Friday, July 31, 2009

BDPA Hall of Fame Member #1: Earl Pace (Philadelphia)

BETF-Blog is proud to announce the inaugural member of the mythical BDPA Hall of Fame ... Earl A. Pace Jr! BDPA existed in the mind of Earl Pace before it became a reality. Earl worked with David Wimberly and others to turn their vision into a reality.

Earl A. Pace Jr. has been in the Information Technology industry since 1965. He began as a computer programmer trainee at the Pennsylvania Railroad. He left the PRR in 1967.

Over the next ten years he rose through the ranks of programmer, programmer analyst, programming manager to Vice President of a financial telecommunications company in Philadelphia, PA.

He became a business owner in 1976 when he incorporated Pace Data Systems for which he is still president. Pace Data Systems is a full service Information Technology firm providing services through its Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC offices primarily to Banks and Savings Banks.

In 1975 he co-founded Black Data Processing Associates in Philadelphia and operated as its president for two years, In 1978 he coordinated the formation of BDPA into a national organization and functioned as its First National President until 1980. BDPA has grown into the largest national professional organization representing minorities in the IT industry.

Within BDPA and on a broader national scale, Earl Pace has been a vocal advocate for business ownership. His primary message since starting BDPA has been that minorities should strive to rise above just a job to Board of Director’s membership and beyond that to owning and operating their own businesses.

Earl Pace continues to be very active in the business and education community in Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. As well as other cities in which he has business interests that enable him to be present regularly.

Please use the COMMENTS section below to share your thoughts, memories or insights about Earl Pace.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grant Award: IBM ($1,000)

We are very pleased to report that IBM sent BETF a $1,000 corporate community cash grant on behalf of Paulette Johnson-Davis for her hours of volunteer service.

The grant will be placed in the restricted Greater Columbia chapter fund to be used for their high school technology training program.

The IBM Corporate Community Cash Grant is a remarkable funding opportunity for any BDPA chapter with IBM employees or retirees in its membership.

Does your chapter have any IBMers in it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monthly $10,000 Scholarships For Minority and Female Students is giving away a $10,000 scholarship in July, August and September 2009 -- to a high school or college student who is 18 years of age or older. The scholarship award can be used to pay for tuition, books, housing, and more. To apply, students simply have to register online, view free information from sponsor colleges and universities, and then confirm their registration.

Applicants must have at least one parent that is an African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Native American. Female students of all ethnicities are also eligible. In addition, applicants must be permanent residents of the United States, and must be planning to attend or are already enrolled in a college, university, or trade school.

At the end of the month, one random winner is selected from a drawing and the scholarship monies are paid in one lump sum directly to the winner upon verification. Typically, the drawing date is around the 30th or the 31st of the month.

The organization behind the web site that provides the scholarship funds is on a mission to help as many minority and female students as possible by offsetting their disadvantaged situation. A recent USA Today article revealed that minority enrollment in college lags disproportionately because of the lack of resources and financial aid being made available.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Amefika Geuka: Walking 1,000 Miles for African-Centered Education

Often we talk about the importance of education for our young people. For too many of us ... it is just talk. Here is the story of Amefika Geuka, a man who is willing to walk the walk. In fact, he is walking 1,000 miles from his home in Florida to Washington DC to raise awareness about the miseducation that children of African-descent get in our public education system.

We feel the way to change that is to put a focus on education of those children being educated from their own perspective,” explains Geuka.
Which is why he and two others founded the Joseph Littles - Nguzo Saba Charter School in Florida.

“The public education system in America no matter how well intended it may be, it actually demoralizes black children and black people because it dismisses for the most part that people of African descent have ever contributed anything of any significance to the forward flow of civilization.”
Bro. Geuka documented his thoughts on African-centered Education a few years ago when he delivered a black paper at the University of Cincinnati. Geuka says once he arrives in Washington D.C. he plans on holding a rally and also reading a proclamation for African Centered Education Elevation Day.

NOTE: I appreciate the efforts of anyone ... including Amefika Geuka ... when it comes to turning around the abismyl results of our public education system. I encouage BETF-Blog readers to learn more about his travels and his school. I'm going to follow his progress via Twitter as well.

What are your thoughts on African-centered education (in general) or this man's walkathon (in particular)? What say u?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Civil Rights to Cyber Rights: Broadband and Digital Equality in the Age of Obama

I met Dr. Jabari Simama during the 4th Annual Community Technology Summit hosted by the City of Atlanta in March 2004. Martin Luther King III and I were on a panel together at that technology summit. The entire event was the brainchild of Dr. Simama in his role as executive director of the mayor's Office of Community Technology.

As such, I look forward to reading Dr. Simama's new book, 'From Civil Rights to Cyber Rights' when it is published later this year.

The title of the book is on target according to Dr. Simama, "... not because cyberspace has made racial struggles obsolete but because those without cyber skills will be superfluous in the American political economy, not to mention in the global world. Unless we bring access to and literacy of digital technology to all Americans, we are heading toward a society and world of information haves and have-nots. Technology involves using computers, broadband and other new media to bridge the education gap, the workforce skills gap, and the economic gap."

