All Articles Tagged "african american"
Behind The Click: Tamar-Melissa Huggins’ Business Incubator Promotes Women and Minorities in Technology
Welcome back! Ready for another profile in the longest running series on African-American women in tech? Let’s get to it!
Since we’re on the topic of business incubators, this profile will focus on Tamar-Melissa Huggins. I actually don’t know too many African-American women running incubators in the tech space. Do you? Huggins is founder and CEO of Driven Accelerator Group, managing business development initiatives and oversees day-to-day activities for the organization. Here we go….
Occupation: Founder, Creative Visionary Officer, DRIVEN Accelerator Group/CEO of knexxion communication group
Favorite website: StartupNorth.ca
Favorite read: Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
Recent read: Fascinate, Sally Hogshead
2012′s ultimate goal: Successful first year with DRIVEN (execute program, graduate the first class, encourage more women and minorities to think of entrepreneurship as a career)
Quote Governing Your Mission: “Congratulating an entrepreneur for raising money is like congratulating a chef for buying ingredients.” You are expected to achieve certain milestones as an entrepreneur. Don’t look for people to pat you on the back for doing what you are supposed to do. You should get recognition for doing the risky things many people wouldn’t do.
Twitter handle: @DrivenAccel @TamarMelissa @KnexxionPR
LdC: You are our first Canadian profile subject! I think many of our readers would like to know what it was like attending college in Canada and how you chose the subjects you did to study?
TMH: I took creative advertising at Centennial College, with a major in media planning. I knew I wanted to be in advertising when I was in grade 10. College was just like high school to me, just a higher level. I graduated with a 3.8 GPA because I loved what I was doing.
LdC: And from there you started your own PR firm. What led you to jump out on your own?
TMH: It was during the recession in 2009. The ad firm I worked for lost all their major clients. One of my clients was one of them, so I was out of a job. It was a great opportunity for me. It didn’t look like it at the very beginning, but now that I look back, I know God was shaping the way my life would look over the next few years. I took the opportunity to sharpen my skills, and did a few courses at Humber College in their PR program. I learned a lot working with some of the most coveted brands in Canada, namely Nike and H&M. I am a go-getter by nature, so utilizing my skills in a new and creative way was the obvious choice for me.
LdC: What was it like working on the digital strategies for those companies?
TMH: My manager pretty much gave me the reigns on the accounts I worked on. I executed tasks and projects as an assistant, that traditionally only supervisors and managers did. When mobile advertising began to emerge, I led the first mobile campaign for H&M, which was a pretty big deal considering how conservative they were. I will always remember the Nike Airforce 25 campaign. That was my first project, I led the digital component for that campaign which won awards. It was a lot of hard work, that eventually paid off. I gained a lot of transferable skills working on those accounts.
LdC: From there, what led you to start Driven Accelerator Group? What is the vibe like for incubators in Canada?
TMH: I found a lot of my clients (PR) asked a lot of questions outside of marketing. So, I constantly found myself stepping into business development roles, and really enjoying it. I figured it was God’s way of telling me that I need to explore new career options. I tried various career planning options, but nothing settled with me.
I launched DRIVEN as an online training platform for young entrepreneurs. It was a new form of TEDx, but specifically for young entrepreneurs. The plan was to interview high-profile entrepreneurs and share their insight with budding entrepreneurs. The first entrepreneur I interviewed was Al Nelson of EzVIP. I saw him on Shark Tank, and figured he was perfect. The interview was successful, as we had over 75 people watching and commenting. However, I still felt something was missing, and that I didn’t hit the “sweet spot” just yet.
It was very early in the beginning of this year that I became familiar with the accelerator model. There are a few accelerators in the USA that really stood out to me, namely TechStars. So I chose to follow their model, with a few twists of my own. There is an accelerator bubble in Toronto, and very few are providing real value to startup founders. When I started to develop the program, I reached out to several entrepreneurs, some attended incubators/accelerators. The ones that did, always felt there was a disconnect when it came to understanding how to run a real business. So my goal was to provide valuable content, and to ensure our founders learned from proven mentors.
LdC: What’s your main mission for this organization?
TMH: I researched all the existing models in Canada, and realized there was something missing. Research proves that women and minorities consume A LOT of digital media, yet we aren’t the ones creating it. I think there are several reasons for that. The main one being women and people of color do not see enough of themselves in tech, and subconsciously believe they don’t belong.
One of our female startup founders, Theresa Laurico, felt the same way when she attended Lean Startup Machine, a popular tech event in Toronto. She came to the event with an idea, and almost left when she realized she was one of very few women among highly technical men. If it wasn’t for another female mentor who encouraged her to stay, she would have left. Who knows where SociaCal would be today, if it wasn’t for that bit of encouragement.
