Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grant Recipient: BDPA New York ($1,000)

BETF provided $1,000 grant to BDPA New York chapter. The chapter used the funding to establish the Roger Dunn Memorial Scholarship and the Renee McClure Scholarship, which will be awarded to SITES students who have demonstrated strong excellent leaderships skills.

Some of the funding used to cover transportation expenses for students trained by BDPA New York chapter to attend the Northeast Regional competition at Bowie State University in June 2009. The students (Kevin Castillo, Cazemba Richards and Alan Rosales) won 3rd place at the regional competition.

BETF has provided $155,339 in funding support to BDPA chapters since the beginning of the year. Is your chapter working with BETF on fundraising ideas?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Blogger Interview: Byron Mayes (BDPA Philadelphia)

I have a Village Interview series on my other blog. I thought it would be nice to interview BDPA bloggers around the nation for this blog.

We are pleased to present the first BDPA Blogger Interview with Byron Mayes, an active BDPA blogger in the afrosphere. His blog is simply titled, BDPA Philadelphia Blog.

Byron Mayes is the VP-Professional Development in the BDPA Philadelphia chapter. Here is some little-known biographical information on this brother:

Louisiana-born composer Byron Christopher Mayes began his formal music training at the age of 10 on a ukelele given to him by his favorite aunt and culminated that training with studies in trombone and composition at Indiana University and the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. Along the way he studied piano and mandolin, sang in church youth choir, did time in high school and college marching bands, played euphonium on the National Ellipse at TubaChristmas, performed professionally in orchestras and big bands, froze his arse caroling outdoors in period garb, and listened actively to music in all genres.

I hope you enjoy the following Q&A session with Byron:

Q1. What were you like when you were younger?

Exactly as I am now. Cerebral and a bit stand-offish. Very open to those allowed to get close however (that was difficult for most to do).
Q2. Name a famous historical figure, living or deceased, you would like to meet and tell us why.

So many, I'll pick one each.
  • Living - President Barack Obama, of course. He's my age and race, and has reached a level of accomplishment that many of my peers couldn't have imagined when we were younger.
  • Deceased - Salvador Dalí. I'm an artist at heart and he was the epitome of an artistic genius.

Both men were their own men and inspiring in thier own ways.

Q3. Name a person in your community who is relatively unknown to the rest of the world, who you believe is significant in some way, and that you would like the rest of the world to know more about.

Kyle Bady, one of my former student assistants here at Temple University. He's currently a first year law student at Northwestern in Chicago. While here he maintained a 4.0 and still had charisma and personality unlike the average nerd (my pet name for him was "nerd boy"). Look out for him. He will change the world.
Q4. What are two items in your 'bucket list' ... things you want to do or accomplish before you kick the bucket?

Have a major concert of my musical works. Find my 'other.'
Q5. Describe your first experience on the Internet?

I was on the Internet in the early 1990s and learning it was part of my job responsibilities. Thus, my first Internet experiences were through the text-based protocols of gopher and FTP.
Q6. Tell us about your current blogging career and how you got into it.

I volunteer blog for the BDPA Philadelphia chapter, updating the news blog with items of interest to the membership weekly. I chose to do this as part of my responsibilities as VP for Professional Development.
Q7. Who are the two bloggers you read the most and why? Include their links and tell us why we should subscribe to their feeds.

Ars Technica - Because it's current and "hip" without lapsing into snarkiness. Full coverage of Apple, Open Source, Government, and all that's important to IT today.
White House - Because as a citizen of the US and an unabashed fan of our President and the new transparency surrounding the administration, I feel that I should be in the know.
Q8. Where are you taking your blog over the next 2-3 years?

Hope to maintain its level of useful information. Will also add information about the chapter's events.
Q9. What is your 'killer post' over the past year ... the post you are most proud of?

Most posts are not original, they simply refer the readers to other articles of importance. That said, I like that I got the 'Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov' up within the hour after the Inauguration.
Q10. What is your 'biggest noise post' over the past year ... the one that you took the most heat over from your readers?

None so far.
BDPAers, it is important that we use our various networks to get to know one another. I never would have learned about Byron's musical talents without this Q&A session. How many other BDPA colleagues do we only know on the surface?

Please share your thoughts on this blogger interview!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Kevin Pace (Twin Cities)

This testimonial is from Kevin Pace. He is a young man trained by Michael Wulf and the BDPA Twin Cities chapter. Enjoy his thoughts on the experience:

My name is Kevin Pace. I am currently attending Winona State University. I was involved with the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) in 2005 and 2006.

