Raymond Bell, Jr. Elected BDPA-DC President and Executive Committee Chair

WASHINGTON — Raymond Bell, Jr. has been elected to fill the vacancy of Vice President Business Management and President Elect for BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC). Bell will assume President of BDPA-DC and Chair the Chapter’s Executive Committee on January 1, 2022.

Raymond Bell, Jr.He will succeed outgoing President and Chair, Perry Carter,

who supports Federal and DOD/IC portfolios for National BDPA.  Carter will expand his role in direct support of the Association’s Golden Anniversary Events in 2025, and National BDPA Local Chapter engagements in CONUS with JROTC Units, HBCU/MIs, and CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) Tech 2025 FED/SLED (state and local government and education) initiatives.

Bell is the founder of R. Emmanuel Bell Consulting, a training and facilitation company. Mr. Bell is a social entrepreneur, keynote speaker and facilitator. He is devoted to teaching and coaching young adults how to become I.T. professionals. Through his workshops, courses and coaching programs Bell shows young adults how to get out of  unemployment lines and onto rewarding career paths.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019
H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019

Bell’s passion is to empower young people to take ownership and control of their own destiny. In 2009 Bell founded The H.O.P.E. Project, also known as the “Harvard of the Hood”, an I.T. career training program. The H.O.P.E. Project has been called one of the best I.T. career training programs in the country by the President of the Help Desk Institute (HDI). Graduates earn an average annual salary of $62,500, working on major government contracts with prime contractors such as Lockheed Martin, World Bank, and CACI to name a few. To date, nearly forty H.O.P.E. Project graduates have accepted annual salaries at and north of $100,000.

Raymond Bell, Jr. is considered one of the leading experts in I.T. career training and workforce development in the United States. Mr. Bell has received numerous awards for his work including the a HDI Top 25 Thought Leader, BDPA-DC Member of the Year, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and Nation Builder Award Recipient, for his outstanding work developing world class I.T. professionals.

HOPE Project DMV IT Summits and Community Info-Sessions

Bell launched hopeprojectonline in 2021 to help over 1,000 people launch new careers in Information Technology. Bell has been seen on and/or featured in Ebony, ABC, CBS, WHUR, NewOne Now, Bloomberg News, Washington Post, National Public Radio, National Journal, BET and many other media outlets. Bell will lead his new board alongside Sedley Randolph, who transitioned to the Chapter’s new Chief of Staff role. Randolph is a 2019 BDPA-DC President’s Community Technology Award recipient.

With BDPA-DC Chapter’s latest rounds of new impact funding from Microsoft and OCTO, Bell is recruiting more Veterans, professionals, students, and interns from the National Capital Region (DMV) to join and actively participate in new committees. He wants to offer more technical coaching, mentorship, training, and certification programs to meet and exceed emerging cybersecurity and “Smart City” requirements. Adjacent to BDPA-DC, National BDPA also seeks immediate growth and new members in Annapolis, MD; Baltimore, MD; Northern Virginia; Richmond, VA; and new BDPA Chapters collocated with regional HBCUs and MSIs.

Annual IT Summit
H.O.P.E. Project DC Annual IT Summit in Washington, D.C.

Nominations are now open to current or new BDPA-DC Members for the election of new officers and committee chairs for BDPA-DC’s FY22/FY23 board.  New BDPA-DC Members may apply for and join as full or student memberships through the Association’s portal at BDPA.org.  Current BDPA-DC Members may renew or update membership profiles for current NBDPA career opporiutntiies, industry news, and local events.

Annual Community Technology Awards with America’s 2019 National High School Computer Coding Competition team from Washington, D.C.

About BDPA

BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, was founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1975. Today, BDPA is an international organization with a remarkably diverse membership of professionals and students in the fields of information and communications technology (ICT), computer science, data science, and related S.T.E.M. fields. Local BDPA Chapters and BDPA Members are actively engaged in serving their respective communities through outreach engagements while charting the future of ICT industries.

BDPA Memphis Chapter with Bryce Ellis, Naim Hakeem, Kareem Dasilva, Judy Lane, Melaati Jayah, Jada Thorium and Mykaila Johnson.

