Friday, April 30, 2010

Letter of Inquiry * Alcoa Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and National BDPA VP-Member Services Paulette Johnson-Davis joined together to submit a letter of inquiry to Alcoa Foundation. In our letter we asked for permission to submit a comprehensive grant proposal in support of the BDPA IT Corps program.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Northwestern Mutual Foundation

The people of Northwestern Mutual have a long history of community involvement. To carry out its corporate contributions program, Northwestern Mutual created a private foundation, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation.

The Northwestern Mutual Foundation focuses its funding in Milwaukee, where the company is headquartered. Therefore, applying for a grant from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is limited to Milwaukee-area nonprofit organizations with programs centered on Education, Health & Human Services or Arts & Culture. (They define the Milwaukee area as Milwaukee County, with limited programmatic grants in Waukesha, Racine and Ozaukee Counties)

Northwestern Mutual Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant requests. Groups new to the Foundation are asked to submit a written letter of intent. They ask that you describe your organization, your funding request, and provide information about the program for which you are seeking support. Their team will review your letter of intent and, if the Foundation is interested in learning more about your project, you will receive an application form. Please be patient. They will contact you as soon as they have reviewed your materials. Please submit your letter of intent to:

Northwestern Mutual Foundation
720 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Once an organization submits an application, the review process takes about 90 days. There are no application deadlines because they review and approve Milwaukee-area grants on a monthly basis.

Seeking Volunteer Leaders for BDPA Strategic Management Office

One of the most accomplished leaders in BDPA-nation is Curtis Jenkins. BDPA Philadelphia earned its first 'Chapter of the Year' victory under the leadership of Curtis who served as its president at the time. Curtis accepted a new leadership role as national BDPA VP-Strategy & Planning earlier this year.

Curtis is looking for three people interested in demonstrating leadership abilities to work with him in the BDPA Strategic Management Office. Sometimes African American IT professionals don't have a chance to demonstrate their leadership ability within Corporate America. That is one of the most powerful membership benefits of BDPA ... the ability to show your stuff in a national organization on a volunteer basis makes you invaluable as an employee within your company.

Anyhow, Curtis is looking for three department directors that will report directly to him:
  1. Director, Chapter Compliance
  2. Director, Intake and Analysis
  3. Director, Strategic Methodologies and Metrics
Reply to this message or reach out to Curtis on (800) 727-2372 if you are interested in learning more about any of these three volunteer vacancies. In the meantime, you can learn more about the strategic plans and operations of BDPA by viewing the following slideshow:

What are your thoughts on the BDPA Strategic Planning Office?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Grant Award: Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia

The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia approved our grant proposal of $5,000 to BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). The grant will be used to support the Youth Technology Training programs hosted by BDPA Richmond chapter.

We are very grateful to BDPA Richmond chapter president Jamar Arvin and past president Jacquelyn Pryor for working with BETF to successfully bring home this grant funding.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Take Five: Renee Cunningham (Detroit)

Renee and I were both part of the BDPA 'kitchen cabinet' of Diane Davis back in the early 1990s [NOTE: Renee and Diane are shown in the photo down below]. We were both officers during the chapter's vibrant hey-day. I moved away from Detroit in mid-1990s and Renee took over as the BDPA Detroit chapter president in 1995-1996. Renee is now a CIO for a Black-owned firm in Detroit.

She was kind enough to participate in our Take Five Interview Series.

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - BDPA came to my attention from one of my professors I was earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Science. A group of students were asked to attend the monthly meeting. After hearing the dynamic speakers and how welcoming, it felt to be among my peers. I decided to become part of the organization. I got involved with BDPA because I was making a career change. I believe that I needed to network with people in the industry I was pursuing and if I came across a problem I had a place to turn too.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - One of the most rewarding aspects of working with BDPA was the long term relationships I have built during my association with the organization. Another aspect was an opportunity to build upon my interpersonal, management and leadership skills. I found that the amount of influence or power a manager maintains is one way to categorize management styles.

    Still another aspect was that greater collaboration was a must because it improves coordination. Management of a chapter had to be focused on outputs, process interfaces, and clear rules of engagement. In order to govern a chapter the president needed strong working relationships to be successful; eccentric, ego-driven personalities will be an expensive luxury that few can afford.

    The next aspect that was rewarding was preparing the members of the chapter that the old school managers and executives will retire early or will be forced to bring new mindsets to the knowledge worker environment.

    Another aspect was working with the students of the high school computer competition and watching when the light bulbs go off in their heads that means an awakening has transpired.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - One recent defining moment was when I got my dissertation proposal approved and I can officially say I am a doctoral candidate.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - My hero was my grandmother. Growing up I watch how hard she worked to make a life for herself and the family. In addition, how she would never give up if she had a task to complete. She gave me the strength to achieve my dreams and that the sky was the limit.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - One piece of advice is if we do not take care of ourselves who will?

