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Twin Cities celebrate tech and science experts of tomorrow

By Raymond Jackson

Contributing Writer


On Friday, January 3, a group of young intellectuals brought in the 2014 new year with the Ninth Annual Twin Cities Chapter Awards Ceremony for youth from grade school, high school and college. This event was held to recognize their High School Technology Program achievements. BDPA participants meet on Saturdays throughout the year, and this annual event recognizes the youth for completing the program. This year’s theme, Diverse Opportunities in the Age of Convergence, was presented by Daniel C. Brown, director of productivity through technology initiative for Xcel Energy. Brown also delivered the keynote address. Continue Reading →

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Xcel Energy Foundation awards education grant to BDPA youth tech programs


On behalf of the Xcel Energy Foundation, Marsha Connor, communications consultant-web, Xcel Energy, recently presented a $5,000 educational grant check from the Xcel Energy Foundation to the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) Twin Cities Chapter to help BDPA’s youth technology programs.

Accepting the check was Dorothy Richburg, vice president of strategy and planning for the BDPA Twin Cities Chapter and president of Keystone Computers, Joseph Richburg, vice president of finance, BDPA, and Cushmeer Haines, president, BDPA Twin Cities. BDPA programs focus on education designed to spark student involvement in the Professional Development, High School Computer Competition, and Mentoring programs that aid in the personal and professional development of high school students. The high school students learned web programming, digital technology, and recently returned from participating in the national high school computer programming competition held in Washington, D.C.

The BDPA Twin Cities chapter typically partners with local businesses such as Xcel Energy. This partnership provides programs that increase the technical capabilities of BDPA’s membership and the local community. Xcel Energy volunteers include Connor, Lacy Lee Johnson and Jeandre Williams, Business Systems. Connor, along with Johnson and Williams, has represented Xcel Energy on the BDPA Marketing committee. Continue Reading →

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Black IT pros give back



News Analysis

By Jerry Freeman

MSR Senior Editor



Lots of people talk about “giving back,” “reaching back,” “paying it forward,” all expressions of how important it is that those who have been fortunate return the favor to others. That principle is alive and well at the local chapter of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), which is showing the rest of the Twin Cities what it really means to extend a helping hand to the next generation. BDPA has been quietly and steadily doing just that for the past eight years. An eighth annual award ceremony, held January 4 at the Downtown Radisson, was an opportunity for BDPA staff and volunteers to show off the fruits of their 2012 labors: a new cadre of students who, thanks to the program, have come closer to entering professional careers in the field of information technology. Most of us with a few years under our belts remember the so-called “nerds” of our high school days with plastic pocket protectors lined with multicolored pens who wore slide rules (now very obsolete) holstered on their belts and made the rest of us look bad on math and science tests. Continue Reading →

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MN Black Chamber of Commerce honors the best in Black business


The Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) hosted its Fourth Annual UMOJA Awards & Benefit Saturday, December 3, at the Metropolitan Club in Target Field. Despite a persistent snowstorm, hundreds came out to celebrate the accomplishments of the year, acknowledge outstanding entrepreneurs, and encourage college students to continue on their path to graduation. MBCC launched its new College Scholars Program to encourage mentorship of college students and ensure they not only enter college but have the support necessary to complete. Keynote speaker Ryan Mack, CNN financial expert, gave a rousing speech on the importance of remaining humble while giving back and empowering others. Led by Phillip Miner who served as master of ceremonies for the evening, the affair was spotlighted by a live and silent auction, music by C-Sharp, and a traditional African welcome featuring live drumming. Continue Reading →

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