanta GA. BDPA accomplished its mission in exposing students like me to Information Technology. Through the many trips that we took part in, I have developed a deep interest in Information Technology and have decided to pursue it in college.

Training for the competition has been both hard and fun. At first, it was intense seeing how we were still learning and there was a lot of competitiveness between us. However, as the competition nears, we each realized that we were strong in one major area of programming. We were closer than any other teams. Unlike most of the other teams, we were from the same school. Additionally, our trainer was also our teacher as well as our friend. It is best to train and learn when you know the people whom you train with well. We appreciate our trainer because we would have never come this far if it was not for him. He sacrificed many of his time in order to prepare us for the competition. For example, he sacrificed his birthday just to be with us during our second regional competition in Maryland. The regional competitions had a big influence on our performance in the national competition. It was a great way to get us accustomed to the way of the competition and at the same time, we had a lot of fun.

The conference itself was the best experience that I have ever had in my entire life. I liked the fact that we were able to experience the cultural wonders of Atlanta in many ways. In addition, we not only applied all that we have learned during the year, we learned new things as well. During the first day of the Youth Technology Camp, I learned effective communication, something that will surely help me later on in life. BDPA has exceeded its original mission and made sure that students like me do not just have a good future in information technology, but have good skills in whichever path they follow in life. One of the greatest events that I enjoyed during the conference was the opening ceremony. The keynote speaker, Ephren Taylor, inspired us all. His success story inspired us to pursue whatever we want in life.

From the master of ceremony, Mario Armstrong we learned not to let “dream killers” gets in our way. This became a motif as we learned throughout the entire conference. One of the greatest moments in the opening ceremony came when Mr. Armstrong gave an HSCC student the opportunity to pursue his dream of Game Designing by providing the student with software that were perhaps valued at one thousand dollars. I was amazed to see how great people like him make sure that people like us succeed in accomplishing their dreams.

The High School Computer Competition was one of the best parts of the conference. It was intense and enjoyable at the same time. On the first day of the competition, we were calmer than we were in the regional competitions and we did excellent. This made us even more confident on the second day where the real competition began in building our web application. We responded rather calmly to the long time of seven hours to eight hours that we had to build the application seeing that we were used to programming for this amount of time during our training. We did very well and we finished all of the functionalities given to us. We were very proud of ourselves seeing that we worked as a team to finish the application. We each did our individual jobs perfectly and our application was very strong.

After a hard week, we were all looking forward to going home. However, our flight cancelled due to overwhelming circumstances. We had the chance to stay in Atlanta an extra night. Even though we were all anxious to go home, we were rather calm in handling the situation. We were lucky enough that the BDPA National president, Ms. Denise Holland provided us her presidential suite for us to spend the night in. We took this with great appreciation for Ms. Holland and BDPA for taking good care of its members. We had an amazing night in the presidential suite. The most surprising moment of the entire trip later became one of the greatest moment of the trip."

Well, BDPAers ... what say u?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Oct 12-18)

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 maki

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Podcast: 'Going Geek is the New Chic'

Soulclap to BDPA Detroit TAC blog for providing us with podcast of workshop entitled, 'Going Geek is the New Chic'. This workshop was conducted by Milt Haynes, past National BDPA president, at the 2008 National BDPA Technology Conference held in Atlanta GA.

Subscribe Free for future posts Add this player to my Page

Care to share your 'learning' from this podcast?

Black Bloggers for Education

The BDPA Foundation is participating in the Blogger Challenge ‘08.

In fact, there are several AfroSpear members joining the Black Bloggers for Education initiative as an effort to support individual classrooms in poverty-stricken areas. My hope is that you, as a reader of this blog, will consider making a small donation towards this worthy educational cause. The projects we focus on support science and math initiatives in classrooms with large number of African American students. is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.
Proposals range from “Hands On Math Literacy” ($764) to “Input/Output - What's Your Function?” ($196), to “Classroom Jeopardy” ($325). In fact, if you have a specific school, city or state that you want to support ... let me know in the COMMENTS below and I will add a project from the school, city or state into the mix. OK?
Once a project is funded, donors receive a feedback package of student photos and thank-you notes, and a teacher impact letter.
I’m particularly happy today. One of the proposals highlighted by the BDPA Foundation was the Inspiring African American as Class Role Models project. One of our BDPA Foundation readers made donation to support this project. They only need another $180 to be fully funded for that project as I type this blog post.
Here are the current bloggers working together under Black Bloggers for Education umbrella:
  1. Jack & Jill Politics (BBR #7)
  2. The Assimilated Negro (BBR #98)
  3. A Slant Truth (BBR #136)
  4. SES: Science, Education & Society (BBR #453)
  5. BDPA Foundation (BBR #502)
  6. Springer Journal (BBR #598)
  7. Fackin Truth (BBR #606)
I would be interested in your thoughts on this initiative. What say u?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