Simama calls the new broadband, People Technology. He writes:

"People Technology . . . relates to the use of broadband, wireless, and other digital technology as tools to empower, build, and connect people and communities. It concerns using technology to extend and make meaningful the First Amendment and to provide a voice to the invisible people Ralph Ellison wrote about 60 years ago in his seminal book, The Invisible Man . . . . Thus, broadband (and its implications for people technology) is not so much about the technology, as much as it is about how technology can be, and to some extent, is being used to improve individual lives and society as a whole."

I've openly wondered whether or not BDPA is going to accept the challenges set by Barack Obama when it comes to education. I figure that this book goes hand-in-hand with Obama's effort to end the digital divide. I encourage all BETF-Blog readers to read this book as our nation considers his $7 billion broadband stimulus price tag to bridge the divide between the served and underserved.

Anyhow, you can click here to send email asking for notification about the book's availability.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More Wealthy Americans Donating Through Foundations

BETF Directors Tayo Ibikunle and John Eckenrode are leading an effort to increase the flow of donations from high net-worth individuals into our SITES Endowment Fund. We were intriqued by an article written by Bradenton Herald's Grace Gagliano about the charitable giving of wealthy Americans. Here is an excerpt:

The charitable giving of wealthy Americans like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates has called attention to philanthropy as a way to give back to the community while you are still living. Instead of leaving behind large estates that are taxed heavily before distributed, the wealthy can give through charitable organizations and protect their portfolios from government taxes.

Read full text.

What would it take for you to give back to BDPA through our SITES Endowment Fund?

Friday, July 24, 2009

2008: Giving Dropped $6.4 Billion; Largest Decline On Record

by Mark Hrywna

Overall giving in the United States declined last year by 2 percent, the largest drop since records have been kept and the first since 1987. Giving by individuals again made up about three-quarters of all giving but declines in foundation endowments and grantmaking might make for an even more challenging environment for next year’s report.

Community foundations, in particular, have been hit hard, first because of the declining value of their endowments, but also the lack of additional or new gifts because of the economy. The biggest impact on family foundations, meanwhile, depends on the size and commitments they have. There’s been some evidence in the last year that smaller family foundations have chosen to convert to a donor-advised fund within a community foundation. Other larger foundations have decided to go into their endowments to maintain their grantmaking.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Social Networking and BDPA Members

by Guest Blogger: Monique Berry

I believe that social media is a meaningful trend. Even eBay and Netflix have jumped on the social bandwagon, allowing users to create social media profiles within their accounts. It probably won't be too long before every site has some sort of social media or networking aspect built into it.

Here are available areas in this space where the foundation could benefit.

1. Branding Opportunities
Secure the brand on social media sites - and protecting the brand before someone else beats you to it? This is especially important with respect to user names and unique URLs. This will help to have better control over the first three pages of search results for the unique name. It also may help users of specific social media sites to find BDPA if they are actually looking for your brand.

2. Build Link Popularity
Websites essentially need three things if they are to experience good visibility in the search engines - 1.) good content, 2.) good SEO and 3.) good links. Link back to the original web site within the social media sites you set up. You can also include a blurb about the organization and in many cases, add a link or links to your sites. Once you get these various social media profiles indexed, they will count as inbound links to your main site. You can even include specific anchor text related to keyword phrases you wish to target and point them to pages that have been optimized for those same terms. The bottom line is that social media profiles create opportunities for natural links and they're free!

3. Attracting Traffic
Social media and networking sites can send to drive additional traffic to the web site.

4. Interaction With the Public
The reason why it is called "social" is because it allows web users to socialize or interact with each other. Having the ability to take advantage of social media to bring further attention to products, services, and news or even put a personal face on the organization.

5. Networking Opportunities
A final reason how you can benefit from social media is the networking opportunities. Many social networking mediums offer opportunities to join specific groups of interest where you can then interact with like-minded people. Facebook is a great example of this - not only can you join groups, you can create new ones, add events and even build interactive applications that run within the Facebook environment.

For me, many of the social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others, have allowed me to develop numerous relationships which are not only beneficial in my role President of BDPA Philadelphia Chapter, but especially rewarding when attending industry conferences. The conference becomes more like a family reunion than a boring, uninvolved trade show.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Charity Begins Online

Has the recession transformed us into a bunch of hardened, miserly skinflints? Or are we as benevolent and big-hearted as ever? Mary Portas, a retail adviser and presenter of the TV series Mary Queen of Charity Shops, claims that "our cultural G-spot has moved; it used to be greed, but now it's giving," while Naomi Levine, director of the NYU Center for Philanthropy, believes that young people are increasingly willing to donate their time or money to charitable causes.

But a recent study shows that two-thirds of us will go out of our way to avoid charity workers, and an even greater proportion of us will lie to them – either claiming that we've got no spare change, or that we've already given money to their colleague 20 yards down the road.

