BDPA Atlanta Captures Chapter of the Year Honors for 2022

ATLANTA—One of the nation’s leading technology inclusion conferences, BDPACON22, powered by BDPA adjourned Saturday, August 20, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia, with BDPA Atlanta, the association’s Host Chapter, capturing Chapter of the Year honors and top awards for 2022.

This year’s 44th annual BDPA Technology Conference (BDPACON22) and Career Expo theme was “Honoring our Legacy, Accelerating the Pace.” For BDPA, 2022 is a great year for community action refocusing on technological barriers, tech-inclusion challenges, and failed workforce policies facing underserved communities. BDPA continues to raise community awareness as the association explores better solutions with new opportunities from diverse and  innovative STEM perspectives.

BDPA Tech and Policy

National BDPA’s Atlanta Chapter President, Ms. Sheneeka Ward (center), receives a House Resolution from Georgia’s House of Representatives commending BDPA during Opening Ceremonies of BDPACON22. The association’s resolution was signed by Pedro Marin, Ranking Member of Georgia’s House Science and Technology Committee. His committee in Georgia’s General Assembly is responsible for legislation that promotes the appropriate and safe development and use of science and technological advances across the state. (L-R) Jose A. Marquez-Leon, National President and CEO of TechLatino: Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA) and proclamation presenter; Sheneeka Ward, President, BDPA Atlanta; and Stephanie Gloster, BDPA Vice President, South Region. Photo © 2022 BDPA

Increasing STEM and cybersecurity engagements with local non-profits, small businesses, HBCUs, JROTC units, and media remain very high priorities for the association as planning for their 50th anniversary in 2025 and supporting sponsored events begin to unfold in FY23.

To review events or an agenda item from BDPACON22 or to plan for BDPACON23 next year in Atlanta, registrants and BDPA Members may visit https://conference.bdpa.org.

For media inquiries, requests may be made by emailing: info@bdpa.org or info@bdpatoday.org .

About BDPA

2016 HSCC World Coding Champions | BDPA Atlanta

Established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1975 as Black Data Processing Associates, BDPA is an international organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students in the fields of information technology, computer science, data science, and related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. BDPA Members and mission partners engage in serving local communities through professional outreach events, technology conferences, research and development (R&D) summits with youth STEM competitions, while advocating and charting the future direction of information and communications technology (ICT) industries. For corporate, professional, or student engagements, visit BDPA.org.


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Review BDPACON22 events —plan to embrace BDPACON23 next year in Atlanta!

A Leading Community Tech-Inclusion Conference Returns—BDPACON22 heads to Atlanta

ATLANTA—One of the nation’s leading technology inclusion conferences is back and in-person from Thursday, August 18, 2022, through Saturday, August 20, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year’s 44th annual BDPA Technology Conference (BDPACON22) and Career Expo theme is “Honoring our Legacy, Accelerating the Pace.” In special ceremonies throughout the year, BDPA continues to honor its co-founder, the late Earl A . Pace, Jr., who passed away in February.  For the association, 2022 marks another  special year for recovery, advocacy, and co-hosting local BDPA Chapter reunions while developing stronger partnerships with Industry.

For BDPA, 2022 is a great year for community action refocusing on technological barriers, challenges, and policies facing underserved communities. BDPA continues to raise community awareness as the association explores better solutions with new opportunities from diverse and  innovative perspectives. Increasing STEM and cybersecurity engagements with local non-profits, small businesses, HBCUs, JROTC units, and media remain very high priorities for the association as planning for their 50th anniversary in 2025 and sponsored events begin to unfold.

BDPA Onsite Registration
Onsite registrations during BDPACON

BDPA’s annual career fair is free and open to the public. To attend BDPACON22, registrations are requested to participate in career fair engagements, workshops, or to receive special invitations from industry-sponsored events. Join BDPA at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, for a few days of signature events and powerful engagements with Industry by visiting https://conference.bdpa.org.

For media, an all-access Press Pass registration may be requested by emailing: info@bdpatoday.org .

About BDPA

Established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1975 as Black Data Processing Associates, BDPA is an international organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students in the fields of information technology, computer science, data science, and related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. BDPA Members and mission partners engage in serving local communities through professional outreach events, technology conferences, research and development (R&D) summits with youth STEM competitions, while advocating and charting the future direction of information and communications technology (ICT) industries. For corporate, professional, or student engagements, visit BDPA.org.


