Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grant Proposal: The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia

There are over 400 community foundations in the country. BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Richmond chapter submitted a grant proposal to The Community Foundaton Serving Richmond and Central Virginia. We requested $10,000 to support the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Richmond.

While we wait to hear back from them ... we encourage BETF-Blog readers to take matters into their own hands. Won't you make a tax-deductible pledge to BETF right now ... while you are reading this message?

Take Five: Monica Bowe (Cleveland)

Monica Bowe joined the BDPA leadership team last year when she was selected as national VP-Finance to close out 2009. She agreed to serve in 2010-2011 as an Outside Director on the national BDPA board of directors.

We are very pleased that Monica agreed to participate in our Take Five interview series.

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - A very good friend and colleague introduced me to the organization. I describe myself as a finance professional with an affinity for technology. She knows this and made the match. It’s been a very rewarding experience thus far.

  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - It is absolutely the youth. It is so all about the kids. BDPA does really wonderful work with SITES and HSCC. I love that BDPA provides an avenue for minority youth to segue into the technology positions where they are sorely underrepresented. I love that they will have a say in what the next technologies will be and that BDPA provides some of the tools to get them there.

  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - The loss of my son a year and a half ago. Like most, I was all about the corporate climb, getting extremely bent out of shape about trivial corporate matters, planning my next steps on the corporate ladder. Losing my son taught me two things: 1. Through Christ, I am much stronger than I ever thought myself to be and 2.Sweating the small stuff is a waste of energy.

    Sometimes I still struggle with sweating the small things, but I remind myself that life has much bigger issues with which to contend.

  4. Who is your hero and why? - It’s so cliché, but my mother is truly my hero. She was a single mom and cleaned houses to put food on the table. She made sure that she instilled good Christian values in me and encouraged me that I could be anything that I wanted. Through her love and support, I have been blessed as an educated Black woman with a good degree of success thus far in my career. I am eternally grateful to her.

  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - Whomever you choose to give to, give with your heart. Find those organizations that mean the most to you. BDPA and BETF are great because they empower our youth to go out and impact the world we live in by learning, discovering and creating the next generation of technologies. How amazing is that?

BDPA needs to find brothers and sisters like Monica to serve it at both local and national level. I look forward to meeting Monica in person at some point in the future.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Grant Proposal: Darden Restaurants Foundation (Atlanta)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Atlanta chapter partnered on an online grant proposal to the Darden Restaurants Foundation. We looked to the Darden Restaurants Foundation because of the recent news that the corporation is headed by Clarence Otis, Jr, one of the few African American CEOs heading up a Fortune 500 company.

Our grant proposal was submitted as part of Darden's Community Alliance Program (CAP). Darden participates in, and contributes to, over 500 events and programs in these CAP cities. These relationships ensure their ability to be a neighbor of choice and to positively impact the communities in which they operate. CAP cities include: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and Orlando.

We will let you know how Darden responds to our grant proposal in support of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in greater Atlanta. In the meantime, you can encourage us with your own donation to BETF. What say u?

The Lawrence Foundation

The Lawrence Foundation makes grants to support environmental, education, human services and other causes although their interests are fairly diverse and may lead them into other areas on an occasional basis. They make both program and operating grants and do not have any geographic restrictions on their grants.

There are two grant cycles. The first cycle has a deadline of April 30 with funding received by June 30. The second cycle has a deadline of October 31 with funding receieved by December 31.

BDPA chapter leaders and National BDPA vice presidents are encouraged to visit their website to determine if this is a funding source that they wish to pursue. Let BETF know by reply to this blog post if your chapter is interested in working with us to submit a grant proposal to The Lawrence Foundation.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Call for Presenters * 2010 National BDPA Technology Conference

BDPA is reaching out to all experts and dynamic presenters to share their knowledge and expertise in technology through interactive workshops to be held at the 32nd annual BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia, PA on July 28-31, 2010.

Your presentation can be made to either students (high school thru college age) or adults (IT professionals) at the conference. Click here for an overview of each forum as well as other details on both our student and professional forums. You may submit multiple abstracts within a forum or you may submit for both forums.

Important dates to remember:
  • Submission Deadline: February 27, 2010*
  • Acceptance/Regret Notification: March 27, 2010*
  • Full Presentations Due: April 27, 2010

You will need to review the following document to complete an Official Call for Presenters submission:
  • The Call for Presenters Overview - This document lists topics of interest, workshop formats, specifications, fee waivers and other terms and conditions necessary for a successful submission and subsequent presentation.

  • The Call For Presenters Submission Form - This online form is the official submission form. This form should be completed in its entirety for your submission to be successful. Submissions that do not meet the stated requirements or deadline will not be considered.

NOTE: In order to submit an abstract, you will have to access the BDPA membership database system. Please either use your existing member account or create a non-member account in order to submit your presentation abstract.

For additional information and questions, please contact or call BDPA HQ office on (800) 727-2372.

Bank of America Foundation

Bank of America Foundation is a funding source should be examined by BDPA on both a local and national level.
  1. Does Bank of America have footprint in your chapter city? If so, you should consider local community grant. Working in partnership with community leaders, Bank of America's local market leadership directs the majority of their giving through local grants that address pressing social, economic, and cultural needs of communities across their global footprint. Through their signature philanthropic program, the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative®, the bank enhances nonprofits' ability to serve more individuals and families in need and develop nonprofit visionaries, local heroes, and students as community leaders of today and tomorrow.

