The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has launched the application process for the inaugural year of the Apple HBCU Scholars Program, the largest and most comprehensive scholarship effort in HBCU history. Thirty successful undergraduate student recipients will be awarded sizable scholarships and receive year-long mentorships by Apple employees to include a paid internship at Apple headquarters next summer. The scholarship program is open to students in their final year of study from all of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBI).
“There are “scholarships” and then there are “scholarship programs,” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “Apple has made an historic investment in a scholarship program that will transform the lives of HBCU star students by not only removing the financial barriers to college attendance, but by providing them additional non-financial program elements like Apple mentors and summer internships. These Apple HBCU Scholars will be the future tech industry leaders.”
The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is the first of several programs under the new Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative. In March, Apple and TMCF announced a partnership to identify, develop and harness talent from the nation’s community of HBCU’s. The over $40 million multiyear commitment from Apple is the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs. The multi-year commitment includes funding to build a talent database, internships for high achieving students, exposure to Apple’s campus and work environment, and funding of faculty innovation grants focused on developing successful ways to accelerate HBCU students into the tech field. Through TMCF’s entrepreneurial division, select students who have desires to build businesses using technology will have an opportunity to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and discover new pathways to successful entrepreneurship through developing new ideas and new apps.
“This program is about exposing gifted students from HBCU’s to a career in technology. We’re big believers that innovation will be strongest when talented people from diverse backgrounds are part of the creative process,” said Denise Young Smith, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with TMCF to help us find the next generation of innovators.”
The Scholars Program will provide students with a diverse and valuable set of learning and personal growth opportunities that include: a scholarship up to $25,000 for their senior year of studies; a summer internship at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California; participation in a year-round development program to prepare for post-graduation careers; pairing with an Apple employee mentor during students’ senior year; the opportunity to serve as Ambassadors on their HBCU campuses to build awareness for the Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative; the opportunity to attend TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute in Washington, DC in November 2015; and participation in the Apple HBCU Immersion experience in Cupertino, California during the spring of 2016.
The application process is open now and will close on September 18, 2015. For information on the TMCF Apple Diversity Initiative, visit tmcf.org and follow @TMCF_HBCU on Twitter.
Black Girls Code was created to provide young Black girls with the necessary tools to become proficient in coding and computer science. As many people know, the tech industry lacks diversity in terms of race and gender, but this organization is chipping away at those barriers.
This summer, Black Girls Code (BCG) hosted the Summer of Code Camp that included project-based camps in the Bay Area as well as in Washington D.C., New York City and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
Kimberly Bryant founded the organization in 2011 with the intention to teach and inspire Black girls to get into the tech industry. Since the organization’s inception, Bryant has taught more than 2,000 girls and has even started boys camps with the same mission.
The organization will be hosting a variety of events in August and well into September. A common workshop BGC hosts for girls is the Build a Web Page Day, which teaches young girls from the ages of seven to 17 how to design their own web pages using HTML and CSS. There are also panels on diversity in tech, such as the Women of Color in STEM Career Panel on August 22.
One of the big events that BGC will have is the Robot Expo on September 19 in Memphis and the BGC Documentary Film Screenings and Community Meetups. There is still time to get involved with the planned activities.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will be the latest title added to an all new relaunch of Marvel Comics titles later this fall. This relaunch will feature more diverse titles and characters to make the Marvel Universe more inclusive for readers of all backgrounds.
The creative team will consist of longtime comic artist Amy Reeder and writer Brandon Montclare on writing duty and artist Natacha Bustos. This new title is based off of a 1978 series created by legendary comics writer and artist, Jack Kirby, where a caveman called Moon Boy and a red scaled dinosaur called Devil Dinosaur had strange adventures.
The updated version will star Lunella Lafayette as Moon Girl, a tween super genius who struggles to fit in with people her own age.
When asked about diversity in comics in a Entertainment Weekly profile, artist Natacha Bustos said it’s been disappointing.
“I myself have come up against this dilemma (I’m half Afro-Brazilian and half Chilean besides being Spanish) of finding few or no cultural references, especially in Spain, a country where there is isn’t any community comparable to the African-American community in the states,” she says. “You end up ironing out your differences and you need to work hard on this aspect to be able to continue maturing as a person.”
