A Miracle out of Mayhem: 51,000 parents and children in Detroit get laptops and free Internet access

DETROIT, MI (NAACP Detroit) – Today it was announced that 51,000 Detroit school children and their parents will have access to laptops and the internet. A few weeks ago, this was only a thought in the minds of a few very dedicated people. Now children all around this city, regardless of economic, social or racial status will become more knowledgeable, more prepared, and more confident in their future.

Partners in this effort are the Detroit Branch NAACP, DTE Energy, DPSCD, Quicken Loans, The Skillman Foundation, City of Detroit, General Motors, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Every now and then, one gets the opportunity to do something much bigger which will last much longer than even they themselves. This is the historic moment. It is a kairos moment (when God has placed a special opportunity) to bless Detroit to come together to create order out of chaos. It has been said, “it is only during a storm that a tree knows how strong it is” Matshona Dhliwayo. Today, we are discovering how strong we can be as a people when we come together as a village. It is hard to believe that what started off as an idea, a suggestion, even a challenge has now evolved into a reality. This truly is the stuff of which dreams are made.


51,000 Detroit school children and their parents will have access to laptops and the internet. A few weeks ago, this was only a thought in the minds of a few very dedicated people. Now children all around this city, regardless of economic, social or racial status will become more knowledgeable, more prepared, and more confident in their future. Education and information will be brought live and in living color directly into their homes. Detroit will become a national model of what can be done in various communities if the people have a mind to get it done.

It is appropriate and inspiring that the model begin in the city of Detroit. We continue to be a city of firsts. From the auto industry to the music industry, whether its labor or religion, we take a back seat to no one in creativity and innovation. As a community advocate and a person of faith, I do believe in miracles. The ability to raise nearly $20 million dollars in such a short time to have an impact for such a long time is indeed miraculous. This is one sure way of defeating COVID-19. The disease may have taken our bodies, but it can never take the spirit out of Detroit. I want to thank every company, every business, every foundation, the Mayor, and each person that has made this initiative possible.

hscc_conf09-HSCCstudents-2I say to the other companies, firms and foundations that are viewing this progress, now is the time for you to log in with us. Let’s make history together. It is historic because it has never been done before. The children of our city need you. If ever you wondered what you should do, just hook up to the Connected Futures and see all the good that you can do. May God bless you and the children, educators, parents, IT professionals and other staff that will lead us into the future.

– Statement by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP
Cover photo: Detroit Branch NAACP
Coding Competition photos: ©National BDPA and BDPA Detroit

BDPA Chapters may directly receive new tablets, laptops, Raspberry Pi PC kits, software, mobile hotspots, and cash donations locally or via BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF.org) to reduce digital divide challenges.


Johnson & Johnson executive to chair National BDPA’s Education and Technology Foundation

larry-jones-JJATLANTA, GA—National BDPA’s Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) today named Larry Jones its new Chairman. Jones succeeds Earl A. Pace, Jr., Co-Founder of National BDPA.

Jones, a Johnson & Johnson executive,  is a purpose-driven leader that delivers transformational change with key principles of business process integration, agile approaches, and next generation technology solutions. As a seasoned tech executive, he has led significant programs within Johnson & Johnson across its Pharmaceuticals and Hospital Medical Device sectors.

Driven by his passion and experience in healthcare, he is CIO for one of the largest medical device companies in the world. As member of the $27B Medical Device senior leadership team, Larry’s recent success includes completion of a 3 year, $200M global digital transformation initiative to drive lean business processes, cloud-based solutions, and integrated insights. He spent over 6+ years as the multi-region, global CIO for Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Currently, he is focused on driving digital surgery connectivity solutions for the company’s surgical robotics and machine learning platforms in Oncology, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, and general surgery.

With a strong commitment to diversity and core values, his leadership teams have driven consistently high employee engagement results and technology execution. He is an executive member of the Johnson & Johnson African American Leadership Council and J&J’s regional Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.

Fascinated with the opportunity of transforming lives in healthcare through next generation technology, Larry serves as a Healthcare industry advisory council member for Microsoft and Verizon. Along with his efforts on non-profit boards, he is also member of the prestigious Executive Leadership Council.

In 2019, Larry was honored by ITSMF and The Harlem Fine Arts Society for African American Lifetime Achievement in Technology. He has also been nominated for InspireCIO’s NY/NJ CIO of the year for 2019.

Larry Jones has a MS / MBA in computer engineering from the University of Pennsylvania & Wharton School. He also earned a BS in Computer Science from St. Peter’s University.

BETF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, founded in 1992 to support the education and technical programs of National BDPA (founded in 1975 and formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates).

BDPA2019.com | BETF.org

Source and photos: Larry Jones/LinkedIn and J&J


BDPA Conference Full Page Ad.pdf

National BDPA mourns the loss of Wayne Hicks

CINCINNATI, OH — OBITUARY | Richard Wayne Hicks, Jr.