How can fundraisers boost their dwindling donations? The savviest organizations are fighting back with blogs, viral videos and interactive billboards. Rhodri Marsden reports on how giving's going digital.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Jessica Tipton (Atlanta)

We have some pretty remarkable young people in our annual high school computer competition. I fully expect that many of these students will shake up the world as they get older and progress through their careers. One young woman on her way to stardom is Jessica Tipton. Jessica was a member of the HSCC team trained by BDPA Atlanta chapter in 2002 and 2004. She shared the following testimonial with us recently:

“The average person lives to be about 70 years old; what you do with the first 20 years of your life, determine if you will spend the rest of your life paying the price of reaping the benefits you have sown.” -Ben Carson

Now that I have reached age 22, I can definitely see the benefits of the seeds that I have sown. I am a recent graduate of Georgia State University majoring in Journalism, having worked at FOX 5 Atlanta, since 2004 and now at CBS Station Sales in New York. In addition, I am a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the reigning homecoming queen for Georgia State University. I have had many blessings in my life, but they did not come easily.

Born February 6, 1987, in Atlanta, Ga. my parents took care of all my household needs. With the combined efforts of my maternal and paternal grandparents, neither my siblings nor I wanted for anything. My paternal grandparents made sure that we were on top of our education seizing any opportunities that came our way. This is why when I heard about the BDPA HSCC program, I was willing to make the sacrifice of sleeping in on Saturdays to take advantage of the opportunity.

There were many times when I think of all the parties that I missed, or all the fun I could have had during high school, but I could not do anything that Friday night because of the HSCC classes on Saturday. Those sacrifices helped to keep me out of many situations that would have prohibited personal growth in the end. The classes helped to keep me focused. Not only did I learn the basics of web programming, but also I learned the importance of teamwork and giving back to the community through my HSCC instructors. Never have I seen a group of individuals up close and personal dedicated to the uplifting of the black community. I thought it was just something of the past, or something to watch on television, but my HSCC instructors helped to make it a reality.

My team went on to compete nationally landing the Atlanta Chapter second place in the 2002 competition. As I started debating in high school, I realized I had a passion for public speaking. That is when I became the project manager for the HSCC team, allowing me to capitalize on my public speaking capabilities.

That was the jumpstart to a career in journalism. Though I am not working directly in the IT industry, the skill set that I received from BDPA helped me to develop teamwork, project management and development skills that is necessary in any career path. BDPA planted seeds in my life, nurtured over the years through the many mentors that I have come across, that allow me to reap the benefits today.
Currently, employers are impressed with my ability to fuse media and technology to keep up with the pace of the industry, skills that would have never developed had I not been apart of the BDPA HSCC program.

“Feed a man to fish, he’s fed for a day; teach a man to fish, he’s fed for a lifetime.”

Thank you BDPA for teaching me to fish!

Our foundation seeks to increase the number of students that receive Bemley Scholarships in 2009 and beyond. To do so, we need your help. Please consider making an online donation to help us interest young people in science and technology.

Very few of you leave COMMENTS on these testimonials. Please take a moment to respond to this one. Let Jessica and the other HSCC alumni know what you think about their efforts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Message from New York Chapter President

BDPA New York is the 9th largest chapter in the nation. One reason for the growth and success of this chapter is the open communication style of its leader, Judaea Lane.

Here is the July 2009 message from Judaea to her chapter stakeholders:

Dear BDPA Members and Supporters,

Recently our chapter's Executive Board went to Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem to have our monthly Board meeting. Listed below are highlights from each committee:

Community Outreach - Education

  • Our SITES program had a wonderful time at Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. The High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Team came in 3rd Place and the IT Showcase Team came in 2nd Place. Everyone is now gearing up for the National Conference which is taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Kudos to UBS Financial Services, for hiring two SITES students for summer internships at their Stamford, CT location.
  • Lastly, this committee is asking members and supporters to stop by in Brooklyn on Saturday, July 25th from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon to visit with our SITES team. The location is 257 Macon Avenue (between Tompkins and Throop Avenues). The goal will be for members to not only show BDPA love to our SITES students, but to share business and technical knowledge with them. The skills will be utilized by SITES students at the National conference. SITES students interning at UBS will also share their experiences. If you are interested, please RSVP via email to
  • The summer edition of Humanware is available. At your leisure, download your copy and to read about the exciting activities going on in our chapter.
  • Our website contains exciting information such as our next Program meeting and other upcoming events. Also please encourage our youth to check out the students page, where we post the latest scholarship and internship information.
  • Lastly, check out the kudos on our webpage to our Sponsor of the Year, UBS Financial Services and our HSCC/SITES students.
Membership Management & Services
  • This committee is working vigorously to recruit members. If your membership has expired then you should have received a postcard reminding you to renew your membership.
  • Save the Date family as we will have our Annual Membership Drive & Summer IT Mixer on Saturday, August 22th. This event 'BBQ@BDPA' is our way to say thanks to our members and supporters for their phenomenal support. So put on your shorts, bring your cards or dominos and come out relax and have a good time. Yours truly is making “Jerk Burgers”. Additional information will be provided shortly.
BDPA Members on the Move
  • BDPA Member Eric Hamilton has an exciting opportunity for our members. The Web Academy offers FREE web design courses and FREE web development services to the community. 100% of the course work is distance learning taught by live instructors in real time. In exchange for offering FREE web classes, members are required to take on at least 3 web development projects of their choosing. Working on these real life web projects with real web clients gives members actual work experience in the web industry. If you are interested, please send an email to or
  • Happy Birthday to all June and July BDPA Members.
Fundraiser/Finance - Please mark your calendar to join us Thursday, December 10 for our Annual Holiday Networking Event. Several venues in Manhattan have been identified and the fundraising committee has excellent ideas for what will be a memorable event.