Lafayette will be an Inhuman with a hidden gene that has yet to be triggered. One element of the plot will be focused on her trying to control her potential problem.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will be out on shelves this fall.
Celebrating the Life of Physicist Herman Russell Branson
(Aug. 14, 1914 – June 07, 1995)
Branson was a physicist and chemist who was responsible for discovering the alpha-helix protein structure in biological systems. He was educated at Virginia State College in 1936 where he earned a bachelor’s in physics. After graduating, Branson went on to the University of Cincinnati to obtain his Ph.D. in physics. He studied under the direction of Boris Padowski in 1939 who was a confidant of Albert Einstein. Branson and Padowski wrote the research paper On the Quantization of Mass in 1940.
Cinemax’s The Knick shows the bloody and brutal history of 19th and early 20th century medicine in this country in graphic fashion. Algernon Edwards, portrayed by Andre Holland, is the first Black doctor at the New York knickerbocker hospital during a time of extreme lynching and post-reconstruction racism. He faces segregation, bureaucracy and an inhumane level of social immobility but he continues to push through.
Now imagine if it was a Black woman making a name for herself in the 1800s as a medical doctor. You’d be accurate if you were imagining Rebecca Lee Crumpler— the first Black physician in America and the first Black woman to earn a medical degree.
Her Early Life
There is very little information about Crumpler (1831-1895). Documents and photos of her life have been lost to time except for a journal she kept.
Crumpler wanted to enter the medical field but had few opportunities. In the 19th century, being a nurse required little education and was a stepping stone for Black people. Before becoming a doctor, she worked as a nurse, starting in 1852. In order to find work, Crumpler moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where she worked for the next eight years.
The Technosapiens are humanoid looking technological aliens. Readers can tell from page one that they are suppose to be the bad guys. The interesting thing about these aliens is that they are original characters for the Cyborg title.
Hamilton the American musical is based on the biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It was conceived in 2013 by composer, rapper, actor and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also plays Alexander Hamilton in the play.
This play combines the historical accounts of founding father and abolitionist Hamilton with modern rap and hip-hop. The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter were recruited to produce the album for the Broadway production.
In an interview with BillBoard, Miranda, Questlove and Black Thought talked about what it was like to work and experience the play.
Questlove talks about the diverse cast and the lack of white actors in the play.
“The casting is a bold decision that works, that totally works. I went on a night when Lorne Michaels was in the audience and [playwright] Tracy Letts was there and I just kept looking at their faces, and they were so energetic and entertained by it. And I was like, ‘OK, so maybe this isn’t as controversial as I thought it would be.’ From a hip-hop head perspective, it was thumbs up. And then I was wondering: What will a history buff say? Who’s going to snark in The New Yorker and say, ‘You know, this is not at all an authentic portrayal’?”
Hamilton is not the first play Questlove composed music for. In fact, he co-composed the play Fela! in 2009. Hamilton is currently on Broadway.
Norman was born June 22, 1935 in Santa Barbara, Calif. This year, the animation pioneer celebrated his 80th birthday. He always had an interest in drawing and art, so for college, he attended the Pasadena based Art Center College of Design. Before getting into the animation industry, he worked with comics.
A team led by Anind Dey at Carnegie Mellon University was awarded half a million dollars to turn the campus into a hot-spot where apps, sensors and user-developed tools could serve as a small part of Google’s Open Web of Things initiative.
In December, Google announced that its idea of the Internet of Things would allow people to connect everywhere. “Imagine a world in which access to networked technology defies the constraints of desktops, laptops or smartphones.”
According to Jeremy Hsu from IEEE.org, “the $500,000 awarded to the university coalition will help create an Internet of Things (IoT) platform called GloTTO that aims to create a complete interoperable system of IoT technologies. The platform would also allow researchers to figure out how to create a secure system that protects personal privacy in a sensor-filled environment.”
As good as this sounds, issues of privacy may be a concern for students on the campus. So the university will have a team working on keeping data safe.
“Dey sees the project as succeeding with massive amounts of cheap sensors to elevate ‘dumb’ objects on campus to sources of information,” reports Heidi Hoopes for Gizmag.com.
These dumb objects could be a trash can or a copying machine.
At the moment, other schools like Cornell, Stanford and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be helping Carnegie Mellon in the early stages of the work.