In the spirit of my 2011 and 2012 Year in Review, I felt it was necessary to continue the tradition. My blog has emerged from my analysis of technology and entrepreneurship trends to more of a blog about what I’m passionate about and where I’m going. It only seems fitting to celebrate the wins, in hopes that we can continue the momentum. We have a considerable amount of work to do, to actualize our dreams. It’s amazing how many of the opportunities that were birthed in 2011 are starting to hit an inflection point. I won’t go as in depth into every opportunity as I used to, but I though links to the related information would be best.
In January 2013, I was appointed by City of Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel to the City of Chicago Technology Diversity Council, which was my first opportunity to bridge the gap between what we were doing with technology education and how to implement it on a city-wide level. Subsequent to that, I was appointed the Chair of Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s STEM Innovation Council, and recently appointed to Cook County’s New Media Council.
In February 2013, we filmed a short film, Ying and Yang in Brooklyn, New York. Our film screened at a dozen film festivals, and we won several awards, including Audience Choice, Best Short Film, among other awards. Our film screened on several continents.
We birthed BLUE1647 in July (out of the ashes of a pivot in strategy), folding in many of the programs, projects, and companies all under one umbrella. This made it easy for me to leverage all that I’ve been working on, and housing it under one roof. We were able to ink partnerships with Groupon, the YWCA, and finally launch our Code Chicago program. We added board directors, Harper Reed and Dylan Richards to the mix, and we’re poised to make some noise in 2014.
2013 was also a year where I had a chance to speak at the Digital Undivided Focus100 conference in NYC (which was a blast), and join a couple of boards including the Illinois Technology Partnership and the Ministerial Alliance Against the Digital Divide. Additionally, I was awarded the Fred Hampton Image Award, by the Fred Hampton Scholarship Fund in it’s 46th year.
We had a highly successful (and profitable) 2nd Annual Chicago International Social Change Film Festival, including selling out our opening night and I led a Youth Anti-violence Summit at Chicago State University for over 300, including city and state officials.
We soft launched LeftForGood, which is Uber cab for perishable food and we kicked off our 1000strongForBLUE campaign. As my capstone for the year, I wrote an Op-Ed for Crains, almost two years to the date of my previous op-ed, as a call to action for the community to build new leadership and opportunities for those that need it the most.
It was a great 2013, but 2014 will be even better.