My 2015 Year In Review

Wow. What a year. A good year, with tons of room for improvement. I’ve learned what it meant to truly be busy, but I also recognize I have a ways to go as far as my discipline and work ethic to achieve the outcomes I’m hoping for. 2015 was filled with ups and downs personally, professionally, and financially, but we made it through, and at a high level. 2015 will be the year I’ll always remember as the year where I had a sneak peek of what’s to come.

I keep saying I’ll get back to blogging on a regular basis, and I’m back. I’ve finally found my purpose and ready to share with whomever is interested in taking it in.

Here’s my 2014 Year in Review

Here’s my 2013 Year in Review

Here’s my 2012 Year in Review

Here’s my 2011 Year in Review

The highlight of my 2015 was being named the Ebony Power 100, which was truly a dream come true. I’m still in shock and had an amazing experience. I’m not one to be amazed by awards, but it was truly an honor and reminded me how much impact we’re having in the lives of others.

instagram-honoree-black-logo

I also directed two documentaries! It was amazing to get back into filmmaking and combine both of my interests: social change films and our work with BLUE1647. I’m looking forward to a 2016 where I can do even more filmmaking. Here’s the first documentary film, and here’s the trailer for the second one.

BLUE1647 did some major work in 2016!

Year in Review BLUE

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival

We pulled off our 4th Annual Film Festival and it keeps getting better and better every year. Despite being stretched thin with BLUE1647, we put together a one of a kind festival. I expect even better things for 2016. We doubled our film submissions we received.

 

Awards

Chicago’s Top 100 Innovators by the Chicago Tribune

American Graduate Champion by WTTW Chicago

Men of the Month

TBT News 25

Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards by South by Southwest

Ebony Magazine Power 100

Small Business Influencer Awards Top 100 Champions for 2015

African-American Influencers Making an Impact on Society by Inc Magazine

TBT News Business Stories of the Year

 

Press We Received

  • 2015
09-28-2015: Microsoft Chicago Blog Post: Englewood Blue: A Movement.
09-09-2015: (DePaul University Newsline) DEPAUL STUDENTS LEARN CODE, BUILD APPS AT BLUE1647. 
08-25-2015: (Built In Chicago & Chicago Innovation) BLUE1647 opens first nationwide tech innovation center at a federally funded housing development in St. Louis in its first national expansion. (Article 1, Article 2). (Audio: Stacy Fowler Manager of Special Projects SLATE on Jobs Plus program). (Video: Collage recap).
08-12-2015: (Atlanta Daily World, syndicated from The Chicago Defender) Blue 1647 launches branch in St. Louis.
08-09-2015: (Chicago Tribune) List’s BLUE1647 Code Chicago Coding Bootcamp.
08-04-2015: (Huffington Post‬ and ‪Ebony Magazine) BLUE1647 included in “8 Companies Making a Dent in the Digital Divide.”
07-24-2015:  Prominent Chicago tech figure coming to St. Louis: TechFlash 7 things, St. Louis Business Journal. 
06-25-2015: Chicago Ruby & WindyCity Rails Founder, Ray Hightower, on his 3D-printing experience at BLUE1647.
05-19-2015: (Video) Fox News covers: New Englewood tech hub hosts ‘Chicago Startup Boot Camp’. Video here.
05-19-2015: City of Chicago Press Release Announcement: Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Startup Boot Camp at BLUE1647 Englewood.
04-12-2015: BLUE1647 mentioned as a top tech space in Chicago: The Future Health Tech Hub Of The US? Maybe Sooner Than You Think.
04-06-2015: Chicago’s Tribune Blue Sky Innovation: BLUE1647’s Emile Cambry bringing coworking, accelerator to Englewood.
03-30-2015: WTTW recognizes BLUE1647 Founder, Emile Cambry, Jr., in Chicago’s American Graduate Champions!
03-20-2015: Chicago TECH & STEM star and Blue 1647 founder Emile Cambry answers “4QUICKQUESTIONS”.
03-09-2015: BLUE1647 Partners with DePaul University on a Coding Academy to Launch Community-Focused Projects.
01-20-2015: Hive Chicago Buzz Recap: Celebration and Activation.

 

 

 

More 2015 Links

2016 will be a big refresh on many things I did on a regular basis. We’ve been busy! Here’s some more links for your review.

