Thursday, January 31, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Elise Jefferson (2006)

Elise Jefferson was on the 2006 silver-medal winning team from Rochester, MN. She shared her thoughts on the process:

"I decided to participate in the Youth Computer Training Program because my older siblings had participated. I knew it would be an educational experience based on their stories, and I was interested in trying to learn a new "language".

Training for the HSCC was certainly strenuous. Luckily, my teammates and I got along very well, and worked well together. We were able to play off our strengths, which proved to be the best method for achieving the success that we did. There were some long nights, but I could tell that each of us liked what we were doing, so we were still able to enjoy ourselves in the process.

The week of the competition was extremely exciting. We were prepared, and we knew that there was no better way to test our skills than to compare it to other teams'.

I would tell other students to sign up for BDPA as soon as they are eligible. I would advise them to work very hard and to attend the class every single Saturday. They should listen to the instructors and take their advice, because they know what they are talking about when it comes to this training. However, most of all...have fun! Meet new people who are interested in the same things you are; it is a wonderful experience."

Elise is now attending the University of Minnesota with assistance from the Bemley Scholarship she won in 2006. Do you have any comments for young people like Elise that you want to share?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Methodology of Business Transformation (Los Angeles)

BDPA Los Angeles chapter is the largest chapter in the western region of the country. One strategy used by the chapter to grow itself is a strong professional development program. Chapter president Andree Justin will address the State of the Chapter on Tuesday, February 12. She will share the outcome of the 1st Quarter National BDPA Board of Directors meeting that she attended earlier this month in Houston, TX.

Andree Justin is not only the BDPA Los Angeles chapter president ... she is also a certified project manager with extensive experience in software development projects in a variety of industries. The second part of the Feb 2008 program meeting will focus on another methodology to deposit in your knowledge tool kit - Methodology of Business Transformation (MBT). Do not miss out on this event. The chapter is focused on bringing you information that is useful to all Information Technology disciplines. Come see what MBT nuggets you as a business/systems analyst, tester, data specialist, developer, systems engineer/architect can take a way from this meeting.

Here are the logistics for the meeting:

When: Tuesday, February 12, 6:30PM
Phone: (818) 266-9147

Westminister Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall
2230 West Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Do you have any thoughts or questions about MBT or BDPA Los Angeles that you want to share?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

State of the Chapter (Charlotte)

BDPA Charlotte chapter, founded in September 1988, enters its 20th year of existence as the 12th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter recently announced their new board of directors for 2008-2009. Join us in welcoming to new leaders for our BDPA Charlotte chapter:
  • President - Charles Moore (Wachovia)
  • President-Elect - Julius Clark (Wachovia)
  • VP-Finance - Lawrence Belton (Wachovia)
  • VP-Strategy & Planning - Sandra Howell (Wachovia)
  • VP-Member Services - Cassandra Seibles (Wachovia)
  • VP-Membership Management - Sherri Sonnier-Johnson (Quill Ink
  • VP-SITES - John Hoffler (Wachovia)
  • Immediate Past-President - Kimberly Green (Self-Employed)
  • Corporate Advisory Council Chairman - Wade Younger (Fruition Consulting)
These brothers and sisters plan to lead BDPA to new heights in Charlotte. If you live in the Charlotte area, then you are encouraged to meet with them on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 as they discuss the 'State of the Chapter' at the upcoming program meeting. Chapter president Charles Moore and his team will share their strategy and plans for 2008-2009.

The logistics are listed below:

When: February 19th, 2008, 6:30pm

Where: Fruition Consulting,

10925 David Taylor Dr,
Charlotte, NC (“University of Phoenix Building”)

Take a moment to share some BDPA-Love with these shining stars from BDPA Charlotte chapter!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

BFTAW Grant Awarded to BDPA Atlanta Chapter

The tenth annual Black Family Technology Awareness Week (BFTAW) will be celebrated February 10-16 with the assistance of community organizations, schools, clubs, and corporations throughout the country. BDPA Atlanta chapter was chosen as one of 25 elite organizations to receive a grant from Career Communications Group, founder of the Black Family Network. In addition to the grant, the organization will also receive a Black Family Network technology planning kit complete with technology teaching tools and Black Family Technology give-a-ways.

Grant recipients were chosen from scores of program proposals seeking to empower African American participation in the global technology-driven economy. Education, employment, healthcare, national security, and every facet of life are impacted by digital technologies. As a result, African Americans should focus on seizing the power and potential of technology so that they are equipped to succeed in the global economy.

BFTAW is a nationwide public service program geared towards educating and empowering black families through technology. During the course of the week, the nation’s community leaders will highlight technology’s ability to open doors to information, education, and opportunities. Additionally, the importance of technology in everyday life, now and in the future, will be stressed during the thousands of programs throughout the country.

This year’s nationwide week long program will culminate with a coordinating conference, Black Family Technology Empowerment Weekend, at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year’s event will be hosted by NPR’s Mario Armstrong and will be held in conjunction with the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference.

According to Tyrone Taborn, US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine publisher and CEO, "The Black Family Technology Awareness Campaign was never about simple Internet access and mere computer ownership, but rather about African Americans becoming true beneficiaries of the many assets of technology and all it has to offer."
The US Navy, EMC, and IBM are proud BFTAW sponsors.

Click here for more information about how to join the campaign or contact Nuria Alveraz on (410) 244-7101.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Digital Humanities and African American/African Diaspora Studies Conference

Drumbeats from Matthew Kirschenbaum tell us that an exciting conference on Digital Humanities and African American/African Diaspora Studies is scheduled for May 1-3, 2008 at the University of Maryland.

