Tag Archives: students

New Initiative Sponsors 100 HBCU Students to Attend SXSW Tech Conference

In a push to get more Black Americans involved in the world of tech, a slew of organizations have teamed up with South by Southwest Conventions and Festivals to help more than 100 African-American students attend the bustling interactive, film and music festival in Austin, Texas, this year.

Thanks to the new HBCU@SXSW initiative, 100 students from historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, were granted the opportunity to take part in one of the largest tech industry events in the country. Last year, the interactive festival attracted over 72,000 of the nation’s brightest thought leaders, investors, future partners and influencers.

While there are millions of African-Americans across the nation who are both interested in and qualified to work in the world of STEM, Blacks and other nonwhite groups remain largely underrepresented in the tech industry. Industry giants like Google, Microsoft and Facebook have taken heat in recent years over their failure to hire a workforce that’s as diverse as its consumer base. Just last year, Google’s very first diversity report showed that 30 percent of its staff was female and a mere 2 percent of its employees were Black.

HBCU@SXSW organizer Rodney Sampson saw the need for increased diversity in the tech world and decided to do something about it by sponsoring the next generation of engineers to mix and mingle with top-tier tech leaders at SXSW 2017. The inventive program was able to fund just 50 students in its first year, but more than 440 went through the onerous application process to be considered for the program this year, USA Today reported.

“We picked the students who wanted to solve the biggest problems using technology and had some pretty good ideas about it,” said Sampson, an Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur. “We’ve really kind of emancipated SXSW to a degree.”

Many of the program’s students were hand-picked from top-notch HBCUs like Morehouse College in Atlanta and D.C.’s Howard University, according to USA Today. Budding engineers also were selected from well-known institutions including New York’s Medgar Evers College, Tuskegee University and Kennesaw State University.

Leading tech companies like Google, Mail Chimp, Snapchat and Apple, among others, soon took notice of HBCU@SXSW and began funding the initiative. Currently, over 30 companies support the pro-diversity program, each putting up the estimated $3,000 it takes to send just one student to the annual festival. HBCU@SXSW hopes to expand its program in the coming years to send as many as 500 budding Black engineers to the popular event.

“Diversity grows out of the soil of inclusion,” said Cheryl Wade, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Booz Allen Hamilton, which also supports the program. “It starts with making the hires and finding the talent, but there is work to be done on the side of the companies and organizations to be sure they’re building a culture where it creates an environment that people can stick, stay and thrive.”

Rodney Sampson has not responded to requests for comment.

By Tanasia Kenney/AtlantaBlackStar

Posted by The NON-Conformist

What Can Hillary Clinton Or Bernie Sanders Do To Save The Nation’s HBCU’s?

Image: Black America Web.com

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, has promised to revitalize historically black colleges if she is elected to the White House.

“We’re going to work closely with (HBCUs) … because they serve some of America’s brightest students, who need the most support and too often have gotten the least of it,” Clinton wrote in a position paper.

Clinton’s plan for financing education includes a $25 billion fund to support private nonprofit schools that serve low and middle-income students, which includes HBCUs.

According to a September 2014 policy paper from the University of Pennsylvania, about 28,000 HBCU students were unable to cover their tuition costs.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) held a packed rally at Morehouse College in Atlanta last month that 5,000 people attended. Sanders is trying hard to court Black voters. He knows Clinton has broad support in the African-American community but he believes he can galvanize young African-Americans and challenge Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

More from Black America Web

Posted by The NON-Conformist

 

3 Muslim Students Murdered in North Carolina

Posted by Libergirl

TIME

Police charged a North Carolina man Wednesday with the murderof three Muslim students, but any motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately clear.

The shooting occurred about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, when police responded to gunfire and found the three victims dead in their apartment in Chapel Hill. All three were shot in the head, WRAL reports. The suspect Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, described himself online as an “anti-theist,” according to a local ABC affiliate. Police said he turned himself in and has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

The victims were identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Abu-Salha’s sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Barakat was a second-year dental student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry. He was an advocate for global dental health and planned to travel to Turkey this summer to treat…

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Teacher told class she’d kill all black people if given 10 days to live: student’s mom

Image: Raw Story

A North Carolina teacher is under investigation for racist remarks students said she made in class.

Cynthia Ramsey, who teaches math at Camden County High School, was speaking to a student eating lunch in the classroom when she discussed an item on her “bucket list,” the student’s mother said.

“She conveyed to me that Mrs. Ramsey had indicated that if she only had 10 days to live that she would kill all black people,” mother Kimberly Ashcraft told WAVY-TV.

Ashcraft said other students were nearby when Ramsey made the comment.

“I was completely shocked,” Ashcraft said. “I asked her again, ‘Are you sure that was what you heard?’ I could not have imagined a teacher saying that.”

The sheriff told the TV station that other students confirmed the details, and Ramsey was suspended without pay.

More including video from the Raw Story

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Colorado Students Organize Walkout to Protest History Curriculum Changes

Posted by the NON-Conformist

Christians have grabbed ‘theocratic control over public schools’ in Louisiana, critic says

Yesterday, the Louisiana Senate Education Committee upheld a controversial law that allows science teachers to bring “supplemental science education materials” into the classroom.

The Committee voted 3-1 to uphold the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) — which critics contend allows teachers to introduce creationist literature into science classrooms — on the grounds that no proof that teachers were importing religious-oriented material into the public school could be found.

The LSEA, which was passed in 2008 with the support of Governor Bobby Jindal and prominent state conservatives, allows teachers to use “supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials” so long as they “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.” Gene Mills, president of the Christian Louisiana Family Forum, called it “a reasonable academic freedom policy, one that has become a model for others.”

More from the Raw Story

Posted by The NON-Conformist

South Korea ferry: President condemns crew actions

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has condemned the conduct of some of the crew of the ferry that sank last week, calling it “akin to murder”.

Ms Park said that those to blame would have to take “criminal and civil” responsibility for their actions.  Divers are continuing to recover bodies from the ferry, as they gain access to more of the submerged hull. The death toll now stands at 64, with 238 people still missing, most of them students from a school near Seoul.Bodies are being brought two or three at a time back to Jindo, a southern island close to where the ferry sank.

 

Rescue workers carry the bodies of passengers who were on the capsized Sewol passenger ship, which sank in the sea off Jindo, at a port where family members of missing passengers have gathered, in Jindo on 21 April 2014

Image: Reuters

Ms Park, whose government has faced criticism over its initial response to the disaster, told aides that the actions of the captain and some of the crew “were utterly incomprehensible, unacceptable and tantamount to murder”, the presidential office said.

“The captain did not comply with passenger evacuation orders from the vessel traffic service… and escaped ahead of others while telling passengers to keep their seats. This is something that is never imaginable legally or ethically,” she said.

More from BBC News

Posted by Libergirl