BDPA Twin Cities Chapter has been a great part of my life. I first started in BDPA spring training session when I was 14 years old. I thought to myself that information technology and computer technology were the hardest things in the world. The computer training was a very great experience that challenged me to work harder not only in high school itself, but also on Saturdays with BDPA.

With the hard work and determination, I was able to go to my first BDPA national conference and competition in Detroit. I had a lot fun networking with other students from other chapters during the 2005 national competition in Detroit. Some students had the same background in computers as I did (little to none) and I felt very welcomed. During the competition I remember getting the highest number right on the test part and we as a team did very good on the group test. I was the data base person that networked our webpage together in the website building competition. We finished in 17th place at the end of the 2005 national competition.

We did better the next year. We finished in 10th place at the 2006 national competition in Los Angeles.

BDPA did change my world perspective on my college approach. For instance, I wanted to go to Wartburg College as a Pre-Med mayor. After gaining knowledge from BDPA, I decided to major in Clinical Laboratory Science at Winona State University. I was able to build a bridge between my interests in both computer technology and medicine. I am very grateful to be in a life-changing organization like BDPA. I look forward giving back to BDPA has its giving me as a teenager.

Testimonial written in May 2009 by Kevin Pace, Clinical Laboratory Science Major, Winona State University

There are over 1,500 students that have participated in the HSCC events since their inception in the mid-1980s. My hope is to document the stories of as many of those students as possible. What are your thoughts on Kevin's remembrances?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How Best to Help Nonprofits Weather the Storm?

Our nonprofit foundation is impacted by the relentless drumbeat of lousy economic news. It is a challenge to deliver financial support for BDPA programs and services with the repercussions from the economic downturn in America.

As such, we read with interest the onPhilanthropy interview with Clara Miller, President and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), which recently surveyed nearly a thousand nonprofit leaders on that question. NFF sought to identify the areas of most critical need occasioned by the economic downturn, both for the immediate and longer-term durability and effectiveness of the sector. In blunt terms, NFF reported "America's nonprofits, including the "lifeline" organizations that many depend on for food, shelter, and other basic services, are strained to the breaking point."

Read full interview.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sneak Preview: 'Evening of Laughter & Soul'

BETF and BDPA Triangle chapter are working hard to unveil a remarkable benefit concert on Friday, August 7, 2009.

Jennifer Holliday

Michael Colyar

Stay tuned to this blog for more details as they become available.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two-thirds of U.S. Foundations Cutting Grants this Year

It comes as no surprise, but two-thirds of U.S. foundations expect to reduce the number or size of the grants they award this year, according to new research by the Foundation Center. The recession's hit to their finances is causing them to try to give in other ways.

The report is based on surveys of more than 1,200 U.S. foundations. Many said they will turn to other activities such as seeking out partnerships and collaboration, advocating on issues and providing technical assistance.

Read full text

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Did You Know? - BDPA IT Institute

Did you know that 47 students have participated in the PMP Exam Prep course offered by the BDPA IT Institute?

Fifteen of those students have been employees of Merck & Company.

BDPA IT Institute also offers certifications for professionals in the IT industry that confirm your skillset as an IT associate, IT professional or IT master. This certification could make the difference for you in today's tough economic environment.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Top 10 BDPA Twitter Users

Twitter received a spike in attention as a result of he recent election protests in Iran. BDPA chapters in Columbus, New York, Northern Delaware and Orlando have brought social networks, like Twitter into the discussion. It seems clear that this microblogging service is gaining popularity as a real-time communication platform.

As such, I thought it would be interesting to share with you our pick of the top 10 BDPA-nation Twitter users (in alpha order) that you should be following:
  1. Perry Carter - Carter is president of BDPA Washington DC chapter. His focus on Twitter is to promote online communication via BDPAtoday newsletter. He is a marketing genius that should be followed by any BDPAer interested in learning more about the organization on national level.

    Most recent tweet: bdpatoday (Online) Washington Teams retain Regional HSCC Title! Click to view -- http://bit.ly/2kWYK

  2. Milt Haynes - Haynes is past national BDPA president and a long-time BDPA leader. His focus on Twitter is to promote social networking to help African Americans in IT stay connected.

    Most recent tweet: Reading: Hot Time in the Old Town: Blogging While Brown -- http://twitthis.com/cjkwyr

  3. Callie Herd - Callie is a member of BDPA Memphis chapter. She wants to be part of the future growth and expansion of the BDPA vision in Tennessee. Her passion is getting scholarship information to young African Americans.

    Most recent tweet: How To Prepare for College Correctly visit http://bit.ly/s7ldH to get valuable info

  4. Wayne Hicks - Hicks is executive director of BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) and a long-time BDPA leader. He uses Twitter to share information about fundraising, nonprofit finances, BETF grants and such.