My greatest memories of Renee come from the annual ski trips that our chapter used to take with other BDPA folks from around the country. I wonder if she remembers those ski trips?!? Anyhow, I encourage you to share some love with Renee!

Letter of Inquiry * Sempra Energy Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Los Angeles to submit an online letter of inquiry to Sempra Energy Foundation. We are asking for permission to submit a full-fledged grant proposal to fund the chapter's Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

We are working closely with Angela White-Parker (shown in photo) on this funding effort. Angela is a past president of our BDPA chapter in Los Angeles. She is also a member of the Sempra Energy team. She recently wrote, "I work for a great company!"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Togo Student Sam Todo Inspires STEM Students Around the World

I'm a science fiction fan. One of my favorite authors is Isaac Asimov. He delivered to us the Three Laws of Robotics.
  1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
I'm not sure if Sam Todo, a student in the Togolese Republic in Africa, knows about the three laws. I do know that this young brother has a vision about robots and robotics. He views robotics as a way to put the outdated technology found in the garbage to new, innovative uses. In this video, Todo displays a humanoid robot he created almost entirely from discarded TV parts.

For now, the robot only walks in straight lines, but Todo is working on future versions that automatically greets people and naturally avoids objects in its path.

More than simply showing off his own amazing ingenuity, Todo hopes his robot serves as an inspiration to other Africans (and even Americans of African descent) to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. After all, if this young brother with few resources in the Togolese Republic can seek out STEM education and acheivement ... then perhaps our young brothers and sisters in the United States can seek STEM tools out as well.

What relevance, if any, do you see in this story for BDPA and our students?

Take Five: Patrick Nelson (Cincinnati)

I met Patrick in the mid-1990s when I first came to Cincinnati, Ohio. He amazed me for a number of reasons ... not the least of which was the amazing house he and his wife purchased in order to raise their boys. He recently asked all of the past presidents of BDPA Cincinnati chapter to come together in support of efforts by the Corporate Advisory Council to acheive various chapter success metrics in 2010.

Anyhow, I'm pleased that Patrick agreed to participate in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - About 5 years after I joined P&G I met Daryl Turner. Daryl introduced me to BDPA by inviting me to my first BDPA meeting. Daryl also mentored me as I applied myself and took on the roll of "Administrative Liaison" to the Corporate Advisory Council for the Cincinnati Chapter. I did everything from taking notes to sending out reminders and planning the agenda for the CAC chair who at the time was Toni Miles of CSC Consulting. I held many other roles over the years and will continue serving as long as BDPA stays relevant in creating opportunities for our youth and our members to build a better life for themselves via technology careers.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - Knowing that I am making a difference the lives of not only the children through the youth programs but of some of the members as well. I have helped several make valuable connections in their times of transition from one job to another. I have volunteered in almost all the BDPA roles over my many years as a member.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - One of the most significant moments in my life was when my wife and I chose to accept an assignment in Geneva, Switzerland. It was truly a life-changing 3 years and it opened our eyes to the broader world beyond the US and the American political close mindedness. We traveled all over Europe and even ended our assignment with one last two-week vacation to Thailand. We loved the expat life so much we wanted to see if the family would adjust well to an Asian assignment. Sadly the opportunity did not materialize though we did love Thailand. My children still remember their time abroad as a very adventure filled and fun time in their lives. We would do it again if given the opportunity.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - I don't believe I have anyone I would place in the realm of hero but I do have several people I highly respect. One such person would be Mr. Robert Scott. Mr. Scott was also very involved with BDPA Cincinnati. He also served as the CAC Chair. He rose to the level of VP of Technology Services Worldwide for P&G. He has served as both a role model and mentor for me as I have traveled the BDPA & P&G journey. HE continues to serves as a role model as he serves as an officer of ITSMF.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - Every individual has to decide how they will be of service to others and giving to the BETF is a great way to serve others. To reuse a common slogan Just do it! Just donate!

Patrick is the type of brother that you hope to have as a friend or colleague. I'm grateful to the time, talent and energy that he gives in support of BDPA.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Grant Proposal: Regions Bank Community Foundation (Baton Rouge)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Baton Rouge partnered on a joint grant proposal to the Regions Bank Community Foundation. We sent our request for $5,000 funding support to the president of a Baton Rouge branch of the bank. We should have an answer on our request within the next month.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

IT ELITE (Emerging Leaders in Technology) * Deadline: May 1, 2010

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) joins with Procter & Gamble (P&G) in an effort to increase the number of talented college students of African descent who are interested in advancing their career in the IT industry. We want to see these young men and women graduate from college and become part of the future information technology (IT) workforce.

As such, we want to encourage all college students with IT-related majors to apply for the IT ELITE program hosted by P&G in Cincinnati, OH on August 1-6, 2010. All expenses will be paid!

This is a remarkable opportunity for alumni of our BDPA High School Computer Competition and other BDPA college students to get remarkable experience at one of the largest companies in the world. This is a remarkable head-start for their future in the IT industry.

