Black History Month: A Spotlight on Organizations
I didn’t get here by myself. I got involved in organizations that related to my career and aspirations when I could find them. The support, networking and learning I gained was valuable in helping me achieve my goals. The good news is there are many more organizations available today. This week I want to highlight a few organizations that cater specifically to helping African Americans capitalize on opportunities across the career spectrum. I encourage you, no matter your aspiration, to find organizations that can support you on your path.
My husband, Scotty, and I have been supporting the Cypress Mandela Training Center in Oakland, CA for years. The Center partners with construction companies to provide training in both construction skills and life skills. They have a 100% job placement rate for their graduates. The program is free for participants thanks to grants and private donations. We support this organization because not everyone has the tools, skills, or background to provide for themselves and their families. This organization does a fantastic job of providing the intensive training some people need.
Visit Cypress Mandela Training Center: http://www.cypressmandela.org/
The Hidden Genius Project was founded in 2012 by five black male entrepreneurs/technologists who were unnerved by the dramatic juxtaposition between the high unemployment of black male youth and the plethora of career opportunities within the local technology sector.
To address this challenge, the founders established a program to connect young black males with the skills, mentors, and experiences that they need to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists in a 21st century, global economy.
The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities. Congrats to the founders: Jason Young, Tracy Moore, Kilimanjaro Robbs, Isaak Hayes and Kurt Collins.
Visit The Hidden Genius Project: http://www.hiddengeniusproject.org/
I often say it is hard to aspire to what you can’t see. Afro Tech is a terrific forum to “see” a variety of successful examples and role models. Created by Blavity, Afro Tech is the largest Black tech conference in Silicon Valley, growing from 600 attendees just a couple of years ago, to over 2000 last year. It’s a conference where founders and employees of some of the fastest-growing tech startups share the tactics and strategies they use to grow their products and businesses. Kudos to the founders: Morgan DeBaun, Jonathan Jackson, Jeff Nelson and Aaron Samuels.
Visit Afro Tech: https://afrotech.com/
Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) is a national organization that strives to increase the representation of black professionals at executive levels in technology, to impact organizational innovation and growth. This is done by developing and nurturing these dynamic leaders through enrichment of the mind, body and soul. By 2020, ITSMF will graduate 500 professionals through a series of rich, developmental, and career-advancing programs and they do so by being a second family to its members and partners.
- 75% of participants in the Management Academy have been promoted or advanced.
- 85% of participants in the Executive Academy have since been promoted or advanced to larger roles.
Visit ITSMF: http://www.itsmfonline.org/