We accelerate innovative tech startups led by women and people of color. We give the underrepresented market a platform to showcase their talents, grow their business, and receive access to funding. We teach our founders everything from go-to-market strategy, to financial planning in just 12 weeks. We get them ready for everything from seed to series A funding. Investors want to know the companies they invest in are led by intelligent and passionate entrepreneurs. I am happy to say our first cohort is a perfect example of that.
True fashion forward ladies know that style inspiration can come from just about anywhere – other fashionistas, magazines, store mannequins and even YouTube. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a new natural hairstyle or weave, or if you’re looking for a way to revitalize your wardrobe or tips on thrifting, you can find everything you’re looking for and more on YouTube. One visit to a fashionista’s YouTube channel for a style demo often leads to clicks on other videos and inspiration. Before you know it, you’ve stepped your entire style game up a notch in a few hours, and people stop you on the street to compliment you or to ask “where’d you get that?”
Impeccable style is contagious, and a good fashionista makes style accessible. While there are many women doing their thing on YouTube, here are seven of the best hair and fashion vloggers on YouTube (in no particular order). Is your favorite YouTube fashionista on the list? Check out our list to find out and click on the names to follow the women to their YouTube videos. Feel free to recommend your own favorites below.
Tags:african american, African American hair, african american style, african american stylists, African American women, african american women fashion, african american women hair, african american women style, AfricanExport, All Things Fabulous 101, AllThingsFab101, Beautiful Brown Baby Doll, Beauty, black women and hair, black women fashion, black women fashionistas, ButflBrwnBbyDol, Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey, Fashion, fashionista, fashionistas, hair, hairstyles for black women, Lover4Fashion, MsPhillyDiva, Phillydiva, Socialite Sande, SocialiteSande, style, TheSocialiteLife, twitter, youtube, Youtube Channels, youtube videos
Feel like going surfing? Sorry, but that’s for white people. How about some golf instead? Nope sorry, once again that’s too white. You’re going to eat salad for dinner? Nope, that’s white people food. How about fried chicken instead?.. Yes, this sounds kind of ridiculous doesn’t it? Believe it or not, people still have to deal with this sort of negative feedback everyday. As much as we all know that a person’s character should not be defined by their race, we still see it happen time and time again. This friend is an Oreo, that person is whitewashed, that girl thinks she white. We all agreed with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he said that people should be judged on the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. It’s unfair for people to think you are a certain way based on your race. So why do some black people still think it’s okay to do this is a reverse way? In other words, they think that a person’s character should be a certain way based on their race and to be any other way is not being black enough. Either way, they’re both unfair. That’s why it’s time dismiss some of these unfair judgments about black people that some people call “being white.”
As the next Presidential election draws nigh in November, the two most popular candidates, Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have been paving the campaign trail. With election year comes slander, controversy and your occasional celebrity political rants. Politics met entertainment with the latest celebrity rant, coming from Nicki Minaj, in which she rapped in vote of Republican Mitt Romney. This was a shock to fans and celebrity bloggers everywhere, but Nicki is not the only popular African-American face that has shown favor to the GOP. Here is a list of some African-American celebrities who have supported or are affiliated with the Republican party:
LL Cool J
LL Cool J attended the Republican Convention in 2004 and has been a supporter of Republican New York governor George Pataki back in 2002. He has never officially stated his political party.
Tags:50 cent, african american, african-american republicans, black, black republicans, Blair Bedford, Booker T Washington, Colin Powell, condoleeza rice, don king, Dwayne Johnson, election, GOP, Jimmie Walker, Joseph C. Phillips, Karl Malone, Lynn Swann, mitt romney, Obama, politics, Republican, sheryl underwood, t.d. jakes, The Rock, Wilt Chamberlain, Zora Neale Hurston
When Mia Love addresses the Republican National Convention on Tuesday afternoon, it will be the coming-out party for the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Love, a Mormon, is running for the congressional seat in Utah’s 4th District, and is aiming to defeat Jim Matheson, the popular Democratic incumbent. If she wins, she’ll be the first black woman the GOP has ever sent to Congress.
Read more at huffingtonpost.com
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Dr. Benita Stephens, MD is a Board Certified obstetrician and gynecologist with extensive training in bariatric medicine. She has degrees from the University of Georgia in education and exercise and sports science and got her Doctor of Medicine from Morehouse School of Medicine. As a practitioner, Dr. Stephens sees firsthand the devastating effects of being overweight and the detrimental health outcomes associated with obesity. She launched the Ciao Bella Center for Weight Loss in 2012, which provides one-on-one counseling, meals and injections and other treatments. Clients of this startup have gone on to lose an average 20 to 25 pounds while under Dr. Stephens’ care.
MN: Did you always know that you would start your own medical center?