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Association U.S., Canada, and Local Reference Links

BDPA – bdpa.org and BDPA-DC – BDPAdc.org

Youth Tech Programs and High School Coding Competitions – DCHSCC.org

Tablets For Teens – tabletsforteens.org

bdpatoday – bdpatoday.com

PTTV – populartechnology.tv

LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/bdpatoday

Archives – pinterest.com/bdpatoday

Hewlett Packard Enterprise wins $2B HPE GreenLake contract with the National Security Agency

HOUSTON – September 1, 2021 – Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) today announced that it has been awarded a $2B contract, that will be leveraged over a 10 year period, with the National Security Agency (NSA) to deliver HPE’s high performance computing (HPC) technology as a service through the HPE GreenLake platform.

The new collaboration will enable the NSA to harness rapidly growing AI and data needs more efficiently to create insights and other forecasting and analysis with optimal performance. By using HPE’s HPC solutions through the HPE GreenLake platform, which provides fully managed, secure cloud services on-premises, the NSA will benefit from an agile, flexible, and secure platform to meet their growing data management requirements.

  • The National Security Agency is gaining industry-leading HPC solutions to tackle AI needs with an as a service experience Share

Implementing artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities on massive sets of data increasingly requires High Performance Computing (HPC) systems” said Justin Hotard, senior vice president and general manager, HPC and Mission Critical Solutions (MCS) at HPE. “Customers are demanding HPC capabilities on their most data-intensive projects combined with easy, simple, and agile management. By using the HPE GreenLake platform, which delivers secure on-premises solutions as a service, the National Security Agency (NSA) is gaining industry-leading HPC solutions to tackle a range of complex data needs, but with a flexible, as a service experience.” 

Photo credit: National Security Agency


Harnessing data growth with purpose-built HPC and AI solutions

The new service includes a combination of HPE Apollo systems and HPE ProLiant servers, which ingest and process high volumes of data, and support deep learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. As part of the HPE GreenLake service, HPE will build and manage the complete solution that will be hosted at a QTS data center, a hosting facility that delivers secure, compliant data center infrastructure and robust connectivity to support scaling of operations. The new service will go into use starting in 2022.

For more information on HPE GreenLake, please visit: https://www.hpe.com/us/en/greenlake.html

About Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) is the global edge-to-cloud company that helps organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. Built on decades of reimagining the future and innovating to advance the way people live and work, HPE delivers unique, open and intelligent technology solutions delivered as a service – spanning Compute, Storage, Software, Intelligent Edge, High Performance Computing and Mission Critical Solutions – with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, designed to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. For more information, visit: www.hpe.com .

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#BDPACON22 • Visit BDPA.org • corpsales@bdpa.org • fedsales@bdpadc.org

Blacks In Cybersecurity Makes History with Black Badge laden Capture The Flag Competition at DEF CON 29

LAS VEGAS, NV (BPRW) — Blacks in Cybersecurity known as “BIC” seeks to ignite a cultural change in the Black community through their Cybersecurity education and career pipeline initiatives. BIC seeks to educate and operate in a way to expose Cybersecurity as a hobby and outlet that can be experienced in any walk of life, in a casual and no-pressure environment. In reimagining the traditional way in which knowledge is shared and presented, and adopting a philosophy that encourages lifelong learning, skill building and “tinkering” with concepts to gain hands-on understanding, BIC seeks to change the face of what a stereotypical Cybersecurity professional or hobbyist may look like.

Since its conception in 2018, BIC has not only been the nexus for the Black Cybersecurity community in Washington, D.C. Metro area with their events and conference series but has expanded globally with over 40+ chapters referred to as “BIC@Locations” and “BIC@Campus” (University chapters) expanding across the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa. 

Michaela Barnett, Garrison Best and Blacks In Cybersecurity Village Staff at DEF CON 29. Photo courtesy: BIC

On August 8, 2021 Blacks In Cybersecurity was able to make Black History by having the honor and privilege of being the first black owned and operated competition to be present and to present a Black Badge to the winners of their competition. The DEF CON Black Badge is a “powerful talisman” , awarded to those who have emerged unbeaten from the crucible of an elite DEF CON competition. The competition that receives this badge varies from year to year and seeks to highlight the very best in competitors. Those who receive the badge enter DEF CON free of charge for the duration of their natural life. In participating in this honored pastime of the Hacker community, BIC seeks to continue its work in creating space for and uplifting the Black community in Cybersecurity.