  2. Does your chapter or nonprofit organization have Bank of America associates in it? If so, we suggest that you follow-up with them on the matching gifts and volunteer grant program at Bank of America. Bank of America supports their associates who give their time, energy and financial resources to create better neighborhoods in the many communities we serve. Through generous Matching Gifts and Volunteer Grants programs, they encourage associates to direct charitable giving from the bank to organizations they support financially or through volunteerism. Each year, Team Bank of America volunteers donate more than 650,000 hours to help meet critical community needs across their global footprint.

Any Bank of America associates reading this blog post? We would love to hear from you!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Take Five: Ricky Penick (Chicago)

Ricky Penick served as BDPA Chicago chapter president from 2000-2003. The chapter wss a consistent award winner and role model during his years as its president. Later, Ricky served on BDPA's national executive committee as the national vice president of finance. Ricky agreed to participate in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I discovered BDPA at a job fair early in 1991. I had just decided to start my own business after leaving my job as a corporate officer to "spend more time with my family". That is a euphemism for resigning after losing an argument about the strategic direction of the company. I was talking to various companies at the job fair about how they managed their personal computers. Most of them thought I was insane to think that they would pay someone to fool around with personal computers. I happened upon a booth for BDPA Chicago Chapter, manned by Karen Fleshman. She told me about the organization, which I'd never heard of and gave me copies of The Journal which was the national BDPA publication and The Professional, which was the BDPA Chicago Chapter publication. I decided to go to a program meeting. Within a few months, I found myself on the board and I was producing the magazines that Karen had lured me in with.

  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - Working with a volunteer oriented organization can be very challenging and even frustrating at times. However, it is rewarding to see leaders and managers develop in BDPA and enjoy success in life, particularly those who come to BDPA as students.

  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - There have been many defining moments but two happened back in 1965 or thereabouts during my junior year in high school. The first was the introduction of the first computer class which met at 7:00 a.m. and was not part of the official curriculum. The second was a fire that left my family homeless. I don't take anything for granted. I was a fifteen year old code writing, cello playing, homeless math prodigy. My Sunday school teacher took me in. It was the first time I'd ever lived in a house with hot water and a shower.

  4. Who is your hero and why? - I've been fortunate enough to have known a number of people who were or who became famous. But the one I consider to have been most heroic, Major Marion McPherson, was not famous. Imagine the retired British army officer that you see in the movies, only this one is Black. He was the director of Catholic Family Charities in Gary. His rank was earned on the battlefield during World War Two. He and his ex-marine priest buddies were the toughest people I knew. I first met him after the fire. He taught me to perform miracles and, later, when I became a social worker, he called upon me to perform them on a regular basis. He had no tolerance for excuses and, neither do I. When I saw Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin mocking community organizers, this is who I thought of.

  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - Did you get yours, all by yourself? Of course not. Now make a miracle for someone else.

Ricky has been a rock-solid leader within BDPA for almost 20 years. I encourage you to share some BDPA-Love with Bro. Penick!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BDPA Youth Education Program Kicks Off in Atlanta (Video)

BDPA Atlanta chapter is beginning their Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program journey for 2010. They kicked off their youth education training this month. Here is a video produced by the chapter's HSCC coordinator Wes Williams:

I loved seeing this video! What do you think about it?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Grant Declination: Office Depot Foundation

Our grant proposal to Office Depot Foundation on behalf of BDPA Middle Tennessee chapter has been declined. The grant declination letter read as follows:

TO: BDPA Education and Technology Foundation,

Thank you very much for your recent online application to the Office Depot Foundation. Regrettably, we are not able to assist you with your special request at this time. Our contributions budget is fully committed. After reviewing your request we would like to give you information about some important resources that will benefit your organization.

Office Depot Foundation In-Kind Giving Program - The Office Depot Foundation's product donation program is managed by Gifts In Kind International, a global leader in new product philanthropy. Each Office Depot retail store and warehouse is matched to a nonprofit organization that helps children. On a regular basis, each of these locations makes a donation of products (supplies, furniture, business machines, etc.) to its matched charity. Please note that product donations through Gifts In Kind International are ongoing and involve a membership fee.

Our ongoing Product Donation Program enables the Office Depot Foundation to place donated products in the hands of thousands of children's charities across the nation. I have attached some information about Gifts In Kind International. For more information regarding Gifts In Kind International, and/or the Foundation's product donation program, please visit the Gifts In Kind website.

Put Your Passion Into Action – Volunteer! - Recognizing the powerful role that volunteerism plays in keeping our communities strong, the Office Depot Foundation has created the Caring Connection – a user-friendly, online resource that makes it simple to learn about and enroll in thousands of volunteer opportunities. Also, non-profit organizations that use volunteers to help them carry out their programs can register for free to list their opportunities directly on the website.

We are presenting the Caring Connection in collaboration with VolunteerMatch. The website provides access to information about 55,000 volunteer positions offered by more than 60,000 non-profit organizations across the United States. When people visit the site, they just need to enter their zip code to see a list of volunteer opportunities available in their area. When they find something they like with your organization, they can automatically send an e-mail to you to express their interest, and then you can contact them directly.

The tagline we use for the Caring Connection is “Put Your Passion into Action!” We believe that everyone can find an organization or a cause that they are passionate about by visiting the Caring Connection site – and they can help to strengthen the community in so many ways by getting involved. “Strengthening communities” is one of our key strategic priorities at the Office Depot Foundation, so this program – as well as our grants program − fits perfectly with our mission and goals.

