Friday, September 30, 2011

Multi-Generational Wealth Management (BDPA Cincinnati)

Do you have a will? A trust? Do you understand the probate process? Will you receive and inheritance? Plan to leave one? These are all very important questions one must ask and answer to ensure that our wealth passes properly from generation to generation.

The constantly changing tax laws make it difficult to develop a sound, comprehensive estate plan. But fear not, Osei Bosompem, a Registered Financial Planner with AAKOBB Financial Services will share some insights that should benefit BDPA members and supporters. Osei is a former IRS taxation specialist who can provide sound advice to help you keep more of your wealth away from Uncle Sam and pass it on to your heirs.

Don’t just build wealth, leave a legacy!  Come join BDPA Cincinnati chapter at its next program meeting.

: Thursday, October 20, 2011
TIME: 6:00 PM

WHERE: Winton Hill Business Centre
Procter & Gamble
6105 Center Hill Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45224

DRESS: Business Casual

Please click here to RSVP for this program meeting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

JPMorgan Chase Career Fair (BDPA Northern Delaware)

JPMorgan Chase in conjunction with Northern Delaware Chapter will be hosting a career expo:  

Date: Thursday, September 29th
Location: 500 Stanton Christiana Road, Ops1, Newark, DE 19719
Time: 3:00pm - 7:00pm ET

Business Attire recommended. Please bring resumes and valid ID.

Click here for more information.

For questions regarding the expos, please contact Ari Fleeman,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

BDPA iRadio Show - September 27, 2011

The BDPA iRadio Show creates a vibrant communications platform that speaks to all BDPA stakeholders.  We were very pleased with the insights offered by our diverse guests on the September 27th show.  

Listen to internet radio with BDPA on Blog Talk Radio

The guests were:

  1. Todd Q. Adams, Co-owner, Visibility Marketing - Todd is a long-time BDPA member who served for many years as an officer within our Cleveland chapter. He is now a subject-matter expert on Smart Grid technology. He wants to share how this technology is important for people of color as we move further into the 21st century.
  2. Paulette Johnson-Davis, VP-Member Services, National BDPA - Paulette is a long-time member of BDPA. She served in a number of leadership roles at local and national level including BDPA Greater Columbia chapter president and National BDPA VP-Member Services. It is worth noting that her local chapter (Greater Columbia) brought over 20 middle- and high-school students to the 2011 BDPA Technology Conference. Paulette delivers remarkable programs and services that directly benefit the student and adult IT professionals in BDPA. In addition, she is the primary point of contact for BETF on all national grant-writing efforts. She has a remarkable story to share with the iRadio audience.
  3. Wanda Gray, Chapter President, BDPA Cincinnati - Wanda Gray is a long-time member of BDPA Cincinnati chapter. She is currently serving a 2-year term as chapter president. In the past she served as VP-Membership Management for the chapter. Wanda has been an entrepreneur … with both a software development company and a soul-food restaurant. She has successfully grown her chapter over the past few years and can share some genuine ‘best practices’ with the BDPA iRadio Show audience.
  4. Lahesha Williams, Founder, Career Help for Christians - Lahesha was president of BDPA-Devry chapter in Chicago. She later became active with the BDPA Chicago chapter. She was the guiding light in effort to create a Student Empowerment Retreat for BDPA Chicago student members. She has a unique perspective on BDPA and on how technology can impact the lives, careers and future of young people in the Black community.
Our host for this show is Franne McNeal.  The technical advisor is John Malonson.  The show is sponsored by the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation.

Grant Award: IBM ($1,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) received a $1,000 check as a result of the IBM Community Grant program. Our efforts to secure this funding was made possible by BDPA Chicago chapter member Curtis Cade.

BETF submitted a letter of inquiry to the IBM community affairs leadership in Chicago under the company's IBM Community Grant program.   We would love to work with other IBM employees to seek funding from the IBM Community Grant program in support of their local BDPA chapter.

Asante sana Curtis!   Who's next?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Election Results: BDPA Atlanta (2012-2013)

BETF joins with others in congratulating the winners of recent BDPA Atlanta chapter elections:
BDPA Atlanta, 2nd largest chapter in the nation, has been well-served by outgoing chapter president Carter Hill. Carter led his chapter to a number of chapter awards and superb performance from the chapter's high school computer competition team. Carter will remain on the chapter's board of directors in his new role as the immediate past president.

I encourage you to use the POST COMMENT option below to share some love with these BDPA leaders as they prepare for their new roles within the Atlanta chapter.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Obama's Weekly Address: Strengthening the American Education System

President Obama explains that states will have greater flexibility to find innovative ways of improving the education system, so that we can raise standards in our classrooms and prepare the next generation to succeed in the global economy.

I think that President Obama is absolutely correct when he talks about the need for us to significantly improve our educational system if America ever hopes to 'win the future'. It is disappointing to hear the Republican presidential candidates talking about abolishing the Department of Education. Don't they understand that our nation's future is tied to the improved competitiveness and education of our young people?