It is with enormous sadness that we announce that Richard Wayne Hicks, Jr. passed peacefully at home on June 7, 2018.

For more than thirty years, Wayne was a tireless champion of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) and promoting diversity in technology and expanding STEM experiences for youth in under-served communities and growing BDPA chapter membership and participation in Cincinnati, Detroit, and Los Angeles.wayne-hicks-mem18

For the last twelve years, Wayne was the Executive Director of the  Black Data Processing Associates Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). He also held various leadership positions within the IT professional organization, Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), including President of the National BDPA, 2004-2005 and Director of Corporate Sales.

Wayne started his career with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS), starting as a summer intern and progressing to a member of the Senior Executive Service. Later, Wayne led the Cincinnati Business Incubator as president (2003-2008).

Wayne is survived by his daughters Laura Hicks and Nailah McCloud, son Khalis Hicks, granddaughter Amara McCloud, his mother Elizabeth Hicks, sister Kyra, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, other family, friends and colleagues.

The memorial service, with viewing, will be held Saturday, June 23, 2018, 1pm, at Thompson, Hall & Jordan Funeral Home, 11400 Winton Road, Forest Park, OH 45240, (513) 742-3600.

— Source and photos: BDPA and The Hicks Family

A  D  V  E  R  T  I  S  E  M  E  N  T


Zycron Awards Scholarships to BDPA Student Members

Alston Clark uses his Zycron $cholarship at Howard University

COLLEGE PARK, MD—BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Zycron awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to five (5) students. One of those students is Alston Clark of Howard University.  Zycron is an international information technology services and solutions firm headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 1991, Zycron has offered IT solutions to a broad client base, and today is the primary provider for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

zycron16-alstonclarkAlston loves working on difficult problems and relating abstract concepts into realistic solutions. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Alston developed a love for science and technology at an early age. Currently a computer science major at Howard University, Alston enjoys finding ways to use technology to help positive social causes. During his free time, Alston can be found playing guitar or exploring the city with this brothers and sister. After college, Alston plans on working in industry for a number of years as a software engineer.

When asked to share his thoughts on being a Zycron scholar, Alston wrote“During my freshman year in high school, I participated in BDPA High School Computer Competition. This was my first experience with coding and it opened my eyes to new possibilities. My instructor challenged myself and my teammates to be greater. I will never forget his class nor his advice. Being a member of the BDPA has benefited me in high school, and continues to help me reach my goals in college. I am extremely grateful for this organization.”

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented BDPA Student Member on board as winner of the Zycron Scholarship. National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPA-DC) will serve as Host Chapter. We look forward to supporting Alston’s career as he seeks to advance in the technology industry!

Source and BDPA photo: BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF)

Message from National BDPA President

Photo courtesy: National BDPA

Message from National BDPA President

mike-a-williams2Good morning BDPA members. As my first official post as your National President, I just wanted to tell you how excited I am about BDPA and what’s to come in 2016 and beyond.

Over the weekend the National Board of Directors engaged in some very productive discussions about our strategy, our finances, brand rejuvenation, and our upcoming conference in Atlanta. We also welcomed our new regional leaders and board members (Ashton Clark, Hayward West, Curtis Jenkins and William Smith) and Andreana Dunbar as our new secretary.

As we discussed our conference, we all agreed that our conference theme should be about connecting. During our conferences we connect generations of professionals, professionals with employers, vendors with companies, and people with each other. Lastly, in this digital world we live in, everything is connected in one way or the other. So, we thought it was fitting that the theme of our conference for 2016 be ‘BDPA CONNECT‘.

We also talked about leading from the top. What that means is that at the national level we want to support and enable chapters at the local level by providing tools they can use for member orientation, sponsorship pitches, and general information about BDPA that can then be re-purposed and used at your discretion. Soon we will be forwarding a presentation and brochures that every chapter can use to enable you to achieve your chapter objectives.

We have a lot ahead in 2016. Our collective goal at every level should be “to do better and be better” than we were last year. That is not to say that last year was not a successful one; in fact, it was very successful by all accounts, however, we must continue to raise the bar and our own expectations of ourselves. My challenge for myself and to all of you is that we raise the bar and our expectations. Let’s hold ourselves and each other accountable in 2016.

Fear is something you can overcome, doubt is just giving up before you even tried. Change can cause fear but fear never prevents you from stepping forward. Let’s step forward.

We are already the champions, we just need to go pick up our trophy. Let’s go!

Mike Williams, President
National BDPA

National BDPA Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

Washington – National BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, celebrated 40 years of community service and technology inclusion programs during the organization’s national technology conference recently held in Washington, D.C.
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