National BDPA Election - BDPA Philadelphia chapter president Monique Berry is candidate for BDPA National President Elect. She wants to hear from you. Please join her on Facebook or send her an to share your thoughts on the following:
  1. What do you expect from our organization
  2. What do you value most
  3. How can BDPA meet your highest expectation
  4. What action do you think will help us move toward our vision for 2010
Sincerely yours,
Judaea Yarde Lane, President
BDPA New York
(212) 802-5341

NOTE: Our BETF-Blog is willing to provide this space for any of the 51 chapter presidents to share their message. What are your thoughts on Judaea's message this month?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Companies Can Contribute Skills, If Not Cash, to Nonprofits in Recession

In the world of corporate philanthropy, cash has long been king. However, at a time when charitable cash contributions are being squeezed, when 76 percent of corporate donors acknowledge they must adjust their giving strategies, and when there is renewed emphasis on volunteerism, this one-track "show me the money" approach is untenable.

It's time to expand the traditional definition of corporate giving, to encompass what many business leaders consider their most valuable asset: the skills of their employees.

According to the 2009 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey, 95 percent of nonprofits need more skilled volunteer support. And while 78 percent of corporations agree their employees' skills would be valuable to nonprofit organizations, only 50 percent offer skilled support.

The need for cash, of course, is legitimate and undeniable. However, with corporate donations on the decline, the need to hasten the adoption of skilled volunteering as a complementary giving strategy has never been more urgent. Consider this: Nearly 40 percent of nonprofits will spend upward of $50,000 for outside business consultants in 2009. If they secured skilled volunteering support instead, they could free up those funds for other uses. That's the beauty of skilled services; the money goes further.

Read the rest of the article.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Charitable Giving at Major Corporations

Many of the largest American companies plan to decrease their charitable donations in 2009, or at least keep them level with last year's, according to the latest Chronicle survey of corporate giving.

Read the full article here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Business Compute-N-Show: Finding Free Applications and Utilities on the Internet (Video)

April Jackson, Desktop Support Specialist and BDPA Memphis member, is interviewed on the Business Compute-N-Show by host Nancy Ford in Memphis, TN. This show originally aired in January 2009.

What is your favorite FREE application or utility?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

2009 Best Companies for Blacks in Technology

National BDPA and, the source for diversity talent, announced Allstate Insurance, American Airlines, Compuware, Eli Lilly and Company, Health Care Service Corporation, Merck and Company, Monsanto, State Farm Insurance, SunTrust Bank, Wal-Mart Stores, and WellPoint as the winners of the 2009 Best Companies for Blacks in Technology Award.
"These companies deserve special recognition for their outstanding community outreach and diversity recruiting programs and for promoting a significant number of African Americans into their IT management ranks," said Milt Haynes, National BDPA Past President. "One of these companies will be announced as the Top Company for Blacks in Technology and receive the much coveted Epsilon Award."
The Epsilon Award is presented annually to the top company in the nation that promotes a workplace and environment that supports the advancement of Blacks in the information technology industry. The Epsilon Award will be presented later this year at the 2009 National BDPA Technology Conference to be held August 5-9 the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC.

"We are very pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions that these companies have made for Blacks in Technology," said National BDPA President, Denise Holland. "In this economy, many African Americans in technology are concerned about opportunities for both employment and advancement. It is important to recognize those exceptional companies that have provided African Americans with challenging and fulfilling career opportunities in Information Technology."
BDPA Corporate Sponsors and Supporters were asked to complete a comprehensive survey that was used to rate their performance in the areas of Demographics, Diversity Programs, Diversity (Training, Affinity Groups), Tenure, Promotions and Terminations, Diversity Recruiting, Career Path Programs, Minority Vendor Programs, and Community Outreach.

"BDPA is the voice of African Americans in IT," said Dan Honig, Chief Operating Officer of " is honored to be working with BDPA because it is committed to closing the digital divide and helping African American IT professionals advance." Added Honig, "We are very pleased to recognize these companies that are truly practicing workplace diversity in their IT departments."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

P&G Undergraduate Colloquium Information: Application -- Deadline: July 31, 2009

A Unique Experience

You are invited to apply to the R&D Colloquium. The Colloquium is designed to give undergraduate chemistry and life science majors a broad overview of the current state of research in the health and beauty care industry. Some of the program highlights include:

The Colloquium is held annually in the fall in Cincinnati, Ohio. Applications are accepted year-round but must be submitted by July 31 to be considered for that year's event.The Colloquium is primarily intended for African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Native American undergraduate students. All qualified candidates, however, will be considered.