We can't control what others can do. We can control what we do. One way that you can help is to support BDPA chapters that are volunteering to provide STEM-based education for our K-12 students. Another way you can help is to make a small donation towards the college scholarships that BDPA gives out to high school students. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Take Five: Barbara Allen (BDPA Cleveland)

BDPA is transitioning its governance to include regional representatives.  Barbara Allen became the first-ever BDPA Midwest Regional Vice President when she won the election held last month at the national conference in Chicago.

Barbara moved to Cleveland in January 2007 after spending the previous 27 years in northern California. She served as an officer in the past for both BDPA Bay Area and BDPA Cleveland chapter. We asked Barbara to share her insights as part of our 'Take Five' interview series.

  1. How did you get involved with BDPA? - I worked as a software programmer analyst for Bank of America in California's East Bay when the BDPA Bay Area chapter was formed. I was invited to join.
  2. What is your favorite part of working with BDPA? - My favorite part of working with BDPA is the experience of continued learning, and sharing in the students' successes.
  3. What future evolution or change would you like to see in BDPA? - I would like to see more female students than we have now, and more support from corporations.
  4. Why should someone pay $100 membership dues to join BDPA? - You will have an opportunity to improve or increase your skills not only in IT but in communication and soft skills. Networking with others is also a great bonus, and you can bring what you learn from BDPA back to the job and utilize it. If you are seeking a job in IT, BDPA can help there as well.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - I would remind people that even a small donation counts!

It should be interesting to see how the advent of regional governance in BDPA works out over the coming years. Our best wishes go with Barbara as she takes on this new leadership challenge!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Grant Recipient: BDPA Cincinnati ($10,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce the approval of a $10,000 grant disbursement to the BDPA Cincinnati chapter. The funds were requested by the chapter president Wanda Gray and chapter VP-Finance Prince Ellis to cover expenses for 'SITES program, High School Computer Competition (HSCC), 16th annual Awards Banquet and monthly program meetings'.

Twenty-four students began training in January as part of the chapter's computer camp. The students are recruited through local public and private high schools. Sponsorship from Christ Cathedral Church, Cincinnati Bell and Procter & Gamble provided the reference materials and meals for the training sessions.

The students met every Saturday at Cincinnati State Technical College, and BDPA members drilled them in programming skills. Twelve moved on to phase two of the training to which the previous year's attendees were invited. Six made the final cut and participated in a June regional competition.

Four high school students went on to the national competition: Hadiya Harrigan (Seven Hills HS), Christian Johnson (Mason HS), Curtis Mimes (Taft HS) and Bikram Sapkota (Taft HS).

 Another four Cincinnati-area students -- Landon Jackson (Mason HS), Li-Ara Jackson (Mason HS), Jahaan Maiden (University of Cincinnati) and Tariq Maiden (Mason HS) -- participated in the 9th annual BDPA IT Showcase in Chicago during the national conference. [SOURCE]

BETF is glad that this funding is helping BDPA Cincinnati chapter. Our hope is that the other 44 chapters will recognize the benefits of partnering with BETF for future funding!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

President Profile: Allison Aheart (BDPA Hampton Roads)

BDPA Hampton Roads chapter was founded in February 2009.  It is one of the youngest chapters in BDPA with only two chapter presidents in its history.  The current chapter president is Allison Aheart.

  Allison Aheart, President
BDPA Hampton Roads Chapter

869 Wilmont Lane
Newport News, VA 23608
(757) 641-7321

Allison Aheart has over 14 years of leadership and management experience in corporate and non-profit business environments with special focus on budgeting and resource management, business process improvement, technology implementation, business & research analysis, software application management & administration, and project management across multiple disciplines. She is diplomatic, an effective communicator, a problem solver, a relationship builder, and brings value to any leadership team. 

Allison has a passion for teaching and sharing information technology concepts with the youth in the community. She owns and operates two businesses: Aheart Management Firm, a business assistance firm, and Gorgeous Geeks, which is an IT Services Company. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her son, volunteering and serving for Speaking Spirit Ministries, spreading the Gospel and the message that “the Kingdom of God is at hand”, mentoring the youth, and helping others. She believes that all of her talents and gifts are a blessing from God.  She follows the “Each One, Reach One, Teach One” principle and her life mottos are “Knowledge is Power” and “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”.

Allison believes that all too often the children in our community are at a disadvantage as a result of socioeconomic conditions. Possessing computer skills in today’s world is an absolute necessity, not to mention a valuable skill to have. Her association with BDPA has provided her the opportunity to provide solutions to this problem via the SITES and STEM.    Allison was a candidate for national BDPA vice president earlier this year.   She shared her thoughts on that opportunity as well as BDPA in the following video:

Allison's Favorite Scripture: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things will be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Please use the POST COMMENT link below to share some BDPA-Love with the president our BDPA Hampton Roads chapter!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Geeks Gone Great Chats With National BDPA President Yvette Graham

Cross-posted from Blacks Gone Geek
Yvette Graham has grown up in BDPA and is currently enjoying the crest of her term as national president of the premiere organization for African Americans in Information Technology.