BDPA Philadelphia is the 6th largest chapter in the nation. More importantly, they are the back-to-back BDPA Chapter of the Year.

One reason for their success is the consistent communication from their chapter president, Monique Berry, to all chapter stakeholders (members, entrepreneurs, educational institutions, sponsors and the Black community). Monique focuses on 'The Value of Networking' in her message this month:

Practically every working adult has heard the phrase "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Computer networks have dramatically increased business and personal productivity in the 21st century. We cannot imagine working efficiently without the power of networks providing its users with unique capabilities, above and beyond what individual machines and software applications can provide.

Social Networks are the emerging driver of professional visibility and provide a far broader platform for building relationships than individual networking efforts. Many corporate professionals and entrepreneurs leverage very well known Social Networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter to promote awareness of their experience and education. Welcome to the 21st century solution for making "what you know" and "who you know" a far-reaching, powerful tool.

BDPA is proud to present the "Digital Mixer and General Body" meeting on October 15th at 6:00 PM. We recognize the huge potential for Social Network to optimize access to valuable contacts and information. This is a "must attend" event for forward thinkers and movers and shakers. I challenge you to invite at least five people whom you have never met in person, from your virtual network. What a dynamic way to add dimension to your digital world. Exploit the occasion to go beyond virtual access to your network, open it to multiple users, and enhance your connections. This is not your father's networking event!

I look forward to seeing you there.

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

I hope that our Philadelphia-based BETF-Blog readers will check out the program meeting on October 15th. I also hope that we will see more BDPA chapter presidents adopting this 'best practice' of communicating with their membership! We would love to publish other chapter president messages this month!

Future of BDPA

Soulclap to Cliff Samuels, Jr for sharing some candid thoughts about the future of BDPA. Cliff is a longtime member currently serving as the chair of the BDPA Detroit Technology Automation Committee. His post on the 'Future of BDPA' is a must-read for all BDPA leaders around the nation.

Here are some excerpts:

Seems like you turn on the news and all you hear is everything is in turmoil; the economy, Wall Street, mortgage collapse, more job layoffs, and just a general doom and gloom everywhere. In Michigan, this is not new to us since we have been a recession for many months and now the rest of America is feeling the pain now.

I like many IT workers was hit by the layoff bug and was out of work for over 14 months and during that time period had major heart surgery to boot. I too had to switch my priorities but kept a level of involvement in BDPA. Oddly, the position I am currently hold was in part made possible through networking with BDPA members in Detroit.

So BDPA does work if you work the system. BDPA can not guarantee you a job when you are laid off but it does help improve the odds of finding employment. But for BDPA to work, members must get involved and create a true network. We need to realize the definition of a network is a system to share resources. BDPA's resource are the members that share knowledge, time , effort and resources improve BDPA and the community.
You can read the full blog post here.

I encourage you to share your thoughts and comments after you read his post. I am very interested if you are sensing similiar challenges in other parts of the country for African American IT professionals.

What say u?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

3 Ways I Use My iPhone for Learning

I would like to suggest to you today that using an iPhone or some compatible mobile device can you give you great flexibility and allow you to adopt a mode that I use frequently to prepare for my toastmasters speeches. Mobile Learning also known as on-demand Learning is becoming increasingly more popular as busy business executives and young millennials start to take advantage of the capabilities of devices such as Apple's iPhone. I was reading an article just the other day in Success magazine. The article entailed 27 resources that successful people use to get ahead. Guess what? Of the 27 resources that were listed, 14 of them were technology based. And even further, 8 of those were really tied to the abilities of a portable or mobile device. I am an avid iPhone user. Today I would like to share with you three of the ways I use my iPhone for learning: Audiobooks & Podcasts, Videos and the Internet.

