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how will you spend this holiday weekend? will you be engaged in voracious commercial exploits (shopping)? chomping on chocolate covered peanut butter bunnies? playing hide and go seek with multi-colored eggs? or… discovering truth through a surrendered life?


April 10.2009 at 7:02 am Leave a comment

It Speaks For Itself


April 6.2009 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

Dear Executives Feigning Employee Welfare Concerns: Take a Hike

an associated press article posted on yahoo! covering responses to a recent tobacco tax increase quotes jeff borysiewicz, vice president of cigar rights of america and president of corona cigar as saying:

“Kids aren’t addicted to handmade cigars… We’re an affordable hobby. We’re not part of the problem with children.”

certainly, that is an interesting statement for someone who claims to be concerned for the welfare of employees (i wonder if his employed parents would agree with him?). it shows some audacity when companies imply they are not part of a problem or imply they may be “forced” to relocate operations outside of the u.s. to deflect increasing costs (see reference to  Enrique “Kiki” Berger in the same article).  i hardly believe  they need convincing to do so. keeping costs down, while maximizing profits is exactly why they are in business. tax increase or no, if the bottom line will be improved by moving outside of u.s. borders, few will pass up exploring the opportunity.

employee welfare always seems to miraculously surface when a company faces profit reduction concerns. executives that use it as an excuse when it seems to suit them should drop the social concern facade and be frank about their positions. perhaps borysiewicz should make it plain and ask for a bailout… or ask his industry colleagues to subsidize cost increases with their bonuses.

April 1.2009 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

Anita Who? Happy Ada Lovelace Day!


as part of a 1900+ person pledge to blog about a woman in technology honoring ada lovelace day, i have to put out the name of one, anita brown. it was a toss up as we could only pledge to blog about one person or i would certainly have included red burns in the mix (red, if you are reading this:  i am very excited about working under your guidance at ITP. you’ll get my post next year!).

brown founded one of the earliest (if not first) online resources, the now defunct black geeks online, to address digital divide issues, particularly  for african americans. she was an avid advocate to close the digital divide in the u.s.- before it was popular and after the topic seemed to fall to the wayside in the u.s. i met ms. brown at columbia university several years ago. i was inspired by her knowledge and passion for the subject. i am still surprised  at how little i hear of her in conversations about early web pioneers who didn’t limit their aspirations to financial gain. i could hardly find news of her passing (she was 63) , save for an obituary in the washington post nearly three years ago.

like too many civic-minded entrepreneurs, brown seemed to run out of steam just as digital divide concerns were beginning to become of interest to the mainstream again. i am constantly reminded of lesser known talented people who could truly stand to benefit from the kind of support that will provide lasting energy to overcome fatigue. entrepreneurship can be a lonely experience. being focused on more than the bottom line can take a toll on more than the psyche. i often wonder what it might have been like if ms. brown were alive to experience the wave of socially-focused entrepreneurs and initiatives that support them including echoing green, ashoka and the school for social entrepreneurs

it’s easy to mistake her name for others: anita baker, anita bryant, anita hill (yes, i went there)-  but her legacy remains. there are those who know and value her work, endeavoring to carry the torch for digital literacy and information for all. i count myself as one. three cheers for passion, ideas and inspiring people.


learn more about the pledge here:

March 24.2009 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

Prayer in the Square 2008 at Times Square in NYC

Prayer in the Square 2008

Prayer in the Square 2008

**update September 7, 2008** Prayer in the Square was awesome… literally. thousands came together at times square (approximately 20,000 people) and at city hall (around 30,000 people), in addition to those that tuned in by radio and live web stream around the world. you can view the 2008 gathering here.** next year’s gathering is scheduled for September 13, 2009.

Prayer in the Square 2008 is taking place in the infamous bright lights, big city zone (aka, “the block that disney bought”) on Sunday, September 7  from 3 pm to 4 pm. over 200 churches and thousands of individuals are expected to gather in the square to pray for the city and nation. it will be an encouraging and uplifting experience. come on down at 3 pm or head over to the Times Square Church at 1 pm for an early service and walk down with everyone. it should be a sight to behold. check out the proclamation here.

September 6.2008 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

It’s My Money and I Can Buy If I Want To (Or Not)

it seems telling that some of the richest people in the world give away millions, but not necessarily billions of their wealth… it’s almost like they are hoarding money for some inevitable doom… like an american recession that will prove worse than believed by many, if not most.

“This is not a field of specialty for me, but my general feeling is that the recession will be longer and deeper than most people think.”

that’s a quote from one of the most respected richie rich club members, warren buffett, in a reuters interview on his take on the american economic recession. a lot of folks with less financial resources than buffett have been wagging their fingers at the situation, but there’s something more potent when a man that has a net worth greater than the equivalent sum of giving every person on the planet $1 publicly expresses concern.

does anyone know if our current president reads reuters? perhaps he could get some tips on creating a real economic stimulus plan; one that does not encourage us to spend whatever cash we get from tax rebate checks (as if that will really help). or he could get some tips from buffett over a game of bridge. oh wait– he [president bush] did graduate from the same b-school as those enron dudes. maybe he’s using their accounting methodology. i’ll have to check my notes.

April 28.2008 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

The Unusual Suspects

i love unconferences because i usually run into cool folks doing interesting things quietly on and off of the radar. i was not disappointed this weekend when i attended the second day of podcampnyc (april 25 and april 26) at polytechnic university in brooklyn, nyc.

i enjoyed john herman’s presentation on using multi-media in school. the most interesting part of the lecture centered around challenges faced when attempting to integrate popular, feature-rich web applications in the classroom; often due to “i don’t get it” attitudes by administrations in youth-serving entities including public schools and libraries.

perhaps my favorite presentation was the very last session i attended. hip hop association presented a podcast demo using us, the audience, as the live recording guinea pigs (in a good way). it seemed most people were familiar with how to create a podcast, but it was a fun activity.

personally speaking, the most interesting portions of dialog came after the “official” recording. for instance, we all noted the unusually large presence of black, tech-savvy entrepreneurs, connectors and activists in attendance (at least for the session), which too often seems lacking in respectable numbers at similar conferences. post-dialog interaction touched upon the one laptop per child initiative, open source, equity investing in black-owned enterprise, social enterprise, community development and incubation. of course, given the sean bell-shooting verdict had been released the previous day, there were discussions around viable solutions in addressing community concerns through the resources we already provide or could be created.

a very unassuming, humble and baby-faced bill cammack recorded the session which is available here. thanks bill!

April 27.2008 at 2:27 pm 2 comments

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