A BDPA leader since the early 80’s, Yvette Graham has made an indelible impression throughout the organization since her early years of service with the Chicago chapter, up through recent years, to emerge as spokesperson and chief executive officer representing over 40+ chapters across the  United States.

I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Graham, just after the August 2011 BDPA Technology Conference in Chicago.  She shares her perspective on attaining success with BDPA as well as key values she ascribes to.  It was a very special space shared...

BGG: Madame President, what would you like to share regarding how your experiences as a young person helped to shape the woman and leader you are today?

YG: Well I’ve been fortunate every step of my journey to have the help of special people who are close to me. Right out of school I was fortunate enough to land a position with Allstate, which would prove to be a career defining move.  It was actually at Allstate where I received my first exposure to BDPA.  I found out about the corporate chapter there, and was asked to be a guest speaker to present on “DB2 Relational Databases”.  I had no idea then that I would dare to achieve the many successes I’ve enjoyed with BDPA.  BDPA helped me to be a stronger professional and leader at Allstate. But I must also credit my strong church background as an early influence that shaped who I am.  And I would be remiss if I did not speak of the support that I have received from my husband. For 25 years, he has supported me throughout my journey of who I am today. So you see I’ve had strong support systems along the way that have helped me to learn and grow.

BGG:  A strong support system is everything...and you have given us an idea of how you were able to embrace your success.  Who would you say has been your greatest inspiration from a mentor perspective?

YG: In terms of a mentor role, as far as corporate America goes, I have to say there is a gentleman from my church who provided many years of guidance and mentoring.  In fact I admire this person so, because he is one of the first African American officers at Comm Ed.  He worked very hard to come up through the ranks to become an executive. He is the type of person who believes in giving back and therefore helped to mentor me professionally.  He has given me a great deal of advice, for example something so simple like learning from the good habits of people. I have learned how to observe others as well.  To this day I can refer to the “toolkit” created in my mind that holds those handy tips that I can use when I need to.   

I also can thank my personal mentor, my mother, who really instilled in me the value of being a lady.  No matter the situation, she instructed me to always be a lady – from dressing like a lady, to behavior. It’s been something that I’ve carried out, and it works for me.  I don’t try to be someone other than who I am in any circle I travel in.  Although I interact with a largely male population, I conduct myself in a manner that people can respect.

BGG: For anyone who does not know, let’s talk about the many roles you’ve held with BDPA over the years.  Tell us about your evolution and also the work that launched you to another level?

YG:  I had chaired the Allstate Corporate Chapter, which I have to say was a wonderful introduction to the senior officers at my company.  My management was committed to invest in my development and has been extremely supportive through the years. 

The number 1 thing I was so passionate to accomplish was the work to help our young people. In fact, BDPA created a position just for me, which was centered on college students.  This presented my first really big introduction to corporate America, having to create a national internship process.  All of these resumes started rolling in, from all over the United States, mind you, and I had to articulate to corporate CIOs and the like, the value of our program and help to place these students.  I stayed actively involved with all stakeholders to create a strong model for this program.  Eventually National BDPA asked to take over the program which was the SIP (Student Internship Program). 

The work I was able to accomplish there, paved the way for my leadership role with BDPA Chicago. I continued to learn and develop, with the support and backing of my company to evolve into a stronger leader, both where BDPA was concerned and also as a director at Allstate.  As president of Chicago chapter, I started attending national board meetings and began to identify where I could help and a new level within the National organization, and the rest as they say is history.

BGG:  As a wife, mother of a college senior, church leader, and leader in corporate America, you are responsible for so much, on top of being president of a national organization, which requires a rigorous travel schedule, countless appearances, chairing untold board meetings, etc. What advice would you impart for such success for others with high ambition?

YG:  I learned very early to balance, but I also have the help of many great people who do wonderful work. Who you have on your team is very important for your success. I would say building relationships is so important, I can’t say enough about the value of good relationships I continue learning many things from observation. And whenever I am faced with major decisions, I don’t make a move without weighing all the circumstances and without prayer.

Towards the end of my presidency with National BDPA, I can say that I’ve grown mentally and spiritually. My time in office was met with many challenges and opportunities that have stretched me. I’ve learned so much and I’m not even the same person I used to be.  And it’s funny, but I really never thought that I would be national president; I had no ambitions towards being national president of BDPA. 

BGG:  Really??!  It seems with the various roles you’ve held at the local Chicago level, and then moving on to hold offices at the national level, that it would be a logical transition to position to run for higher office?

YG: No, never did I think of it.  I’ll tell you.  I had worked with so many people along the way - I knew so many people across the organization (nationally) that 6 different chapters nominated me for national president, including Chicago.  I looked at the situation from the point of the opportunity was presenting itself to me.  But before I made one move, I weighed it.  I had conversations with my husband, I discussed with my Chicago Chapter leaders, and I discussed with my Allstate organization.  I had the backing and support of all three.  If I had not had the encouragement of any one of them, I would not have run!