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Google + BDPA

RSVP Google+BDPA Meet & Greet
Google is proud to be supporting BDPA, its community, and the 44th annual Technology Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on August 18 – 20, 2022! 

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group Acquires Black News Channel for $11 Million

LOS ANGELES—Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group (AMG) is proud to announce that the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court, (Case No. 4:22-bk-40087-KKS) issued an order approving the sale of “substantially all of” Black News Channel (BNC) “assets free and clear of all liens, claims, encumbrances and interests” to AMG’s networks division. AMG is acquiring BNC out of bankruptcy for $11 million from billionaire Shahid Khan owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars franchise. Khan invested over $100 million into BNC.

Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group
Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group

AMG’s acquisition of BNC will add 300 million linear and digital subscribers to the AMG portfolio of assets — which includes 12 television networks such as The Weather Channel, digital platforms Local NowHBCU GOSports.TVtheGrio Streaming App and The Weather Channel Streaming AppAMG has also invested over $1 billion in the last 3 years to acquire 27 ABCNBCCBSFOX network affiliate broadcast television stations nationwide.

BNC has carriage on traditional linear packages via ComcastCharterCox, DISH, DirecTV, and VerizonBNC currently enjoys approximately 45 million linear subscribers and Allen plans to grow the distribution to approximately 80 million linear subscribers over the next 6 months.

“We are excited to have been selected to acquire the Black News Channel, which has approximately 300 million linear and digital subscribers,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “Allen Media Group will deliver a best-in-class network to serve the underserved African-American community and the advertisers who want to reach this extremely valuable audience. Also, we appreciate the opportunity to provide cable operators, satellite companies, telcos, and digital platforms diversity of ownership, voices, and viewpoints on their programming line-ups by having a 100 percent African-American owned network.”

In 2016, AMG purchased The Grio, a highly-rated digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African-Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. The Grio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and opinion pieces on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment. Originally launched in 2009, the platform was then purchased by NBC News in 2010. The digital platform remains focused on curating exciting digital content and currently has more than 100 million annual visitors.

— Source and photo: Allen Media Group (AMG)/PRNewswire


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BDPACON22

ITSMF Founding Member and Chair Emeritus Carl Williams passes away at 84

DURHAM, NC—Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) Founding Member and Chair Emeritus Mr. Carl Chanson Williams passed away at the age of 84, on July 2, 2022. Mr. Williams of Durham, North Carolina, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

With a Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York-Brockport and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Rochester, Mr. Williams’ career included duties as Manager, Finance Systems, for the Xerox Corporation, in Rochester, NY; Director, Information Management, American Can Company, Greenwich, CT; and Vice President, Information Technology, for the Amoco Corporation in Chicago, IL prior to its merger with BP in 1998. 

Mr. Williams served as an executive director for Concerned Association Rochester, New York, 1971-1975; board of directors for Stamford Community Arts Council, 1983-1984; as a trustee with Roosevelt University, 1995-1997 and University of Rochester, since 1999; and he served with the Executive Leadership Foundation, since 2000.

Mr. Williams also was a member of the Executive Leadership Council since 1993; member of the Society for Information Management (executive council 1980-1983, president 1985, president council since 1986); and served with the Executive Leadership Council on its foundation board of trustees. He was an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University, since 1991.

Mr. Williams is survived by his wife Clare; his daughter Ryan Michelle Bathé; his son-in-law Sterling K. Brown; his grandchildren, Andrew and Amaré Brown; and his sisters, Juanita Collins and Sylvia Torrey.

In lieu of flowers, the family desires that donations be made directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

About ITSMF

The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), formed in 1996, began with a conversation between a few prominent technology executives who discovered that only 3% of information technology management roles were held by Black professionals. Studies suggested that not enough Black professionals were positioned for senior-level technology positions. This discussion sparked those executives, most of whom were CIOs of major corporations, to action as they were compelled to reach, teach and nurture aspiring technology professionals.