— Source and images: Blacks In Cybersecurity and Black PR Wire


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Explore Careers at Northwestern Mutual

Blacks In Technology hosts the definitive conference to inspire, educate, and showcase Black tech excellence… because 3% is not enough

CLEVES, OH—Blacks In Technology (BIT) will be hosting BITCON 2021, a virtual conference, from October 13-15. BITCON will feature a variety of technology disciplines from cryptocurrency to cybersecurity, targeting IT practitioners, technology leaders, startup founders, and anyone interested in pursuing and advancing a career in tech.

Blacks In Technology Foundation

Blacks In Technology recognizes that there is a significant gap between people of African descent and the rest of the tech industry. Approximately 3% of workers at the top 75 technology companies identify as Black and Black founders received approximately 3% of all US venture capital in 2020. BITCON will provide practical tools, resources, innovative workshops, and inspiring discussions to help attendees “stomp the divide”, both individually and collectively. Additionally, BITCON will hosts hackathons, a startup pitch competition with a $10,000 cash prize, a diversity career fair, and provide over $15,000 in giveaways for hundreds of attendees.

The Blacks In Technology Foundation is sponsored by dozens of supporting technology organizations and companies such as Google, Disney, Square, and Palo Alto Networks. BITCON will reflect current technology trends and provide members of the Black community with catalysts to propel their career. The star-studded speaker lineup includes ABC’s Emmy Award winning TV show Shark Tank’s, Daymond John; investor, founder, and managing partner of Backstage Capital, Arlan Hamilton; world-renowned crisis management expert and inspiration for the hit TV show Scandal, Judy Smith; executive advisor and motivational speaker, Dr. Simon T. Bailey, and over 50 of the most influential Black thought leaders in tech. This continues BIT’s tradition of notable participants of past conferences, from the late rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle to presidential candidate and US Senator Amy Klobuchar.

“What’s always excited me most about BITCON is that we pride ourselves on being a true tech conference,” says Founder of Blacks In Technology, Greg Greenlee. “We are not a diversity conference so don’t attend this event expecting us to preach to the choir on issues we face as a marginalized group in this industry.”

The retro wave or synth wave portrait of a young happy smiling african man at studio. High Fashion male model in colorful bright neon lights posing on black background. Art design concept

The Blacks In Technology Foundation is proud to be one of a handful of organizations encouraging raised awareness of the importance of increased Black representation in tech. BIT provides resources that remove barriers to entry for those looking to enter technology. In 2021 the Blacks In Technology Foundation will provide over $1M in scholarships and grants for technical certifications and trainings resources to members representing 48 chapters led 100% by volunteers.  

If you would like more information about Blacks In Technology, the Blacks In Technology Foundation, and BITCON, visit www.bitcon2021.com.

—Source, logo, and photos: Blacks in Technology Foundation


BDPA Welcomes Northwestern Mutual

MILWAUKEE, WIBDPA would like to welcome Northwestern Mutual as a Gold Sponsor! This partnership is an opportunity to work with Northwestern Mutual to discover new insights and to create new opportunities through networking and potential employment. During the 43rd Annual Conference, this partnership will be highlighted in several ways.

BDPA’s Data Science Academy (DSA) and Northwestern Mutual are partnering to provide experiences for educational and career growth through research and lab-based programs for students and professionals.

Message from Northwestern Mutual

Message from Northwestern MutualOur BDPA partnership extends beyond the sponsorship and funding.

It provides opportunities to build relationships with diverse talent, especially students, opening the door for future tech talent to participate in our world class tech internships program and the possibility of a tech career at Northwestern Mutual and beyond.

At the same time, we can support our communities and grow local tech talent through working with the BDPA Milwaukee chapter.

“We’re excited to work with a new group of data and analytics
professionals to deliver impactful learning experiences that attract,
develop, and retain the best talent in the industry.”