Right now you have the opportunity to be a participant yourself. The Conference seeks posters or demonstrations that highlight digital humanities projects, tools or techniques or work in progress as they relate to the themes of the conference. They especially encourage submissions from independent scholars and scholars associated with academic institutions. Posters may include a demonstration, traditional printed poster, or a combination of both. Wireless internet access will be available at the poster venue.

Short abstracts (250-500 words) should be submitted to Neil Fraistat by February 25, 2008. The proposals will be reviewed by the planning committee and successful applicants will be notified by March 10, 2008. The poster session will take place on the afternoon of May 3, 2008.

This conference will address the increasing centrality of digitization to the archiving of materials, as well as the growth of digital technology in the teaching, scholarship and artistic production in the field of African American/African Diaspora Studies. The conference is a collaboration involving the African American/African Diaspora Area Group of the English Department, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), and the School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, as well as other faculty and students from the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS).

The conference, the first of its kind, will bring together approximately 150 national and international scholars, high school and middle school teachers, artists, students and attendees to discuss a growing body of work that has not as yet benefited from an organized forum that would allow practitioners to meet one another not only to discuss on-going projects, but also to debate the theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical issues raised by the intersection of the fields of Digital Humanities and African American/African Diaspora Studies. As the field of African American/African Diaspora Studies can benefit from a thoughtful consideration of the application of new media tools, so, too, can the field of digital humanities benefit from a focused discussion of scholarship informed by critical race studies.

The program will begin on May 1st and 2nd with hands-on workshops, including one sponsored by the TEI Consortium and funded by the NEH, which will provide a practical introduction to text encoding and another that will focus on navigating online resources in African American and African Diaspora Studies.

The workshops will be followed by a panel showcasing work by scholars in the field of African American/African Diaspora Studies that address or make use of digital technologies and new media. The chair and the respondents will be University of Maryland graduate students.

The keynote address by Abdul Alkalimat (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) will be followed by a reception and the presentation of a multi-media art installation. The last day will be taken up by panels and seminars, one of which will be geared toward middle and high school teachers; digital "poster" sessions, using laptops, to introduce projects by students, faculty and independent scholars; and a closing multi-media performance.

Confirmed participants include Howard Dodson, Anna Everett, Jerome Handler, Paul D. Miller (AKA DJ Spooky), Alexander Weheliye, and Pamela Z.

Reach out to Matthew on (301) 405-8505 if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

2008 HSCC Training Recommendations

BDPA will train over 800 students this year as part of our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. Click here if you are interested in reviewing the recommended training topics documentation. The file contains the topics that will be covered in the Oral and Written quizzes.

The main textbook that will be used is Schaum's Outline Principles of Computer Science. Please let us know if you want to provide funds to purchase 1 or more books to be donated to chapter in your area. There are other books and resources shared in the training documentation.

Post a comment if you have questions or want to pledge funding. You can also reach out to Danna Sturdivant (National SITES Coordinator) on (800) 727-2372 for any questions about the training materials.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

PC Building Workshop (Cincinnati)

I am proud of my home chapter here in Cincinnati. The chapter is one of the most-honored in BDPA history because of their willingness to work with young people. Currently, BDPA Cincinnati chapter is offering a PC BUILD WORKSHOP for 7th & 8th Graders. These training courses cost $20 and include a full-year student membership for the young people that participate.

This PC Build Workshop is a subset of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The PC Build Workshop is exclusively designed for 7th and 8th graders as hands-on learning. Students will learn to identify, remove and put back the internal components of a personal computer. At the end of the workshop, there is a contest to see which team can rebuild their PC the fastest!

Here are the logistics for the PC Build Workshop:

Saturday, February 23, 2008
8:30 am – 2:00 pm (lunch provided)

Cincinnati Business Incubator (CBI)
1634 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202
(Downtown near Findlay Market)

Students can pre-register at (complete items #2 Local and #3 National Registrations). One parent is expected to attend from 8:30 am - 9:00 am to complete the consent documentation. $20 registration fee due upon registration.

If you have questions or wish to discuss further you can reach out to Henrietta Hill, PC Build Coordinator on (513) 608-2378.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Social Networking (Memphis)

BDPA Memphis chapter, founded June 1995, is currently the 31st largest chapter in the nation. The chapter looks to significantly increase their membership numbers in the coming weeks and months by providing African American IT professionals with technical education and networking opportunities. One of those networking opportunities is the Semi-Annual Social Networking event.

The 2008 BDPA Semi-Annual Social Networking event introduces BDPA Memphis chapter to anyone interested in advancing the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom. This social networking event is a vehicle to meet new people and form relationships that benefit the organization, the individual and the community.

During this social, you will receive details on BDPA's 2008 initiatives and volunteer opportunites. There will also be a special presentation from Digerati Search Inc. (DSI). DSI specializes in talent acquisition exclusively for the Information Technology industry. The company provides a full range of placement services for contract, contract-for-hire, and direct hire of IT professionals as well as recruitment, hiring and career consultancy.

Please spread the word to all of your colleagues and invite Memphis-area IT professionals to come out and take a look at BDPA. Also, please bring your business cards to participate in drawings for door prizes and giveaways provided by DSI. Refreshments will be served.

Here are the logistics for the event:

Thursday, January 31, 2008
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

J.E. Walker House
1109 Mississippi
Memphis, TN 38126

For more information email or call (901) 508-3003.