Procter & Gamble is interested in early identification of African American talent located on college campuses around the nation. BDPA is interested in helping any of the students in our expanding network to find opportunities for success.

All expenses (hotel, travel and meals) are paid for by P&G. All you need to do is apply online:

Apply Online -
Job Title ! IT ELITE Seminar
Job Number - IDS00000698
Application Deadline ! May 1, 2010

Please ensure that your college student applicant checks the box labeled “BDPA” when answering the question “How did you hear about this program”.

The next step is yours -- do you know of any BDPA college students that could benefit from this program?

Blogging While Brown Conference Announces 2010 Speakers

I attended the inaugural Blogging While Brown Conference in Atlanta GA. In fact, I was honored to be one of the seminar speakers at the conference that year. The BWB conference is growing in quality with the following announcement of the speakers for the event later this summer in Washington DC.

The BWB conference takes place in Washington DC on June 18-19, 2010. Are you attending?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Payroll Pledge: JPMorgan Chase Good Works Employee Giving Campaign

JPMorgan Chase Foundation informed us that one of its employees directed her personal campaign pledge to the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). BETF is proud to be one of the 4,500 nonprofit organizations supported by this employee giving campaign.

Earlier this year we learned that JPMorgan Chase Foundation was going to provide a 100% matching gift for a donation made by Estelle Cephas (Northern Delaware).

Our hope is that other JPMC employees will consider making payroll pledges to support BDPA programs and services.

Is Nonprofit Leadership Too White and Too Male?

A new study by the Racial Diversity Collaborative and the Urban Institute finds that less than 8 percent of nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC are led by people of color. If the DC metropolitan area is a snapshot of the nation, the nonprofit sector is facing a huge and deepening leadership crisis that will only worsen over the next 20 years.

After at least two decades of working to increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities in the highest levels of leadership in nonprofit organizations and on nonprofit boards, we have failed. While the number of people of color working in nonprofits and in mid-level positions in organizations has increased over the years, the top leadership looks the same way it did thirty years ago--mostly white and mostly male. And when people of color do lead organizations, they tend to be identity-specific, fledgling or on the verge of collapse.

Read the rest of Huffington Post article here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Payroll Pledge: Wells Fargo

We are very pleased to report that BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) has been designated to receive charitable contributions through the Wells Fargo 2009 Community Support and United Way Campaign.

The donors are John Hoffler (Charlotte) and Shon Thurman (Greater Birmingham). John designated his payroll pledge in support of BDPA Charlotte chapter (75%) and BETF Endowment Fund (25%).

Our hope is that other Wells Fargo employees will make payroll pledges to support BDPA programs and services. Should you have questions, please contact the Campaign Hotline at (888) 518-4438 or email

State Street Foundation

State Street Foundation makes effective and socially responsible contributions to charitable organizations that provide support to the less advantaged, primarily in communities where State Street offices are located. The Foundation works to generate and sustain positive change in our communities, while complementing the development of their worldwide business operations. A few years ago, State Street made 370 grants totaling $18.2 million.

To apply for a grant through State Street's Global Philanthropy Program, refer to the proposal guidelines for eligibility and follow the detailed application procedure. In addition to Massachusetts, State Street supports efforts taking place in California (Alameda/San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Newport Beach), Atlanta, Kansas City, MO, Princeton, NJ, New York, NY, and Winston-Salem, NC.

Do we have chapters in these State Street communities interested in exploring this funding opportunity? What say u?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial

The Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial awards grants on a one-year basis in the range of $1,000 to $7,000 to organizations with annual budgets under $3 million. The Wurts Memorial focuses on programs that directly serve or improve the welfare of disadvantaged children and youth, and the elderly, living within the City of Philadelphia.

The Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial prefers to support programs in which a modest grant can play a significant part, and which have meaningful goals in relation to the total resources committed to them.

The Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial is a charitable foundation, formed as a nonprofit corporation under Pennsylvania law to carry out the wishes of Henrietta Tower Wurts, who died in 1933.

The Philadelphia Foundation provides administrative and management support services for the Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial. The Foundation receives grant applications for this charitable foundation and distributes grants that are approved by the Wurts Memorial’s Board of Directors.

It appears that this is an opportunity for our BDPA Philadelphia chapter. It may also be an opportunity to request Youth Technology Camp registration funding for National BDPA.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grant Declination: CACI Project Philanthropy

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with National BDPA Vice President Paulette Johnson-Davis to submit a letter of inquiry to CACI Project Philanthropy seeking $15,000 to support the SITES program for 30 local chapters.

We recently learned that our request was turned down by CACI Project Philanthropy. Here is what they had to say:

Dear Mr. Hicks,

Thank you for your letter regarding support for the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation. While your request is important and deserving, we are regrettably unable to assist you. We wish it were possible to fund every worthwhile organization. However, our limited budget only allows us to support a small percentage of the requests that we receive.