Accommodation, meals and travel expenses will be paid for by P&G. The Colloquium language is English.This opportunity to get an inside view of industrial R&D will be offered to a limited number of candidates. Applicants must be full-time college students, preferably in their junior or senior year, majoring in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, chemical engineering technology, chemical technology or another life-science-related program. [Read More]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Preparing for the ACT/SAT Exams

I wanted to make sure that the “Class of 2010” or those students needing to prepare for the upcoming ACT and SAT that they have information that allows them to perform or do the best that he or she can. It is my hope that you will share the information with others so that they can prepare for the exam(s) as well. The opportunity should always be shared with the individuals wanting to take the ACT/SAT; be it “Class of 2009”, GED or non-Traditional students because college is open to all regardless of age, career or profession.

I am often reminded of the students that I and others have assisted or guided in workshops or through advice. Some of the students that stand out are those students that didn’t have a mentor, had low self-esteem or didn’t think that they could pass the exam or could even attend college. I am especially pleased with Julian’s story. A student that wanted to attend college, but didn’t believe he could. At the time, Julian had just graduated with the “Class of 2008”, but during August of 2008, he had never applied for college or taken the ACT. But in my meeting with him, I felt he had a fire and desire to want to achieve and had the ability to do so. I advise him how to prepare for the ACT and to utilize the links on my blog, Planning and Preparing for College (Scholarships, Internships, Etc) located at . He took the advice and took the ACT exam and scored a 21 on his first try which allowed him to be eligible for the TN Lottery and get assistance's to attend college.

The reason the workshops were successful is because it taught students’ methods and techniques and to utilize practice exams to build up their test skills and speed. In the end, knowledge is powerful, if used properly.

Below is a link that provides two technique documents (Math and Science) that I summarize from our workshops that I offer as tips along with suggested websites to practice the ACT/SAT with.

How To Prepare for the ACT/SAT

I encourage students to take 3 to 4 days a week with 2-3 hours per day and to complete your online test. Performing these practices will allow you to understand the exams better and to build up your timing and be able to complete the full exam. If a student doesn't understand how to solve the problems or get the answer then they should seek additional help through their teachers at school, an expert in the subject area, etc. The key is to learn the method/techniques to solve the problems or questions.

Monday, July 13, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Andreaus Robinson (Chicago)

BETF is actively raising funds to support youth education programs taking place all over the nation. In today's tight economy it is important that all BETF donors clearly understand why we need financial support. We hope that as you learn more about the young people that we support ... you will be more open to secure online donation.

Today, we would like to introduce you to a national champion and Jesse Bemley Scholar. Andreaus Robinson and his teammates, trained by BDPA Chicago chapter, won the national championship in 2006. Andreaus earned a bronze medal for his efforts at the national high school computer competition (HSCC) held in 2007.

Here are his thoughts on BDPA:

My name is Andreaus Robinson; I participated on national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) teams trained by BDPA Chicago chapter in 2006 and 2007. Our team won the championship in 2006 and took third place in 2007.

I am currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois in Champaign. My major at this point is computer science; however, I plan to pursue a minor in business and possibly degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering. I know this may sound like a lot, but I am a highly ambitious person I have many career goals I plan to pursue. I desire a career in robotics, which is why I am trying to get so many degrees; I want to know as much as I can about the different sides of robotics. I also plan to one day own my technology company, which is why I also want to minor in business so that I’ll be fairly business-savvy as well.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of interning for several different companies. The first was for my dad’s architecture company when I was only 15, for which I designed a project management tool based off the needs of the company. My next internship opportunity came in 2006 when I worked for a professor at DePaul University. I worked with Professor Jane Huang and her team to design a traceability application that they were building for Siemens. This provided a great opportunity for me because my name was published on a project and I got the opportunity to work with a group of foreign students.

My most recent internship was in 2008, when I was working for Allstate Insurance Company as a developer helping to create the next installment of the employee desktop page. This was a wonderful opportunity for me because it was a large project and I was able to learn a lot while working on this project, as well as personally work with people who had been programming for years. It was also nice to see firsthand how life working in IT might actually be.

I owe my thanks to BDPA for acquiring this internship, because Willie Anderson an active member of BDPA as well as the IT director at Allstate helped me acquire this position.

Share some BDPA-Love with Andreaus and the BDPA Chicago chapter volunteers that worked with him in 2006-2007!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Will You Buy Amazon Kindle at $299 Discounted Price?

A number of my colleagues rave about Amazon's 6-inch Kindle. I haven't made the move because cost is a factor in my decision. Currently, I go to my local library on a weekly basis and check out books or DVDs at no cost. Amazon is sweetening the deal and the discounted price of $299 for Kindle may cause me to make the move.