    Most recent tweet: #BDPA and ITSMF invite your online executive auction bid for Dr. Robin Richmond (Allstate Insurance) -- http://is.gd/1aiUw

  5. Michael Holman, Sr. - Holman is a long-time member of BDPA New York chapter. Michael was one of the SysOps that created BDPANet back in the early 1990s. He was a visionary when it came to taking BDPA into cyberspace.

    Most recent tweet: Check out the SlideShare Presentation on Facebook : Remembering Coretta http://tinyurl.com/nokk4v

  6. Eric Logan - Logan is a member of our BDPA Atlanta chapter. He is an IT guy and tech enthusiast, geek, gamer, Atlanta Falcons fan, and comic book buff who loves and enjoys life.

    Most recent tweet: Proper training can help in determining how the new technology adds value to the organization and how is the value realized.

  7. John Malonson - John was one of the first BDPA leaders that I saw on Twitter. He is president of BDPA Los Angeles chapter.

    Most recent tweet: Seriously, that was some Mr. Miyagi, Daniel-San type ish

  8. Byron Mayes - Mayes is vice-president of our BDPA Philadelphia chapter. He handles the monthly program meetings and blog updates for the chapter.

    Most recent tweet: Petula Clark on the 'Pod can be a remarkably upbeat start to the day.

  9. Pablo More - Pablo is the president of BDPA Orlando chapter. He is a business analyst for major bank with an interest in politics, technology, economic development, law, green technology, Black studies and Latin America.

    Most recent tweet: NY Times article: iPhone 3G S Activations Could Take a Couple of Days. http://tinyurl.com/nswn5b

  10. Deena Pierott - Pierott is a new BDPA leader. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and works with any professional seeking a career in the IT industry. She is committed to increasing the BDPA presence in the northwest portion of our country.

    Most recent tweet: Our first Meet & Greet for EEN is scheduled for tomorrow - I'm excited http://www.eensw.com/

Are you on Twitter? What BDPA Twitterer did we miss in your view?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Call for Nominations: Black Engineer of the Year Awards

I encourage all BETF-Blog readers to take a look at the BEYA Call for Nominations on Modern Day Technology Leaders in the areas of education, entrepreneurism and students.

Two BDPA leaders, Monique Berry (Philadelphia) and Dr. Juan Gilbert (Cincinnati) won awards in this category at the 2009 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) event. Can we nominate winners again for the 2010 BEYA event?

You can learn more about the application deadlines here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nonprofits Should Fight for Federal Funds

The Obama Administration budget contains several programs of crucial importance for nonprofits, but it's not all peaches and cream. Some of the budget lines expressly dedicated to nonprofits are "bubkis," Yiddish slang for "nothing." Nonprofits should not get lost fighting over next to nothing while the big dollars slide by their radar screens.

Read the rest of the article here.

Nominations Open for 2009 Black Weblog Awards

Nominations for the 2009 Black Weblog Awards went live this weekend! The Black Weblog Awards, now in it's fifth year, showcases the afrosphere's best and brightest in a variety of categories. The nomination period is extended to over a month (June 20 thru July 25).

This blog -- BDPA Foundation Blog -- is a nominee in two categories. The top five nominees in each category become finalists. You can help us become a finalist with your vote!

Vote for BDPA Foundation Blog!

Also, I encourage BDPAers to nominate their favorite Black blog in any of the categories. After entering your blog information and picking your categories, you'll receive an e-mail with a link to validate your nomination. It's just that simple!

Please contact Maurice Cherry if you have any questions or run into any issues with the nomination or voting process. Hurry -- nominations end on July 25, and the top finalists in each category will be announced on August 1.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New C-Level Leaders Join Our ITSMF/BETF Online Executive Auction

If you haven't checked out our auction catalog recently, it's worth another look. Here's why...

New Items Added!

We're adding new executives to our catalog and they are available for bidding! Check out all the auction excitement

Please Share This With Your Friends. Refer your friends so they have time to start bidding before our online auction closes on August 7, 2009.

Letter of Inquiry: Nashville Predators Foundation (Middle Tennessee)

BETF and BDPA Middle Tennessee chapter joined together to submit a letter of inquiry to Gerry Helper, president of the Nashville Predators Foundation, in support of the SITES program.

Established in September 1998, the Predators Foundation strives to meet the educational, social, health and cultural needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations. All 501(c)3 organizations in Middle Tennessee are eligible to receive grants, which are distributed once a year. Annual grant applications are solicited by mid-February for consideration.

