May 2016: Our best month for diversity in tech

BLUE1647 building logo (1)

I couldn’t sleep after thinking about our productive month we have had in May. Anecdotally, I knew we had our best month ever, but I just didn’t know just how much we crushed it. I’ll preface it by saying BLUE1647 has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and it took  a considerable amount of uphill work before we could finally play offense. And we did. Because our success is deeply linked with our ability to help our communities have unprecedented access and opportunity to a culture of technology development, every once in a while, we can put ourselves on the back. So here it goes:

This excludes daily full-time classes, workshops, and events in Chicago, St. Louis, and Compton, CA.

Compton Adult photos

St. Louis Youth photos Location 1

St. Louis Youth photos Location 2

St. Louis Youth photos Location 3

St. Louis Adult photos Location 1

Full-Time Chicago Public Schools Cohort

BLUE1647 Flickr Channel

 

We had two official visits to the White House in the month of May!

May 1st: Team BLUE1647 were invited to the White House for a summit

May 1st: Community Lead, Rashad Sallee was on the Tech Scene Chicago podcast

May 1st: BLUE members getting ready for an upcoming performance 

May 1st: BLUE announced our summer classes for youth 

May 1st: BLUE held a CoderDojo youth coding bootcamp

May 1st: NSBE Chicago meeting at BLUE

May 1st: BLUE1647’s Code Chicago program held Android development course

May 2nd: Code Abode health-focused web development training

May 3rd: BLUE member Brian Rodriguez held an All Things Web Tech meetup

May 3rd: The root featured BLUE1647 in their Afrofuturism series 

May 3rd: BLUE1647’s 1919 [women in tech] program held our Tech Tea Party. Over 200 in attendance. Here’s the livestream, photos, recap video, selfies,  writeup, another writeup

May 5th: BLUE1647 Roseland Codes program, in Roseland

May 5th: BLUE1647’s Clinton Peabody location pics

May 5th: White House CTO stops by BLUE1647

May 6th: Published San Diego BLUE1647 Code BLUE USA hackathon video, which was seen by Bill Gates

May 7th: BLUE CTO, Kenneth Watkins ran a minecrarft coding camp in Virginia

May 7th: BLUE1647’s Latina Girls Code program held a Mother’s Day event with 25 families. More pics.

May 7th: BLUE1647 member showed us some of her code she was working on at BLUE

May 8th: BLUE held a Chicago Community Trust On The Table roundtable discussion

May 9th: BLUE647 Clinton Peabody published their newsletter

May 9th: Impact Engine held a all-day retreat at BLUE

May 10th: Prentice Butler hosted On the Table roundtable discussion

May 10th: BLUE student starts full-time job in Engineering at UPS

May 11th: BLUE appeared on the Nerdette, WBEZ live podcast

May 11th:  BLUE|1647 listed as a Top Illinois Startup Community & Coworking Space.

May 14th: BLUE member organization, The Chicago Inventors Organization held a patent and trademark workshop with over 100 attendees. Here’s the livestream

May 14th: BLUE1647 was the keynote address at the Patrick Spann Foundation gala

May 14th: BLUE1647 is working on a new product launch with Depaul MBA students

May15th: Python workshop for Black Data Processors Association (full house) 

May 16th: BLUE hosted Illinois State Treasurer Frerichs for a Fireside Chat

May 17th: BLUE hosted Coffee and Conversations meetup

May 18th: BLUE published grades of summer youth applications

May 18th: BLUE member Edward Yu was on Tech Scene Chicago podcast

May 19th: Chicago Ruby Hello World for Hardware meetup. BLUE kits progress

May 19th: BLUE1647 partners with Cambien Networks, SoCore, and Leave No Veteran Behind for South Shore center

May 20th: BLUE announces new 1919 photography cohort

May 22nd: BLUE hosted an Intro to Minecraft coding workshop

May 22nd: BLUE hosted an Intermediate Minecraft coding workshop

May 20th: Roseland Codes Demo Day

May 23rd: Clinton Peabody website sneak peek. 

May 24th: BLUE Wear umbrella sneak peek

May 24th: BLUE Wear previews BLUE backpack

May 24th: BLUE student receives full scholarship in Mechanical Engineering

May 25th: BLUE 10-year old student, graduates from associate degree program

May 26th: Chicago Public Library Training (50 attendees)

May 27th: Blue kits preview

May 27th: Former US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan visits BLUE1647

May 29th: Code and Cocktails meetup

May 29th: BLUE student receives and accepts equity to a search-engine startup

May 21-22nd: BLUE hosted a hackathon with CodeDay Chicago, a 24 hour youth hackathon, with over 85 attendees.

May 27th: BLUE Artist in Residence, Roho Garcia held his Red Tour, pop-up art show

May 27th: BLUE member, Ray Hightower on WGN Radio show

May 27th: Greater Food Depository meeting at BLUE

May 29th: BLUE member launches Tech Month Chicago

May 31st: BLUE represented at the White House for the Nation of Makers roundtable

May 31st: (Workforce.org post) Engaging global thought leaders at ASU GSV Summit. 

May 31st: Chicago Inventor organization Internet of Things Law meetup. Here’s the livestream

May 31st: BLUE1647 affiliate, Chicago Social Change, passed a criminal justice law

 

 

 

 

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

.

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.

.

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

.

Joined these Advisory Boards and Board of Directors 

Executive Council, Ms. Tech

Board of Directors, Accion

Advisory Board, Chicago Inno

.

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.

.

New Initiatives Launched

REEL Illinois, Illinois state Community College Film Competition

Jet Magazine weekly column, Upload

.

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.

.

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.