I'm told that this lightweight Kindle is about the size of a typical magazine and holds over 1,500 books. Evidently, Kindle reads like a real paper with clear text and crisp images.

The Kindle Store now has over 300,000 books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs. With an advanced 3G wireless connection on your Kindle, any BDPAer can start reading books in less than 60 seconds.

I need some insights from BDPAers that have a Kindle already. Are you pleased with your purchase?

What say u?

Dr. Randal Pinkett Joins ITSMF

In April 2009, Dr. Randal Pinkett was officially accepted as a member of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) where he will continue to lend his expertise and knowledge in IT and other subject matters.

"I can personally attest to the phenomenal growth that [Dr. Pinkett] will experience as [he] interacts with members, protégés and our partners," stated Zack Lemelle, ITSMF Chairperson.

This comes on the heels of the ITSMF Awards Gala, March 2009 in Irving, TX, which attracted approximately 500 corporate, government and association executives and guests. There, Dr. Randal Pinkett brought a keynote address entitled 'Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Game-Changing Strategies for IT Executives and Entrepreneurs.' Pinkett outlined the game-changing strategies IT executives and companies need to succeed in IT today -- working across lines of difference; creating strategic partnerships between IT entities; and fostering mentoring relationships between IT corporations and minority IT firms.

Pinkett was honored with a Beacon Award for his extraordinary contributions to the advancement of information technology while demonstrating proactive leadership in advancing diversity.

Upon welcoming him as a new member, ITSMF commended Pinkett for his commitment to join them in "filling the executive pipeline for the next generation of IT professionals."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tickets Available for BDPA/BETF Benefit Concert Featuring Jennifer Holliday

BETF and BDPA Triangle chapter present a benefit concert of comedy and soul music on Friday, August 7, 2009 in Raleigh NC. Profits from this concert will go to support SITES Endowment Fund and BDPA programs in the Raleigh/Durham area.

View the sneak preview of our Evening of Laughter & Soul Show.

Broadband Stimulus - Notice of Funds Availability

As expected, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released its Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the first round of grants under the Broadband portion of the Stimulus Act. The grant application should be available this week on the BroadbandUSA web site. Grant applications will be accepted from July 14th to August 14th.

Click here for 5-page highlights of the 121 page NOFA document!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Grant Recipient: BDPA Bay Area ($1,350)

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce funding approval for BDPA Bay Area chapter in the amount of $1,350.

BDPA Bay Area chapter president Patricia Glover plans to use the funding to purchase text books ('Design Fundamentals for New Media') for a web development training course being co-sponsored by DeVry University.

Did you know that this is the 10th BDPA chapter to receive financial support from BETF so far this year? The total financial support from BETF to BDPA chapters is now over $161,289 so far in this calendar year. We can do more if we can convince you to make a secure online donation today.

What say u?

Charities: Tough Times Call for Smarter Giving

When wallets get lean, checkbooks tend to stay closed -- and checks to charity become rarer.

Amid the recession and stock-market losses, philanthropy consultants say all donors are re-evaluating their giving. Those who would normally give new charities a chance are sticking with groups they know. Some are giving smaller gifts or none at all. Over the past year, a number of corporations have ended or trimmed their matching-gift programs.

Read the full article by Jonnelle Marte.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Business Compute-N-Show: Marketing and Networking for Career Advancement

Susan Caldwell, Sr. Vice President of Client Services for Digerati Search, Inc., is interviewed on the Business Compute-N-Show by host Nancy Ford in Memphis, TN. This show originally aired in November 2008.

What tips from this video did you find the most useful?

Grant Award: Walt Disney World

We have had a strong relationship with Walt Disney World over the years. The 2002 National BDPA Technology Conference was held on Disney property. A number of Disney cast members served as officers of our BDPA Orlando chapter. One such member is Bessie Peoples who is a co-founder and past president of the chapter. Bessie submitted a volunteer Ears to You grant request through the Disney VoluntEARS program.

Walt Disney World informed us that Bessie selected the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) as recipient for this grant. The funds will be placed in BETF chapter fund restricted for use in Orlando-area programs and services.

Our friends at Disney wrote,

Dear Charity Recipient,
We are happy to inform you that Bessie Peoples has chosen BETF to be the recipient of a $1,000 EARS To You grant in recognition of volunteer service accomplished in 2008.

Volunteerism and commitment to community service are on important part of the Disney culture. Both through the Disney VoluntEARS program and on our own, our cast members selflessly give of their time to make our communities and the world is a better place.

Thank you, and continued good luck to you on your mission of community outreach and making the world a better, more compassionate place.

From your friends at Disney

I encourage all BDPA members ... especially those of you that serve on your chapter's board of directors ... to contact BETF about possible volunteer grant opportunities with your corporate employer.