Since its 1998 inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $2 million in financial grants to Nashville and Middle Tennessee community service and charitable organizations. Between the grants and other charitable donations, such as player ticket programs and fund-raising efforts, the Foundation put more than $---600,000 back into the community during the 2008-09 season. Upon reviewing hundreds of grant applications, and in keeping consistent with the Foundation's mission, the grant committee selected programs that will primarily benefit children. Of 104 total charities, 64 were Nashville-based and 40 were first-time recipients of Predators Foundation grants.

It is likely that all professional sports teams have similar programs. Have you looked to see if such a program exists in your chapter city? This would be a wonderful reward for your hard-working students in the SITES program.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Letter of Inquiry: Fluor Foundation (BDPA IT Corps)

BETF and the National BDPA Vice President (Member Services) submitted a joint letter of inquiry to Fluor Foundation on behalf of the BDPA IT Corps program.

We expect a response from Fluor Foundation by the end of next month.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obama: 'United We Serve'

This summer, President Obama is calling on BETF supporters – young and old, from every background, all across this country – to participate in our nation’s recovery and renewal by serving in our communities. From June 22 to September 11, United We Serve will begin to engage Americans from coast to coast in addressing community needs in education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal.

Does your chapter or business area have a project that you want to provide to the Obama administration in support of this United We Serve program?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grant Disbursement: BDPA Charlotte ($1,000)

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) approved $1,000 grant to BDPA Charlotte chapter. This grant is in response to request from BDPA Charlotte chapter president Charles Moore.

The funding supports the BDPA Southeast Regional High School Computer Competition (HSCC) held at the ImaginOn Center on 6/27/2009. Regional competitions are scaled down versions of the National competition. Students trained by chapters in Charlotte NC, Columbia SC and Raleigh NC plan to participate in this regional competition.

All BDPA chapters are encouraged to explore funding opportunities with the BDPA Foundation.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grant Declination: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

W.K. Kellogg Foundation turned down our grant proposal on behalf of BDPA Middle Tennessee chapter. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation considers opportunities to learn from innovation, to help catalyze work in other places in the US, and to also bring that learning back to the places where they are geographically-focused on moving that indicator needle on behalf of children.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation will invest throughout the country, but with the priority on Michigan, Mississippi and New Mexico. Our grant proposal was a long-shot because it came from Tennessee. W.K. Kellogg Foundation wrote:

Dear Mr. Hicks:

We received your request for funding and want to thank you for sharing your ideas with us.

Within our mission to "propel vulnerable children to achieve success", the Kellogg Foundation provides funding to programs that fit within specific areas of focus: Family Income and Assets; Community Assets; Education and Learning; Food, Health and Wellbeing; and Civic and Philanthropic Engagement and /or the essential approaches of Racial Equity; Place; Leadership; Policy; and Success by Third Grade. We also provide additional programming in our hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Unfortunately, we cannot encourage you to continue with the proposal process at this time, as our program staff have given your request a thorough review and determined that it does not fall within our realigned program priorities.

Again, we commend you in pursuing your idea and wish you much success in attaining your goal.

Deborah A. Rey
Supervisor, Proposals Processing
Office of the President

We will continue to seek funding for the SITES program in Nashville TN as well as the ones we see in the other 50 BDPA chapters around the nation. You could turn our frown upside down by choosing this moment to make a secure online donation to us!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Charities Should Nurture Donors' Passion for Giving

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By: Sean Stannard-Stockton

In his book, Strategic Giving, Peter Frumkin, a philanthropy scholar at the University of Texas, argued that five elements drive people to give a large share of their money away: change, innovation, equity, pluralism, and self-expression.

At big foundations, self-expression is rarely on the agenda. In most cases, it would be wrong for foundation employees or board members to think of grant making as their own personal self-expression,

But for individuals, self-expression is a vital part of giving. You cannot understand, or influence, a donor's wish to encourage economic equity or pluralism without recognizing the way that such grants are inextricably linked to the donor's self-image.

That can be a tricky proposition because Americans tend to think that "good" philanthropy requires sacrifice. Donors, our culture tells us, should not benefit from their giving. Giving is supposed to be motivated by a donor's selfless desire to help others, and so the idea that a donor may use philanthropy as a form of self-expression seems to reduce the nobility of their gift.

If we ever expect to persuade more individuals to become effective philanthropists, the first step is to break the notion that philanthropy must entail sacrifice. Instead donors need to be encouraged to think about how professionals in many walks of life start with a passion and talent, and then train themselves in the skills they need to excel in the tasks they love. We don't discount a musician's performance because he clearly loves playing or an athlete's accomplishment because she loves sport. So too must the passion for giving become linked with a desire to learn how to do it as well as possible.