We appreciate your interest in CACI and sincerely wish you much success in your commendable endeavors.

Meredith L. Gordon, MSW
Business Communications
CACI International Inc
T: 703-841-4493 F: 703-528-4196

BETF will continue to seek out funding to support BDPA programs and services. Let us know if you have any ideas!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

Our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program has a new class of talented and dedicated students along with a state of the art technology center. The students have been working hard under the tutelage of our phenomenal instructor, Brian Stempin. Brian has put together an exciting program and the students have responded with attentive eyes and ears. The facility is provided by DeVry University in Center City Philadelphia and boasts 24 desktops and SMART board projection. The class meets on Saturday from 10-2.

They lift my spirits every time I visit. Seeing our high school students devote their Saturdays to expand and enhance their technology skills is the epitome of BDPA values. This is one my major motivations for volunteering for BDPA Philadelphia. It helps to promote my vision of filling the pipeline with our technologists of the future. Ensuring that our next generation is prepared to lead.

I offer my sincere thanks to Brian Stempin, Celeste Robinson, Sally McNamara, Adena Johnston, Norman Williams, and Byron C. Mayes for their tireless dedication and contributions to our students and program.

Hayward West, President
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Anthony and Alvina Anderson Charitable Support Foundation

Anthony Anderson was in Los Angeles during the 2006 BDPA Technology Conference. He was kind enough to pose with two members of the HSCC Team from Minnesota while at the conference hotel.

The Anthony and Alvina Anderson Charitable Support Foundation is designed to support local and national charities that are closest to Anthony's heart. Currently it supports Charlotte's House, a shelter for abused women in Carson, CA. Helping those in need is an important way to give something back to the community.

Here is the contact information in case any BDPA chapter wants to explore this foundation as a funding source:

17328 Ventura Blvd. #331
Encino, CA 91316
Paul Young or Brian Dobbins
(310) 274-4474

Are you a fan of Anthony Anderson?

Oprah Winfrey Foundation

In 1987, Winfrey established the Oprah Winfrey Foundation as a way to "support the inspiration, empowerment and education of women, children, and families around the world". Given her own history of abuse, Oprah initiated a campaign for a national database of child abusers in 1991. In December 1993, President Bill Clinton signed "Oprah's Bill," which became the National Child Protection Act, an act establishing a national registry of convicted child abusers.

In addition to the Angel Network, Oprah has focused her energy on creating The Oprah Winfrey Foundation Leadership Academy. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation was created to operate the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. The Academy is a free, residential school for academically talented girls in grades 7 through 12. The girls come from disadvantaged families and without the Academy would not have a chance at an education otherwise. Oprah says that “The school will teach girls to be the best human beings they can ever be; it will train them to become decision-makers and leaders; it will be a model school for the rest of the world.”

110 N. Carpenter St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Contact: Caren Yanis
Telephone: (312) 633-1000

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Coryell Family Foundation

The Coryell Family Foundation was incorporated in 2000 to grant support to charitable, literary, scientific and educational based organizations.

The Coryell Family Foundation will fund organizations affecting change in the lives of underprivileged and disadvantaged members of society through education and access to opportunities. Their mission is to affect change in the San Francisco bay area by providing support for education, health and human services in northern California. The funded organizations will be those that positively alter lifelong patterns of poverty and disadvantage.

There are no deadlines. The Coryell Family Foundation accepts and reviews Grant Submittal requests throughout the year. It generally takes two to six months to review an application from the day that it is received to notification of the Board's decision. Occasionally, final action will be deferred. Each applicant is notified promptly as soon as a decision has been made.

It appears that this funding source is particularly enticing for nonprofits in the northern California.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Navy Admiral Gary Roughead Will Keynote National BDPA Technology Conference

The 29th Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, USN will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at the annual premiere event of the National BDPA (NBDPA). This event will be held on July 31, 2010 at the Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Admiral Roughead will address this distinguished audience comprised of congressional leaders, senior staff, industry leaders, state and local government representatives, other uniformed and civilian senior
Department of Defense leaders, college interns and high school students from NBDPA Chapter cities, NBDPA Corporate Sponsors, and NBDPA members.

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the senior military officer of the Department of the Navy. Having earned the rank of four-star admiral, Admiral Roughead is responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the command, utilization of resources and operating efficiency of the operating forces and shore activities for the Navy assigned by the Secretary. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the CNO is the principal naval adviser to the President and to the Secretary of the Navy on the conduct of war, and is the principal adviser and naval executive to the Secretary on the conduct of activities of the Department of the Navy.

NBDPA will convene their 32nd Annual National BDPA Technology Conference, National High School Computer Competition (HSCC), National IT Showcase (ITSC), Youth Technology Camp, National Career Fair and Technology Expo from July 28 to July 31, 2010. The Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, PA will serve as this year’s conference headquarters.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Grant Declination: Anheuser Busch Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) received a declination letter from Anheuser-Busch Foundation. They were not able to fund our grant proposal in support of the youth education programs hosted by BDPA Columbus chapter.