Office Depot WorkLife Rewards - Office Depot program that you should know about that can help save you some money. Office Depot WorkLife Rewards is a customer loyalty program that gives you rebates on almost everything you buy at Office Depot. Here’s a quick overview of the program:

  • FREE Membership
  • Offers 10% back on Ink, Toner, Paper and Design, Print & Ship Services
  • Offers 1% back on almost everything else
  • There is no limit to the amount of Rewards you can earn
  • If you earn less than $10 in Rewards, your Rewards will carry over from quarter to quarter for an entire calendar year
  • Discount offers at My Worklife Partners™
  • Bonus Opportunities at My Special Offers
You can see all the details at

Thank you for thinking of the Office Depot Foundation. We take corporate responsibility and community involvement seriously. We are committed to Learning, Listening and Caring. For more information please visit our website.

Best wishes for much continued success in all that you do to enrich the lives of others in the communities in which we live, work and conduct business.

Warmest regards,
Sabrina Conte
Office Depot Foundation
6600 N. Military Trail
Boca Raton, FL 33496

I must admit that this is most useful declination letter that I've ever seen. They provide a number of other options for our BDPA partners to consider.

What are your thoughts about Office Depot and these various options?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Week In BDPA (Jan 24-30)

BDPA has 45 chapters around the nation. You can always find programs, services or networking activity here or here. BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry.

Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA 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.

Election Results: BDPA Philadelphia (2010-2011)

BDPA Philadelphia, founded in April 1976, is fondly known as THE Chapter. Many awards have flowed to BDPA Philadelphia over the years, including Chapter Membership Award (1992, 2007), Chapter Management Award (2008), Chapter Community Service Award (2009), Comeback Chapter of the Year (2002), 2nd Runner-Up Chapter of the Year (1992) and the highest award possible ... Chapter of the Year (2007, 2008, 2009).

Two national awards won by Philadelphia chapter members are Outstanding Member (Howard James, 1992) and Outstanding Chapter President (Monique Berry, 2009). Philadelphia chapter members Earl Pace, Mary Anne Lowery and Monique Berry each elected to serve as a national officer.

The next phase of accomplishments for BDPA Philadelphia chapter will occur over the next two years under the leadership of its newly elected officers:
BDPA Philadelphia is 3-time defending chapter of the Year. Hayward, Eileen, Cedric and the other chapter leaders want to add to that streak. Will they?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Who Has Inspired You?

How cool would it be for a BDPA member or BETF donor to become a nominee for the 2010 Presidential Citizens Medal? For over 40 years, the President of the United States has awarded the Citizens Medal -- the second highest civilian honor in our nation -- to Americans who have "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens."

Now for the 2010 Citizen's Medal, the White House is inviting the American public to nominate candidates that President Obama should consider for the Presidential Citizens Medal -- truly making this an honor of, by, and for the American people.

Who has inspired you? Whose selfless dedication to service has touched your life or the lives of others? Click here to nominate someone for the 2010 Citizens Medal.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Election Results: BDPA Southern Minnesota (2010-2011)

BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter, founded in May 1999, had developed into a national powerhouse. The chapter won a number of awards over the years including Developing Chapter of the Year (2000); Chapter of the Year Runner-Up (2001); Chapter of the Year 2nd Runner-Up (2002); HSCC Champions (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009) and HSCC Runner-Up (2003-2004, 2006).

Also, Southern Minnesota chapter boasts the 2005 NBOD Member of the Year -- Betty Hutchins.

The chapter is nationally recognized for its powerful Youth Computer Training Program and unprecedented support from the corporate community. The recent election results should allow this ultra fast chapter in Rochester MN to continue its roll over the next two years.

Here are the incoming officers for 2010-2011:
  1. President - Charlie Perkins (Mayo Clinic)
  2. President-Elect - Barbara Porter (Mayo Clinic)
  3. VP Finance - Julius Kwansa (Julius Business Services)
  4. VP Member Services - Toni Adafin (IBM)
  5. VP Membership Management - Ray Ventura (IBM)
  6. VP Strategy & Planning - Betty Hutchins (Mayo Clinic)
  7. Immediate Past President - Nat Calvert (IBM)

I look forward to seeing the continued growth of the powerful BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter under the leadership of Charlie Perkins.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Top 10 Things Killed by the Internet (Video)

Have you considered the ways that the Internet changed the way things operate in America in the past decade?

Did he get it right? Are there any other things that you think should be added to this list?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Top 50 Most Important African Americans in Technology

Soulclap to John William Templeton for sharing the 10th annual list of the Top 50 Most Important African Americans in Technology. The list began in 1999.

African American contributions to technology are as ubiquitous as our movie screens and video games,” notes Templeton, “and as massive as our space exploration, airlines, manufacturing, retail, finance and healthcare. By raising the profile of our overlooked overachievers, we expand the talent base available for the challenges of the future.”
Talented leaders are selected to this list based on their impact on technology and society over the next year. This year's list focused on innovation, workforce development and technical complexity because of the dramatic new investments in science and engineering due to transformations in energy, communications and health care.

The full list can be found on Black Money Worldwide. We are very proud to share some BDPA-Love with our supporters who made the list this year:

  • Shellye Archambeau, Chief Executive Officer, MetricStream

  • Debra Auguste, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

  • Shirley Bridges, Chief Executive Officer,

  • H. James Dallas, Senior Vice President (Operations), Medtronic

  • Martin Davis, Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo

  • Michael Drake, Chancellor, University of California (Irvine)

  • Monte Ford, Chief Information Officer, American Airlines - He was keynoter at 2004 BDPA Technology Conference in Dallas TX.