BLUE|1647 produced and directed short documentaries.
2015
09-28-2015: Microsoft Chicago Blog Post: Englewood Blue: A Movement.
09-09-2015: (DePaul University Newsline) DEPAUL STUDENTS LEARN CODE, BUILD APPS AT BLUE1647. 
08-25-2015: (Built In Chicago & Chicago Innovation) BLUE1647 opens first nationwide tech innovation center at a federally funded housing development in St. Louis in its first national expansion. (Article 1, Article 2). (Audio: Stacy Fowler Manager of Special Projects SLATE on Jobs Plus program). (Video: Collage recap).
08-12-2015: (Atlanta Daily World, syndicated from The Chicago Defender) Blue 1647 launches branch in St. Louis.
08-09-2015: (Chicago Tribune) List’s BLUE1647 Code Chicago Coding Bootcamp.
08-04-2015: (Huffington Post‬ and ‪Ebony Magazine) BLUE1647 included in “8 Companies Making a Dent in the Digital Divide.”
07-24-2015:  Prominent Chicago tech figure coming to St. Louis: TechFlash 7 things, St. Louis Business Journal. 
06-25-2015: Chicago Ruby & WindyCity Rails Founder, Ray Hightower, on his 3D-printing experience at BLUE1647.
05-19-2015: (Video) Fox News covers: New Englewood tech hub hosts ‘Chicago Startup Boot Camp’. Video here.
05-19-2015: City of Chicago Press Release Announcement: Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Startup Boot Camp at BLUE1647 Englewood.
04-12-2015: BLUE1647 mentioned as a top tech space in Chicago: The Future Health Tech Hub Of The US? Maybe Sooner Than You Think.
04-06-2015: Chicago’s Tribune Blue Sky Innovation: BLUE1647’s Emile Cambry bringing coworking, accelerator to Englewood.
03-30-2015: WTTW recognizes BLUE1647 Founder, Emile Cambry, Jr., in Chicago’s American Graduate Champions!
03-20-2015: Chicago TECH & STEM star and Blue 1647 founder Emile Cambry answers “4QUICKQUESTIONS”.
03-09-2015: BLUE1647 Partners with DePaul University on a Coding Academy to Launch Community-Focused Projects.
01-20-2015: Hive Chicago Buzz Recap: Celebration and Activation.

Our first BLUE1647 documentary!

I’ve finally been able to combine my love of technology education with filmmaking. This has been several years in the making, but one of many films we’ll be producing, and I’ll be directing, to showcase the stories of our programs and services, and not just focus on BLUE1647 as an entity, but larger relatable issues in community economic development and grassroots organizing through tech.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it together!

Updates

It’s been an EXTREMELY busy 2015, and I have not neglected my blog. In fact, I’ll be picking it back up and updating more information. Here’s some links about what we’ve been working on for 2015!

07-24-2015:  Prominent Chicago tech figure coming to St. Louis: TechFlash 7 things, St. Louis Business Journal. 
06-25-2015: Chicago Ruby & WindyCity Rails Founder, Ray Hightower, on his 3D-printing experience at BLUE1647.
05-19-2015: City of Chicago Press Release Announcement: Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Startup Boot Camp at BLUE1647 Englewood.
04-12-2015: BLUE1647 mentioned as a top tech space in Chicago: The Future Health Tech Hub Of The US? Maybe Sooner Than You Think.
04-06-2015: Chicago’s Tribune Blue Sky Innovation: BLUE1647’s Emile Cambry bringing coworking, accelerator to Englewood.
03-30-2015: WTTW recognizes BLUE1647 Founder, Emile Cambry, Jr., in Chicago’s American Graduate Champions!
03-20-2015: Chicago TECH & STEM star and Blue 1647 founder Emile Cambry answers “4QUICKQUESTIONS”.
03-09-2015: BLUE1647 Partners with DePaul University on a Coding Academy to Launch Community-Focused Projects.
01-20-2015: Hive Chicago Buzz Recap: Celebration and Activation.

My 2014 Year In Review

I publish these Year in Review posts, as an opportunity for me to look back and see all that I’ve been fortunate enough to accomplish. Building something is tough, and when it gets really tough, you have to find “sunny days” whenever you can to help you move forward. I’m not sure if 2014 was an inflection point, but it certainly was a year I’ll never forget. In 2015, I’m going to have to double-down my efforts to maintain the momentum. 2014 was also filled with a great deal of failures and missed opportunities, almost too many to name : ) Special thanks to my teammates who have made this possible. We worked hard in 2014, harder than I ever thought I could.

Here’s my 2013 Year in Review

Here’s my 2012 Year in Review

Here’s my 2011 Year in Review

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Brief Recap of 2014

BLUE1647

We really made some moves this year with BLUE1647. We did the impossible. We created a sustainable organization that can grow and scale. We went from one burgeoning location to almost six planned for 2015. I can’t wait to see what happens and where we go with this.

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival

We pulled off our 3rd Annual Film Festival and it keeps getting better and better every year. Despite being stretched thin with BLUE1647, we put together a one of a kind festival. I expect even better things for 2015. We doubled our film submissions we received.

