Norton Releases Statement on Passing of Her Friend and Colleague, Civil Rights Leader Congressman John Lewis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who was a colleague of the late Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) first in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and then in the House of Representatives, issued a statement today on the passing of her friend.

john-lewis“John’s heroic courage came from principled conviction so deep that it led him to repeatedly risk his life to achieve equal treatment for all Americans. So searing was his example that John was elected chair of SNCC — not because he was strongest but because he was the bravest.

“John’s determination to “never give up or give in” was always leavened by his commitment to non-violence and love.

“In Congress, John Lewis brought the same combination of outspoken opposition on principled matters and reconciliation whenever it could be achieved.

“There will never be another like him.”

Source: Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Photos: Office of Congressman John Lewis


Congressman John Robert Lewis, the iconic and legendary civil rights leader for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, died July 17, 2020. He was 80 years old and the last of the surviving 1963 ‘March on Washington‘ speakers.  bt

ALC ‘18 Transportation Braintrust promotes a stronger tech and multimodal workforce for U.S.

WASHINGTON //BDPA-DC// — The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) of 2018 featured a very dynamic session on transportation with significant technical and critical infrastructure overtones. This year’s panel discussion entitled, “Workforce Development and Emerging Technologies” was sponsored by Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland 7th District). The panel, shown below, included former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater as our moderator; MWAA CEO Jack Potter; Lyft senior public policy manager Rena Davis; WMATA director Nalini Mani; Purple Line Transit Partners CEO Fred Craig; HNTB Mid-Atlantic President Diana Mendes; and Telva McGruder, president of the General Motors African Ancestry Network (GMAAN) and director of facility engineering and manufacturing operations.


CBCF’s Transportation Braintrust was conceived over 20 years ago to provide a forum during the CBCF ALC for the top-level exchange of information and ideas between key leaders and experts in the transportation industry. This program has grown significantly under the guidance and sponsorship of Rep. Cummings and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) leadership.

telva_mcgruder_GMAfter this session, Telva McGruder (left) told NNPA Newswire that General Motors (GM) is now at a point where they have African American Ancestry employees at higher levels in “effectively all of our business functions.”  GM’s new vision is a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion—BDPA and COMTO attendees realize GM cannot accomplish their vision without software and new applications.  Rena Davis, Lyft’s senior policy manager, reemphasized to bdpatoday that through Lyft Concierge, a web-based ride-dispatching platform, industry now has access to new tools that bring transportation services to new customers and underserved communities. Moreover, “Smart City” digital transformations and multimodal convergence of shared transportation opportunities will yield significant career opportunities for BDPA and COMTO members.

– Sources with GM and  bdpatoday photos: NNPA and BDPADC

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CBC TECH 2020 delegation visits Silicon Valley

WASHINGTON—Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Diversity Task Force Co-Chairs Representatives G. K. Butterfield (NC) and Barbara Lee (CA) welcomed Representative Maxine Waters (CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee and Representative Gregory Meeks (NY), also a member of the committee, to the third CBC TECH 2020 delegation to Silicon Valley. On this trip, the members of Congress met with four technology CEOs — Brian Chesky (AirBnB), Tim Cook (Apple), Jack Dorsey (Square & Twitter), and Dan Schulman (PayPal).


Members proposed a Tech CEO summit, where leaders of major technology corporations must come together to determine specific actions needed to increase minority representation and inclusion across tech industries.  See full story, read more …


 — Story and cover photo credit: Keith Moore, Open Government TV (OGTV)
BDPA-DC testimonial: photo © 2016 bdpatoday)


CBCF Hosts Intelligence Community Summit and Career Fair During ALC ’16

WASHINGTON, D.C. (bdpatoday) — The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) hosted an industry outreach summit and career fair for the Intelligence Community (IC) on September 15, 2016, in Washington, D.C. during their 46th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC ’16).  The Summit on Increasing Diversity in the Intelligence Community brought together business leaders, policymakers, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs) with senior executives from the United States’  intelligence community (IC) to discuss national security challenges and unique opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and mid-career professionals.

IC Diversity Summit

Mr. R. Donahue Peebles (left), CBCF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, provides closing remarks to this year’s IC Summit and Career Fair.  ALC ’16 IC Summit Moderatiors were (L-R)   U.S. Representative André Carson (D IN-07) and U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D AL-07) 

— Photo: bdpatoday

Moderated by U.S. Representative André Carson (D IN-07) and U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D AL-07), distinguished panelists included Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI); Mr. John Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, USMC, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; and Mr. Francis Taylor, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Representatives Carson and Sewell are members of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and are charged with the oversight of the America’s intelligence community, which includes the intelligence and intelligence related activities of 17 elements of the U.S. Government, and the Military Intelligence Program.