First lets talk about Audiobooks. Audiobooks are a great device for those who have to keep up with changing information and who do not always have opportunities to read. Many popular books are now also on Audiobooks. You can download these Audiobooks from iTunes or and listen to them on your iPhone. Just last month I listened to the very popular The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. How does this work? It is very simple. I downloaded the Audiobooks using iTunes and it is automatically incorporated into my Audiobooks library. I plug my iPhone into my macbook and press the sync button and voila I now have the audiobook on my iPhone for my listening pleasure. This gives me the ability to listen to my audiobook anywhere I have my phone. Which of course is everywhere. I listen at work. I listen while jogging. I listen while driving. It is a wonderful way to receive the information I need and I do so repeatedly. It has been a great way to learn on the move.

The same can be said for Podcasts. The idea behind Podcasts is the same as for audiobooks. It is recorded content. The difference is usually a podcast is shorter in length and usually they are free and available via the web for download. I use podcasts to listen to lectures from my professors at Pepperdine. There are also some great niche podcasts that I used to gain knowledge on a variety of subjects. For example, there is a podcast called The Apple Phone Show. I use this podcast to keep up with information and techniques for keeping up with and getting the most of my iPhone. The Apple Phone Show has a new podcast each week. You only need to subscribe to the podcast using iTunes or the website and anytime there is a new content it is automatically downloaded to your computer when you start iTunes and synced to your phone the next time you connect it. Recently, Oprah Winfrey used podcasting technology to distribute a recording of her worldwide class on spirituality that she hosted on Eckhart Tolle's new book, A New Earth.

If that is not enough the iPhone also plays video. You can use it to view custom videos or videos that are on YouTube. How does playing a video help me learn? Well let me tell you. In my craft as a public speaker one of the first things I was advised to do to improve myself was to record my talks. I have been following that advice for everyone one of my speeches. My phone does not record video, not yet anyway. So, I use my flip video to record my talks and then I load them onto my phone and review my performance. Sometimes to save space on my phone I upload the video to YouTube and view it from my phone. This has worked tremendously well for me. And of course I can view other videos to learn such as movies, documentaries, discovery channel content, and video demonstrations or how-to videos. Using my iPhone for video viewing is another one of the great ways I use my phone for learning.

And finally I use my iPhone to browse the Internet. The phone is equipped with the Safari browser. Many phones claim to allow web surfing. I have had many of these phones that make this claim. Most of them are useless. The iPhone actually allows you to surf the web and be able to actually read the content. Most phones don't. Also, there are many sites that are customized for the iPhone. So there is an iPhone version of Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Which brings me to my next point on distributed learning. With my trusty iPhone in my pocket I am only a click away from a Google search that answers any question on any topic I may need. Sometimes, I am listening to an audio book and in the book there is mention of another good book or perhaps a website that I need to research. I immediately pause the audio book and do a Google search and bookmark the information. Sometimes I may even head over to and purchase the book. I can also access my gmail account. If someone sends me information in an attachment I can view the information right there on my iPhone. All right there in real time. Google has an entire suite of applications known as Google Mobile that is designed for mobile devices such as the iPhone.

As I have stated before I love to learn. I consider myself a life-long learner. And I consider life-long learning a prerequisite for success. Today I have given you 3 of my favorite ways I use my iPhone for learning. We have talked about using the iPhone for Audiobooks and podcasts. We have also discussed how I use video for learning. And finally I gave a brief example of using my iPhone as a means of distributed learning by searching the Internet and using Google Mobile. Mobile Learning is fast becoming the wave of the future so don't get left behind. Become familiar with these mobile devices and kick your learning up a notch.


Black Unity Prayer Day

Black Unity Prayer Day is an opportunity for Black people all over the world in their homes, at work, their churches, mosques, and temples, to pray for one another. A day to stop the physical, emotional, and spiritual violence with each other. It is a time to stop the inappropriate behavior with each other and start showing true respect by uplifting one another, rebuilding our communities, and strengthening them through aggregate unification.