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Awards

Innovation Award, awarded by the Chicago Inventors Organization

Innovator Award, awarded by the Chicago Urban League

16 Most Powerful Men on the South Side of Chicago

Most Influential African Americans of Chicago, awarded by Chicago Peoples Voice,

40 Game Changers under the Age of 40, awarded by WVON, Verizon, and Ariel Mutual Funds

Heroes of Chicago, awarded by GoodCity Chicago

Circle of Centaurs, awarded by Remy Martin

Crains Tech 50, awarded by Crains Chicago Business

Impact Award, awarded by the Social Enterprise Alliance

Inspiring Chicagoans, awarded by Connect. Inspire. Grow

Humanitarian Award for Technical Arts, by Fashion and Arts Humanity Fete

Leadership Award, awarded by STARS Academy Engineering School

Certificate of Appreciation, awarded by the Haitian American Professional Network

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Joined these Advisory Boards and Board of Directors 

Executive Council, Ms. Tech

Board of Directors, Accion

Advisory Board, Chicago Inno

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Press I/We Received

12-17-2014: BLUE1647 announced a partnership with Rainbow PUSH aimed at increasing diversity in tech.
12-12-2014: Chicago Innovation – Chicago’s BLUE1647 Expands to Increase Tech Diversity In St. Louis.
12-05-2014: Lextech shares their Code Day Chicago experience at BLUE1647. 
11-04-2014: Illinois Technology Partnership blog post on how BLUE1647 reflects diversity.
10-10-2014: Online literary media journal Slag Glass City featuring BLUE1647.
09-25-2014: Illinois Technology Partnership post mentioning BLUE1647 in “Illinois Must Prioritize Human Capital”.
09-17-2014: BLUE1647 CEO, Emile Cambry Jr, on WBEZ: Englewood Tech Feature.
09-16-2014: The New Face of Human Capital: An Interview with Emile Cambry Jr. of BLUE1647
08-29-2014: New MAADD/Blue1647 partnership brings two new youth job programs! Bringing new employment opportunities and detouring youth away from urban crime.
03-27-2014: Chicago Now blog post: Spaces For The Common Good. 
03-12-2014: BLUE1647 founder, Emile Cambry, Jr. speaking on Chicago tech ecosystems for WBEZ 91.5.  
02-07-2014: BLUE tenant member organization, The Chicago Inventors Organization, on Harry Porterfield’s “People You Should Know” on CBS2.

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New Initiatives Launched

REEL Illinois, Illinois state Community College Film Competition

Jet Magazine weekly column, Upload

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Amazing Events We Hosted

12-10-2014: “Redistricting reform and Latino political power in Illinois” panel, with Latino Policy Forum and Change Illin

11-08-09-2014: The only 2014 venue host for CodeDay Chicago, a national Hackathon with 31 cities nationwide, for high school & college students.

10-23-24-2014: The 2nd Annual KaBOOM.org Playful City USA Leaders Summit brought together select Playful City USA teams that are at the vanguard of growing the playability movement.

09-13-2014: The Internship Accelerator Demo Day, sponsored by the State of Illinois, was the accelerated 6-week culmination of immersive learning, teamwork, and over 150 hours of coding for 90 students.

08-23-24-2014: Financial Empowerment Hackathon of the Treasurer’s Office of the City of Chicago. (30-50 developers, participants, local and national judges in tech, non-profit and government worlds).

07-27-2014: Groupon Chicago / Groupon Grassroots Hackathon: (60-75 Groupon Engineers, and student attendees): This full-day Hackathon (programming competition) involved participants working on a Divvy app (Bike Sharing) data challenge.

06-27-2014: UNETWORK’S emerge/NEXT mini-Hackathon: (185-200 attendees) UNETWORK has teamed up with SCION, Toyota On Western, Canva.com and BLUE|1647 to present emerge/NEXT designed for ambitious and inquisitive students

02-16-2014: Data Write-A-Thon organized by Trina Chiasson & Dyanna Gregory and sponsored by the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

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Speaking Engagements

I had an opportunity to present/speak at over 37 events and panel discussions in 2014.

Chicago Faith-Based Community and Tech Community Come Together to Use Technology to Fight Poverty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            

August 11, 2014

Contact: Melia Carter –      708-224-1900

Emile Cambry – 773-882-2936

Chicago Faith-Based Community and Tech Community Come Together to Use Technology to Fight Poverty

 Chicago, IL The Ministerial Alliance Against the Digital Divide (MAADD) and BLUE 1647 announced a revolutionary partnership that will bring together the Chicago tech community and the faith-based community to develop programs that will focus on Internet access and adoption, tech education and workforce development. These programs are designed to promote technology and 21st century skills in low income and minority communities across the city.