Monday, January 21, 2008 Provides Black Blog Headlines

The Young Black Professional Guide created to increase the networking and exposure of blogs that feature content related to Black culture. The concept of is very simple. It is a neat little web application that acts as a headline feed reader for a variety of blogs surrounding the African American experience. The stated goal of the project is to gain visibility for these blogs and empower readers to enjoy our network of opinions.

We are proud to note that those Black-owned blogs shown on have also been included in Villager's Black Blog Rankings. BBR updates are issued on the 1st of each month.

I'm hopeful that more BDPA chapters and leaders use blogs to increase communication for our members around the country in 2008. It would be nice to see more technology-related discussions in the afrosphere. What do you think about blogging for BDPA?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SITES Program Interviews (Washington DC)

BDPA Washington DC chapter, founded May 1978, is currently the 5th largest chapter in the nation. One reason for their rapid growth in recent years is the strong Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program available to K-12 students in the DC area. One aspect of the SITES program is the annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Program. The goal of this exciting training and annual competition is to increase interest of African American youth in the information technology industry.

BDPA Washington DC is now recruiting 8th thru 12th grade students to enroll in their Youth Technology HSCC program. The program provides an environment where high school students compete on an academic level and showcase their technical skills and creativity. Selected students receive several weeks of introductory and advanced training in computer technologies such as HTML, Java, and relational databases. Participating students also gain essential skills such as presentation delivery and teamwork.

At the conclusion of program, selected students will represent BDPA Washington DC in the national competition taking place on August 6-9, 2008 in Atlanta, GA. The competition team will enjoy an all expense paid trip to the conference with an opportunity to win college scholarships. The students from the Washington DC team won the silver medal in 2007 national competition, after taking the bronze medal they prior year. As a result these youngsters won $12,500 in scholarships over the past two years. The chapter wants to prepare students to win more scholarships and advance their career as Stephanie Lampkin did in the past.

Interview for the 2008 HSCC program take place on both February 16 and February 23 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. All students are encouraged to use our online scheduler to confirm date and time for an interview.

Interview location:

Patriots Technology Training Center
The Bank of America Building
5800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Hwy.
Seat Pleasant, MD 20743

Please email us at if you have any questions or wish to discuss further.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Computer Resources Solutions' CEO Michael Gaines Shares His Thoughts on BDPA

Computer Resources Solutions (CRS) named as the 2007 Corporation of the Year by our BDPA Chicago chapter earlier this month. CRS consistently supports programs and services in the Chicago area that advance the careers of African Americans from the classroom to the boardroom. Michael Gaines is the CEO of the company. He took a moment to share his thoughts on why his company supports BDPA in the following video clip.

Hat tip to Blacks Gone Geek for conducting these interviews. Do you have any thoughts on Mr. Gaines' comments? Personally, I'm looking for that limo to pick me up next time I'm visiting with BDPA Chicago!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Black Family Technology Awareness Week

The National Black Family Technology Awareness (BFTAW) Campaign, will celebrate the tenth annual Black Family Technology Awareness Week (BFTAW), February 10 -16, 2008. BFTAW is a national public awareness campaign designed to encourage more African Americans to incorporate technology into their daily lives. Partners and corporate supporters for this year's campaign include the IBM Corporation, EMC, US Navy, Lockheed Martin Corporation, BDPA (Black Data Processing Associates) and NACME (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering).

Over the past nine years, more than 200 cities across the country hosted activities that not only assisted communities in getting online but also helped African Americans become more competitive by exploring technologies that will enable them to access and leverage key information from virtually anywhere. Professional and community organizations, including churches, youth groups, schools, clubs, corporations, and senior citizen centers, hosted a variety of programs designed to highlight the potential of new technology. In fact, in February of 2007, over 700 technology-related events with over 40,000 participants were held across the country. Over 38 million impressions were made through the media, direct mail, educational outreach efforts, and direct program participation.

This year's Awareness Week will culminate with the Black Family Technology Empowerment Weekend, to be held at the Baltimore Convention Center as part of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference, February 16, 2008, in Baltimore, MD. The event will be hosted by NPR personality Mario Armstrong.

Tyrone D. Taborn, US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine publisher and CEO, says, "The Black Family Technology Awareness Campaign was never about simple Internet access and mere computer ownership but rather about African Americans becoming true beneficiaries of the many assets of technology and all it has to offer."

Tyrone Taborn was a contributing author for The Covenant With Black America, the New York Times best seller compiled by PBS-TV's Tavis Smiley. According to Taborn, economic empowerment for African Americans is a major factor in the "digital game." As a community, he says, African Americans must make sure they not only grow in knowledge and access but also learn how that knowledge and access can generate revenue for their families and ultimately empower the communities in which they reside. Taborn says there are many facets to the "Digital Divide," including but not limited to computer ownership and Internet access; the quality of one's Internet connection; production vs. consumption of technology; computer literacy and skill level; employment in technical jobs; and ownership of Internet and other technology-related enterprises.

Many of those critical of the attention being given to the "Digital Divide" point out that merely having a home computer will not build the many skills needed to compete in the extremely advanced, competitive, and prosperous digital world. Instead, the computer soon will be compared to other high-tech items such as cable television and the cellular phone.

But participation of African Americans in the "Digital Revolution" makes good economic sense. Studies suggest that those who embrace technology generally have higher incomes. Research shows that, compared with the African American community as a whole, those online are 73 percent more likely to live in a household having $50,000 or more in total income, 88 percent more likely to hold a college degree, and 90 percent more likely to own stocks or other market investments.