Under the leadership of Mr. Carl Williams, this IRS 501(c)(3) organization began recruiting Black professionals who ranked among the Who’s Who in technology, along with companies and individuals that boldly dared to disrupt the status quo and seek more diversity, equity and inclusion among technology executives.

For over 25 years, ITSMF has remained the premier national organization dedicated exclusively to cultivating executive talent among Black technology professionals. The organization is extremely proud of their history, encouraged by today’s progress and excited about the work still needed to fulfill tomorrow’s promises.

Source and photos: ITSMF


NNPA Annual Convention Highlights 195 Years of the Black Press with Tributes From Readers, Politicians and Entertainers

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

NEW ORLEANS, LA—The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) kicks off its annual convention in New Orleans this week with a slate of panels aimed at informing and inspiring Black America and increasing voter registration rolls among individuals of color.

The NNPA is a trade association representing the more than 230 African American newspapers and media companies that comprise the Black Press of America.

In celebration of the 195th anniversary of the Black Press of America, the overall theme of the four-day convention is “Amplifying Our Voices for Freedom, Justice, Equality, and Equity.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, including the hotel staff,” stated Cheryl Smith, an NNPA board member and publisher of Texas Metro News, the Garland Journal, and I Messenger Media.

On June 22 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, the convention begins with board meetings hosted by the NNPA and the NNPA Fund.

A Chairman’s Reception formally starts the convention with greetings and acknowledgments from NNPA Chair Karen Carter Richards, NNPA President Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., NNPA Convention Planning Committee Chair Terry Jones, New Orleans Tribune Publisher Beverly McKenna, Louisiana Weekly Publisher Renette Hall, and a proclamation from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

The reception also will feature acknowledgments from convention partners, sponsors, and other guests.

Video and in-person tributes will include Vice President Kamala Harris, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty, Universal Hip Hop Museum Executive Director Rocky Bucano, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, California Rep. Barbara Lee, and Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland.

Among the expected highlights are panel discussions like “Amplifying Voices of Generation Z and Millennials Through the Black Press of America,” moderated by Mark Thompson, the host of “Make It Plain.”

The panel plans to explore how young African Americans view the importance of the future of the Black Press. Featured panelists include Houston Forward Times On-Air Personality Jonita “Go JJ Go” Buchanan, Media Personality DaNeshia Bell, Videographer Joshua McMillian, The Bridge Publisher Lafayette Barnes, and New Orleans Data Weekly Journalist Melony Mainor.

Dr. Chavis will moderate “The Path to Inclusion is Electric: How GM Is Building an All-Inclusive Workforce to Build an All-Electric Future.”

Melinda Hightower, the managing director, and head of multicultural strategic client segments at UBS Bank, will host the session, “The Black Press on Equity and Wealth Building for Black America.”

Rosetta Miller-Perry, the publisher of the Tennessee Tribune, will join Baltimore Times Editor Paris Brown, Inglewood Today Publisher Ken Miller, and Washington Informer Reporter James Wright for the session.

Attorney Barbara Arnwine, the founder and president of Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC), and Daryl Jones, TJC’s chairman of the board, will host “Black America Get Out the Vote and the Black Press.”

Northern Kentucky University Professor Dr. David Childs will lead Defender Network Managing Editor ReShonda Tate-Billingsley, and Defender Network Social Justice Journalist Aswad Walker in a discussion about “The Black Press and the Antidote to Racism in America.”

The NNPA Fund will present its 2022 Messenger Awards during a dinner on Thursday, June 23.

Dr. John Warren, the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint publisher, plans to provide the invocation, while Mississippi Link Publisher Jackie Hampton will announce scholarship recipients.

NNPA Fund Chair and Wave Communications President & CEO Pluria Marshall Jr. and Fund Treasurer and Times Weekly Publisher Jayme Cain Casimere will present the Messenger Awards to NNPA journalists and publishers.

On Friday, June 24, the NNPA will host its 2022 Lifetime Achievement and Legacy Awards Gala. This year’s honorees include Westside Gazette Publisher Bobby Henry, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Jackson State University Football Coach Deion “Prime” Sanders and recording superstar and actress Stephanie Mills.

With hits like “Home,” “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” and “I Feel Good All Over,” Mills will speak about the importance of the Black Press in her life and perform a medley of her songs.