Read the full article here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Smart Giving in a Troubled Climate

Many charities face not just tough times, but disaster. At some organizations, volunteer trustees, especially those on the finance committee, have grown accustomed to monthly projections of income and expenses that are soaked in ever more red ink.

Read the full article here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Grant Declination: Best Buy Store Donation (Hartford)

Each Best Buy store has a donation budget to support local nonprofit organizations. Product Donations come directly from the local Best Buy store. BDPA Hartford chapter partnered with the BDPA Foundation to submit a letter of inquiry to Best Buy Store #381 (1501 New Britain Avenue; West Hartford CT) requesting products and services.

Our request has been turned down by the store manager. We will continue to seek out funding in support of BDPA Hartford chapter. Please let us know if you have any thoughts or ideas on this fundraising matter.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nonprofits Learn How to Use Stimulus Package

Covering health, labor, arts, education, environmental and energy programs, the stimulus provides both competitive grants for which nonprofits may apply directly and discretionary grants, as well as other distributions to local governments, which may elect to use a nonprofit’s services.

"The biggest challenge for nonprofits is going to be successfully identifying and applying for this money at the same time that they are trying to do their day jobs, in an environment where there is increased demand for the important work that they do and reduced support for it," said Susan Ross, president and CEO of Fairfield County Community Foundation.
Read the full article here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Letter of Inquiry: Oprah's Angel Network (BDPA IT Corps)

BETF and National BDPA worked together to submit a letter of inquiry to Oprah's Angel Network. Our request was in support of the BDPA IT Corps.

The Oprah's Angel Network does not accept unsolicited grant proposals for Angel Network funding. Organizations can submit letters of inquiry. This funding source awards grants to organizations within the United States that focus on one of our four program areas — education, leadership, basic rights or communities.

Our letter of inquiry was sent to:

Oprah’s Angel Network
Attn: Funding Request
110 North Carpenter Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Wish us well on our letter of inquiry!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Letter of Inquiry: Computers for Learning (Bay Area)

BETF and BDPA Bay Area chapter combined on a request for in-kind donation of 11 computers, 1 server and 1 tape drive unit from the folks at Computers for Learning.

The CFL program exists to transfer computers and related peripheral equipment excess to their needs directly to schools and some educational nonprofit organizations. The CFL program specifically matches the computer needs of schools and educational nonprofit organization with excess equipment in Federal agencies.

The CFL program's ambitious goal is to make modern computer technology an integral part of every classroom so that every child has the opportunity to be educated to his or her full potential.

I encourage all BDPA chapters to take a close look at this program.

Corporate-Foundation Giving Flat

Philanthropy Journal reports that grantmaking by corporate foundations held steady last year, but was unable to keep up with inflation and is expected to fall this year, a new report says.

Grants awarded by the nearly 2,500 corporate foundations in the U.S. totaled an estimated $4.4 billion in 2008, up 0.8 percent from 2007, but down about 3 percent after adjusting for inflation.

And with over half of corporate funders anticipating a further decline in giving this year, overall funding for the sector is likely to fall in 2009, says the report from the Foundation Center.

Much of that decline is due to the effect of the recession on corporate profits, particularly in the banking and financial industries, which have accounted for about a quarter of corporate giving in recent years.

Since 1990, giving by corporate foundations has grown at a cumulative rate of 90 percent, significantly slower than community foundations, which posted a growth rate of 479 percent, and independent foundations, whose giving grew 209 percent over the same period.

Corporate-foundation giving now accounts for 10 percent of all foundation giving, down from a 17 percent share in 1990.

About one in four dollars awarded by corporate foundations are allocated for education, more than any other recipient group, followed by public affairs and society benefit, which garnered 20 percent, and human services, which received 10 percent.

Bank of American Charitable Foundation awarded a total of $188 million in grants in 2007, more than any other corporate funder, followed by Sanofi-Aventis Patient Assistance Foundation, which gave $177 million, and Wal-Mart Foundation, which awarded $111 million.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nonprofits Tap Online Networks to Raise Funds

I understand that nonprofits are tapping into online networks to raise funds. Our foundation can be found on Facebook here and here. We are also on Twitter. However, we still haven't discovered a way to convert our online presence in these social networks into successful fundraising. We'll keep trying.

This article from the Philadelphia Inquirer keeps us motivates to do so:

Nonprofits across the country - more than 85 percent use social media, according to a new survey - want to replicate that success. In an economy where purse strings are triple-knotted, the strategy has particular appeal.

Read the full article here.

We don't get many comments here on this blog. However, I would be interested to hear from you. Have you ever made an online donation? What would motivate you to do so in the future?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

BDPA Philadelphia is the 2nd largest chapter in the nation. Here is the message sent by chapter president Monique Berry to her stakeholders this month.