  • Darrell Freeman, Chairman, Xycron - His company was an early supporter of our BDPA chapter in Nashville TN.

  • Dr. Juan Gilbert, Chair of Human Centered Computing, Clemson University - I've known Juan since he was a young 'un at Miami (OH) University. He served for the past few years as the Academic Advisor for the BDPA IT Institute.

  • Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner, Federal Drug Administration

  • Belinda Hankins, New Media Consultant

  • Ben-Saba Hasan, Vice President of People Systems, Walmart - Powerful executive sponsor of our BDPA chapter in Austin TX for many years.

  • Dr. Elva Jones, Chair of Computer Science, Winston-Salem State University

  • Sherrie B. Littlejohn, Executive Vice President (Enterprise Technology Architecture & Planning), Wells Fargo

  • Lance Lyttle, Chief Information Officer, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

  • Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, Chief Information Officer, State of New York

  • Charles Phillips, President, Oracle

  • Alana Ward Robinson, Principal, Robinson Group Consulting

  • Mary Spio, President, Co-founder, Gen2Media

  • Bonnie Bracey Sutton, Digital Equity Evangelist - Keynote speaker at recent Education Banquet hosted by our BDPA chapter in Chicago IL.

  • Vernon Viera, Vice President (Software Development), Pitney Bowes

  • Charles Wallace, Chief Information Officer, Keystone Foods - Winner of BDPA Epsilon Award for Professional Achievement

  • Eugene Washington, Vice Chancellor, UCLA

  • Sharon Cates Williams, Deputy Chief Information Officer, State of New York

Selectees of the 10th edition will gather in San Francisco Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to shape a plan to double African American involvement in technology during a symposium on innovation and equity.

One of the highlights of the Tenth Annual Symposum of the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010 at Pier One, Port of San Francisco, will be the release of the documentary Freedom Riders of the Cutting Edge.

Also, profiles of these leaders will be presented on the Black Parents Guide with lesson plans geared to elementary and secondary grades between Thanksgiving and January 15, 2010.

It truly is wonderful to see this list that focuses attention on men and women that can be role models for African Americans who seek to advance their careers in the IT industry. Kudos to John William Templeton and his team for sharing this labor of love with the world!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010. I am extremely honored and excited to serve the founding BDPA chapter during our 35th year. The Philadelphia chapter has a rich history of strong leadership and community service. With the assistance of our executive board, corporate advisory council, and you those attributes will continue to grow. We are looking to build on a successful 2009. Some of our 2009 highlights include:
  • Philadelphia Chapter won chapter of year at the 2009 BDPA National Conference. This is the third consecutive year that Philadelphia has been the recipient of this award.

  • Monique Berry, our immediate past president, was voted President of the Year by the National Board of Directors and National President for 2012- 2013

  • Philadelphia Chapter successfully hosted our inaugural BDPA Golf fundraising event at Seaview Golf Resort

  • Philadelphia Chapter developed a partnership with DeVry University to host our Student Information Technology Education Scholarships/High School Computer Competition technology center at their downtown campus

We have assembled a talented team of leaders for the executive board. Our mission is to increase value for all of stakeholders and to improve our community. I want to hear from all you. Tell me what means the most to you.

BDPA Philadelphia Chapter 2010 Leadership Team
  • President - Hayward West (Deloitte)
  • President-Elect - Eileen Gadsden (CDW)
  • VP, Finance - Cedric Edwards (CIGNA)
  • Immediate Past President - Monique Berry (Vanguard)
  • VP, Education - Sally McNamara (Rosen Group)
  • VP, Marketing - Angela Haskell (Philadelphia Tribune)
  • VP, Professional Development - Byron Mayes (Temple University)
  • VP, Strategy and Planning - Norman Williams (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)
  • VP, Corporate Sponsorship - Willie Williams (AT&T)
  • VP, Membership Management - Christina Smith (CIGNA)
  • HSCC Coordinator - Celeste Robinson (EPS)
  • SITES Trainer - Brian Stempin (Temple University)
  • Recording Secretary - Banita Wilson (Judge Technical Services)

I am extremely excited to continue the legacy of the Philadelphia chapter. We have a lot of great events planned. Our team is working hard to take membership to the next level. Upcoming events include:
  1. SITES/HSCC Open House - January 16 at DeVry University and January 23 at Temple University.

  2. SITES/HSCC program Kickoff - January 30 at DeVry University

  3. January Program meeting - January 20 State of Chapter - Click here to Register

  4. 1st quarter National Board of Directors meeting - February 5-6 Downtown Marriott

  5. February Program Meeting - February 16 - Black Family Technology Awareness Week

  6. National BDPA conference - July 28 -31 - Downtown Marriott

There will be plenty more information coming soon. We aim to show the rest of the world how we do things in Philadelphia. I will need all hands on deck, so be ready. At over 135 members we are one of the 3 largest chapters in the U.S. and we're growing. That's an impressive amount of experience, technical knowledge and networking for you to draw upon. I'm consistently impressed with how willing our members are to talk about and share their work and ideas. And the work we do continue to increase in importance to our companies and organizations.

We are planning to increase community outreach and investment on college campuses to promote our profession, as well as expand of our member networking and social events. This is your opportunity to become more involved in supporting BDPA's mission as we work hard to strengthen the communities, academic institutions and IT professionals as we navigate from the classroom to the boardroom.