Source and images: Black Press USA

A Little About Me:
I’m the co-author of Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway and her son, Stevie Wonder (Simon & Schuster) and Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Mask, An Insider’s Account of the King of Pop (Select Books Publishing, Inc.) My work can often be found in the Washington Informer, Baltimore Times, Philadelphia Tribune, Pocono Record, the New York Post, and Black Press USA.


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NNPA 2022 | 195 Years

Robots Compete during RoboJawn as Philly Tech Week Returns

PHILADELPHIA — Robots take the field for their initial rounds of competition during RoboJawn ‘22. FIRST Tech Challenge RoboJawn is similar to an official tournament in many ways.

Teams bring their robots and their Gracious Professionalism to compete in this year’s FREIGHT FRENZY challenge following FIRST‘s challenge rules.

Students inspect and calibrate their robots for RoboJawn 2022 bdpatoday photo © 2022

Similar to an official tournament, teams are interviewed by a panel of judges, and submit an engineering portfolio, to vie for judged awards.

Central High School in Philadelphia, PA hosted this year’s RoboJawn. For this year’s off-season competitions, bdpatoday co-sponsored Central High School’s and Philadelphia High School for Girls’ RoboJawn teams.

For upcoming RoboJawn events, visit → https://roboticscoalition.org/

— Source: Philadelphia Robotics Coalition | Cover photo: bdpatoday


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Octo
Explore new careers at Octo

Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Fact Sheet

WASHINGTON (BDPA-DC) — “Infrastructure Week” closes today with new DOW, S&P 500, and Nasdaq records on Wall Street this week along with the passage of an epic infrastructure bill on Capitol Hill. The White House announced the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness.

For far too long, Washington policymakers have celebrated an “infrastructure week” without ever agreeing to build infrastructure. The President promised to work across the aisle to deliver results and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. After the President put forward his plan to do exactly that and then negotiated a deal with Members of Congress from both parties, this historic legislation is moving to his desk for signature.

This Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind. The legislation will help ease inflationary pressures and strengthen supply chains by making long overdue improvements for our nation’s ports, airports, rail, and roads. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come. Combined with the President’s Build Back Framework, it will add on average 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years.

According to the White House, this historic legislation will:                               

Deliver clean water to all American families and eliminate the nation’s lead service lines. Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water for households, businesses, schools, and child care centers all across the country. From rural towns to struggling cities, the legislation will invest in water infrastructure and eliminate lead service pipes, including in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities that need it most.

Ensure every American has access to reliable high-speed internet. Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected. Yet, by one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds – a particular problem in rural communities throughout the country. And, according to the latest OECD data, among 35 countries studied, the United States has the second highest broadband costs. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver $65 billion to help ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet through a historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment. The legislation will also help lower prices for internet service and help close the digital divide, so that more Americans can afford internet access.

Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users. In the United States, 1 in 5 miles of highways and major roads, and 45,000 bridges, are in poor condition. The legislation will reauthorize surface transportation programs for five years and invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair our roads and bridges and support major, transformational projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal makes the single largest investment in repairing and reconstructing our nation’s bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system. It will rebuild the most economically significant bridges in the country as well as thousands of smaller bridges. The legislation also includes the first ever Safe Streets and Roads for All program to support projects to reduce traffic fatalities, which claimed more than 20,000 lives in the first half of 2021.

Improve transportation options for millions of Americans and reduce greenhouse emissions through the largest investment in public transit in U.S. history. America’s public transit infrastructure is inadequate – with a multibillion-dollar repair backlog, representing more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems in need of replacement. Communities of color are twice as likely to take public transportation and many of these communities lack sufficient public transit options. The transportation sector in the United States is now the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation includes $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit, in addition to continuing the existing transit programs for five years as part of surface transportation reauthorization.  In total, the new investments and reauthorization in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal provide $89.9 billion in guaranteed funding for public transit over the next five years — the largest Federal investment in public transit in history. The legislation will expand public transit options across every state in the country, replace thousands of deficient transit vehicles, including buses, with clean, zero emission vehicles, and improve accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Upgrade our nation’s airports and ports to strengthen our supply chains and prevent disruptions that have caused inflation. This will improve U.S. competitiveness, create more and better jobs at these hubs, and reduce emissions. Decades of neglect and underinvestment in our infrastructure have left the links in our goods movement supply chains struggling to keep up with our strong economic recovery from the pandemic. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will make the fundamental changes that are long overdue for our nation’s ports and airports so this will not happen again. The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors. According to some rankings, no U.S. airports rank in the top 25 of airports worldwide. Our ports and waterways need repair and reimagination too. The legislation invests $17 billion in port infrastructure and waterways and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies. Modern, resilient, and sustainable port, airport, and freight infrastructure will strengthen our supply chains and support U.S. competitiveness by removing bottlenecks and expediting commerce and reduce the environmental impact on neighboring communities.