KERI MCCONNELL, SENIOR DIRECTOR DATA SCIENCE & ANALYTICS, NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL, & CO-DIRECTOR, NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL DATA SCIENCE INSTITUTE





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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The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center grows rapidly in size and scope

ARMONK, NY—When IBM launched the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center last September, our goal was to collaborate with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in a way that would advance not only quantum information science, but also STEM-based opportunities for these traditionally underrepresented communities. We are proud to report that this initiative in the quantum computing field is off to a fast start, as HBCUs, students, and faculty begin to explore the Center’s vast potential.

Membership has nearly doubled in less than six months to a total of 23 HBCUs. We have created a community of students and faculty, including the start of an undergraduate research program where students are exploring quantum computation with Qiskit, and have contributed to a pre-print on arXiv that investigates the use of machine learning and quantum computing to better understand unknown quantum systems.

Expanding the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center

Today, we’ve announced a slate of new members for the Center, with 10 historically Black colleges and universities joining the Center’s 13 founding institutions. The new schools (in alphabetical order) are:

Distinguished faculty

In addition to this rapid growth, we are honored to have distinguished faculty as members of the Center, including Howard University associate professor of physics Thomas Searles, winner of the inaugural Joseph A. Johnson III Award for Excellence; Serena Eley, an assistant professor of physics at the Colorado School of Mines and head of the Eley Quantum Materials Group; and Anderson Sunda-Meya, an associate professor of physics at Xavier University of Louisiana and recipient of the 2021 American Physical Society Excellence in Physics Education Award.

Professors Eley and Searles have also received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the organization’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The program supports early-career faculty who have the potential to become academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in their department or organization.

Inclusion from the start

The Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines. IBM’s goals are to build a sustainable quantum research and education program by increasing the number of Black students educated in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE), strengthening research efforts of faculty at HBCUs in QISE, and providing opportunities for scholarship, fellowships, and internships for HBCU undergraduate and graduate students.

The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center’s mission is to educate, foster collaboration on joint research, and ultimately create a more diverse quantum-ready workforce for students studying everything from physics and chemistry to computer science and business. The Center’s members collaborate across their respective institutions, and are building regional interactions to strengthen both faculty and student engagement.

Black and Latinx students leave STEM majors at nearly twice the rate of white students, due largely to the lack of a support structure and access to resources as they pursue their academic goals, according to EAB, a Washington-based education research company. We see the need for an inclusive, supportive space where these students and their professors are able to collaborate and explore emerging technologies. This collaboration with HBCUs, which educate 27 percent of African American graduates with STEM degrees, will increase opportunities for faculty and students to identify and launch successful careers in the budding field of quantum computing.

Since IBM first put a quantum computer on the cloud almost five years ago, it has pushed the boundaries of both access and enablement for quantum computation at a global scale. One example is our Qiskit Global Summer School, which delivered an undergraduate-level course on quantum algorithms to a global audience of over 4,000 students in over 100 countries. Another example is our partnership with The Coding School expanding quantum education to high schools by educating thousands of students around the world for a full academic year.

Read more on Qiskit Medium: How Howard University Students Are Hoping to Change the Future of Quantum Computing

We know that early touch points with new technology can help increase the likelihood of capturing interest in the subject and is critical for underrepresented communities. In return, we envision quantum computing benefitting greatly from a diverse community of researchers and industry professionals that can help advance the technology and identify commercial applications.

Looking forward

As the Center continues to develop, we are measuring success on a number of metrics, including student engagement, talent and workforce development, and research capacity. We hope to apply these best practices as we build the quantum workforce, especially at community colleges and undergraduate and minority-serving institutions, which all serve traditionally underrepresented communities in STEM.

Source and photo credits: IBM | February 22, 2021 | Written by: Dr.  Kayla Lee and Benita Zazueta

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Tablets For Teens • www.tabletsforteens.org

Apple launches inaugural Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers

CUPERTINO, CA—As part of Apple’s ongoing commitment to empower the Black community and dismantle barriers to opportunity, today the company is welcoming leaders and their teams from 13 app companies as the inaugural cohort of Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers. In 2019, Apple held its first-ever Entrepreneur Camp, an immersive tech lab for app-driven companies founded and led by developers from underrepresented backgrounds, with a class of women founders and developers. Program participants have gone on to secure major funding rounds, garner numerous awards and accolades, and significantly expand both their teams and app users worldwide. The program is designed to give developers the opportunity to take their existing app experience to the next level by mastering new technical skills, applying a critical lens to the user experience, and more through hands-on technology labs, one-on-one code-level guidance from Apple experts and engineers, and mentorship, inspiration, and insights from top Apple leaders.