For more information about BFTAW including information on how your community can apply for a BFTAW grant, or contact CCG's Director Technology Awareness Programs, Nuria Alvarez.

What is your view on the Black Family and technology? Do we still have a digital divide?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Crisis Management, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (Columbus)

BDPA Columbus chapter enters into the new year as the 14th largest chapter in the nation. However, they have their sights set on getting into the top ten before the end of the first quarter. One part of their strategy is to provide world-class program meeting each month. The Jan 2008 program meeting is entitled, 'Crisis Management, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery' presented by Connie Hampton, Business Resumption Manager for JPMorgan Chase.

BETF-Blog Readers in the greater Columbus area are encouraged to attend and bring a colleague with you. Light refreshments will be provided. More importantly, there will be a number of IT recruiters in attendance so you should bring business cards and resumes as well!

Logistics for the meeting are as follows:

Thursday, January 31, 2008
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

JPMorgan Chase Building
1111 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, OH

Perhaps one of the attendees will bring a videocamera and tape some key parts of the meeting to post on YouTube. Let's begin to take advantage of Web 2.0 technology at our program meetings around the country.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Message from Greater Tampa Bay Chapter President

BDPA Greater Tampa Bay Chapter (GTBC), founded May 1993, is the 26th largest country in the nation. However, the chapter is at a crossroads in many ways. Chapter president Leslie Mozon writes:

"BDPA GTBC is in jeopardy of becoming defunct. To continue as a chapter we need new leadership and more members!

BDPA GTBC has limped along for the past few years primarily due to good leadership and participation in our Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) computer camp program. Much thanks for this success goes to our SITES coordinators, lead instructors, faithful parents and students. Thanks to the Computer Mentors organization for partnering with us in training and sponsorship of part of the SITES team. Much thanks also to Verizon IT and Syniverse Technologies, who made in-kind donations of their training facilities.

The training facilities may be available to GTBC again this year. Several inquiries about the continuance of the SITES program have been made from both parents and students wishing to participate. However, we are greatly in need of dedicated IT professionals willing to volunteer their time and talent to continue this program.

During this last year BDPA GTBC has consistently held monthly program meetings featuring several guest speakers on a variety of topics pertinent to the IT professional and novelist. Much thanks to PricewaterhouseCoopers and their HR staff for providing an in-kind donation of an outstanding meeting place, for hosting a few of the meetings, and for providing several of the featured presenters. Unfortunately participation and attendance has waned to a level that is less than complimentary to the program meeting organizers and presenters.

This meeting facility is available for GTBC again this year. Presenters can be ascertained and scheduled. However we are greatly in need of dedicated IT professionals and novelist desiring to participate in this experience of sharing their experiences and growing their experiences through planning and participating in these program meetings.

These are just two of several ways BDPA GTBC has shared with this community lately. There are several other programs that have been offered in the past, and there are several more that can be offered in the future. It would be a great shame for it all to continue to dissipate to nothing.

The bottom line is BDPA GTBC NEEDS MEMBERS! Is that you? If you find that a Tampa Bay area chapter of BDPA is something that must have a future, and you are willing to put some effort toward assuring that it does, then I encourage you to make a way to attend our next meeting, or contact me directly.

We encourage all BETF-Blog Readers in the Tampa Bay area to attend their upcoming program meeting and discuss 'The Continuance of This Chapter'. Here are the logistics for the meeting:

Thursday, January 24, 2008
6:00 PM - 7:30 pm

PricewaterhouseCoopers Office Complex
3109 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 6th Floor
Tampa, FL 33607

Please reach out to Leslie Mozon by email or phone (813.215-5902).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rhonda Boyd Feels That BDPA is a Good Partner

BDPA Chicago chapter hosted their annual awards banquet earlier this month. Rhonda Boyd, BDPA Chicago chapter president shared her thoughts on why BDPA is such a good partner for corporations and others.

Hat tip to Blacks Gone Geek for conducting this interview.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA)

Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) conference enters its 22nd year with an eye on a global future. In February 2008, the conference which has stood as one of the best models of where corporate America creates strategic alliances with minority-owned businesses to increase productivity from underrepresented groups, will headline as the National BEYA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Global Competitiveness Conference.

"BEYA conference was developed as a solution to help corporate America identify, nurture and promote the careers of its Black achievers," Career Communications Group publisher and CEO Tyrone Taborn says. "As America renews focus on competitiveness, and much of today's press concentrates on what industry is doing in regards to becoming a player in a global economy, there has been a feeling that the name of the conference should more clearly define who and what we are, while maintaining ties to our history. We feel that this name accomplishes both, and are excited about our future as the National BEYA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Global Competitiveness Conference," he concluded.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The BDPA Agenda for 2008 (Chicago)

BDPA Chicago chapter, founded in March 1986, is the largest chapter in the nation entering the new year. They host their first program meeting today. The topic of the Jan 2008 program meeting is 'The BDPA Agenda for 2008'. Chapter president Rhonda Boyd and her leadership team will discuss strategies for better serving the needs of the IT professionals in the Chicagoland area.

Here are the logistics for the meeting:

Thursday, January 18, 2008
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

IBM Office
71 S. Wacker Drive, 6th Floor
Chicago IL 60606

For more information you can call (312) 575-8503.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

Curtis Jenkins served as president of BDPA Philadelphia chapter in 2006-2007. He shared his farewell message on 12/31/2007. We are posting it here for posterity.