The declination letter read as follows:

This letter is in response to your recent proposal.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the funding you requested. While we recognize the importance of your organization's work, we regret that the number of worthy requests we receive far exceeds our budget for charitable contributions.

Please accept our best wishes for success in your efforts.

Laura H. Reeves, Senior Director
Foundation and Corporate Giving
Anheuser-Bush Foundation

We will continue to seek out support for BDPA Columbus chapter. You can help. Why not make a pledge for our cause today?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Message from Orlando Chapter President


It's Spring time. The weather is nice and now is the time to lay your seeds to grow that bountiful garden of veggies and fruits in time for the the summer. This month on April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day. We are going to use that day to discuss "Green Technology" and hear from representatives from Orlando Utilities as well as Lockheed Martin on their Green Initiatives. We are also going to discuss "Cap & Trade", which is legislation that is being considered to help reduce our carbon footprint.

Please come to the April 22nd meeting and Celebrate Earth Day, learn from some industry experts and go Green!

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

EDITOR'S NOTEClick here for a copy of BDPA Orlando's current newsletter.

Grant Recipient: BDPA Bay Area ($67)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) agreed to provide a small grant of $67 to support BDPA Bay Area chapter. The chapter plans to use the funds to create and broadcast a webinar that promotes STEM education programs from the perspective of a strong chapter sponsor.

The chapter also provided BETF with a copy of their 2010 Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) budget. BETF will continue to work with the chapter leadership to identify potential funding sources that will provide grants to implement the budgeted programs.

BDPA chapters are encouraged to engage in dialogue with BETF about funding.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Grant Proposal: Anheuser-Busch Foundation (Columbus)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Columbus chapter partnered on a $5,000 grant proposal to Anheuser-Busch Foundation last month.

The Anheuser-Busch Foundation supports a variety of organizations. The foundation was established in Nov. 1975 and is located in St Louis, Missouri. The foundation's primary purpose is to support education, the environment, arts and culture, health and human services, minorities, and youth.

We should have an answer by mid-May. Wish us luck!

This Week in BDPA (Apr 11-17)

BDPA has 45 chapters around the nation. You can always find programs, services or networking activity here or here. BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you will continue to support Our Cause!

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.

Monday, April 12, 2010

BDPA Foundation Announces New Board Leadership

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF), a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse CEOs and executive level management who promote educational programs for students of color in the information technology industry, today announced new officers and members of its board of directors

BETF members re-elected Earl A. Pace, Jr., President/CEO for Pace Data Systems as the new board chairman. John Eckenrode, CEO for CPSI Inc. elected to serve as the board secretary.  Ron Branch, President/CEO for Silverback Business Group was elected as a new board member.
"I am delighted to join the BETF board and I believe that Information Technology is an exciting industry which holds great rewards for young minorities who embrace both the constant change and challenge," said newly-elected board member Ron Branch.
The new board will set the direction for BETF as it helps raise funds needed to advance the careers of African Americans and others in the information technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom.   This year, BETF will continue to provide dozens of scholarships to high school and college students at the upcoming National BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia on July 28-31, 2010.
"It is truly a pleasure to welcome Ron Branch to the board of BETF. Ron has a wide background in the IT industry which has enabled him to build relationships with IT Professionals and thought leaders at all levels and throughout the United States," said BETF Board Chairperson Earl Pace. "We look forward to his participation to both introduce BETF and its very important programs to a different group of professionals but also to his insights as BETF attempts to aggressively fund its Endowment Fund and increase the assistance we provide to High School and College students and the career building educational programs we fund for current IT professionals.  I am certain BETF and BDPA will benefit from having Ron on our team."
The new board leadership takes the helm at a time when unemployment is growing to painfully high levels for African American IT professionals and there is a dwindling numbers of African American students in college computer science programsBETF works closely with the leadership of National BDPA and its 45 local chapters to put in place programs, scholarships and other services to impact on these dismal industry statistics.
"I am excited to work with Ron in his new role as a Board member to continue delivering value to BETF stakeholders, students and sponsors," said Wayne Hicks, BETF executive director. "He comes to us highly recommended by his peers in the industry.  Ron's executive experiences with IBM and Oracle over the past 30 years as well as his current entrepreneurial efforts make him uniquely qualified to assist BETF.  BETF is fortunate to have him in this leadership role."
 Please join us in welcoming Ron Branch to the BETF family!

Tips on How to Donate Stock or Mutual Funds to Charity

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) would love to work with any BDPA member or supporter that wants to donate stock or mutual funds to support our SITES Endowment Fund or Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund.

Soulclap to Craig Ford for telling us that IRS tax regulations allow you to donate stocks and mutual funds to non-profit organizations. Understanding a few tax implications regarding your contribution will help add value to your donation. However, many people think that donating the stock and selling the stock to give the money to a charity yields the exact same results. However, by donating the stocks with a capital gain, both the donor and the recipient will benefit more if the stocks are donated instead of selling them and donating the cash.