Make the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak. U.S. passenger rail lags behind the rest of the world in reliability, speed, and coverage. China already has 22,000 miles of high-speed rail, and is planning to double that by 2035. The legislation positions rail to play a central role in our transportation and economic future, investing $66 billion in additional rail funding to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic. This is the largest investment in passenger rail since Amtrak’s creation, 50 years ago and will create safe, efficient, and climate-friendly alternatives for moving people and freight.

Build a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers. U.S. market share of plug-in EV sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. That needs to change. The legislation will invest $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers in the United States. This is a critical step in the President’s strategy to fight the climate crisis and it will create good U.S. manufacturing jobs. The legislation will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. This investment will support the President’s goal of building a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers to accelerate the adoption of EVs, reduce emissions, improve air quality, and create good-paying jobs across the country.

Upgrade our power infrastructure to deliver clean, reliable energy across the country and deploy cutting-edge energy technology to achieve a zero-emissions future. According to the Department of Energy, power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70 billion annually. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s more than $65 billion investment includes the largest investment in clean energy transmission and grid in American history. It will upgrade our power infrastructure, by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewables and clean energy, while lowering costs. And it will fund new programs to support the development, demonstration, and deployment of cutting-edge clean energy technologies to accelerate our transition to a zero-emission economy. 



Make our infrastructure resilient against the impacts of climate change, cyber-attacks, and extreme weather events.
Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, power goes down, or schools get flooded. Last year alone, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each – a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion. People of color are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. The legislation makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks, with an investment of over $50 billion to protect against droughts, heat, floods and wildfires, in addition to a major investment in weatherization. The legislation is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.

Deliver the largest investment in tackling legacy pollution in American history by cleaning up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaiming abandoned mines, and capping orphaned oil and gas wells. In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. The bill will invest $21 billion clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned oil and gas wells. These projects will remediate environmental harms, address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities, create good-paying union jobs, and advance long overdue environmental justice This investment will benefit communities of color as, it has been found that 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, a higher percentage than for Americans overall.

— Source: The White House Images: BDPA-DC/Getty Images


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Data Science Opportunities
BDPA Data Science Academy and Northwestern Mutual

CSAF delivers powerful message in new Air Force commercial

By Master Sgt. Chance Babin, Air Force Recruiting Service Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Air Force Chief of Staff General CQ Brown, Jr. delivers a powerful message about air power and diversity in a new Air Force commercial titled “Helmet.”

The dynamic 30-second spot aired for the first time on national TV during the NBA Finals pregame.

“I was a captain when I was asked to do an interview about diversity, and I shared this idea,” Brown said. “I want our adversaries to know that, no matter our respective backgrounds, our Airmen are unstoppable.”

For Air Force Recruiting Service’s top recruiter, the commercial is a slam dunk.

“The message is clear,” said Maj. Gen. Edward Thomas, AFRS commander. “As Airmen, we’re committed to ensuring we have the most capable and lethal air power in the world, and we want America’s best – the best from all of America – to come join us.”

Thomas emphasized that the Air Force is a warfighting organization, and the nation expects nothing less than the highest standards and a selection process that brings in the best Americans to become Airmen.

“When Gen. Brown became the CSAF, he clearly stated that the Air Force was going to  focus on what we do best – air power,” said Barry Dickey, AFRS director of strategic marketing. “We wanted to make a commercial that reinforced that priority, but also inspired Americans from all walks of life to serve in the Air Force.