Asante sana to Bessie Peoples for leveraging her volunteer commitment into financial support!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

SITES Testimonial: Hung Vo (Atlanta)

BDPA volunteers work with over 800 students every year in our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. BDPA Atlanta chapter has been focused on youth education programs for a number of years. One of the young people that took advantage of the SITES program in Atlanta is Hung Vo. Hung shared his thoughts on the training that he received in Atlanta:

Being a public school student with an interest in computer, Internet, and technology, there were not many opportunities for me to pursue that interest, if any. While a senior in high school, I heard from a teacher that BDPA high school computer competition (HSCC) is starting up again in Atlanta. From the BDPA flyer, I knew students trained in HTML, ASP, SQL, and other computer coding languages, which piqued my interest; however, I was hesitant to sign up, because I had joined a similar program, the year before which had turned out to be a bust. Even so, I felt I should not miss this good opportunity. Along with some friends, I decided to enroll in the program.

My first day at BDPA was very exciting. I had met many other students from different schools and districts. I had also met many of the passionate staffs of BDPA’s Atlanta chapter, including President Teresa, Instructor Maurice, and Coach Wes. I remembered how Coach Wes told us like 5000 times how his team had won the HSCC national time a record 4 years in a row. He let us know that winning the national was possible, but only if we worked hard. I knew from that day on that BDPA was the right program to be in ... a program where I could gain computer knowledge and discipline.

The time I spent at BDPA was very enjoyable. Even though Teresa was the president, she would go out of her way and provide us with delicious lunch every Saturday. From Maurice, I learned so much about creating website with HTML and using ASP and SQL to work with the server/client. Coach Wes worked with us on our presentation skills – public speaking, decorum, and the likes. They and along with the other BDPA’s leaders, made me, and I am sure the other students, feel like we were part of a family. That year, my teammates worked hard to win first place but came up a little short – winning 5th place in Atlanta.

Since then, I have graduated from high school and am attending the Georgia Institute of Technology, majoring in computer science. While in BDPA, I knew I was learning a lot, but I did not realize how much I gained from BDPA until now. Besides learning how to write code, which is useful for my computer science class, my experience while in BDPA has enhanced my work ethic, my speaking abilities, and my ability to work with others as a team. All the intangible skills that I have gained from BDPA have helped me to adapt successfully to college. In addition, I still receive email updates from BDPA. One of the BDPA’s leaders, Clarence, continues to send me information on available jobs and internships.

I recently gained Co-op employment thanks to using Coach Wes as my reference. Looking back, I had gained a lot from BDPA then, and the connections I have developed continue to help me in my current and future endeavors. The only bad thing about BDPA is that it was not here in Atlanta when I was a freshman in high school.

Some wonder why I'm regularly seeking donations for BETF. Young 'uns like Hung Vo are the reason. My hope is that you will make a personal decision to provide some type of financial support to our efforts. If not us ... Who?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2009 National BDPA Technology Conference (Raleigh)

Do you have interest in the information technology (IT) industry? Do you have interest in the African American community? Do you want to see African Americans advance their careers in the IT industry?

If you answered 'YES' do any of those questions then you need to make plans to attend our National Conference next month in Raleigh NC! [NOTE: For any conference inquiries, please contact our Conference Coordinator, Pamela Sexton on 800.727-2372]

National BDPA President Denise Holland, National President-Elect Yvette Graham and their conference team have truly stepped up the quality of technical education, leadership training, networking opportunities, youth development and brand awareness in the planning and execution of the 2009 conference.

Don't take my word ... check out the 50+ page Journal Pre-Conference Highlights to get a taste of what's in store for you. What are you waiting for?

THEME: 'Challenges for Today; Strategies for Tomorrow'

I am looking forward to the 31st annual National BDPA Technology Conference in Raleigh NC on August 5-8, 2009. It should be a record-setting event for attendance by young people, entrepreneurs, IT professionals and corporations.

The workshops for IT professionals are outstanding. You will find workshop tracks dealing with professional development, project management, technology and leadership/management. Click here for the complete schedule.

BDPA will be one of the first organizations at the new Raleigh Convention Center. The 500,000-square-foot facility will welcome BDPA with a sparkling new backdrop for trade shows, conventions and conferences. Watch the live camera feed or take a virtual tour of the new convention center.

Corporations are encouraged to contact BDPA Corporate Sales immediately to reserve their speaking opportunities and career fair booth placements.

  • Hotel Reservations - The special BDPA rate is available at the Raleigh Marriott City Center (500 Fayetteville Street; Raleigh, NC 27601; (919) 833-1120) *or* the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel 421 S. Salisbury Street; Raleigh, NC 27601; (919) 834-9900).
  • Conference Registration Rate: $550
You can contact BDPA Headquarters for more information on the 2009 conference by phone (800.727-2372) or email (

Are you planning to attend the 2009 National BDPA Technology Conference in Raleigh NC in August? Please share your thoughts on the 2009 conference in the COMMENTS section below!

BDPA Hall of Fame

One of the beautiful things about owning your own blog is that you can create stuff. I often talk about people being in the so-called BDPA Hall of Fame. In fact, the very first BETF-blog post focused on a 'Hall of Fame' candidate.