BGG:  Every president has a legacy. BDPA has existed since 1975, now for the first time, starting in 2012 the regionalization of chapters, will be attributed to your administration, correct?  What challenges were overcome to deliver this major organizational change effort? 

YG: This is correct, although the research and initial analysis on moving the organization to a regional model took place under the prior administration (which I was a part of), it was this administration that moved it forward by including it within our 2010-2011 Strategy where a team was pulled together to: 1) design the bylaws to support regionalization; 2) define the breakout of chapters aligned to the four regions; and 3) finalize the stage of electing the Regional Vice Presidents and Regional Directors during this past delegates meeting held in Chicago.

As far as challenges, I would have to say it centered on communication. Change is very difficult for everyone, but to overcome that change we had to ensure that we were communicating the right message to the right people at the right time. As a leadership team, we had to be sure that we provided a message for the local chapter presidents, for the local chapter “incoming presidents”, as well as being available to discuss this with all members of the organization.

Finally, because this new model was starting under our incoming president, Monique Berry, we decided that she should be the voice of this change since it will be led by her. This gave BDPA the opportunity to begin hearing from Monique, instead of me. I believe all of this helped with the implementation of regionalization.

BGG: What are the greatest advantages to regionalization and what are the important next steps members can look forward to? 

YG: The greatest advantage of regionalization is that more focus can be placed on the needs of chapters. Under the current structure of BDPA, it is expected that the National Executive Committee would be able to design programs that would support our 40+ chapters. This was a great model in the 70s and 80s, because we were a growing organization without as many chapters. Now that we have grown, to better serve our chapters, we needed to put leaders in place that support the needs of the chapters within a region (for example the programs needed on the east coast could be completely different that the programs needed for the Midwest).
BGG: So, what’s next for Yvette Graham?

YG:  I really don’t know!!  There’s a lot of talk and speculation around my next move, to be honest, I really haven’t fully processed that yet. I’ve had a very full term as national president with so much activity going on, and I even served as Chair of my church’s 90th Anniversary Program last year, in addition to everything else going on in my life!  There wasn’t any time to think about what will come next for me.  I do know that at some point I would like to hold a corporate board seat, but as for right now, I’m just enjoying my time!   I will just say I’m having fun considering the possibilities! 
#  #  #

This article was written by Sheila Marionneaux, contributing editor for Blacks Gone Geek.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Open Source Tools in a Web 2.0 World (BDPA Atlanta)

PHP! MySQL! Joomla! Drupal! Wordpress! What are these Open Source tools that have taken the online world by storm? How do they relate to the Blogosphere? What is their role in Web 2.0? How can adopting an open source strategy affect your company's IT road map? How can an IT professional personally migrate from novice to experienced practitioner?

Join us as noted IT entrepreneur Andre' Barnes defines these topics and more during an informative and interactive session on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

Andre is adept in a plethora of technological applications and programming languages including the Adobe suite, MySQL, Oracle, PHP, WordPress, Joomla. Currently, Andre' is the Technology Director at Impact Church in Atlanta, GA. Andre and Impact church were featured in a CNN segment called "Social Networking In The Church". In addition to his role at Impact Church, Andre' is the Software Engineer and co-founder for the much talked about start-up called Gokit, which is soon to be released into public beta. Gokit along with other tech start-ups are to be featured in the upcoming Black America 4 series debuting in November 2011.

Click here for more information and to RSVP for this program meeting.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The BDPA Insider - September 18, 2011

The BDPA Insider - September 18, 2011

What better way to start the day than with your weekly message from BDPA!

In this issue:

  1. bdpatoday - September 2011 Issue
  2. BDPA Dallas HSCC Team (2011)
  3. Blacks In Technology Podcast #19: Kellep Charles (
  4. Confidence is King: One Day in a Job Search
  5. Geeks Gone Great Chats with National BDPA President Yvette Graham
  6. Job Hunters – A Resource Guide to Landing the Job
  7. Job Seekers Forum
  8. Microsoft Tour and Demo (BDPA Los Angeles)
  9. Take Five: Kelly Hill (BDPA Los Angeles)
  10. Two Simple Questions To Avoid Value-Free Change
  11. Why Technology Networks Are Important to African Americans

Primer on Medical Informatics & Health Information Technology (BDPA New York)

This blog encourages all of our BDPA New York Chapter members and supporters to attend the chapter's upcoming program meeting.