These incredible app creators and business leaders embody the entrepreneurial spirit that runs so deep in the Black community.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. In addition, Apple is partnering with Harlem Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York that invests in diverse founders, to offer guidance and mentorship to the participants. This new partnership is part of Apple’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), which builds on the company’s work to advance racial equity in education, the economy, and the criminal justice system. These commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.“ These incredible app creators and business leaders embody the entrepreneurial spirit that runs so deep in the Black community,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, who leads REJI. “Their work already demonstrates the power of coding to build a better world, and we’re honored to support them as they blaze a trail we know so many more will follow.”

Meet the Developers

David Bosun-Arebuwa, B3am app creator.

B3am

David Bosun-Arebuwa created the B3am app to make gym equipment accessible to beginning fitness enthusiasts who can’t afford personal trainers by using the iPhone camera to identify gym equipment and explain proper usage. Originally from Nigeria and now based in Birmingham, UK, Bosun-Arebuwa has found community with other coders through sharing Swift knowledge.

Adam Taylor, Black app developer.

Black

Adam Taylor, the founder of app development company Langston LLC and solo developer behind Black, built the app to facilitate culturally relevant and multifaceted news for Black people, with stories that speak to the community’s shared experience. A self-taught coder, Taylor has already integrated sophisticated technology into the app to provide relevant and personalized content, and is looking forward to learning more about native iOS frameworks and going deeper on his code with Apple engineers.

Culture Genesis co-founders Cedric J. Rogers and Shaun Newsum.

Bar Exam

Culture Genesis is a venture-backed digital studio remixing technology for urban multicultural audiences, co-founded by experienced engineers and media executives Cedric J. Rogers and Shaun Newsum. The Los Angeles-based team behind the hip hop-centered live trivia game show app TriviaMob will spend their time at Camp working on their newest app called Bar Exam, focused on music.

Abdou Sarr, founder of MODU RESEARCH Corporation and the Film3D app.

Film3D 

MODU RESEARCH Corporation founder Abdou Sarr wants to remove barriers to capturing, creating, and sharing immersive media. The 22-year-old Senegalese-Canadian is a frequent speaker at youth conferences to motivate young people to pursue computer science and entrepreneurship. His Film3D app taps Core ML, ARKit, and Metal to let users shoot 3D photos without special equipment.

FormKey app founder Brent Brinkley.

FormKey

FormKey is a MIDI Controller app from Polyhedra LLC focused on helping create music without being overwhelmed by the complexities of theory and composition. Founder Brent Brinkley, who is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, uses shapes to define notes and colors to define octaves, creating a new language that makes reading music quick and easy.

Health Auto Export creator Lybron Sobers.

Health Auto Export

Lybron Sobers, a native of Barbados now living in Malmö, Sweden, created the Health Auto Export app so patients can easily extract and share specific data across healthcare providers in a secure, privacy-protected way. Sobers is passionate about teaching the basics of programming to kids at coding camps, and mentoring young programmers who are just starting their careers.

Hologarden developer Casey Pollock.

Hologarden

An avid gardener and self-taught Swift developer, Near Future Marketing founder Casey Pollock is working on the Hologarden app to help aspiring gardeners flourish using AR and AI. The app will address gardeners’ needs like recording plant growth and managing plant care and health. Pollock also hosts a free meetup called Augmented Reality Today about creating ARKit apps for beginners, and has taught sessions at UC Berkeley and San Jose State.

Hubli creators Mariana Lech, Ailton Vieira, and Rodolfo Diniz.

Hubli

The Hubli app is a remote learning solution born out of the COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges of in-person education, created by five Apple Developer Academy students in Brazil: Ailton Vieira, Gabriel Taques, Maykon Meneghel, Mariana Lech, and Rodolfo Diniz. Currently in beta testing, Hubli uses AI to enrich the learning experience for both students and teachers, and aims to help make online collaboration more productive.