“The power of this spot is in the underlying message and delivery. When I watch the commercial, I’m left with the understanding that the Air Force doesn’t care what you look like or where you come from,” Dickey said. “If you can do the job, we’ve got an opportunity for you. At the same time, I also get the message that the Air Force is about winning with air power, period. All of this is delivered by the leader of the Air Force in 30 seconds.”

AFRS and its advertising agency, GSD&M, originally planned to film two commercials with Brown at Edwards Air Force Base, California, with a focus on both diversity and air power.

The “Helmet” commercial was not in the original plans, but materialized as the day’s shooting progressed.

“While we were recording the voice-over for the commercials, Gen. Brown told a few stories and basically said what you hear in the commercial,” Dickey said. “When he did, I think everyone in the room immediately had the same thought – ‘we’ve got to record that!’ The creatives from GSD&M quickly turned his words into a script while we were filming and General Brown graciously agreed to perform on-camera.”

The commercial also fits squarely into AFRS Detachment 1’s efforts to reach into traditionally underserved communities to let people know about the opportunities to fly in the Air Force through programs designed to meet CSAF’s Rated Diversity Improvement initiative goals. For example, the Aim High Flight Academy gives disadvantaged youth a chance to learn to fly while being mentored by Air Force officers.

“We have a very healthy level of diversity in our enlisted ranks, but our officer and flying specialties look less like America,” Thomas said. “Air Force recruiting efforts have ramped up to better attract a cross-section of highly-qualified Americans into our ranks and specifically to consider flying opportunities.”

Source and photosUnited States Air Force (USAF)


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Select here to register for this year's STTR HBCU Collider

Patriots Technology Training Center Celebrates its Silver Anniversary

Award-Winning Youth STEM Program across the National Capital Region Reaches a 25-Year Milestone!

SEAT PLEASANT, MD—Patriots Technology Training Center (PTTC) of Seat Pleasant, Maryland celebrated its 25th Anniversary Friday evening, June 25, 2021, during a surprise virtual event honoring its Founder, Thurman D. Jones, Jr. and dedicated staff with volunteers, PTTC Alumni, sponsors, and mission partners. PTTC is a membership, IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1997.

Now in its 25th year of operation, PTTC provides virtual opportunities, events, camps, and STEM competitions for students in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia (DMV); New York, NY; and Detroit, MI from grades 5 through 12.

The PTTC Mission

“Empowering Students Through Technology” has been our mission for 25 years by increasing the number of students (5th -12th grades) entering into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) ultimately leading towards college education and career paths in these fields. Our program includes a Youth Summit on Technology, Summer Camp, and the Patriots STEM Carnival.  We also engage in Amusement Park Design, Biology/Chemistry/Math, Biomedical, Cyber Security, Flight Simulation, Lego Robotics, Science Bowl, Solar System, Hackathon, and Video Designing Competitions. Our students have attended the Regional and National Society of Black Engineers conferences.

Competitions & Programs

  • Patrotech Science Club/NSBE Jr. Chapter # 3238
  • General Meeting (3rd Saturday of each month)
  • STEM Carnivals
  • Video Gaming Jam Tournament /Conference
  • BEYA – Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference
  • Bio-Medical Competition
  • NSBE’s Society of Black Engineer Annual National Conference
  • Cyber Security Competition
  • Patriots Annual Youth STEM Summit
  • Solar System Competition
  • Pre-Mother’s Day Video Competition
  • Pre-Father’s Day Video Competition
  • STEM Summer Camp

The purpose of PTTC’s virtual programs is to raise awareness among students by offering a wide variety of learning opportunities that encourage students to pursue education, training, and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

Contact PTTC by phone: +1 (301) 925-9350
Via email: Info@Patriots-ttc.org

For upcoming events and additional information, visit: https://www.patriots-ttc.org/

For archived and Throwback-Thursday (TBT) photos, visit: https://pinterest.com/bdpatoday/_saved/

— Source and photos: Patriots Technology Training Center and BDPA-DC


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P&G Aims to Improve Portrayal of “Black Life” on Screen, Expands Inclusion Efforts for Black Creators

CINCINNATI—The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) today announced the creation of an expansive content creation, talent development and partnership platform that enables and advocates for increased inclusion of Black creators across the advertising, film and television industries. Titled “Widen The Screen,” it will include new films and initiatives that feature more diverse storytellers, combat bias against all people fueled by misrepresentation, increase investment in Black-owned and operated media and employ more diverse creators in a way that improves their trajectory for long-term success.