Topic : Primer on Medical Informatics & Health Information Technology
Date : September 19, 2011
Time : 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Microsoft, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY
(6th Avenue between 51st and 52nd Street), 6th Floor
Donation: FREE - BDPA Members, $10.00 Non-Members

Presentation Overview - Health Information Technology is an emerging area in Information Technology . There is an immediate need for IT professionals in the industry. We will be discussing the following from three different perspectives:
  • Scope, direction and emerging trends
  • Technologies and applications
  • Education and credentials required
  • Career & business opportunities
  1. Dr. Charles DeShazer - (Vice President, Dean Health System)
  2. Dr. Curtis Cole - (Chief Medical Information Officer, Weill Cornell)
  3. Dr. Kenneth Ong - (Chief Medical Informatics Officer, New York Hospital Queens)
As always, the chapter will have a number of IT recruiters in attendance for this meeting. BDPA members and supporters are encouraged to bring copies of their most current resume.

Click here to RSVP for the meeting!

Microsoft Tour and Demo (BDPA Los Angeles)

We encourage all of our BETF-Blog readers in Southern California to join BDPA Los Angeles chapter on October 4, 2011 for a tour of the newly opened Microsoft Store in the Westfield Century City Mall. Join the chapter's leadership as they check out the latest technologies from Microsoft and network with others.

The tour will include a personal demonstration of the new Windows 7 phone.

Microsoft Tour and Demo:
October 4, 2011
7:00 - 8:30 pm (PST)
Westfield Century City Mall
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067

You can click here to RSVP for the tour.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

American Management Association Scholarship Program

Managers and executives in the nonprofit social sector can benefit from a scholarship program developed in partnership between the American Management Association (AMA) and the Leader to Leader Institute.

AMA is providing up to 75 scholarships administered by the Leader to Leader Institute to qualified recipients. Scholarship recipients will select and receive admission to an AMA seminar as well as a one year membership to each organization.

Apply now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Take Five: Kelly Hill (BDPA Los Angeles)

BDPA is proud of its efforts to advance the careers of its members from 'the classroom to the boardroom'. One of real-life examples of that effort can be seen embodied in the person of Kelly Hill. Kelly is a Clark Atlanta University graduate (Class of 2008) who currently works for Lockheed Martin.

As a youngster Kelly represented BDPA Los Angeles chapter in the national high school computer competitions held in Chicago (2001), Orlando (2002) and Philadelphia (2003). She is a positive example of the power of our student information technology education & scholarship (SITES) program. Kelly was kind enough to participate in our Take Five interview series.

  1. How did you get involved with BDPA? - I got involved in BDPA because my Aunt Brenda passed on a flyer that she received advertising free programming classes including visual basic and Although I knew nothing about those programming languages my mother encouraged me to go to the first class to see what it was all about. After that I was hooked.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - The most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA has been the relationships I've formed over the years. First, the long lasting relationships I formed with my teammates each year that I represented the Los Angeles chapter at the national HSCC championships. We are always in contact with one another updating each other on our career successes many of which have been made possible due to the education obtained during HSCC. Second, the networking relationships I've established every year at the annual conference. I always look forward to seeing the familiar faces from the prior year. Lastly, I enjoy chatting with the other chapters to learn some of their strategies on how they have penetrated their city so more people have exposure to BDPA. BDPA is like my second family. Its a small knit community of like-minded people.
  3. Can you share a 'favorite memory' about any of your past BDPA conference experiences? - My favorite memory of BDPA has always been in Chicago during the programming part of the HSCC Competition. We had been given the programming problem and all the teams had started to work on the solution. We were about three hours in and you can see people pacing backing and forth, ties undone, stressing and I looked around and said to myself this is amazing. There are 24 African American teams working in their groups to solve a problem. It was the collective energy in the room. You could feel the brain power floating around the room. That is when I realized BDPA was special because I didn't know of another organization where I could be in the room with 100 young African American kids programming for eight hours. That is when I began to look forward to the conference every year because I knew that like-minded students would be there and that would be the common denominator.
  4. What would future evolution or change would you like to see in BDPA's STEM-based training? - I think that the written portion of the competition needs to be renamed and revamped. I don't think that Quiz Factory accurately prepares the kids for the written portion of the competition. I also don't think that the name "written competition" portrays what the students actually have to do. The whole written piece needs to be reevaluated because the scoring seems to be a bit off also. Also, I think that during training the kids need to look at BDPA as an organization that would benefit them after high school. The misconception is they compete for three years and then they forget about BDPA. I want the students to see that BDPA can be beneficial especially once they are looking for a job and also to expand their network.
  5. Any advice for people considering a donation to BETF? - BDPA has done more than allow me to compete around the United States amongst other African Americans. BDPA has also taught me to be confident, to stand by my decisions, and how to use the strengths of each individual on a team to collectively solve a problem. The knowledge that I learned in high school set me apart from others and allowed me to have a competitive gain. I can honestly say BDPA has helped me get to where I am today. I currently work at Lockheed Martin as a Material Resources Planner. My brother, Clyde, who also competed in the national HSCC championship, is the Web Administrator for NSBE.  He currently works at Cal-State Fullerton Library as the IT help desk Lead. My teammate Jerich Beason is the IT Director for IT Security at Wackenhut Services. So I know that BDPA has influenced us and impacted our lives. So just know if you give a donation you are directly impacting our lives, helping us succeed, and helping us reach our future goals and we sincerely appreciate it!