Finally, our core program meetings and events are already well under way with a number of them posted on our web site "Events" section.

I urge you to get involved, share your knowledge and expertise, or a volunteer making our events and organization successful.

Happy 2010!!!

Hayward West, President
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter

Monday, January 18, 2010

Technology Student Intern Program Registration Now Open

Milt Haynes (Blacks Gone Geek) is focused very much on identifying career opportunities for African American students and IT professionals. Milt recently issued this message to all aspiring technology students:

Do you love working with computers? Would you like to get paid for doing something you love to do?

The following companies are looking for interns for their 2010 program: Abbott Laboratories, ADP, Allstate Insurance,, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kraft Foods, NASA, Steelcase and the U.S. State Department. They are waiting to hear from you!

Register for the program

We have volunteer career coaches available to help you with your responses. Let us know if you want help.

Positions are limited, so act fast!

Please share this information with your friends, co-workers and church members so that they can help us pass the word. The key is that we must share what we know with others so we can all grow and prosper.

The internships that Milt brings to us are primarily in the metro Chicago area. Other internship opportunities are available on the BDPA Talent Management System.

Take Five: Charlie Perkins (Southern Minnesota)

Charlie Perkins began his 2-year term as president of the BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter this month. He takes over a chapter with a powerful legacy of youth education. BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter won the national high school computer competition (HSCC) championship in four of past five years.

Charlie agreed to participate in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I was introduced to BDPA two years ago when I was invited to lunch by Betty Hutchins and Nat Calvert, both past presidents of BDPA Southern Minnesota. I was intrigued with the idea of working with young minority students interested in the Information Technology sector. I was also impressed by Betty and Nat’s passion and commitment to keep BDPA Southern Minnesota a strong and viable chapter. I quickly became interested in the opportunity to add value to something that was already operating well with volunteers and corporate sponsorship. I showed up one Saturday morning to observe the interactions of over 60 young people with instructors, learning how to build websites and write code. Some were only in the 7th grade and it was amazing to watch! I realized then that this was an organization I wanted to become a part of and to help get to the next level.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - It’s most rewarding for me when I observe young people getting excited with accomplishing the simplest “thing” using technology. They become more comfortable with taking the next step. Whether it’s tearing down and rebuilding a computer, building a website or simply adding an application to their PDA. There is so much untapped potential in our young people. I hope to open the door for internship opportunities, scholarships, jobs and create a pipeline for BDPA students in my community. I support our mantra “From the classroom to the boardroom”. That would be most rewarding for me.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - I managed my son’s Little League baseball team when he was 8 years old. It was the first time I had managed anything. We worked hard preparing for the upcoming season and I knew the boys were ready for prime time. In the stands for our first game was my Mom, Dad, Grandparents, sisters, brothers, church members, friends and guys from work. They all showed up to watch my son’s first game. My son struck out the first three times he batted and I was embarrassed! When got back to the dugout, I lit into him about how pathetic he looked, embarrassing me and the team, that he could try harder and how could he look so bad at the plate?!? He looked at me crying and said “Dad, I’m doing the best I can.” I felt so small and ashamed, and would have crawled into a hole if I could have at that moment. I have never forgotten that moment. It was a lesson learned for me that I carry to this day. I never criticized my son that way again, and he went on to become one of the most talented baseball players in the league for ten years and has many trophies to show for it.

    Later, I became a member of the part-time faculty at Columbia College-Chicago. Whenever I encountered a student struggling or one of my staff who really made the effort, but just wasn’t getting it, I recall the comment my son made to me “Dad, I’m doing the best I can.” It helped me work thru situations that could have been disastrous.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - My dad is my hero. He passed away from cancer about 10 years ago. I admired him so much. He dropped out of school in the sixth grade to help his mother raise their family. He spent 5 years in Germany during World War II dealing with all the racial hatred and stereotypes Blacks endured at that time. He could barely read or write but, taught himself how to survive and raise 7 children. Thanks to my dad, I never realized we were poor. He made sure we had what we needed to make it. He was often belittled and made fun of due to his lack of education. He’s my hero because he taught me how to be a man. That a good name was better than money and if I carried myself respectfully, so many doors would open for me. He was right! When I became Vice President of Harris Bank in Chicago, no one was more proud of me than my dad. He celebrated my every achievement, encouraged me to go further and to be the best I could be!
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? -
    “I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.“
    Oprah Winfrey (September 2002)
    The above quote conveys my feeling about our BETF. You bring your own special qualities to the important work of inspiring young people to be the best they can be. Your financial contribution will help BETF secure funds to sponsor SITES programs for each of the BDPA chapters and offer deserving HSCC students scholarships to attend the University of their choice. Won’t you consider contributing to our Foundation? You won’t regret it.

I hope that you learned something new about Charlie in this Take Five interview. Share some love in the COMMENTS section with this new BDPA leader!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

MLK Technology Challenge Day

On January, 18, 2010, people of all ages and backgrounds will come together to improve lives, bridge social barriers, and move our nation closer to the “Beloved Community” that Dr. King envisioned.

Dr. Martin Luther King devoted his life’s work to causes of equality and social justice. He taught that through nonviolence and service to one another, problems such as hunger and homelessness, prejudice and discrimination can be overcome. Dr. King’s teachings can continue to guide us in addressing our nation’s most pressing needs -- poverty, economic insecurity, job loss and education

The MLK Tech Challenge is working to connect IT and web professionals who are willing to volunteer their time with local schools to help them meet their technology needs.