Read the rest of this Christian Science Monitor article here.

What say u? Would you like to be one of the first people to ever donate stock or mutual funds to BETF?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

STEMester of Service Grants for Middle Schools

Contingent on federal funding, Youth Service America (YSA) will implement a program to support middle school teachers and service-learning coordinators to strengthen their classroom practices through service-learning. The grant targets students from disadvantaged circumstances in states with the highest drop out rates in the nation - Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Washington.

STEMester of Service engages middle school youth in science and technology-focused service-learning projects that address community problems, incorporate youth voice and opportunities for reflection, are connected to educational and program standards, and demonstrate community impact. With training and preparation occurring in the fall for grantees, school programs will launch on Martin Luther King Day, January 18, 2010, and culminate on Global Youth Service Day, April 23-25, 2010.

If your chapter is interested in applying for these funds, please let us know so that we can complete the Eligibility Quiz.

Take Five: Jeff Cunningham (South Florida)

It is important for BDPA to maintain a strong presence in Miami, Florida. We rely on BDPA South Florida chapter president Jeff Cunningham to provide the leadership necessary to recruit and retain members. I am grateful to Jeff Cunningham for sharing his insights in our Take Five interview series.

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I have been a member of BDPA since 1993. I was a member of the BDPA Memphis Chapter for most of my history with this organization and a few years ago, made the move to the sun and surf of South Florida where I began to restart the local chapter.

  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - BDPA has afforded me the best opportunity to mix, mingle, and network with some of the top Black IT professional from around the country. This is the only organization that can say this.

  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - Being alive to see the Inauguration of the first Black President of the United States.

  4. Who is your hero and why? - No real answer for this one.

  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - Understand and appreciate the role of BETF and how they utilize your donations for the betterment of BDPA.

What are your thoughts about BDPA presence in Florida? Any insights from Jeff strike a chord in you?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Is Urban Prep Academy for Young Men the Future for Black Males?

Soulclap to Dr. Boyce Watkins for pointing us to a public, all-male, all–African American high school in the city of Chicago called Urban Prep Academy for Young Men. Research shows that only 1 in 40 African American males graduate college. These statistics are being turned on their head by Urban Prep Academy as they were able to get all of their 107 seniors accepted in to 72 different colleges across the country.

Evan Lewis, the school's Vice President for Institutional Advancement, argues that getting the students in to college is not the only goal, but that getting them through college is what matters.

"We are not just committed to getting our students through high school, we are committed to getting them through college. We are going to be a constant presence in their lives and give them the support that a lot of folks don't have when they go to college."
The school has a very strict dress code, consisting of black blazers, khaki pants and a red tie. The red tie is swapped out for a gold one once the student is accepted in to college. When one student, Rayvaughn Hines, was asked which college he was accepted to, he said, "Do you want me to name them all?"

Hines, a student who once thought college wasn't made for him, has chosen to become a Morehouse man. He cherished the moment when he switched out his red tie for a gold one.

"I wanted to take my time, because I was just so proud of myself," he said. "I wanted everyone to see me put it on."

Urban Prep has a unique set of hurdles. It is in a troubled part of the city, and only 4 percent of the incoming freshmen could read at grade level. With hard work and persistence, the students who could not read at grade level four years ago are now on their way to college.

"I never had a doubt that we would achieve this goal," said Tim King, the school's founder and CEO. "Every single person we hired knew from the day one that this is what we do: We get our kids in to college."
From the day the students enter high school, they are prepared for the next step. They have a college counselor from day one, and their first field trip is a visit to Northwestern University. Their school day is longer than that of students who attend other schools. The school's voice mail has a student saying, "I am college bound," before the caller is able to dial an extension.

Urban Prep is a charter school that should be emulated in all school districts with large Black male populations. Urban Prep Academy reminds us that when adults create an environment conducive for success, the children in that environment will always rise to the occasion.

I encourage all BDPAers to share this story with their children, nephews, neices and young 'uns in the neighborhood. Urban Prep Academy is breaking mental barriers and prescribed capabilities with each graduate they usher in to this big, bold world.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Foundation for the Carolinas

The Foundation for the Carolinas was established in 1958 as a "community" foundation to serve the Central Piedmont area of North and South Carolina. Accordingly, most of its grant monies are distributed to organizations in that geographic area. Most of the Foundation's affiliated community foundations have competitive grantmaking programs which support numerous vital programs in their communities. Grantmaking is overseen by local governing boards comprised of volunteers who are knowledgable about their communities' needs.

The Foundation generally does not fund requests from outside our service area, from non-qualified charities, or from individuals; or for ongoing operating budgets; books, movies, videos or other publications; conferences or travel expenses; small businesses, business start-up or advertising. In Mecklenburg County, capital expenses including computers or automobiles/vans, and charter schools are not funded.