Kelly is a remarkable young woman. I suspect that she will become a BDPA chapter president at some point in her life. For now, I'm just grateful that she continues to be a strong role model for BDPA students in Los Angeles and around the nation!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BDPA iRadio Show - September 13, 2011

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) produces a bi-weekly Internet radio show known as the BDPA iRadio Show. Our hostess for the show is BDPA Philadelphia member Franne McNeal. We use the show to try to spread the gospel of BDPA to IT professionals of African descent all over the diaspora.

We struck the mother-lode with our show on September 13, 2011.  Our guests were:
  1. Patrick Nelson, Chairperson, BDPA Cincinnati Corporate Advisory Council   
  2. Khalif OliverHSCC Alumni / Senior Consultant, BDPA Richmond / The North Highland   
  3. Mario Armstrong, Emmy Award-winning Host, Daily Talk Show on SiriusXM Radio   
  4. Curtis Jenkins, Vice President, Strategy & Planning, National BDPA [VIDEO]
Each of these four gentleman shared insights about leadership, technology and strategy that are worthy of discussion.  Please take a moment to listen to this archived version of the September 13th episode of the BDPA iRadio Show

Listen to internet radio with BDPA on Blog Talk Radio

What was your greatest 'learning' from listening to this episode of the BDPA iRadio Show?

Blacks In Technology Podcast #19: Kellep Charles (

This blog seeks to support the efforts of the Blacks In Technology folks as they interview remarkable IT professionals of color.

In this podcast Greg Greenlee along with guest co-host Ronnie Hash, speak with IT Security consultant and guru Kellep Charles. Kellep operates and is also an IT Security consultant for SecurityOrb, an information security knowledge based website for security members. The flows into information security, latest data security threats and an interesting review of the log management tool Splunk.

Kellep is a Doctoral student in Information Assurance. He also holds a Master of Science in Telecommunication Management from the University of Maryland University College and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University. Kellep works as a government contractor in the Washington DC area as a Network Security Analyst and is an Adjunct Professor at Capitol College in Laurel (MD) where he teaches in the Computer Science department.  He holds a CISSP certification.

Follow Kellep on Twitter @kellepc

Why Technology Networks Are Important to African Americans

by Kai Dupé

The lack of support networks has been identified as a critical aspect to involving more African Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  While I agree that this is very important, I do not agree that African Americans lack technology support groups.  I assert that the problem is that the African American community at large is not aware of the networks that do exist.

There are three that I have worked with over the years. I am sure there are others and I am even more certain that most of our people, particularly our young people are not aware of these groups.  I know this because I do quite a bit of public speaking around the country.  When I ask students if they are familiar with The Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), BiTWiSE, or Blacks In Technology the answer is invariably no.

In all fairness, BiTWiSE and Blacks in Technology are recent developments.  But BDPA has been around since 1975.  I have been a professional software developer since 1986 and I only recently became aware of BDPA.  We must do a better job of making our folks aware of these organizations.

This is not an indictment against BDPA as I personally know that they make every effort to ensure that our people know about their good work.  The charge is ours.  Any time I speak to a young person who has demonstrated an interest in technology, the first question I ask is ‘where do you live’ and if BDPA has a chapter in that city, I direct him or her to contact the chapter in their area.

The abundance of knowledge, experiences and social capital that exists within BDPA must be leveraged if our community is to become a player in the global technology game.  As a speaker and blogger I am constantly receiving questions related to technology and how to get involved in the technology arena.

I am happy to answer these questions but how much better would it be for the learner to not only pose the question to a larger group but possibly someone who has experienced the same circumstance.  This is a common occurrence on the web community, Blacks In Technology (BIT).  BIT is a wonderful online community of Black technologists who are ready to share their stories, knowledge, wisdom and encouragement not only to those who are looking for others like themselves who are already involved in technology careers but also technology aspirants.

Without these kinds of support groups, African Americans in technology may began to deal with feelings of isolation.  I can attest to this circumstance personally.  Since I graduated from college with my undergraduate degree in computer science in 1986 I have rarely had the pleasure of working in an IT department with another African American.

This issue of isolation occurs in high school, the workplace as well as on college campuses.  It is also one of the main reasons that African Americans do not persist in STEM careers.

Many scholars studying this issue from S. Craig Watkins in his book The Young and the Digital as well as Jane Margolis in the book Stuck in the Shallow End have reported on the importance of support groups or networks to combat the issue of isolation.

I would have loved being a part of either of these groups when I first became a software engineer.  Why? Because it is great to be able to speak with someone who can relate to your circumstance.  Someone who can understand what you may be going through.

I can remember having to explain to members of my family and friends what exactly it was that I did as a computer programmer.  The people in my community simply did not understand that I was CREATING software, not using it!  I also never had anyone to talk shop with for the early years of my career.