We invite all BDPAers to be a part of the Black Unity Prayer Day on Thursday October 9, 2008. You’ll share moments of prayer with others of like mind—you are prayer warriors, united in positive attitude, understanding, and love.

Also, we want you to help poverty-stricken classrooms obtain needed funding for crucial supplies by participating in our DonorsChoose 2008 initiative. A number of us have come together as part of a blogger's challenge -- Black Bloggers for Education -- and we need support from our blog readers.

What say u?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BDPA Member Benefits: Dell Discounts (Oct 2008)

BETF-Blog Readers are encouraged to take advantage of discounts up to 28% on Dell computers and peripherals. This benefit for BDPA members is only available thru October 31.

Click here for a copy of the 1-page flyer. The flyer gets the BDPA Member ID necessary to access Dell website for this remarkable discount program.

Kudos to Eatonia Williams, National BDPA VP-Membership Management, for providing this tangible membership benefit.

What other benefits would you like to see BDPA provide for its members?

Grant Declination: RGK Foundation

We learned last week that RGK Foundation declined our request for $15,000 grant in support of youth technology education programs hosted by the BDPA Philadelphia chapter.

Their declination note read as follows:

Dear Mr. Hicks:

Thank you for submitting an electronic Letter of Inquiry to RGK Foundation. As a result of the number of inquiries we receive, RGK Foundation is unable to respond affirmatively to all requests. Although the proposed program is worthy, we regret that we are unable to consider a formal proposal at this time.

We appreciate the time and effort put forth in submitting the Letter of Inquiry information, and we wish you success in reaching your funding goals.

Very truly yours,
Gregory A. Kozmetsky, President
RGK Foundation

We will keep seeking funding for our two-time defending 'BDPA Chapter of the Year'. You can help by making an online donation to the 'restricted' BDPA Philadelphia chapter fund today!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

2009 GMMDA Scholarship Program - Nov 14, 2008

The General Motors Minority Dealers Association Scholarship Program provides scholarships each year to help deserving minority college students pursue their educational dreams. The scholarships, which are awarded on behalf of all GMMDA members, have resulted in a great number of success stories for minority students across the country. This scholarship is for high school seniors graduating in 2008 along with college students enrolled during the 2008-2009 school year. Read application for complete eligibility. Applications must be postmarked no later than November 14, 2008.

A limited number of scholarships in the amount of $2,500 are awarded annually to ethnic minority high school seniors and college students who meet all criteria and requirements set forth by the scholarship committee.

Applicants are chosen based upon their academic excellence, volunteer and work experience, career aspirations and the strength of a personal statement.

[Apply Now]

Grant Proposal: Sempra Energy Corporate Giving Program

BDPA Los Angeles chapter and BDPA Education & Technology Foundation agreed to submit a $10,000 grant proposal to the Sempra Energy Corporate Giving Program. The funding would be used for the 2009 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship program set to take place in the greater Los Angeles area.

The Sempra Energy Corporate Giving Program supports nonprofit organizations and activities in communities where Sempra Energy employees live in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. The company focuses on the following areas of interest: education, environment, business and economic development, community and civic leadership, and health and human services. Requests may be submitted at any time. Visit the website for online application information.

This Week in BDPA (Oct 5-11)

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.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Grant Award: Johnson-Johnson ($20,610)

National BDPA asked me to introduce the participants in the High School Computer Competition, IT Showcase and Youth Technology Camp during the Opening Ceremonies of the 30th annual BDPA Technology Conference held in Atlanta GA earlier this year.

I challenged the audience to make an immediate pledge to the Bemley Scholarship Fund. Scores of people took me up on the offer.

It came as a shock to me when Johnson & Johnson chief executive officer LaVerne Council upped the ante by saying that her company would match any pledges received that night.

We received over $20,000 in pledges from individuals during the next ten minutes. It was a very rewarding moment for me as executive director of the BDPA Foundation.

Earlier this week we received a $20,610 check from Johnson & Johnson. Ms. Council walked the walk with her matching funds. As a result, we now have over $41,000 set aside for scholarships that encourage young people to continue their education after high school.

Please join us in expressing appreciation to all of the BDPA donors, LaVerne Council and the Johnson & Johnson information technology organization!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Merck Company Foundation

BETF seeks to partner with any BDPA chapter that has Merck employees working and living in their chapter city. It would help if those Merck employees were members of your chapter, however, that is not mandatory.