Please let me know if your chapter is interested in applying for a grant from this funding source.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Take Five: Clifford Clarke (Ft. Wayne)

I've known Clifford Clarke for almost 20 years. He was one of the driving forces behind the success of our BDPA presence in Ft. Wayne, Indiana for many years. At one point in his professional career he served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the city of Ft. Wayne. Currently, he is the owner of his own business, C2 IT Advisors.

Clifford was kind enough to answer questions for our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I was introduced to BDPA by a friend. She was a business analyst and as such I was impressed that she found value in the organization without being a "coder". The value was there but my BDPA engine did not really roar until I attended my first conference. My 'aha' moment was at the 1989 National BDPA Conference in Los Angeles where at the banquet it was clear that I was one of many Black Information Technology Professionals.

  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - There are many aspects of BDPA I enjoy. I feel BDPA has helped with my career advancement. I have developed lifelong relationships. I enjoyed presenting information at conferences. I remember being proud of our SITES team. I also enjoy mentoring individuals as I have been mentored by others in BDPA.

  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - One defining moment in life was during my college career. Advanced Math and Science came pretty easy for me during high school. In fact I was enrolled in college programming classes prior graduating high school. I failed to develop good study habits due to the easy of which the material came to me and I was faced with the need to buckle down or go home. Needless to say I buckled down. Today, I'm a life-long learner. I'm always sharpening the saw and I am very focused on adding to the educational toolkit.

  4. Who is your hero and why? - I'm not so sure I have a hero, but I'm appreciative of many individuals in my life. My parents, the many mentors that I have had, and many civic leaders that all sets examples that I try to emulate.

  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - I encourage others to support our industry and our communities. Donating to BETF is a way to invest in both.

I hope that you will share some BDPA-Love with Clifford. I'm sorry that we no longer have a BDPA Ft. Wayne chapter, but, I'm glad that Clifford is still a strong presence within the IT industry of that city.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grant Proposal: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation (National BDPA)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and the National BDPA VP-Member Services worked together on a grant proposal submitted to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation.

Our understanding is that decisions are made by Ball Aerospace on a quarterly basis. As such we should have an answer within the next 90 days or so.

It would be very exciting to have a futuristic company like Ball Aerospace as a supporter of our youth education programs. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Letter of Inquiry * BAE Systems

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with National BDPA to submit a letter of inquiry to BAE Systems. We seek permission from them to submit a full-blown grant proposal in support of the BDPA IT Showcase and High School Computer Competition (HSCC) programs.

BAE Systems gives priority consideration will be given to national-level programs or local activities with an established presence in a BAE SYSTEMS community. We are hopeful that they will smile favorably on our letter of inquiry.

Do you know anyone that works for BAE Systems?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Google Fuse Program

Soulclap to Lee Reed, 2006 National BDPA High School Computer Competition champion, for sharing information about a greater program for college freshmen. Lee wrote,

"Hi Wayne, I was hoping you could post this on BETF blog or send to any HSCC freshmen alum that are pursuing CS that you think might be interested. I participated last summer and had a great experience."
The program he is talking about is Google FUSE. For the second summer in a row, FUSE will provide an opportunity for successful and invested freshman computer science (CS) students who are historically underrepresented in the field to connect with one another and with Google. Up to 50 aspiring computer scientists will be invited to an all-expenses paid retreat that will run for three days on July 14-16, 2010 in New York, NY and July 20-22, 2010 in Seattle, WA. We want you to apply!

Program Goals:
  1. to form a network among the top young CS students from underrepresented backgrounds that will allow them to learn about research, academic, and industry opportunities in the years to come.
  2. To make connections between students and Googlers that will allow students to discover career paths, create meaningful academic experiences, and take advantage of their college years in CS.
  3. To give students an insight into careers in CS and show how rewarding, challenging, and fun they can be.
To learn more about the program, please visit the FUSE student site and apply online. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 30, 2010.

Please note that this opportunity is for current Freshmen who will be full-time second year students in the 2010–2011 academic year.

The next step is yours ... do you have anyone in your chapter, family, church or school that you think might be interested in this opportunity?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Have You Checked Out 'Blacks In Technology' Website or Newsletter?

Advancing the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom is something that we need to work 24/7/365.   BDPA has been delivering in this area for over 35 years, however, there are other players in the field.   I invite BETF-Blog readers to check out the newsletter:

This new group wants to accomplish three specific things:
  1. Deliver the most relevant and beneficial information and network for African American’s in the technology field or pursuing a career in technology.
  2. Focus on creating a community in which African American’s are comfortable, motivated and inspired to pursue careers in technology.
  3. Establish effective communicaton between African American’s in order to help drive individual growth, development and long-term success.
I would love to hear from any of the brothers or sisters that are working behind the scenes on this newsletter and the organization. I would also be interested to see how BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) could support this effort.

All of us can learn more from their website.