I hope that all BDPA members will Get HandsOn! and find a way to make your MLK Day "A Day On, Not A Day Off!"

How will you choose to spend your MLK Day? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

Black Web 2.0 Interview with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

Black Web 2.0 is a powerful voice for African Americans interested in technology. Co-founder Angela Benton recently conducted an interview with FCC commisioner Mignon Clyburn. I encourage BDPAers to listen closely to what Commissioner Clyburn as she talks about net neutrality, entrepreneurship and national broadband plans.

Black Web 2.0 Interview: Mignon Clyburn from blackweb20 on Vimeo.

It seems that she is not in favor of net neutrality ... at least if you read between the lines of her comments about companies being able to charge us for use of their bandwidth.

What did you take from this interview? How do you envision that BDPA should engage in these types of policy discussions?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

2010 Blogging While Brown Conference (June 18-19, Washington DC)

Blogging While Brown is the brainchild of Gina McCauley. I met Gina at the 1st Annual BWB Conference held in Atlanta GA. She is a powerful sister who many bloggers look to as a role model. As such, this blog is pleased to support the continued evolution of her blogging vision.

I encourage all BDPAers to participate in the planning for Blogging While Brown: The 3rd Annual International Conference for Bloggers of Color, scheduled for June 18-19, 2010 in Washington DC.

Blogging While Brown promotes intellectual, social, and cultural development of the blogging community by bringing bloggers of color together in one location. The purpose of the conference is to facilitate conversations that lead to collaboration and innovation among bloggers of color.

Last year's conference, held in Chicago, was attended by activists, entrepreneurs, journalists and others interested in expanding digital media content creation and distribution among people of color.

In an effort to provide conference attendees with the best experience possible, BWBC decided to modify our annual programming process. So instead of a call for workshop proposals, BWBC is having a call for ideas. What would you like to present? Who would you like to hear from ? What do you want to learn? How could you benefit the conference?

Don't limit yourself to workshops and panels. BWBC is also looking for participants who can present short case studies or shorter presentations on narrower subjects as well. Be as creative and as detailed as possible in your description of what you would like to see at the next Blogging While Brown Conference. Some ideas to get you started:
  • Continuing Blogger Education
  • Internet Advocacy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social Networking
  • Hyper-localism
  • Social Media Successes/Failures
  • Effective vs. Ineffective Online Activism
  • Access to Technology
  • Monetizing
  • Content Creation Tools
  • Content Distribution
  • Blogger Quality of Life
  • Legal Issues of Blogging
  • Emerging Trends
Fill Out the 'Call for Ideas' Form.

You can find some other suggested topics on the Blogging While Brown website.

Be as creative as you want to be ... work with other bloggers and blog readers. If you have any questions, email bloggingwhilebrown [at] gmail [dot] com.

Don't talk about it, be about it! Anyhow, I plan to attend the 3rd annual BWB Conference. What about you?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Spirit of Giving Drops Off After Holidays

A post-holiday slump in donations and volunteerism has some social-service agencies and non-profit groups wondering whether people packed away generosity with the tinsel.

"You have a tremendous outpouring of support in November and December, then in January, things get kind of dry," says John Psiharis, executive director of Chicago's Irving Park Community Food Pantry. It's a particularly troubling trend now, he says, as the number of clients climbs each month because of the troubled economy.

Read the full USAToday story here.

Do you agree with the premise of this story? Is your urge to give or volunteer weaker in January than it was during the holidays?

4th Annual ScienceOnline Conference * Raleigh/Durham NC (Jan 15-17, 2010)

Soulclap to Danielle (Urban Science Adventures) for pointing us to the 4th annual Science Communication Conference taking place January 15-17, 2010 in Raleigh/Durham, NC. This is a unique conference that explores the role of science and the Internet. The conference goal is to bring together scientists, physicians, patients, educators, students, publishers, editors, bloggers, journalists, writers, web developers, programmers and others to discuss, demonstrate and debate online strategies and tools for doing science, publishing science, teaching science, and promoting the public understanding of science.

Danielle attended the 2009 conference held earlier this year. In fact, she was a workshop presenter on the topic, Discussing Diversity in Science - online and offline.

Any BETF-Blog readers plan to attend?

Boston Scientific Foundation

The Boston Scientific Foundation is especially committed to supporting efforts to improve health and education in the communities where employees live and work.

Do You Qualify?

Boston Scientific Foundation receives thousands of applications for grant support, many of which do not align with their stated mission, focus areas or funding criteria. Note that funding is limited and submission of an application (even one that meets our stated criteria) does not guarantee that a grant will be made to your organization. Please take a moment and review these questions to understand whether you might qualify.

  1. Is the focus of your grant request health- or education-related? If yes, continue to the next question. If no, it is unlikely that the Boston Scientific Foundation would support your project.
  2. Does your health- or education-related initiative focus on individuals or communities with significant unmet needs, such as those who are economically disadvantaged, at risk of not achieving their full potential, or otherwise unable to provide for themselves? If yes, continue to the next question. If no, it is unlikely that the Boston Scientific Foundation would support your project.
  3. Is the nature of your project event-based fundraising, sponsorships or capital campaigns? If yes, it is unlikely that the Boston Scientific Foundation would support your project. If no, continue to the next question.
  4. Does your grant request focus on any of the following geographic areas: Spencer, Indiana; Greater Boston, Marlborough, Natick, or Quincy, Massachusetts; Maple Grove, Plymouth, or St. Paul, Minnesota; Glens Falls, New York; Wayne, New Jersey; Fremont, Santa Clara, San Jose, or San Diego, California; or Miami, Florida? If no, Boston Scientific is unlikely to fund your project unless it has a national focus. If yes, continue to the next question. (Note: Currently, The Boston Scientific Foundation only makes grants within the United States).
  5. Is your organization a non-profit with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, a public agency or a public school? If yes, you may consider filling out a grant application. If no, it is unlikely that Boston Scientific would support your project.
Boston Scientific Foundation discourages requests for general support from public schools, school districts or other programs that rely primarily on government funding.