The Merck Company Foundation appears to have two programs for BDPA chapters to target:
  1. Partnership for Giving (P4G) - Merck provides U.S.-based employees and retirees the opportunity to donate to the health and human services organizations of their choice through its Partnership for Giving program.

  2. Neighbor of Choice - Merck's "Neighbor of Choice" program aims to build trustworthy and sustainable relationships with neighbors and key individuals and groups in locations where Merck research and production facilities are located.

The Merck Company Foundation also seeks to develop and initiate programs and partnerships that will help to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. The Foundation works with existing and new partners that we identify for collaboration in achieving the mission and goals of their programs and partnerships. Because the majority of their funding support is directed to specific initiatives or programs that we initiate and that support our giving priorities, they do not accept or respond to unsolicited proposals.

Is your chapter qualified for this funding opportunity? If so, are you interested in submitting a joint grant proposal to the Merck Company Foundation?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Eli Lilly Scholar * Daniel Puente (University of Texas)

Daniel Puente was a recipient 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.

Daniel is a BDPA Dallas chapter alumni of the High School Computer Competition. He used his Eli Lilly scholarship funding towards his education at the University of Texas in Arlington TX.

Daniel wanted to share the following update with his BDPA colleagues and supporters:

Mr. Hicks,

Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. I just wanted to let you know that I plan on getting a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems with a background in network from the College of Business at the University of Texas @ Arlington. I also plan on getting my teacher certification in order to eventually become a teacher my first few years after graduation. I also plan on being an active member of BDPA.

Thank you,
Daniel Puente

BDPA Foundation is very proud of Daniel and the other three young people that earned the Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students over the past two years.

Please let us know if you want more information about supporting or creating additional scholarship opportunities for BDPA students.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Obama and McCain Answer Questions About Science and Technology

Soulclap to the Urban Scientist for pointing us to ScienceDebate2008. It is an online forum where the candidates provided answers to 14 key Science questions. The goal is to raise public awareness of science, technology, and innovation and call attention to informed decision-making at higher political levels.

I encourage all BDPAers to read the answers provided by John McCain and Barack Obama and offer comments or new questions from your unique perspective.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

2008 Digital Media and Learning Competition

We want to encourage all BDPAers to check out the $2 million Digital Media and Learning Competition focused on participatory learning.

Participatory learning is defined broadly: using new digital media for sharing ideas or planning, designing, implementing, or just discussing ideas and goals together.

Application Deadline: October 15, 2008

Full information at:

Awards will be made in two categories:

Innovation in Participatory Learning Awards support large-scale digital learning projects ($30,000-$250,000) - This year we are piloting international eligibility for our Innovation Award and will be accepting submissions from primary applicants in Canada, People's Republic of China, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States; collaborators can be from anywhere in the world.

Young Innovator Awards are targeted at U.S. applicants aged 18-25 year olds ($5,000-$30,000).

It would be nice to see some BDPA professionals and students participating in the competition this year!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Top Ten Black Blogs (Oct 2008)

This is the 14th month in a row that we publish the Villager's Black Blog Rankings (BBR)! The highlight of this month is a brand-new technology blog that blazes into the Top Ten this month.

Do any of you recall when we started the BBR with 75 Black blogs in Sep 2007. This month we publish over 1,440 Black owned & operated blogs! I don't pretend that we have all Black owned & operated blogs on this list. If you see any that are missing ... please let me know in the COMMENTS section below.