At the end of the day I'm in favor of anyone who has a passion for people of African descent that seek to advance themselves in the information technology industryWhat are your thoughts about this new organization -- Blacks In Technology?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Use United Way to Support BDPA

Did you know that when you make your pledge to the United Way campaign you have a choice of where and how your donated funds will be used? Yes, that’s right! United Way agencies, throughout the United States, have options referred to as either Open Donor Choice, Donor Designated, Contributor Choice, or Specific Care. While the names are different, each is an option that allows the giver (you) to directly specify a 501(c)3 organization as the recipient of your donation.

We want you to choose the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) as your tax-exempt organization, especially if you want your donation to support programs or services for any of our 45 local BDPA chapters.

BETF places funds donated via your local United Way in a restricted fund that is available only to support the education & technology programs of that chapter. In the upcoming United Way campaign, we encourage you to designate your donations to an organization that you are personally involved with. Ask your friends and family to do the same.

To do this, look carefully for the place on your United Way pledge form where you can write-in the BETF name and address information.

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation
4423 Lehigh Road, Suite 277
College Park, MD 20740
(513) 284-4968
email: unitedway[at]

Doing this will support BDPA education & technology programs in your chapter and around the country. Reap the rewards of supporting your chapter’s Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship program through funds raised via this simple effort.

Remember that your money, given locally, can work locally within your chapter; but only if you exercise this option when completing your Annual United Way pledge form. The option is probably the last on the pledge form and will have a blank line on which you may enter the name and complete address of the organization.

The BETF mission is to provide financial support for the education and technology programs BDPA at both the national and local level. Your generosity during this annual United Way (or CFC) campaign is one way we hope to complete our mission.

Please leave a comment if you have questions or if you plan to use United Way payroll deductions to support our fundraising efforts!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Public Welfare Foundation

Public Welfare Foundation Grants Program works with public and private entities, including nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations to address human needs in disadvantaged communities, with strong emphasis on organizations that include service, advocacy and empowerment in their approach:
  • service that remedies specific problems
  • advocacy that addresses those problems in a systemic way through changes in public policy
  • strategies to empower people in need to play leading roles in achieving those policy changes and in remedying specific problems

Public Welfare Foundation also looks for organizations that link their community and local work to other efforts to effect broader public policy change.

The Foundation provides both general support and project-specific grants. Although most grants cover a period of one year, the Foundation accepts requests for funding renewals and also makes multi-year grants. Grants for one-time purposes are also considered.

The Foundation makes a conscious effort to remain flexible so that it can respond to requests that address new, unusual, and immediate problems as they arise.

The Foundation does not accept requests to fund scholarships, graduate work, individuals, government projects, academic research or foreign study. Only when there is a close connection with their current work do they fund conferences, seminars or workshops, publications, video or media production projects, endowments, capital grants and equipment requests.

The Directors subscribe to and reaffirm the concept of a working Board, in which every member gives the necessary time and personal interest to maintain the high standards of the Foundation. It is Foundation policy that members of the board of directors make known any special interest or connection between themselves and a proposal under consideration. The director may then participate in the discussion, but may not vote, on the proposal. There is no prejudice against such proposals nor are they disqualified for this reason.

The average grant award is in the range of $25,000 thru $50,000.

Unless otherwise instructed please send all Letters of Inquiry and unsolicitd proposals VIA EMAIL to:

Public Welfare Foundation
Attn: Review Committee
1200 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009-4443
(202) 965-1800

I hope that this information on funding sources is useful to our BETF-Blog readers.

Grant Declination: CDW Foundation

CDW Foundation turned down the joint grant proposal submitted by BDPA Chicago and BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) in support of the chapter's Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The declination letter read as follows:

Dear Wayne:

Thank you for submitting your recent application to CDW regarding the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) Program. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with the support you seek. CDW has a very limited budget for charitable requests in each region where our offices are located. Because those funds are limited, it makes appropriating those funds especially difficult. CDW gives priority to those organizations that CDW has a history of supporting and to organizations our coworkers have expressed interest in supporting.

We hope you are able to receive the funding you need from other sources. We wish you the best of luck with your endeavors.

Sandy Pierantoni
Sr. Program Manager, Community Relations
200 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Vernon Hills, IL. 60061

BETF will continue to work with Audra Anderson and the rest of the BDPA Chicago chapter leadership to identify funding for their youth education (K-12) programming. Please let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions re: fundraising on behalf of BDPA programs and services.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Grant Recipient: BDPA Rhode Island ($500)

BDPA Rhode Island chapter president Felix Fontes gave me a call last week. His chapter is working hard to rejuvenate itself. He asked if the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) could support their efforts to get their youth education program off the ground. BETF agreed to provide his chapter with a $500 grant award.

We are happy to work with all 45 chapters in our efforts to provide funding for Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) programs. Felix learned the power of open communication when he gave BETF a call last week. What are you waiting on to make that same call?