Enjoy these words of information and inspiration from Bro. Jenkins:

We did it!

We have culminated another successful year as a Chapter - My thanks to you! I hope that this year has been a great one for you and your families. This is my final message as President of the organization, but not my final involvement as I now have the honor as Immediate Past President. In this role I can continue to contribute to the overarching theme of the organization "From the Classroom to the Boardroom." As we come to a close on the year and to my term in office, I want to take the time to say how much I appreciated the opportunity to serve as your President. I learned a great deal on how to lead by serving. Once again, thanks for your vote of confidence.

I am excited about
Monique Berry becoming your new President and the team that she has working with her including the new officers: Hayward West as President-Elect and Cedric Edwards as Treasurer.

I would like to reflect on a few major accomplishments during my two-year term:

  • Introduced an Annual Awards banquet to celebrate the accomplishments of all who directly contribute to the goals and mission of the Philadelphia Chapter
  • Increased our sponsorship by greater than 100% of direct dollars to support our programs
  • Won Chapter of the Year for the year 2006
  • Won the membership category of Chapter of the Year for 2006
  • Fielded an HSCC team to both the Los Angeles and Washington DC BDPA conferences
  • Paid $11,000 in scholarships
  • Instituted a yearly Membership Appreciation Event
  • Instituted a yearly Corporate Roundtable to provide members direct access to hiring authorities at sponsoring companies
  • Partnered with Wireless Philadelphia and Rohm and Haas to donate 95 computers to local Philadelphia residents
  • Highly successful Programs including hosting the Black Family Technology Awareness Week
  • Trained & certified 8 members with an International Computers Drivers License
  • Provided direct assistance and leadership to chartering of the Northern Delaware chapter
  • Represented BDPA by speaking at a number of community events including the opening of BFTAW (2006), Technology Symposium - Robotics Fair (2007), High School for Engineering and Science (2007)
  • Added six (6) new members (John Dawson, Eileen Gadsden, Jamilah Brown, Hayward West, Byron Mayes and Cedric Edwards) to the Executive Board who served more than 1 year or took an elected position
This success could not be achieved without the help of key people and organizations. I want to personally thank:

  • Rohm and Haas: my employer, for your support
  • Merck and Co, Inc, CIGNA, SAP, Temple University, Mount Airy Community Computer Center, Computers for Schools, JP Morgan Chase and Deloitte for the sponsorship and support
  • The BDPA Philadelphia Executive Board - past and present including but not limited to: Monique Berry, Duane Howard, Sheila Black, Jamilah Brown, John Dawson, Hayward West, Byron Mayes and Eileen Gadsden. You have all served as both mentors and supporters to me during this period and I really appreciate you.
  • Special Thanks to Norman Fleming who served as a Philadelphia board member, provided mentorship on the protocols of leadership and governance, and the opportunity to serve as campaign manager for his National Election effort.
  • The National Executive Committee and members of the National Board of Directors.
  • Special Thanks to Yvette Graham and the Chicago chapter for coaching and sharing their successful blueprint for developing and maintaining a successful chapter.
  • Also special thanks to Will Brown and Paulette Johnson-Davis of the Cleveland and Greater Columbia chapters respectively for their friendship and support
  • Thanks to those chapters who have supported our events and who have invited me to attend their events. I found a friend in every chapter over these years and look forward to spending time with as many chapters as I can
  • Thanks to the BDPA founder, Earl Pace, who had the vision to create the organization and the stamina to sustain it.
  • Special thanks to Wayne Hicks who inspired me to leadership after seeing him open up the 2003 BDPA Conference in Philadelphia. His energy is unmatched and he continues to be a consistent mentor and champion of chapter success
  • Thanks to the students who also inspired me to leadership when I saw their faces after they received their scholarship awards for participating in the High School Computer Competition Program.
  • Thanks to Gina Billings for the wisdom and friendship. Your words go a long way and have resonated through my chapter during your visit to our annual awards banquets.
  • Thanks to my friends and family some who have joined the organization just to support me in reaching the goals of the chapter
  • Thanks to the members of PhillyPact (NSBE, NSN, NABA, NAAAP, NBMBA, NSHMBA, SHPE and the new organizations that recently joined the organization) for sharing your ideas and best practices for running non-profit, volunteer organizations. Thanks also for collaborating on social and professional events as we worked together to build our respective memberships
  • Finally, thanks to the members who stepped up to the plate to run programs that support the goals of the chapter - most notably, Karen Scott who was awarded that distinction.
The future of BDPA Philadelphia is abundant with energy as the new administration is planning an exciting menu of programs and services in an effort to take the organization to new heights. Our 2010 Vision which started in 2007 is "Partnering for Continued Growth". This supports the overall "Classroom to the Boardroom" and the "It's all about Membership" theme.

One final goal for me is to build a chapter Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) which is already in progress. I did not list this as an accomplishment as it is being finalized. Members of the CAC and details of this group will be announced at the January Program meeting.

Curtis Jenkins, 2006-2007 president
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter

I encourage all of you that know Curtis Jenkins to take a moment to share some BDPA-Love with him right now! What say u?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Where are the Black Professionals

Hat-Tip to BDPA Detroit chapter for pointing us to Black Web 2.0, a remarkable blog that is a must-read for all BDPA members. The brothers and sisters that created this blog need to be featured at our upcoming annual conference.