Here are some of the blog lists from the past 14 months:
Anyhow, with no further ado, here are the Top Ten Black Blogs for Oct 2008:
  1. Pam Spaulding: Pam's House Blend (Authority: 1,194 / Rank: 1,768) - [Politics] Pam's blog is growing faster than anything I've ever seen. One reason for her success is the talented bloggers that cross-post on her site about all aspects of politics. Also, it is evident that Pam's House Blend is the go-to location for anything related to the lesbian and gay community. Check out excellent article on Pam recently written in Washington Post
  2. Ahsmi Rawlins: Nah Right (Authority: 918 / Rank: 2,728) - [Entertainment] Ashmi (a.k.a., ESKAY) is firmly planted as BBR #2 behind Pam Spaulding. Br. Rawlins currently has the top-ranked gossip or entertainment blog on our list. He has been at the blogging game since May 2005. One reason for the success of his entertainment blog is his ability to share MP3 versions of songs before they go public.
  3. The Bossip: (Authority: 839 / Rank: 3,117) - [Entertainment] leap-frogged into BBR #3 slot. I figure that The Bossip must be male. I base that assumption on the occassional controversy when his blog denigrates women of color, such as Elizabeth Acevedo and Maya Angelou. Anyhow, click here to see index of the people that are blogged about on
  4. Angel Laws: Concrete Loop (Authority: 829 / Rank: 3,161) - [Entertainment] Angel Laws is the young sister who started this blog as a hobby. She has lived in more than 6 different states, and graduated high school in Hawaii. Angel has been on the web scene since she was 13 years old; making random graphics and images for friends and family. She started her own graphic designing business in 2005 and it was around that time that cshe created Concrete Loop. It appears that Angel and The Bossip will battle over BBR #3 and #4 slots over the coming weeks and months. Take a moment to see a list of the last 50 posts on her blog.
  5. Oliver Willis: Oliver Willis (Authority: 716 / Rank: 3,891) - [Politics] Oliver has been blogging since April 2005. One of the common elements of these top bloggers is that they have been at it for many years. Oliver has an added advantage of being featured in the Huffington Post with his political commentary. You can find Oliver on Twitter.
  6. Natasha Eubanks: Young, Black & Fabulous (Authority: 694 / Rank: 4,063) - [Entertainment] I anticipate that this blog will move into the BBR Top 5 next month. Natasha Eubanks is the writer & editor of the site. She converted from platform to her own domain earlier this year. It appears that folks have found the new site as she moved straight up the rankings. It appears that having your own domain is a common denominator for the top Black owned & operated blogs.
  7. Baratunde Thurston and Cheryl Contee: Jack and Jill Politics (Authority: 624 / Rank: 4,709) - [Politics] Baratunde (a.ka. Jack Turner) and Cheryl (a.k.a. Jill Tubman) continue to have the fastest moving blog on the BBR this month. Jack and Jill have both been featured recently on Meet the Bloggers, a weekly podcast sponsored by Brave New Films. You can find both Jack and Jill on Twitter.
  8. Kimberly Kira: The Angry Black Woman (Authority: 459 / Rank: 7,383) - [Social Commentary] This blog is the top-ranked 'social commentary' one on our list. Kimberly Kira (a.k.a., Tempest) grew up in Cincinnati OH. She describes herself as a "bisexual polyamorous pagan gamer geek" ... which might explain the focus that her blog places on sexism and racism. I encourage villagers to check out this excellent article on RaceWire in which Sis. Kira describes the evolution of her blog.
  9. Fresh Crunkjuice: Crunk & Disorderly (Authority: 456 / Rank: 7,364) - [Entertainment] Does anyone have a photo of this blogger? For that matter ... who is 'Fresh Crunkjuice' anyhow? One thing is for sure ... this gossip blog, created in August 2004, is one of the hottest blogs on our rankings. This blog inspired others to create blogs as well.
  10. Corvida: SheGeeks (455 / 7,386) - [Technology] Remarkably, this is the first month that we are ranking this blog ... and it arrives at BBR #10. Corvida is a 20 year old sister with a penchant for technology and social media who has been in the blogging game for about five years. SheGeeks is the place to go to find the latest news on social networks, social media, twitter, friendfeed, web apps, web services and more. It is nice to see another technology-based blog still in the BBR Top Ten!

HONORABLE MENTION (11-25): Sandra Rose, How To Split An Atom, Necole Bitchie, La Shawn Barber's Corner, The Field Negro, Real Talk NY Provides The Latest Hip Hop News, AfroBella, What About Our Daughters, Raw Dawg Buffalo,, Keith Boykin, Angry Black Bitch, Ill Doctrine, Electronic Village and Womanist Musings.

This ranking is open to any blogger of African descent. We invite all Black bloggers to apply for membership into The AfroSpear or join our Facebook group known as the Afrosphere Bloggers Association.

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 one listed and The Huffington Post, which is the #1 overall blog in the universe.

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.

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