The anthem film “Widen The Screen” premiered during the 2021 NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, March 27 with a call to action to portray a more holistic view of Black life – one that is layered, beautiful and dynamic – not one that simply reinforces commonly told stereotypes. The film, created and produced by a team of largely Black creators in collaboration with Grey, and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali, ends with the line “Let’s widen the screen to widen our view” and challenges the expectations viewers have about the characters and stories often played by Black actors – fueled by a limited view of Black Life on screen.

The film and additional content at www.pg.com/widenthescreen helps people learn about how disparities in representation behind the camera lead to misrepresentation of people and communities that fuel bias in real life.

“While we’ve made equality a top priority within P&G and worked with other companies to do the same, we recognize that is just not enough. We have to address the systemic inequalities that exist in our industry, and that’s why ‘Widen The Screen’ is a critically important initiative, not just for P&G, but for the industry,” said Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble. “In stepping up and leveling the playing field for Black creators, we will enable change that will benefit all under-represented groups and result in higher quality, more relevant film, television and advertising content that deepens our appreciation of the richness of our society.”

“It is my hope, through this campaign, to encourage image makers to reveal the fullness of who we are as Black people. We don’t have to be ‘exceptional’ to be respected and valued. Our humanity isn’t dependent upon us being doctors, lawyers, engineers, or famous,” said Kevin Wilson, Jr., Director, Widen the Screen. “Yes, we are those things, but we also take up many spaces in this world and the love we share should be depicted as well. We are more than the brutality we often see in our depictions in television and film. We are the joy we experience with loved ones and the passion we have for one another.”

Widen The Screen is a significant expansion of prior P&G efforts aimed at increasing inclusion and representation of people of color in the advertising industry. Building on this success, Widen the Screen will provide even greater access and opportunity to break into an industry notorious for being difficult to enter, with an immediate focus on Black creators, and runway for future expansion.

Queen Collective, P&G’s signature multicultural talent development initiative returns for its third year in 2021. A partnership with Queen Latifah, Flavor Unit Entertainment and Tribeca Studios, this effort accelerates gender and racial equality behind the camera by opening doors to the next generation of up-and-coming Black women directors through mentorship, production support, and distribution opportunities. Two films were produced in each 2019 and 2020, and P&G is doubling production in 2021, greenlighting four documentary-style productions for women filmmakers.

This summer, P&G is increasing creative output for Black creatives and filmmakers in partnership with UNINTERRUPTED and SATURDAY MORNING, Black-owned creative and production partners, to help the world see their passion, potential and power – and to tell previously untold stories. P&G and UNINTERRUPTED, an athlete empowerment brand within The SpringHill Company built by LeBron James and Maverick Carter with the mission of empowering greatness in every individual, are collaborating on a project that will take viewers on a journey of a father and his son using the power of imagination to explore a range of opportunities beyond athletics. The film and associated community programs are intended to show young Black men that they can follow and achieve their dreams outside of sports, which aligns with UNINTERRUPTED’s “More Than An Athlete” mantra. P&G’s partner for “The Look,” SATURDAY MORNING is a creative agency that brings awareness to and shifts perceptions on racial bias and injustice. With SATURDAY MORNING, Tribeca and dozens of black creatives, P&G is creating scripted stories told in 8 minutes and 46 seconds to tell life-affirming stories of joy, love, and resilience.

P&G also announced support for efforts to increase the number of Black creators entering the industry through programs like the Marcus Graham Project and the One Club for Creativity’s One School Initiative; continued support of critical talent development initiatives like ADCOLOR; and increasing investment in a broad range of Black Owned and Operated companies and media platforms. Widen The Screen also includes important collaborations with a variety of majority-owned advertising agencies and partners, as they too strengthen their efforts to ensure increased representation and inclusion.

“True inclusion leads to greater creativity and innovation, provides access to opportunity, and leads to equity in income and wealth creation. Our hope is that we will create a ripple effect and the rest of the industry will follow suit,” Pritchard added.

Source and photo: Procter & Gamble/Business Wire


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