As I sat down to write this newsletter, the blank computer screen kept staring back at me. It wasn't a very friendly look either!! No thoughts were coming easily. My attention kept drifting to the window outside. I could see my neighbors in their yard planting flowers, cutting grass, pruning hedges, flowers popping out of the ground, some already past their prime, and the trees full of leaves instead of bare branches. The change of season was bringing a new start to everything around me.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is never to late to start changing the direction of your career or to set career goals. Attending Chapter meetings or helping a fellow IT professional get involved in the Chapter can help you and help the Chapter realize the goal of retaining and increasing membership!

Volunteer for one of the many opportunities we offer to get involved in the local community. Advance in your profession by attending the National BDPA Technology Conference in Raleigh this August. The Conference will be a good source of information for some, a good refresher for others and great networking for everyone. We hope everyone attends!

The rest of the newsletter is full of good information, so I won't keep you any longer. Enjoy the nice weather and the longer days!

Monique Berry, President
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter

Would you care to share any feedback for Monique?

Top 10 Black Blogs (Jun 2009)

Hotep Villagers! I can't seem to get this monthly update posted on the 1st of the month any longer. But, the wait for the June 2009 Black Blog Rankings (BBR) is over.

I'm happy to report that we have 1,704 blogs in this month's rankings. Two new blogs (This is SOHH.com and Womanist Musings) enter into the Top 10 this month. Living Life Abundantly (BBR #13) and La Shawn Barber's Corner (BBR #14) dropped out of the Top 10.

Currently, we track 1,704 blogs ... up 45 from last month. One thing I noticed this month is that the overwhelming majority of Black-owned blogs have declining Technorati Authority scores. This means that we have less links to our blogs today than we did six months ago. Methinks that this is direct result of links related to the 2008 presidential election dropping from the mix.

We recognize that not every Black-owned & operated blog is on our current list and we are counting on you to let us know about any Black-owned and Black-operated blog that should be added to the BBR.

Without any further ado, here are the Top Ten Black Blogs for June 2009:
  1. Pam Spaulding: Pam's House Blend (Authority: 918 / Rank: 1,841) - [Politics] Pam's blog continues in the BBR #1 for the 12th month in a row. Pam is a leading voice in the LGBT community as evidenced by her recent Huffington Post commentary. She will be a presenter at the 2009 Blogging While Brown Conference later this month. This blog was BBR #2 in June 2008.
  2. Ahsmi Rawlins: Nah Right (Authority: 678 / Rank: 3,023) - [Entertainment] Ashmi (a.k.a., ESKAY) is the top-ranked gossip or entertainment blog on our list. In fact, Vibe.com recently named Nah Right as the 'The Best Rap Blog'. I'm still waiting on some villager to give me the 411 on his blog logo!?! I was born and raised on St. Andrews Place in Los Angeles so the irony intrigues me every time I log onto Nah Right. This blog was BBR #4 at this time last year.
  3. The Bossip: Bossip.com (Authority: 625 / Rank: 3,677) - [Entertainment] Moguldom Media Group, which owns Bossip, is run by Marve Frazier and the founder who seeks to keep her anonymity. So, I guess that I've finally figured out that The Bossip is a woman. One thing that I know for sure ... Gabrielle Union is pissed off at The Bossip. This blog was BBR #1 in June 2008.
  4. Felicia Palmer and Steven Samuel: This is SOHH.com (Authority: 592 / Rank: 3,677) - [Entertainment] SOHH stands for Support Online Hip Hop and is a blog based in Jersey City, NJ. SOHH.com is a destination site for fans of hip hop music. The site was created in 1997 as a more cost-effective information alternative to a monthly print publication called 4Control Media, which launched two years earlier. This blog was not ranked a year ago.
  5. Angel Laws: Concrete Loop (Authority: 504 / Rank: 4,702) - [Entertainment] Angel Laws is the 24-year old sister who who owns and operates popular entertainment blog. Her blogging history will be a compelling backstory for this presenter at the 2009 Blogging While Brown Conference later this month. Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan. SandraRose.com (BBR #20) showed her animosity in a recent blog post. Anyhow, Concrete Loop is a popular destination on MySpace. This blog was BBR #3 in June 2008.
  6. Natasha Eubanks: Young, Black & Fabulous (Authority: 439 / Rank: 5,725) - [Entertainment] Natasha Eubanks has been in the blogging game since July 2005. This 27-year old nubian from Alexandria, VA was called a blogger to watch by Newsweek. She also has a popular site on MySpace. This blog was BBR #6 a year ago.
  7. Oliver Willis: Oliver Willis (Authority: 401 / Rank: 6,446) - [Politics] Oliver recently shared his thoughts on the Republican Party in the Huffington Post. Oliver has developed some blogging enemies in the four years since he started his blog. But, whatever you think about him ... it is nice to have a non-entertainment blog in the BBR Top Ten! This blog was BBR #5 in June 2008.
  8. Baratunde Thurston and Cheryl Contee: Jack and Jill Politics (Authority: 382 / Rank: 6,988) - [Politics] Baratunde and Cheryl will share their unique Black bourgeoisie perspective on U.S. politics at the 2009 Blogging While Brown Conference later this month. Cheryl wasn't in Cairo for Obama's speech last week, however, she did follow him to Europe for the G-20 Summit in April. This blog recently expanded into other social networks such as Facebook. Does anyone know the backstory on the half-eaten watermelon that serves as their logo? This blog was BBR #9 at this time last year.
  9. Wayne Bennett: The Field Negro (Authority: 327 / Rank: 8,556) - [Social Commentary] Wayne is my favorite blogger, although I must admit that RiPPa is making a run for that title. This practicing attorney was born in Jamaica, however, he considers himself a citizen of the world. His blog is revolutionary in nature with no-holds barred commentary on the worlds of entertainment, sports, and politics. He operates on a blogspot.com platform and refuses to cross-promote on any other social network. This blog was BBR #14 in June 2008.
  10. Renee Martin: Womanist Musings (Authority: 322 / Rank: 8,747) - [Social Commentary] Rene proudly laid out her Womanist Manifesto in April 2008. Her blog has risen faster and farther than anyone else in the past year. Once you understand the passion that this Canadian mother of two possesses it is not surprising to see the success of her blog. She speaks her truth as a anti-racist woman of color. About the only thing that Renee is mistaken about his her review of the iconic television series, '24' ... but, that is a story for a different day! This blog was BBR #860 at this time last year.