This is why I am so excited about this third group, BiTWiSE, which is a networking group dedicated to the African American software engineer and is sponsored by Microsoft.  You can find BiTWiSE on LinkedIn under LinkedIn Groups.  You can simply search Groups and enter ‘BiTWiSE’.

Technology support groups do indeed exist in the African American community.  However they become less effective if they are unknown to the people who can benefit from them the most.  We must do a better job of promoting the efforts of these groups in order to remove yet another obstacle to the inclusion of African Americans participation in the digital society.

 Kai Dupé is a doctoral student at Pepperdine University where he is conducting research on Why African American Males Are Underrepresented in Computing. Kai can be reached by email at or by visiting his website at or follow him on twitter @KaiDupe

Monday, September 12, 2011

BDPA Dallas HSCC Team (2011)

Gilbert Mfitumukiza, Bridget Mfitumukiza, Kiera Robinson and Kayla Rhodes
These are the young people trained by BDPA Dallas chapter to compete in the 2011 national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship held last month in Chicago.  

BDPA Dallas created their Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program to expose young people to the fields of computer science and IT.  The chapter seeks to increase the understanding and accessibility of science, technology, engineering and math in historically disenfranchised communities.  The SITES curriculum focused on industry standard programming languages, problem-solving techniques and conceptual design.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is working with volunteers to raise college scholarship funds for BDPA Dallas chapter high school students.   Click here to help us if you have time or inclination to do so.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Congressional Black Caucus: 'African Americans Joining the Leading Edge of the High Tech Boom'

Soulclap to the folks at Black Web 2.0 for letting us know that the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation will dedicate some time in their annual conference to talk about a topic that is increasingly popular by the day, technology. Technology entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, along with members of the African American tech community will take part in the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

During the Annual Legislative Conference, held on September 23rd from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) will host an issue forum, entitled 'African Americans Joining the Leading Edge of the High Tech Boom'.

The panelists who will speaking on the growth in technology are:
  • Scott Case (CEO, Startup America Partnership and Co-founder,
  • Ben Horowitz (General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz)
  • Rep. Jared Polis (Co-founder, and Techstars Incubator)
  • Charles Hudson (Partner, SoftTech VC)
  • Tristan Walker (Business Development, Foursquare)
  • Pauline Malcolm-John (Executive Vice President, WeeWorld)
  • Regina Wallace-Jones (Senior Director, Yahoo)
  • Amos Winbush III (CEO, CyberSynchs)
The forum is open to the public and there will be opportunities for attendees to ask the panelists questions after.

This will be a great opportunity for the BDPA members to dialogue with political and technology leaders about issues that impact on the Black community.

For more information on the conference go to

Friday, September 9, 2011

Grant Proposal: Wells Fargo Foundation (BDPA Charlotte)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Charlotte chapter on a grant proposal submitted earlier this week to the Wells Fargo community affairs folks. We are hopeful that Wells Fargo will support the chapter's Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. Our cause is strengthened by the fact that BDPA Charlotte chapter president Julius Clark works for Wells Fargo Bank!

We should have an answer within the next 90 days.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How Many Mobile Apps are Produced by African-Americans?

Kai Dupé
Article by Kai Dupé, Cross-posted from Atlanta Post

There are over 425,000 mobile apps available on Apple’s App Store for the iPhone. The Android Marketplace now has well over 30,000 apps for their devices. According to the website TechCrunch, there has been more than 1 Billion downloads from the App Store as of April 2009. Here is a question? How many of these apps are produced by African Americans?

I would venture to guess we are producing very little. Mobile phones are the most ubiquitous way people communicate and interact with information. With more than 5 billions users communicating and interacting on these devices, the lack of African Americans producing mobile apps has to change.

Further, suppose you want to support Black-owned mobile businesses? How would you go about doing that? We need more African Americans creating products in the mobile space, but in order for that to happen we must support those who are doing just that. How do we find them? I am happy to report things are changing.

In the August issue of Black Enterprise, there is a feature about African Americans who are shaking things up in Silicon Valley called Rule Breakers, Risk Takers: The New Faces of Silicon Valley. This is a very inspiring read and I highly recommend the article. Also, not only is there now an online market for applications for the undiscovered and undeveloped, Inky-Apps, but brothers and sisters are also fully engaged in developing applications for the mobile platform.

Inky-Apps is one of Americas first web stores dedicated to the promotion, advertisement, and development of mobile applications for the undeveloped and undiscovered mobile markets. The site was founded by Richard Fields. Fields is a long time Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years of information technology experience in computer networking for the enterprise. He has worked for such companies as Xerox, MCI, LSI Logic, MFS DataNet, Tandem Computers, Compaq Computers and Hewlett Packard.

I have also learned of several apps that have been developed for mobile devices that were developed by African Americans. The first to come to my attention is an application called Multiple Madness, which is a math game that tests how well you know math multiples.