Justice Royale’s Quintin Rodriguez-Harrison.

Justice Royale

Zapling Studios wants to create games enjoyable by veteran and novice gamers alike. Its first game, Justice Royale, uses a proprietary set of gestures, which allows players to focus on gameplay with precise controls for a fast-paced arcade “beat ‘em up” experience. The team is focused on reworking the entire game to include local and online multiplayer capability, in addition to harnessing the power of ARKit to create an immersive experience.

Kickstroid founder David Alston.

Kickstroid

Founder David Alston and his team built Kickstroid to help sneaker enthusiasts discover their favorite shoes with features they couldn’t find in other sneaker apps, and provide a platform to build community among sneakerheads worldwide. In addition to his work on the app, Alston is also head of outreach for Blacks and African Americans in Computing (BAAC) at the University of Illinois, hosting coding events for young Black and Latinx students.

Nailstry co-founder Aurelia Edwards.

Nailstry

Nailstry is the first marketplace exclusively for press-on nails and nail art, connecting indie artists with press-on nail enthusiasts. Created by Aurelia Edwards, Nailstry uses augmented reality to digitally measure and create custom-fit press-on nails while also improving inefficiencies in the creation process. Nailstry’s team empowers makers with market education and tools to grow their businesses, supports minority founders, and gives back through coding programs such as Black Girls Code.

Ashley McKoy, Ositanachi Otugo, and Harold Lomotey.

The Peek: TV Shows and Movies

The Peek: TV Shows and Movies app started as a senior class project for founders and Howard University graduates Ashley McKoy, Harold Lomotey, and Ositanachi Otugo in 2018. The team created this mobile social media platform to share TV and movie recommendations among family and friends, while also seeking to amplify titles from Black creators and actors, as a solution to endless scrolling and a lack of reliable online recommendations for streaming content.

TuneBend creator Matt Garrison.

TuneBend

TuneBend creator Matt Garrison is a noted musician who laid the foundation for the app when he opened his live venue, ShapeShifter Lab, in Brooklyn, New York. The app helps educational organizations and performing artists create, teach, distribute, and sell new and existing music using video and audio clips, especially useful during the pandemic, when in-person performances and teaching have not been possible.

Source and photos: Apple

New Defense Secretary Arrives at Pentagon, Convenes COVID Meeting

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PENTAGON—Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III arrived at the Pentagon today and hit the ground running, greeting the senior staff and then immediately heading into meetings on combating the coronavirus. The Senate confirmed Austin at 11 a.m.; the vote was 93-2. He arrived at the Pentagon around noon and was “administratively sworn in” soon afterward.

Austin chaired a COVID-19 briefing attended by Deputy Secretary David L. Norquist, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, members of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Staff, DOD COVID-19 Coordinator Max Rose, the acting service secretaries, the service military chiefs and combatant commanders. The Senate and the House of Representatives waived the requirement that a defense secretary must have been retired seven years before assuming the position. Austin assured congressional leaders that he fully believes in civilian control of the U.S. military.

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Austin addressed this issue. “I was a general and a soldier, and I’m proud of that,” he said. “But today, I appear before you as a citizen, the son of a postal worker and a homemaker from Thomasville, Georgia, and I’m proud of that, too. If you confirm me, I am prepared to serve now as a civilian, fully acknowledging the importance of this distinction.” Austin, a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., retired from the Army as the commander of U.S. Central Command in 2016.

In some of his first acts, Austin is contacting allies and partners around the world to assure them of America’s security commitments. His first call to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, is proof of the importance Austin places on allies.

Conquering COVID tops the immediate list of missions, but Austin also must configure the department to face China, which he called America’s “pacing threat” in his testimony. He also must consider the actions and strategy of a resurgent Russia. Iran remains a U.S. concern in the Middle East, and U.S. troops are still deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. North Korea is a wild card in the Indo-Pacific.

Threats from violent extremism remain. Although the physical caliphate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been eliminated, remnants of the group are still dangerous, DOD officials have said. Other groups, which share the toxic ideology, exist in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Austin also must keep his eyes on the future, continuing to build a department that has the capabilities needed to deter any foe and, if deterrence fails, to defeat that threat.

Source and photo: Pentagon

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