This ranking is open to any blogger of African descent who owns/operates a blog. Villager's Black Blog Rankings lean heavily on the Technorati Authority and Rank score for each blog. The Technorati authority and rank numbers are shown in parenthesis. The authority figure includes a number of factors including the number of blogs that are linked to this blogger over the past six months. The rank number indicates how many blogs are between the one listed and The Huffington Post, which is the #1 overall blog in the universe.

We added clickable links to the Word version of the Villager's Black Blog Rankings. Let me know if you want a copy of the Word version. In the meantime, I would be interested to hear from you. Is it worth the effort to update this list each month?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Grant Declinaton: Sprint Foundation

BETF and BDPA Atlanta chapter learned that Sprint Foundation turned down our grant proposal on behalf of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The declination letter was sent to BDPA Atlanta chapter president Teresa Williams:

Dear Ms. Williams:

Thank you for submitting your grant proposal for the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you we are unable to provide the funding you seek.

The Sprint Foundation prioritizes its grant awards to programs that support youth initiatives, specifically K-12 public education, youth development (leadership, mentoring and community service), and arts and culture outreach programs designed to bring arts to at-risk and diverse children. Once an opportunity is identified as being eligible and in scope, it is evaluated for its ability to support the Sprint Foundation's philanthropic and community objectives within our budgetary restrictions.

Unfortunately, not all in-scope opportunities can be funded. By carefully selecting which projects to fund, we are able to have a greater impact on the opportunities we do choose to pursue.

We appreciate your consideration of the Sprint Foundation and hope you will understand that our response is in no way a reflection on the fine work accomplished through the BDPA Education And Technology Foundation. Although we are unable to provide funding, we wish you success with the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

Ralph Reid, Executive Director
Sprint Foundation

We will continue to seek funding for the SITES program in Atlanta. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gates Foundation Funds African Think Tanks

The Gates Foundation has pledged $40 million to independent think tanks in developing countries, starting with a 24 institutions in Africa. [SOURCE]

The aim of the initiative is to provide long-term funding to organizations so they can produce sound research that influences national policy debate and decision making, said Mark Suzman, director of policy and advocacy for the Gates Foundation's global development program.

The grants will go to organizations focusing on economics, technology, social and environmental policy, in countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia and Senegal. Four think tanks were funded in Kenya and Nigeria and three in Tanzania. A complete list is here.

Read the full article here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

13 Reasons to Attend the BDPA Technology Conference?

I met Cecil Jones about a decade ago when I was trying to build up the BDPA Cincinnati chapter. He was a presenter for one of our program meetings. Later he moved to Columbus OH to work at Ohio State University. At one point he served as president of our BDPA Columbus chapter. As such, I thought BETF-blog readers would appreciate his answer to the following query:

Q: Why will you attend the National BDPA Technology Conference in Raleigh, NC during the first week in August?