The application was developed by Veda Rogers. When I spoke with Veda a few months ago, she revealed that she made the decision early in the development process to keep the app simple. It only took her 3 months to develop the application working part-time in the evenings and on weekends.

Then there is Celly. Celly can be used on any cell phone. I am currently evaluating it on my iPhone 3Gs (I am awaiting the release of the iPhone 5). Celly creates mini social networks called cells that connect you with people and topics that matter most to you. A cell can contain anybody with a cell phone, people from your existing social networks, or any web feed.

The app lets you define filters based on hashtags, location, time, and user identity so you can eliminate noise and get alerted only when relevant messages occur. The potential for this application is huge for schools. The beauty of Celly is that you do not need a Smartphone. Any phone that allows text messaging will work fine.

Finally, there is the Sankofa Solar app, which is more informational in nature. The ability to access information on the go, particularly information that is relevant to the African American community is certainly important and at the present time very unique.

Sankofa Solar provides solar technology innovations from the Black community and the solar industry. This is a free app and you can learn more about it and install the application by visiting the Android MarketPlace and searching on “Sankofa Solar”.

There is simply too much opportunity here and we as African Americans need to make sure that we get our share of this mobile app pie. I received my blessing from Apple this week to provision my creations to the App Store. I intend to do just that. I have two ideas that I will submit before the end of the year. What are you going to do?

Kai Dupé is a doctoral student at Pepperdine University where he is conducting research on Why African American Males Are Underrepresented in Computing. Kai can be reached by email at or by visiting his website at or follow him on twitter @KaiDupe

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Five Ways to Recover from the August Doldrums

Summer finally drew to a close last week and if you've looked at your online figures for August, you'll probably notice a downward turn. August is typically the low-water mark for most organizations in terms of visits, page views, donations, and actions. Your organization will need to come out swinging in September to make up for the lethargy.

Five things to consider for September can be found here.

Grant Recipient: BDPA Charlotte ($6,500)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is pleased to announce approval of a $6,500 grant disbursement to BDPA Charlotte chapter. The chapter requested the funds to help cover expenses for the "HSCC team trip to competition in 2011".

The High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by Charlotte chapter performed very well in the 2011 HSCC championship last month in Chicago.   It is our hope that the other 44 chapters will follow the lead of BDPA Charlotte by finding ways to work on fundraising efforts in partnership with BETF over the coming weeks and months.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Take Five: Jamesetta James (BDPA Greater Columbia)

Jamesetta James has worked the past few years as the national coordinator of the BDPA Youth Technology Camp (YTC).  Earlier this year she provided her review of the 2011 YTC experience in Chicago. She has had a positive impact on hundreds of young people over the years and we thought it would be good to hear from Jamesetta as part of our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved with BDPA? - My first involvement with BDPA was assisting Mildred Allen in coordinating the YTC presenters and workshops for the 2010 conference in Philadelphia.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - The most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA is seeing immediate results with the workshops that the students are involved in whether it be soft skills or developing new IT skills. The students are immediately equipped with knowledge that can be applied to their currents studies.
  3. Can you share a 'success story' about any of your past HSCC students? - Although this is my first year working with the high school computer competition (HSCC) students from the Greater Columbia Chapter, the success I witnessed was how the veteran HSCC students embraced the new members of the team. Great leadership skills were displayed and one great lesson observed was that team work was always the focal point in their preparation for the 2011 HSCC competition.
  4. What would future evolution or change would you like to see in BDPA's STEM-based training? - STEM based programs are very isolated in how it operates for each BDPA chapter. Unfortunately, this problem exists for school districts as well. The change I would like to see is the way that the training is implemented. The STEM base training curriculum should be transparent in such that is the format used by all chapters. The universal repository of technology resources created by Zack Garbow is truly is an excellent starting point. To ensure that BDPA students are receiving the STEM training parallel to the school district STEM curriculum I think that partnerships should be formed between the school district or districts and the BDPA chapter.
  5. Any advice for people considering a donation to BETF? - One advise for individuals, company's or corporation that are considering a donation to BETF is to visit one BDPA training class. They will witness immediate return on their investment. Seeing the skills that students, from all grade levels, gain through the training provided by the chapters will demonstrate why our donors should continue their support in BDPA's efforts.

I appreciate Jamesetta for the work that she has been doing for BDPA on a local and national level. She recently joined a number of YTC students on a special edition of the BDPA iRadio Show. Click here to listen to the archive version of the Youth Technology Camp iRadio Show!

Monday, September 5, 2011

BDPA Philadelphia HSCC Team (2011)

L-R: William Morgan, Samuel Gonzalez, Brian Stempin (trainer), Norman Morrison, Hayward West (chapter president) and Pedro Soto
The Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program hosted by our BDPA Philadelphia chapter covers a variety of topics in the world of information technology. Instruction is provided in creating databases using MySQL, programming, Java, Linux and web development. The training not only prepares students to compete in regional and national competitions, but also provides them with skills in team building that can be valuable as they enter into the workforce.