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AFROTECH™ Executive: How Harnessing AI Could Potentially Future-Proof The Workplace

In June 2024, AFROTECH™ Executive Newark engaged attendees on several of today’s hot topics in tech and business including AI. Helming the discussion “How Harnessing AI Could Potentially Future-Proof The Workplace” at the Newark, NJ, event were Sam Caucci, founder and CEO of 1Huddle; Michele Alcazar, vice president of workforce transformation strategy at Prudential Financial; and Daniel Adeyanju, director of partnerships at The Knowledge House. During the panel, Caucci shared a Gallup report, which estimated that 70% of skills and the tasks that make up work will change over the next decade. While there is set to be an increase in reskilling, Caucci believes that AI could not only help organizations improve skills mapping but also improve low rates of employee engagement. “I think the opportunity we have in this moment when I think about the opportunity for AI is, how do we tackle these really big community labor workforce opportunities that organizations have always struggled with?...

Jul 11, 2024

The Stats Are In: Here Are The Top 10 Ranked HBCUs Of 2024

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been the bedrock of Black communities since the founding of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, which is credited as the nation’s first HBCU. Since then, hundreds more HBCUs have been founded with the intent of serving Black students during times of deep segregation and racism. Although the world has become more progressive since then, the need for these institutions has proven to be vital community pillars — not just for Black students but for the world. With notable alums like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Kamala Harris, Toni Morrison, Stacey Abrams, and Thurgood Marshall from various HBCUs, these institutions produce noteworthy people who impact the world across different industries. Every year, the U.S. News & World Report releases a list of the nation’s top colleges and universities. The publication also ranks HBCUs according to a specific methodology that uses “quantitative and qualitative measures that education experts...

Jul 11, 2024

Melinda French Gates Awards Allyson Felix Her Own $20M Grant-Making Fund To Disperse To Black Maternal Health Organizations

Allyson Felix has received a grant from Melinda French Gates. Felix, who retired from the world of Olympic track and field in 2022, has a passion for the well-being of pregnant women. For example, her footwear brand Saysh gives expectant mothers a free pair of shoes since their feet change sizes throughout pregnancy, as AFROTECH™ previously reported. “As we thoughtfully create our products, we think about all the ways that we can better support women through our maternity returns policy, offering women shoes once their feet changed sizes due to pregnancy, and just trying to push the industry in that direction,” she told AFROTECH™ at the time. In June 2022, Felix partnered with Pampers to champion maternal health for Black mothers. Pampers committed $250,000 to the cause and provided $100,000 to the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC) to help Black mothers receive quality care and to reduce maternal mortality rates. Felix is, once again, teaming up with Pampers during the 2024...

Jul 10, 2024

Thasunda Brown Duckett Says 'The Time Is Now' For Black Professionals To Accumulate AI Skills

Over the years, Thasunda Brown Duckett has gained global recognition for her monumental career strides, impact, and influence. As previously reported by AFROTECH™, the TIAA president and CEO’s historic feats include, in 2021, becoming the first woman to lead the financial retirement services company in more than 100 years as well as one of two Black women to helm a Fortune 500 company. What’s more, Duckett was named on Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Powerful Women” in 2023 and TIME’s “100 Most Influential People of 2024” the following year. As Duckett continues to make efforts toward closing the racial retirement gap and women’s retirement gap and tirelessly advocates for DEI, she credits her foundation for fueling the leader she is today. On July 5, 2024, at the Global Black Economic Forum (GBEF) Business Summit during the ESSENCE Festival Of Culture presented by Coca-Cola, she thanks her parents, Otis and Rosie Brown, for teaching her the level of resilience required to be a...

Jul 10, 2024

Meet Visionary Founder Elise Smith, CEO And Co-Founder Of Praxis Labs, An Immersive Practice-Based Platform

Elise Smith is helping to create better outcomes for diverse employees. She is the co-founder and CEO of Praxis Labs, an “immersive practice-based platform that drives inclusive, engaged, and higher-performing teams,” a press release mentioned. The platform offers has assisted companies including Google, Uber, and ServiceNow to help achieve benchmarks that boost engagement and lead to retention, enhance company culture, and increase equity and inclusion. “For me, it’s how do we use technology to help us become even better humans, to help us be able to give feedback across differences, to navigate difficult conversations, to provide performance feedback and expectations with accountability and care in a way that actually serves us all better, that creates more value for everyone, doesn’t cause harm,” she told AFROTECH™. “We’re seeing our workplaces need that more than ever.” To date, Praxis Labs has raised $23 million, per digitalundivided. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, Praxis...