Can you keep a secret? Raleigh, NC area is one of the technology capitals in the country with intellectual capital supplied by IBM, telecommunications companies, application develop organizations, project management organizations and middleware companies. Great companies will be at the conference -

Also, the seminars sharpen my technology and managerial 'game'. Here are 13 reasons that I will be at the upcoming BDPA conference:
  1. I can talk there to local Columbus hiring managers directly, freely in a one-on-one manner for long periods

  2. I find out more about what is going on in companies in Columbus and other cities

  3. I develop MEANINGFUL relationships with others in a true network sense

  4. I learn from key vendors the new products that will be released

  5. I develop that 'back up', in case my current employment situation suddenly severs

  6. I pick up consulting contracts and consulting contacts

  7. I talk with some of the best in technology in the country

  8. I have a non-threatening environment where I get my skills assessed and
    help with career goals

  9. It is great to be in an environment where hundreds of Black IT professionals are on top of their 'game'

  10. The social activities are great! Who said tech folks can't party?

  11. I develop a national network

  12. I talk with the IT Senior Management Forum to get mentors; I don't ask
    them, I just start communicating regularly and the rest follows naturally

  13. I contribute to a great national organization and network
I may fly, drive, ride with others, or catch the bus but I WILL get to the BDPA Conference!

Please attend the National conference, for your sake. In this economy, it is MORE important than ever!

Click here to register for the conference.

Cecil Jones, past president
BDPA Columbus Chapter

Why are YOU planning to attend the National BDPA Technology Conference?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Do-It-Yourself Fundraising: How to Get Money for Your Nonprofit

Nonprofits seem always to be looking for money. The panic of making budget seems to make raising money impossible without knowing someone rich and famous such as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. But fundraising isn't impossible. It can be an incredibly exciting adventure. Here is a simple plan to get your fundraising off to a good start and that you can use for years to come.

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BDPA Group on LinkedIn Network

There are hundreds of BDPA members on the LinkedIn Network. I have my profile on LinkedIn. I shared my thoughts on the LinkedIn Network in the past.

Anyhow, I want to invite all current and former members to join the BDPA Group on LinkedIn. Joining will allow you to find and contact other BDPA members on LinkedIn. The goal of this group is to help you:
  1. Reach other members of BDPA
  2. Accelerate careers/business through referrals from BDPA Group members
  3. Know more than a name – view rich professional profiles from fellow BDPA Group members

Click here to join.

Hope to see you in the group. Please post a comment below if you are currently a member of LinkedIn. What has been your experience to date with this professional network?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Measuring Technology's Impact on Community

By Charles Benton, The Benton Foundation

The Benton Foundation is rooted in the notion that communications technology is essential to addressing social issues and challenges. This ideal dates back to our founding by my father, William Benton, a public servant who championed free speech and civil liberties.

Like the Knight Center of Digital Excellence, the Benton Foundation believes that all communities in this nation will benefit greatly when everyone has universal, affordable and robust Internet access. We are gratified to see that our vision is embraced by President Obama and his administration. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides significant funds to start the journey toward universal broadband for all Americans.

The ARRA’s Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) builds on the first major federal investments specifically for the application of communications technology to addressing community needs. During the Clinton Administration, the National Telecommunications and Information Applications (NTIA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce, administered the Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) to use the newly-accessible Information Highway to, in the words of former Vice President Al Gore, “pave over the digital divide.”

Read the full article.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Membership, Jun 2009)

There are 51 BDPA chapters in the nation. Each chapter averages 53 members (down 2 from last month).

Congratulations to BDPA Triangle chapter (president, Rick Leggett) for setting a new chapter membership record high (158) this month ... breaking their previous high of 147 (May 2009). It appears that this chapter is taking advantage of being host of 2009 national conference.

The top ten chapters in terms of membership as of 6/1/2009 are:
  1. Chicago
  2. Philadelphia
  3. Triangle - (jumped 1 place this month; all-time chapter record high, 158 members)
  4. Atlanta - (jumped 1 place this month)
  5. Washington DC - (jumped 1 place this month)
  6. Richmond - (dropped 2 places this month)
  7. Detroit - (jumped 3 places this month)

  8. New York - (dropped 1 place this month)
  9. New Jersey
  10. Cincinnati - (dropped 2 place this month)

The first eight (8) chapters on this list are in the BDPA Century Club with at least 100 members.

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation provides funding to support the programs and services carried out by these chapters at local level. Our hope is that you will consider making a donation to BETF this year. You can securely donate online or you can give BETF a call on (513) 284-4968 to discuss your pledge offline.

What say u?