“What we are doing here is ground breaking,” said Emile Cambry, Founder and Managing Director of BLUE 1647. “Never before have the tech communities and faith-based communities come together in such a way to promote technological solutions that can help solve problems that many low income and minority communities struggle with. We are looking to promote solutions through the use of technology to lower the unemployment rate, crime rate and drop-out rate while providing people with useful skills to build a better future.”

 Recently, MAADD released a policy paper outlining how technology can be used to provide solutions to many of the societal problems that have created generational poverty in low income and minority communities. This partnership is a first step to implementing these recommendations.

“This partnership starts the beginning of an aggressive effort to promote technology as the means for our nation to win the War on Poverty,” said Reverend Roosevelt Watkins, National President of MAADD. “By providing people with Internet access and skills training for the jobs of tomorrow, we can bring opportunity to those in need.   But for us to fully utilize technology as a means to end poverty, it is critical that our nation transitions the historical analog telephone network to an all-digital IP-based broadband network. This will put opportunity within reach of people living in poverty by allowing continued broadband investment to flow into these neighborhoods.”

MAADD and BLUE 1647 have developed two new programs that will launch this partnership:

Tech Trybe – Tech Trybe is a “Geek Squad for the community”. The program is set up as a social enterprise where students and veterans learn to refurbish used devices, such as computers, and resell to the community. Proceeds from the sales will provide revenue for students to continue their education. Through this service, Tech Trybe will provide on-job technical training for BLUE 1647 trainees and provide low cost computers to the local community. Partner churches will be stationed on the south side and west side of the city to provide community members with locations to donate used technology and purchase low-cost, refurbished devices.

Community Hackathon – From October 17th to October 19th MAADD and BLUE 1647 will be hosting a community hackathon. The hackathon will be designed around the community issues identified in MAADD’s policy paper that contribute to poverty and economic inequality – Crime, Education, Healthcare, Jobs and Economic Development. Community organizations and government agencies will be asked to sponsor specific problems in these categories that the development of an application might be able to solve. Teams of participating coders will compete for prizes for the development of “best app” in each category. Winning apps will be promoted to be used by participating organizations and government agencies.

A copy of MAADD’s policy paper can be viewed at http://www.maadd.org/maadd-policy-perspective/.

ABOUT MAADD:

The Ministerial Alliance Against the Digital Divide (MAADD) is a 220,000+ member, next-generation civil rights organization led by ministers devoted to bridging the Digital Divide and promoting economic and individual empowerment in low income and minority communities across the country.

ABOUT BLUE 1647:

BLUE 1647 is an entrepreneurship and technology innovation center focused on education, workforce development and economic development in technology and 21st century skills.

Public-Private Partnership to Train Women, Minorities for Technology Jobs

CreatingILTalentPressConference

CHICAGO; May 12, 2014—State officials today announced the start of a program to train women and minorities for jobs in high-demand technology fields. Called Creating IL Talent, the program will offer hands-on training in web and mobile app development and will make its graduates ready for immediate employment.

Creating IL Talent represents an innovative partnership between the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), software developer GeneXus USA, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago and innovation hub Blue 1647. Students will be trained using GeneXus software, will attend career readiness workshops and receive job placement assistance.

“Our technology companies have become a growth leader in the Illinois economy and a source of new ideas,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “The state is happy to support a program that encourages diversity in this important base of jobs.”

The program’s pilot course began Saturday, May 10 and is designed for women aged 18 and over who wish to begin or advance a career in web and mobile applications. Subsequent classes are planned for minorities of either gender. Applicants should be at least 18, have a high school diploma or the equivalent and an interest in software development.

“Developing digital diversity is crucial to ensuring that Chicago communities thrive,” said Dorri McWhorter, chief executive officer of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. “The YWCA is proud to be a partner in the launch of this very important program.”

Creating IL Talent is free to students. Participating organizations are donating their services and DCEO is providing $10,000 to cover marketing costs. Graduates will receive a free one-year Professional GeneXus License, valued at $4,500.

Enrollment is handled by the YWCA. Classes and workshops will be held at Blue 1647, 1647 S. Blue Island Ave. in Chicago.

“The technology sector desperately needs diversity,” said Veronica Buitron, chief technology officer and co-owner of GeneXus USA. “So we’re creating a more diverse talent pool by providing equal access to technical tools and training.”

The program consists of 52 hours of hands-on technical education, 18 hours of optional career-readiness support and a two-hour final exam. Technical education sessions will take place Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Chicago is full of talent that is just waiting to be nourished and cultivated,” said Emile Cambry Jr., chief excecutive officer of Blue 1647. “We are excited to play such a pivotal role in developing digital innovators and entrepreneurs with Creating IL Talent.”

Interested participants or supporters should visit www.creatingILtalent.org.