Anyhow, Black Web 2.0 asked the question, 'Where are the Black Web Professionals'. They pointed to the 2007 Web Design Survey results from A List Apart (ALA). According to ALA, "the results represent the first data ever collected on the business of web design and development as practiced in the U.S. and worldwide. ALA breaks down their report data by race, age and gender, and lends itself to a couple of findings:

  • Out of the 32,831 respondents, 1.2% (about 394 people) are Black
  • 302 of the 32,831 respondents are identified as Black males
  • 96 of the 32,831 respondents are identified as Black females
Anyhow, read the full article and let me know what you think. How should BDPA respond to this information on local or national level?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Message from National Vice President (Membership Management)

Coretta Poole served as National BDPA vice president (membership management) in 2006-2007. Coretta shared a final message with the national board of directors on 12/31/2007. I thought that you might enjoy seeing what she had to say ...

Chapter Renewal

If you have not already done so, please be sure to renew the chapter term for your respective chapter in the global database. This may be accomplished by logging into the global database, navigating to your chapter page, and left-clicking the Renew this Chapter link near the bottom of the screen. You have the option of renewing for either a one-year or two-year term, in accordance with your chapter bylaws and procedures.

For those chapters that are experiencing a leadership transition, Immediate Past Presidents are asked to assist incoming Chapter Presidents with this task. When renewing the chapter, it is also important that chapter leadership roles be assigned to accurately reflect those member-volunteers who have stepped up to serve in a leadership capacity.

Lifetime Membership

Lifetime memberships are now available for purchase at the global database. Recently approved at the 4th Quarter NBOD meeting, this new membership type has been fully integrated into the global database. Chapters are encouraged to promote this new membership type as it will lay the foundation for BDPA member retention for years to come.

BDPA Digital Library Metrics

Although the usage metrics for the BDPA Digital Library were not available at the 4th Quarter NBOD meeting, we are pleased to report that from January 2007 through November 2007, more than 1400 searches were conducted in the two modules that comprise the library. Not bad for a resource that was first introduced to the members in 2007. This truly demonstrates that a number of our members have used this important members-only resource to access current information across a variety of IT topics. Thank you for promoting this resource to our members.


Serving as BDPA’s VPMM for the last two years has truly been a privilege that has inspired me in all areas of my life. Thanks so much to each of you for your dedication to BDPA and our community. And thank you for the opportunity to serve. Having met with the incoming National VPMM, Eatonia Williams of BDPA Detroit, I feel truly encouraged that great success lies ahead for BDPA, the dedicated chapters and the deserving members. BDPA is truly fortunate to have her as the next VPMM. Here’s to great success in 2008-09! For matters related to Membership Management, Eatonia may be reached at the official VPMM email address,

Kind regards,
Coretta Poole, 2006-07 VPMM
National BDPA

I hope that those of you reading this farewell message from Coretta Poole will take a moment to share some BDPA-Love with her by using the POST A COMMENT feature below. What say u?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Afrosphere Encourages Black Voter Participation

Barack Obama won the Iowa caucus. Hillary Clinton came back with a victory in the New Hampshire primary. Our response is simple. We demonstrate by our vote that we support this tremendous opportunity for change.

In order to make change ... we must vote. In order to vote ... we must be registered.

We want to encourage every person of African descent in our country to make a pledge to be vote this year. If you own a blog ... then we encourage you to grab the Proud Black Voter badge and post it for your readers to see. Let's ensure that everyone is clear about the process for registering to vote in all 50 states.

Kudos to Mrs. Grapevine, Villager and Yobachi for putting sails to this idea. BETF-Blog Readers, what say u? Are you a Proud Black Voter in 2008?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Message from Cleveland Chapter President

I've known Ken Wilson for almost 20 years. He is a remarkable brother with a strong legacy in BDPA and an accomplished entrepreneur and business owner. I was pleased to see that the BDPA members in Cleveland voted Ken into office as their chapter president. I thought you would enjoy reading his campaign message to chapter members last month when he ran for the leadership position.

Dear BDPA Cleveland Members,

My name is Kenneth Wilson. I am running for President of BDPA Cleveland chapter and asking for your vote and your active participation in the new BDPA Information Technology Thought Leaders organization that we are building.

BDPA became an inseparable part of my life 27 years ago when it rescued my drowning data-processing programming career. Rather than seeking a new vocation, BDPA empowered me to launch a successful and fulfilling information technology business career. I have been an active member ever since.

For the past several months, I have been talking with other BDPA members, Corporate Advisory Council and community leaders, planning and praying for wisdom to determine where we should go from here. During this process, more than a few members suggested that I run for Chapter President in the upcoming elections. My first reaction was that I should step aside and help mentor some of our younger leadership, as I have already successfully been there and done that. Then it was suggested to me that taking the helm would be the very best way to provide that needed mentorship. So finally I said yes.

  • Yes! I continue to believe that the African American business and technology professional will become more prepared, more highly regarded, more respected and more consistently looked upon as a world-class leader in business and technology.
  • Yes! I continue to accept as true that BDPA continues to contain the potential to make life-changing improvements in the career and business success of hundreds (if not thousands) of African American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, Native-American, European-American and other professional people.
  • Yes! I am steadfastly convinced that as conscientious community citizens, BDPA members have the talent and the moral responsibility to become fully-engaged partners in the technological and economic renaissance and revitalization of Northeast Ohio.
If you are an active BDPA member, I ask for your continued commitment. If, for whatever reason there might have been, you allowed your membership to lapse, your participation to decline or your dream to defer, I urge you to reinstate your membership, renew your involvement and reawaken your dream.