It dawned on me that we could begin the process of creating our own BDPA Hall of Fame right here on this blog. The BDPA Hall of Fame will include an inaugural member -- a BDPAer whose presence in the hallowed halls is beyond debate.

Future additions to the BDPA Hall of Fame will come from you!

Once a month, we'll accept nominations from the comments section of this blog and our Twitter feed. We'll narrow the field to three candidates, write a post arguing the case for his or her inclusion and another against it. Then we'll put it to a vote. It's that simple.

There aren't any other rules at this point. I hope you will participate. You can begin right away. Who do you think should be elevated to the BDPA Hall of Fame?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

Guest Blogger: Monique Berry

WOW! What a networking event we shared last month with a record crowd of over 500 attendees at Ms. Tootsies! Thank you very much for your support! I'd like to also extend a special thank you to Sulaiman Rahman, President and owner of, our partner for a spectacular event. Your participation and support is sincerely and greatly appreciated!!

I am honored to serve you as the Philadelphia chapter president; and my goal is to serve you and the BDPA organization well. Our vision is to be the premier information technology association for professionals worldwide. Our mission is to serve our members by providing services to advance careers in the information technology industry. In other words, we provide a bridge between students, professionals, industry and government providing a safe harbor to share ideas and develop new relationships for the benefit of our stakeholders.

To carry out our mission we must work together to set realistic goals and expectations, and perform to achieve those goals with a strong sense of commitment. As one of the largest chapters in the Nation, and as the national 'Chapter of the Year' two years running, our members and Executive Board have proven their allegiance to the vision and the mission. We have a strong foundation from which to build! With the success of our programs and contributions; made to further education in the areas of science and technology combined with our sponsor's continued support, new ideas, and a renewed interest it is now time to take our chapter to the next level.

One area of focus is to increase membership by obtaining speakers of interest and influence. I've also been pondering a Veterans Retraining Initiative to expand our services to reach out to wounded warriors in transition. In addition, we are expanding our programs for college students and Small Business, to mention a few. We've added fuel to the fire! Now is the time to jump in and charge ahead for success. Please open your minds and your hearts to inspire your imaginations! Share with us your thoughts and ideas, and seriously consider joining one of the committees. You will find it a fun and beneficial experience. I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

Monique Berry, president
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter

Grant Recipient: BDPA Middle Tennessee ($4,600)

BETF approved a $4,600 grant payment to BDPA Middle Tennessee chapter earlier this week.

The funds will be used in support of the chapter's youth education program in Nashville TN. The chapter is training 25 students in a 3-track course curriculum designed as building blocks to provide a general introduction to computers and web design, then a more-in-depth training for qualified students in web programming. Finally, the students will participate in the Southeast Regional Competition to determine the top 5 that will represent the city at the national high school computer competition.

BETF provided over $159,939 in grant funding to local BDPA chapters so far in CY-2009. Is your chapter working with BETF to increase your fundraising revenue?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

This Week in BDPA (Jul 5-11)

BDPA has 51 chapters around the nation. You can always find programs, services or networking activity here or here. BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry.

Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :

We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

Finally, I hope you will visit our redesigned BETF website. We are very pleased with the work by our volunteer CIO Rudy Duke. Let us know what you think of the redesign if you have time or inclination to do so.

Children in Africa are Dying From Our Discarded Computers

BDPA needs to take a public stand on the issue of e-waste. Children in west Africa are dying to clear up the developed world's discarded computers. Children in Lagos and other areas where these computers are dumped end up looking for parts that can be sold for cash. They wander in these dumping grounds while the computer parts are burned and the toxin in the air results in death. View this gallery of 11 photos to get a visual of the problem.

Do you agree? Does BDPA need to take a public stand on the issue of e-waste?

Hotel Information * 2009 National BDPA Conference (Raleigh)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

BDPA Announces 2009 Epsilon Award Winners

National BDPA ( the source for diversity talent, announced selection of three outstanding IT professionals to receive coveted Epsilon Awards for Career Achievement, Professional Achievement and Community Service for 2009.

Epsilon Awards are presented annually to outstanding IT professionals who exemplify excellence among Blacks in the information technology industry. Epsilon Awards will be presented later this year at the 2009 National BDPA Technology Conference to be held August 5-9 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC.

Joseph McMahon, a Business Director with Sabre Systems, Inc., will be honored with the Epsilon Career Achievement Award. Rosalind Shaffer, who is an Associate Information Consultant with Eli Lilly and Company will be recognized for Professional Achievement. Matthew Harvey, a Business Intelligence and Sales Reporting Team Leader also with Eli Lilly and Company, will be acknowledged by BDPA for his Community Service.
"We are very pleased to recognize the outstanding individual achievements of Blacks in Technology," said National BDPA President, Denise Holland. "In this economy, many African Americans in technology are concerned about opportunities for both employment and advancement. It is important to recognize outstanding professionals who have responded to the challenge and serve as role models that exemplify highly successful and fulfilling careers in Information Technology."