BS: I really did go the traditional route. I work as an ob/gyn delivering babies. After years in the medical industry, seeing people develop illnesses and diseases that were related to their body mass, I realized that people need help with weight loss issues. Every day as a physician I saw women struggling with issues like irregular bleeding and missing cycles all which were due to being overweight. Clients also began contacting me and asking me for help. I opened the Ciao Bella Center for Weight Loss to fill a need that has reached such alarming proportions that it’s become a major national issue.
MN: How much did you initially invest in Ciao Bella Center for Weight Loss?
BS: My start-up resources included my personal funds and bank loans. I started Ciao Bella Center for Weight Loss with about $40,000. I used this money to build out the facility, pay for support staff, vitamins [and other necessities].
MN: What’s involved in a body composition analysis?
BS: Body composition analysis is measured when a client comes in and we place them on a scale. Composition is based on a person’s height, weight and resistance (resistance is measured as a client grips bars along the side of the scale). During the analysis, we can tell how much muscle, water and fat a person has. We use this information to tell how much weight a person can lose over six to 12 weeks. The average weight loss our clients enjoy is between 20 to 25 pounds. And, yes, people do keep the weight off. The biggest thing about losing weight is that people have to change their lifestyle and incorporate healthy foods and exercise into their routine. It’s good to have a healthy body image but it’s important to have a healthy body mass index.
Behind The Click: Wilco Electronic Systems Exec Brigitte Daniel Takes Her Family’s Company Into the Future
Welcome to another installment of “Behind the Click.” I am particularly excited to profile someone I recently had the opportunity to share a panel discussion with at the annual Minority Media Telecommunications Council in Washington, D.C.: Brigitte Daniel, the executive VP of Wilco Electronic Systems, an African-American-owned private cable operator. We recently caught up in Philadelphia for brunch not long after the panel. Here’s a peek at part of our conversation…
Lauren deLisa Coleman: Brigitte, where did you do your undergraduate and graduate work?
Brigitte Daniel: I attended Spelman College in Atlanta [and] Georgetown University Law School in Washington D.C. I loved both of my experiences at these schools. Spelman provided me with a wonderful foundation for womanhood, scholarship and character. Georgetown provided me with the professional skill set to have a career in the fields of law and business.
LdC: Talk about your transition from school into the “family business.”
BD: I am the daughter of one of the last remaining African-American-owned private cable operators in the nation. In 1977, the year of my birth, my father started his company with $4,000, a vocational education, a strong work ethic and a good head for business. He is affectionately known as Philadelphia’s “last man standing” within the cable industry. The significance of a company like Wilco meant little to me when I was younger. At the time, I thought the cable industry was uninteresting, uncreative and simply a way of watching television. It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized the historical importance of being in an industry that determines how people communicate now and for generations to come; the sacrifices made in order to stay in business for over 30 years; and the community significance of legacy building and passing on businesses to subsequent generations.
Thus, I found myself taking up the challenges of the communications industry, just as my father did 33 years before. By the time I was 21, I was vigorously pursuing communications law and the art of business practices within the telecommunications industry. The industry I once found uninteresting and mundane now held my every interest and dramatically sparked my ambitions. The transition from lawyer to communications “business woman” has been a steep learning curve. But I wake up every day inspired that my family supports my leadership and I look forward to continuing our legacy and leveraging this unique family business.
LdC: What’s a typical day at your office?
BD: I am now taking over most of the principal roles that were held by my father. To make sure my head is ready for any day, I usually start out with a good 6 a.m. five-mile run or class at my gym. By 8:30 a.m., I am usually meeting with my senior executives to go over the status of the departments. Throughout the day, I am in meetings.
LdC: As digital converges more and more with cable content delivery, what are the difficulties for Wilco?
BD: When I came to Wilco, the cable world had undergone a new technological revolution. From the proliferation of computers and increased access speeds, to the convergence of images, sounds and texts into various digital platforms now deployed over new fiber optic networks, I realized quickly that our longstanding family business either had to grow or go. I found myself faced with the challenges of transitioning Wilco from a cable company to a technology company.
The difficulty in staying relevant and up to pace with industry technologies is an every day battle. However, I will say that this new Information Age has allowed for lower barriers of entry into markets and opportunities for our company to create new lines of business. With the influx of mobile applications and affordable emerging technologies, many new doors have opened for us to chart new paths in cable, content delivery and broadband access.
I’ve been talking about moving back to California for a while now. Although I’m excited about eventually returning to warmer weather, I stays ambivalent about my decision. Since I moved to Brooklyn five years ago, I immediately was enthralled by black culture and the fact that I can actually enjoy a social life that was filled with like-minded folks. Call me “closed-minded” but I relish around being amongst thinking Black peoples, my peoples; I thrive from seeing so many displays of Black love and Black celebration.
It was clear instantly to me why New York in general represented the birthplace to so many great artists and activists. Besides just boasting a large and generally diverse population, New York has a particularly high Black population. When I talk to native New Yorkers about this, they just shrug. To them, this is normal. For a Cali girl like me, it is an anomaly.