It is with willing anticipation of committed service that I humbly ask you to trust me with the responsibility and privilege of leading BDPA Information Technology Thought Leaders, Cleveland / Northeast, Ohio to our inevitable greatness.

Kenneth L. Wilson

His words had their intended effect. Ken was overwhelmingly elected to serve as 2008-2009 president of our BDPA Cleveland chapter. I encourage you to take a moment to share some BDPA-Love with Bro. Wilson! Let him know that you support his efforts in Cleveland to advance the careers of African Americans within our industry from the classroom to the boardroom.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Matching Funds * Wachovia Foundation

We are pleased to report that Wachovia Foundation matched a $200 donation made earlier in the year by one of their associates, John Hoffler. John is a past president of BDPA chapters in St. Louis and Greenville. Currently, he is a member of our BDPA Charlotte chapter.

The Wachovia Foundation matching funds will be placed in the restricted chapter fund to be used for Charlotte-based programs or services.

Does your company have a matching funds program?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Message from Gina Billings (2006-2007 National BDPA President)

Gina Billings is the outgoing president of national BDPA. We are sharing her final message to BDPA members and supporters.

Dear Members and Supporters,

On behalf of the National Executive Team and the National Board of Directors, serving in a leadership capacity for BDPA has been both a pleasure and privilege. From 2006-2007, BDPA made great strides in developing and enhancing its programs and services for the Information Technology Professional. As visionaries for the organization and the IT profession, the leadership team integrated a number of new programs for the good of BDPA. These achievements lay the foundation that will support the organization into the next decade. Key accomplishments of the 2006-2007 administration are summarized as follows:

As a result of the united efforts of BDPA leaders at the national and chapter levels, BDPA has been able to advance our organization and the standing of the IT profession. We also note that the accomplishments would not have been possible without the tireless dedication and support of our member volunteers.

The time has come for the 2006-2007 administration to pass the baton and cheer the efforts of a new administration. We are proud to announce the 2008-2009 National BDPA Executive Committee as follows:

Based on the caliber of the incoming leadership team, we should all feel encouraged that BDPA will remain in steady hands. President Denise Holland may be reached via the official presidential e-mail address,

Warm Regards,
Gina Billings
2006-07 National BDPA President

BETF-Blog Readers, Gina put alot of time, talent and energy to her volunteer efforts as our national president-elect (2004-2005) and national president (2006-2007). Please take a moment to use the POST A COMMENT feature below to share some BDPA-love with her!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Agile Development Methodology (Los Angeles)

BDPA Los Angeles chapter, founded in June 1982, is the 17th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter decided that the theme of their work in the first quarter of 2008 is Software Development: Career Track and Its Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Role'. The first topic for this quarterly theme is The Agile Development Methodology. Agile software development is a conceptual framework for software engineering that promotes development iterations throughout the life-cycle of the project.

Our guest presenter is John Malonson, Raytheon Corporation, Project Manager/Information Architect (Business Applications Solutions). John has many years of software development experience, including several methodologies. He has a broad technical background and teaching experience. Whatever your discipline may be, analysis, testing, development, networks, etc., you can expect to leave this meeting with nuggets of information that can be used throughout all phases of the project development life cycle.

The logistics for the meeting are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Location: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall

Community Meeting Room
Corner of Crenshaw Blvd. and Martin Luther King Blvd
(First floor, near Sears, adjacent to the Police Office)

Be sure not to miss this one as BDPA Los Angeles is putting together building blocks of training that will equip you for continued professional success.

As a bonus, this will be an opportuity to honor John Malonson as the 2007 Volunteer of the Year for the BDPA Los Angeles chapter. John untiringly gave countless hours as the coordinator of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) program last year. He also was elected to serve as the chapter's president-elect, scheduled to become chapter president in 2009. What better way to start off the new year than with him as guest speaker for the program meeting on Tuesday, January 15.

BETF-Blog Readers, use the POST A COMMENT link below to share some love with Bro. Malonson on his award as volunteer of the year or to ask questions about the Agile Software Development Methodology program meeting topic.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tavis Smiley is Keynote Speaker for ITSMF Awards Gala

International talk show host, broadcaster and author, Tavis Smiley, will present the keynote address at the ITSMF Awards Gala on Friday, February 8, 2008 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington DC. Smiley, who hosts the late night television show 'Tavis Smiley' and radio program 'The Tavis Smiley Show' is the first American to simultaneously host signature talk shows on both public television and public radio.

The ITSMF Awards Gala honors industry leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to the adancement of information technology while continuosly demonstrating proactive leadership in advancing diversity. The event is open to the public. Click here to register for the event.

Gala guests are the "who's who" of IT leaders from the public and private sectors and include representatives from Cisco, Dell, Deloitte, EDS, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Johnson-Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft and PepsiCo, among others. More than 500 are expected to attend this sell-out event.

BETF-Blog Readers, do you plan to attend? Do you have questions about ITSMF that we might be able to answer here?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Top Ten Black Blogs (Jan 2008)

Over 600 Black blogs are part of the Black Blog Rankings (BBR) for January 2008. I encourage each of y'all to add the BDPA Foundation to your blogroll if you haven't done so already.

I plan to share the BBR later this month on the NPR News & Notes Blogger's Roundtable. With any luck the other topic for that day will be the upset victories by Barack Obama in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries!