To quality for a Boston Scientific Foundation grant, you must certify that your organization does not discriminate in who you serve or who you hire on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, veteran's status, age, mental or physical disability, genetic information or any other class protected by federal, state, or local law requiring equal opportunity. You also must certify that your organization does not advocate, support, or practice activities that discriminate with regard to any of the aforementioned protected classes.

Download the Boston Scientific Foundation Grant application. Complete instructions on what should be included with your application can be found here.

Once completed, mail it to:

Boston Scientific Foundation
One Boston Scientific Place – Mailstop B2
Natick , MA 01760
(508) 650-8554

Only one application from an organization will be considered within a 12-month period.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake: How Can BDPA Help?

The news isn’t good: Officials fear the death toll will reach 100,000. Thousands upon thousands are injured. Port-au-Prince has been flattened. There are millions of Haitians who need help NOW.

Here are three tips for you to consider as you find a way to help:

  1. Donating cash to established relief organizations is the best way to help because it allows professionals to get exactly what they need and does not use up scarce resources such as transportation, staff time or warehouse space.
  2. If you decide to donate supplies and not cash, contact an established relief organization before you collect anything. If you have already collected items, donate them to a relief organization within your community or sell them at a yard sale or charity auction and donate the proceeds.
  3. People who want to volunteer should have previous disaster or international experience or technical skills and should work through a relief organization. More information is available from the Center for International Disaster Information.
BDPAers can also help immediately by donating to the Red Cross Haiti relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999."

Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information. Families of Americans living in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at (888) 407-4747.

Here are organizations that BDPAers can contact if they want to help the people in Haiti:

P.O. Box 845578
Boston, MA 02284-5578
NGO run by almost-USAID director Paul Farmer providing health resources to Haiti since 1985.

226 Causeway St., 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02114-2206
Charity devoted to stopping hunger and providing nutrition to communities in crisis.

333 7th Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001-5004
Traditional, yet innovative medical providers spread across the globe.

Haiti Earthquake Children in Emergency Fund
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880
Children-focused relief agency with a special earthquake fund.

615 Slaters Lane; P.O. Box 269
Alexandria, VA 22313
Church-based coordinator of health and family services.

Haiti Earthquake Relief
P.O. Box 9716
Federal Way, Wash. 98063-9716

125 Maiden Lane
New York, N.Y. 10038
Charity specifically targeting children—providing educational materials, food, water and medicine.

Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5
Charity operated by Wyclef Jean

Please let us know if you are aware of other ways that BDPAers can help the people of Haiti as they cope with this disastrous 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Message from Orlando Chapter President

Greetings and Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a wonderful break over the holiday season and feels rejuvenated and excited about 2010 and the great opportunities that lie before us in our great sunshine state of Florida!

Enterprise Florida has released their 2010-2015 economic development plan which we have provided a link to in our newsletter along with other useful information and resources.

We are going to kick of the year with our first monthly program meeting of the new year. It takes place on Thursday, January 28th @ 6:00PM Eastern at SunTrust Bank. The first meeting will focus on Career Development and using a Professional Development Framework.

I would like to recommend a great book to check out that is fitting to read as we start the new year. The book is "Start Where You Are, Life Lessons in Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be" by Chris Gardner, author of "The Pursuit of Happyness". I believe the many of the principles within the book we can apply to not only ourselves but our jobs, our project teams, departments, our small businesses etc..

We can start where we are at, regardless of where we are at, no matter what has taken place this past year, those are struggles, they are experiences that make us stronger, challenges which shape but not hinder us, passion and determination will help focus us not on the past but on the future and achieving success because that is what we all want. Let us look forward to 2010 and begin the work to make this a successful year.

Please join me at our next meeting on January 28th and let us continue this conversation, and allow BDPA Orlando to help be the go-to value resource for your professional development or partner in business.

Thank you,
Pablo More, president
BDPA Orlando Chapter
Phone: (407) 286-9681

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Message from Charlotte Chapter President

On behalf of the BDPA Charlotte Executive Board, I would like to wish BDPA members, sponsors, partners, supporters and the entire Charlotte community a Happy New Year!

I am eager to begin serving you as a chapter president of this amazing and influential organization. People ask why I have spent the last 10 years being so actively involved with BDPA as a volunteer. The answer is simple. BDPA has allowed me to demonstrate my executive leadership potential when glass ceilings would not. My experiences with BDPA have allowed me to overcome those hurdles and grow as a professional. Now, I have the privilege to serve as chapter president and give back to this important technology organization. I have a deep passion for Information Technology & Engineering with a career that spans more than 20 years in Aerospace, Banking, Biotechnology, Insurance, Manufacturing and Information Security.