Being from Oakland, people expect that I was all too familiar with a city invested in Black pride and culture but my experience has been very different. Oakland may be known for its Black Panther history, but growing up there, I witnessed a city which had very little options for its Black population and promoted very little pride in its dwindling African-American presence. If anything, it was a challenge being a Black girl in an area that seemed to take a fierce pride in multi-cultural pride (read: being part of an interracial couple or being “exotic” was very much favored).
In my post-college years, I got the chance to spend some time in Southern California. Although I loved Los Angeles for the weather and its landscape, it was another place that lacked in a way for me socially. In terms of going out and partying (hey, that’s what I did a lot of), it seemed that the only two options were to hit up a ghetto party or hit up a party full of Hollywood wanna-bees if I wanted to be around other Black folks.
In New York, it’s been a whole other world. I can easily go to swanky restaurants in Harlem or Brooklyn, and not be the only person of color there. In fact, I am often one of many other Black folks. This may seem trivial to a lot of folks but it’s important to feel like I’m part of a community, and New York does that for me. You may be wondering why, despite my love of the East Coast, would I choose to move back. Well, that reason will be explained in the next “Going Back To Cali” installment. For now, I’m just trying to soak it all in and appreciate all the wonderful outlets that this city provides a curious colored girl like myself.
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The Center for American Progress has released an exhaustive analysis of the state of women of color in the U.S. The picture it paints is a bright one, indicating the great leaps and bounds that women of color have made in this country. However, there is still much work to do across important areas of public life, and personal and professional accomplishment.
According to the report, women of color comprise 36.3 percent of the female population and 18 percent of the entire U.S. population. However, they are underrepresented in government and in the middle and upper economic classes. Moreover, they stand to gain the most from reforms that seek to create greater equality of opportunity.
Here are some of the stats included in the report:
- Women overall make 77 cents for every dollar that a White man makes. However, Black women make only 70 cents for that dollar.
- Women of color make up 33 percent of the female workforce but are more likely to occupy lower-paying jobs, leading to an average of $434,000 in lost wages over a lifetime.
- The median weekly earnings for White women is $703. For Black women, it’s $595. Latinas fare even worse with $518.
- The poverty rate of White women is 10.3 percent. For Black women, it’s 26.6 percent.
- Unemployment among women of color is 13.3 percent versus 7.2 percent for White women.
- Women of color make up 53.2 percent of the medically uninsured.
- There are only 90 women serving in Congress, none of them in the Senate. Of that figure, 24 women of color are serving in the House of Representatives; 13 are African American. There are even fewer women of color at the state levels of government.
To read the report in its entirety, click here.
“You Can See How Black People Evolved From Apes” and Other Racially-Charged Comments That Left Me Speechless
I grew up with an Italian mother and a black father in a predominantly white town where the black population hovered just below 10 – including my sister, my father and I.
So by the time I hit my pre-teen years, I was not surprised when I heard racial slurs like “oreo,” “zebra” and the n-word, and even some I didn’t immediately understand, like “mocha face.” I was not surprised when some people griped I was “too white” and others complained I was “too black.” I was not surprised when my class took field trips into Boston and students shouted “Look at all the n—–s!” when we entered the city.
I had readied myself for these types of comments so that when someone called me a cruel name at lunch, or the boy I liked couldn’t like me back because his parents said so, it hurt a little less. I put my personal struggles in perspective and considered the plight and sacrifice of those who came before me, who endured much more than name-calling and forbidden dates.
But no matter how many racially-charged comments I faced with the most dignity I could muster, some statements — usually from people who were drunk or unaware I was listening — simply left me staring wide-eyed and speechless, simultaneously trying to pick my jaw up off the floor and process the nonsense I just heard.
As we all know, racism is powerful and pervasive, creeping into areas of life we are sure it can’t gain access to. And sometimes, people just say some crazy things:
“You know, looking at black people, you can really see how man evolved from ape.”
There I was, walking nonchalantly up the stairs at a family gathering when I heard a white relative blurt this out. He’d been watching a golf game and thought I was out of earshot, so he allowed his hatred to simmer above the surface, then smiled at me when I’d finally worked up the nerve to enter the room. I was 11 years old, and I was not quite ready to figure out that family is a seemingly protected boundary that racism can easily penetrate.
“Mick Jagger has a n—–’s lips.”
It was a middle school art class, and a girl at the next table over made this comment with an air of casual disgust. To no one in particular, or perhaps, indirectly to me. In a way, I wish she had addressed me specifically rather than ignoring the fact that I was 10 feet away, because by exclaiming this in my presence and pretending I didn’t exist, she made me feel both singled out and invisible. And I spent the rest of the class trying to understand what exactly a “n—–‘s lips” were, and whether or not Mick Jagger had them.