Anyhow, it has been a pleasure to share the Top 10 Black Blogs over the past five months. I remain open to ideas and suggestions from all BETF-Blog readers on ways that this project can be more useful to you. What other features or information would you like to see in future iterations of this list?
We plan to publish interviews with some of the brothers and sisters on this month's BBR. Please use your Village Voice to contact me if you would like to be interviewed! Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) is the driving force behind the BBR. Let others have lists of so-called influential bloggers with no melanin. We created our own list to highlight the talent and creativity (Kuumba) that exists in our own community. And our list continues to grow grow:

Today we release the January 2008 BBR with 602 Black blogs in the mix with much love to the Top Ten Black Blogs:

  1. Angel Laws: Concrete Loop* (Authority: 1,111 / Rank: 2,225) - [Entertainment] This blog has been in the #2 slot since we began the rankings, however, this month Concrete Loops reached the top slot! This is a Black celebrity entertainment blog with gossip, music, celebrity interviews, pictures and such. Have you seen your favorite celebrity on Angel's blog?
  2. Pam Spaulding: Pam's House Blend (Authority: 1,086 / Rank: 2,357) - [Politics] This blog falls out of the top spot for the first time since we started the BBR in Sep 2007. Pam shares her thoughts on politics and invites others to join in the debate. Many of us will be on her political blog as we watch the presidential race heat up this year. Someone let Pam know we are looking for her to share some blogging tips with us! Pam, are you out there?
  3. The Bossip: (Authority: 1,051 / Rank: 2,475) - [Entertainment] We just learned about this month. They moved directly into the #3 slot on this month's BBR! is a fast growing urban-focused new media property that draws a loyal following of young and influential trend setters who are up to date with what’s hot in society. Does anyone know if The Bossip is a brother or sister?
  4. Fresh Crunkjuice: Crunk & Disorderly* (Authority: 780 / Rank: 3,993) - [Entertainment] This blog was created in August 2004, however, it didn't get serious until May 2005. This is an active entertainment blog. The motto is simple and direct, "In Fresh We Trust". Yo' Fresh ... consider giving us some link-love as one of your Fresh Picks!
  5. Natasha E: Young, Black & Fabulous (Authority: 762 / Rank: 4,146) - [Entertainment] Natasha moved her hot gossip blog to her own domain. Her newer blog has moved up to BBR#20, making her the first blogger with multiple blogs in the Top 25!
  6. Nah Right: Nah Right (Authority: 698 / Rank: 4,797) - [Entertainment] This is another Black blogger that we only learned about this month. Some say that Nah Right is the most important East Coast hip-hop blog there is. His blog began in May 2005 and continues to thrive. I'm open to learning more about the brother. Do you have any 411 to share?
  7. Oliver Willis: Oliver Willis (Authority: 622 / Rank: 5,740) - [Politics] Oliver is a fan of the Washington Redskins. This is a good time for the brother as his team made the playoffs and the 2008 presidential race is heating up bigtime in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He began his blog in April 2005.
  8. La Shawn Barber: La Shawn Barber's Corner (Authority: 610 / Rank: 5,907) - [Politics] Freelance writer La Shawn Barber offers political commentary from a Christian perspective. NPR News & Notes listed the 8/15/2007 Blogger's Roundtable with Sis. Barber as one of their best shows in 2007. I 'met' Sis. Barber during NPR panel discussion in Nov 2007. She is an insightful sister with a powerful political blog.
  9. Sokari Ekine: Black Looks (525/ 7,820) - [Social Commentary] Sokari brings a focus on all things African. This is the highest-ranked blog on the BBR from outside of the United States. Sokari is currently in London. Her posts cover a range of issues such as gender violence, racism, sexuality, HIV/AIDS and cancer. Sokari and her guest bloggers are all progressives, Africanists and activists with a strong belief in the power of the pen to bring about change. This blog began in June 2004.
  10. Gina McCauley: What About Our Daughters* (Authority: 443 / Rank: 9,880) - [Social Commentary] This blog was created by a sister who believes that now is the time for organized action to combat the destructive portrayals of Black women in popular culture. 2007 was a remarkable year for this blogger. Sis. McCauley was named one of the 25 most influential African Americans by Essence Magazine. Her blog was listed as BBR #19 in Sep 2007 and breaks into the Top Ten Black Blogs for the first time this month!

HONORABLE MENTION (11-25): How To Split An Atom, Sandra Rose, Soul Sides, Afro Bella*, Paula Mooney’s Tips, Darla Mack News & Reviews, Rod 2.0:Beta, The Field Negro*, Entre mes Lignes, Young, Black & Fabulous*, Keith Boynkin*, A Hot Mess!, Republic of T, Angry Black Bitch and Mudd Up.

The only qualification is that the blogger needs to be of African descent. The blogger does not have to be a member of BDPA, The AfroSpear or the Afrosphere Bloggers Association, although we invite all Black bloggers to join any of these excellent organizations.

These Black blogs are important spheres of influence. Reach out and let them know that you appreciate the work they have put in over the past few months and years to get on this list.

Those blogs with an asterisk after their name are 2007 Black Weblog Award winners. Black Blog Rankings lean heavily on the Technorati Authority and Rank score for each blog. The Technorati authority and rank numbers are shown in parenthesis. The authority figure includes a number of factors including the number of blogs that are linked to this blogger over the past six months. The rank number indicates how many blogs are between the person listed and the #1 ranked blog in the world.

Post a comment below if you are a Black Blogger interested in learning what your ranking is this month!

My vision is that many of the brothers and sisters on this month's BBR will share their village voice with us right here on the BDPA Foundation blog (BBR #334) or over on the Electronic Village blog (BBR #34). Happy New Year!