BDPA Charlotte is planning an exciting 2010. My first task as president was to create the brand new role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) for BDPA Charlotte. The CIO role will showcase the technical prowess that BDPA Charlotte is well known for by providing Information Technology Thought Leadership for its members, stakeholders and Charlotte community. My second task involved forming a partnership between BDPA Charlotte and the Urban League of the Carolinas. Together, we will have greater impact influencing students from underserved communities to pursue careers in Information Technology in the Charlotte area.

One of the most powerful benefits of BDPA; which I coined “IT Career Revival”, is the annual BDPA Technology Conference. The 2010 National Conference will be held in Philadelphia, July 28 – July 31, 2010; the city of brotherly love! Along with the many technology workshops and seminars held each day, employers from private industry, government and U.S. military participate in a two day career fair and some offer interviews right on the spot! If you are seeking a new career or wanting to relocate, the BDPA National Conference is an event you can’t afford to miss. We all have persevered and worked through challenges to make it to 2010.

Although positive news is being reported about the economy recovering, many of you are facing unemployment and looking for your next career opportunity. As the premier organization for African Americans in Information Technology, BDPA is here to help you meet this challenge. Businesses and entrepreneurs are poised for growth in 2010 and will rely on information technology more than ever to compete for market share. BDPA offers the business community the ability to interface and network with one of the most diverse and skilled talent pools in the country. Since BDPA offers the most diverse and skilled talent pools in Information Technology, corporations partner with us to acquire untapped talent.

Lastly, I want you all to know that the BDPA Charlotte Executive Board is committed to meeting your expectations for providing distinguished technology professionals as speakers at our monthly meetings, as well as career, and networking and opportunities. Now, we can’t do this alone and need your help. BDPA Charlotte needs savvy professionals; be you new to IT or a seasoned veteran. BDPA places its members at the forefront of the Information Technology field and as BDPA Charlotte’s new president I invite you to join our organization to reap its many benefits!

Additionally, your membership dollars help support our professional and K-12 educational programs, and your participation makes the organization more responsive to the people it serves.

In closing, I look forward to a mutually satisfying professional relationship with everyone associated with BDPA in the Charlotte community. The door is always open to you!

Julius Clark Sr., MBA, CISSP, CISA
President BDPA Charlotte
Phone: (704) 953-8379

Yahoo! Employee Foundation

Founded in 1999, the Yahoo! Employee Foundation (YEF) is a grassroots philanthropic organization that brings together the talents, time, and financial resources of Yahoo! employees to serve the needs of communities around the globe.

YEF is a unique foundation that is entirely employee driven. All the money is donated by employees, and all activities are run by a volunteer committee of Yahoo! employees. YEF is setting best practices for employee-driven community service.

YEF provides over $2 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, bringing the total given to more than $7.6 million since YEF's inception in 1999. In order to be eligible for a grant, an organization must be championed by an employee who is a YEF donor. This gives employees the opportunity to make a significant contribution to a cause or an organization they feel strongly about.

Matching Gifts: Yahoo! matches up to $1,000 per year per employee of donations made to qualified nonprofits.

Volunteerism: Yahoo! offers a community service day for all employees globally, encouraging them to reach out and support the local community through volunteerism. Employees may volunteer individually, with their work team, or with other employees during regular paid work hours -- whether for a school, a food bank, a homeless shelter, a senior center, or other community or charity organizations.

Does your chapter have any Yahoo employees in its membership?

President Profile: BDPA Los Angeles (John Malonson)

BDPA's success in the 21st century will be determined by a new generation of leaders. We need to find new ways to reach out to members, IT professionals, students, entrepreneurs, executives and sponsors. One of the new generation of leaders is BDPA Los Angeles chapter president John Malonson. We thought you would like to learn more about this powerful young brother!

Name: John Malonson (Raytheon)
President, BDPA Los Angeles Chapter

Address: 6709 La Tijera Blvd, #501
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Phone: (562) 726-2677

Website: or Facebook or Twitter.

Newsletter: BDPAtoday Los Angeles (September 2008). You can sign up to receive the 2010 chapter newsletter here.

Professional Background - John is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is currently a Business Partner Lead for one of the nation's largest Department of Defense contractors. During his seven years at his current employer, John has made the transition from Web Application Developer to Project Manager to Portfolio Manager to Business Partner Lead (Strategic Planner).

"I'm thankful to work for a company that values diversity of all forms and offers numerous opportunities to those who take risks and welcome new challenges."
BDPA Los Angeles Vision - John became president of the Los Angeles chapter in January 2009. He describes himself as being a huge technophile. His primary goal for the BDPA Los Angeles chapter is to be the FIRST organization that comes to mind regarding African Americans and anything Information Technology related (professional development, networking, current trends in tech, IT job placement).

"2010 is upon us, it's inexcusable to be ignorant on any given subject for more than half an hour!"
Education - John holds a BA in Psychology with a specialization in Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

"Growing up, I never knew anyone that attended a major four-year institution. Unbeknownst to me during my college years, I became a role model to my younger brother and cousins."
Teamwork - John believes that behind every great leader is a great team. If you are interested in joining the BDPA Los Angeles Leadership Team, please contact John directly by email or phone (562.726-2677).

"Volunteer Leadership has got to be one of the most challenging opportunities for anyone. I'm thankful for the above and beyond dedication that my team possesses and I am always looking for new leaders to welcome to our team!"

BDPA Los Angeles enters the new year in a strong position as the 12th largest chapter in the nation. The sky is the limit for this chapter under the leadership of a powerful nubian -- John Malonson. I hope that you will take a moment to share some 'BDPA-Love' with John in the COMMENTS section!