This year’s unclassified summit identified community relations, government relations, and public relations as challenges across the IC’s traditional encounters within underserved and minority communities, minority-owned businesses, HBCUs, and minority serving institutions.  With significant STEM, IT, and cybersecurity overtones, the summit also highlighted unique challenges with new pathways forward for undergraduates and institutions to obtain security and facility clearances in direct support of IC programs and missions with DoD/IC agencies, DHS agencies, and their contractors.  Lack of agency spending, corporate sponsorships, champions, and mentors within the IC was cited as contributing factors that historically and disproportionately affected HBCUs, MSIs, and small business engagements.

Dr. Ba-Shen Welch, former Principal Investigator (PI) and Director of Miles College’s Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) participated in the summit’s question and answer session. Over 40 students and staff from Miles College, an HBCU in Fairfield AL, attended this year’s session with Dr. Welch and the Honorable William A. Bell, Mayor of Birmingham. Miles College served as a Center of Academic Excellence by The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) from 2009 to 2013 and currently carries the distinction of “CAE alumni institution”. Miles College is the only institution in the State of Alabama to have received this designation, and there are fewer than 37 other colleges and universities in the nation to have received this designation.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and DHS jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence program. The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research and producing professionals with new expertise for the Nation. This year’s panel also addressed exit strategy concerns, mission support, and pathways forward for institutions transitioning from their five-year CAE periods of performance.

Immediately following the panel’s questions and answer segment, participating IC agencies conducted a career fair to introduce students and professionals to immediate IC opportunities. The following agencies presented opportunities to this year’s audience: ODNI, DIA, CIA, NSA, FBI, State Department, DEA, DHS, ONI, and DoD.

Students, professionals, and BDPA Members may visit the IC’s booth, next to National BDPA’s booth, during the ALC ’16 Career Fair this week in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. now through Saturday, September 17, 2016

Cover photo © 2016 bdpatoday.
(L-R) Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI); Mr. John Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, USMC, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and reconnaissance; and Mr. Francis Taylor, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

CBC Announces TECH 2020 Inclusion Plans


Chairman G.K. Butterfield and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, CBC Diversity Task Force Co-Chair, provide opening remarks to industry and participating organizations.
Photo courtesy Congressional Black Caucus Tech 2020

WASHINGTON | December 3, 2015

Today, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) CHAIRMAN, G. K. BUTTERFIELD (NC) and REP. BARBARA LEE (CA), Co-Chair of the CBC Diversity Task Force, announced that seven national African American tech professional organizations have adopted African American Inclusion Plans [1] (AAIPs) designed to increase tech diversity. See the full write up, videos, and photos toward the end of this post [2].  You also can see the photos and video on Facebook [3].
Chairman Butterfield called on tech companies to:
1. Reduce the weight they put on job applicants being recommended by
people who already work in the company. When companies give significant weight to a job applicant who knows someone in the company, that applicant has an advantage over a person who does not know anyone in the company. This practice of rewarding people who have connections in the company reinforces a lack of diversity since the current employees are not diverse.
2. Implement a “Rooney Rule” style process that ensures there is a
female candidate AND an underrepresented minority in the interview pool.
Congressman Butterfield also outlined next steps for CBC TECH 2020 [1]
1. Focusing more intently on the African American representation within
the government affairs offices of the tech companies that have plenty of
available talent in the Washington DC.
2. Traveling to additional tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley to meet
with the leadership of tech companies. The other members of our task
force will be organizing events in their respective districts to engage
a broader group of stakeholders.
3. Working with a broader section of tech companies including
4. Highlighting the work of innovative tech companies that are setting
clear goals, taking risks, and producing results.
Chief of Staff
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
2305 Rayburn House Office Bldg

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Co-Chairs of the CBC Diversity Task Force, Convene Leading African American Organizations to Announce New Initiatives To Increase Tech Diversity

CBC photo courtesy G. K. Butterfield
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, December 3rd at 10:00 a.m. EST in Room 234 of the Cannon House Office Building, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), who serve as co-chairs of the CBC Diversity Task Force and CBC TECH 2020, will bring together top technology professional organizations to announce new efforts to increase African American inclusion in the technology sector.  This event is open to the press.


•           Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
•           Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13)
•           American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity
•           BDPA (formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates)
•           Blacks In Technology
•           Bleeker
•           Career Communications Group
•           Global Leadership Forum
•           Information Technology Senior Management Forum

Press event to announce new actions by seven national organizations to increase African American inclusion in the technology industry.

Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST

234 Cannon House Office Building
27 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC  20003



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