Jul 3, 2024

Former NFL Player Nate Burleson Built A $18M Fortune — Now, He's Chasing His 'Media Mogul' Dreams, But His Wife And 3 Children Are His Top Priority

Career pivots are becoming increasingly common as people realize the power of not limiting themselves to one lane. This phenomenon has become particularly pervasive in the sports world, as many former athletes find themselves out of the game but adjacent to the sports they love through media, coaching, or front-office gigs. Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson is a shining example of a successful career pivot, his path fueled by prioritizing his mental health. Burleson is a Canadian-born television host who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Detroit Lions across 11 seasons. During his career, he completed 457 receptions with 5,630 yards and 39 touchdowns. However, his career hit a bump in 2008 when he tore his ACL, missing most of that season and struggling with his mental health. In Yahoo Life’s “The Unwind” series, Burleson shared the challenges he faced with depression during that time, highlighting his resilience in the face of adversity. “I realized how...

Jul 2, 2024

How AFROTECH™ Executive Is Giving Professionals The Confidence To Make Their Next Career Move

On June 28, 2024, AFROTECH™ held its first-ever event in Brick City. Hosted at Prudential Tower, AFROTECH™ Executive hit Newark, NJ, in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). For AFROTECH™ Executive Newark, attendees convened for discussions about tech innovation, financial responsibility, and creating wealth in the community. The sessions were led by speakers Angela Rye, principal and CEO of Impact Strategies; Will Lucas, brand manager of AFROTECH™; Erica Duignan Minnihan, founding partner of Reign Ventures; Vaughn Crowe, managing partner of Newark Venture Partners; Sam Caucci, founder and CEO of 1Huddle; Michele Alcazar, vice president of workforce transformation strategy at Prudential Financial; and Daniel Adeyanju, director of partnerships at The Knowledge House.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by AFROTECH (@afro.tech) Among the sessions was a panel titled “Future-Proofing Workplaces by Harnessing AI,” which included Caucci,...

Jul 2, 2024

Morgan Freeman Calls Viral TikTok Video Using His AI-Generated Narration A 'Scam’

Morgan Freeman has debunked a viral video that is using his likeness. A TikToke r with the username “Justine’s Camera Roll” shared a 44-second video while on vacation in Spain that appeared to be narrated by the actor. Welcome to my niece’s day in the life, narrated by me, Morgan Freeman. Justine begged for money for what she said would be a cultural experience in Spain,” the video narration began in the TikTok video. Freeman’s artificial intelligence-generated voice continues throughout the video. The TikTok video was later reshared on X, formerly known as Twitter, by user “JahelisWasHere” on June 24, 2024. It gained traction, garnering 16.5 million views (at the time of this writing). Her uncle is Morgan Freeman and she gets him to narrate her day in the life vlogs. She wins at life and content creating. This is such a flex. pic.twitter.com/muIh62Vvg2 — Jahelis. (@JahelisWasHere) June 25, 2024 The video also caught Morgan Freeman’s attention. On X, he shared that he was not behind...

Jul 2, 2024

How Shonda Rhimes Built A Television Empire And A $240 Million Net Worth

By now, just about every television and film fan is well aware of the genre-defining legacy of Shonda Rhimes. The prolific showrunner has created and served at the helm of multiple hit series’, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” “Scandal,” and several others, and executive produced hit Netflix outings such as “Bridgerton,” “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” and “Inventing Anna.” Through these efforts, Shonda Rhimes has received universal acclaim, a Golden Globe , and a net worth of over $240 million, per Celebrity Net Worth . Shonda Rhimes’ generational wealth is truly a success story we can all admire, and her net worth tells a tale of her hard work and resilience. Beyond her financial successes in entertainment, Rhimes also maintains a diverse portfolio of real estate investments and other lucrative holdings. So, let’s take a moment to examine the life and work of the Emmy special honoree, and dissect the multiple streams of income she has utilized to create such...

Jun 27, 2024

Shonda Rhimes Becomes An Owner Of The Los Angeles Golf Club, The Inaugural Team In Tiger Woods' Tech-Infused Golf League

A new powerhouse has joined forces with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s tech-infused golf league, TGL. Shonda Rhimes revealed that she has become a part of the ownership group for the California-based Los Angeles Golf Club (LAGC), TGL’s first team. “I’m beyond excited to announce my involvement as the newest owner of Los Angeles Golf Club, the inaugural team in the @tglgolf league,” Rhimes wrote in an Instagram post. “I can’t wait to bring my passion for golf to this incredible venture.” She continued, “Joining this team is an honor and, as someone who believes in the power of storytelling and community, I’m eager to see how we can elevate the game together. Let’s tee off on this new journey. We are LAGC.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Shonda Rhimes (@shondarhimes) The renowned TV producer and creator is now standing alongside fellow Los Angeles Golf Club owners Serena and Venus Williams, Alexis Ohanian Sr., and Antetokounmpo brothers Giannis, Thanasis, Kostas, and...

Jun 27, 2024

Universal Music Group Among Major Labels Suing AI Music Startups For Violating Copyright Laws

The battle between artificial intelligence (AI) software and the music industry continues in a new lawsuit against two AI music startups. Top record labels Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Records are accusing AI music creation programs Suno Inc. and Udio AI of “massive and ongoing infringement.” The lawsuit claims that the entities “copied sound recordings from the labels ‘en masse and ingested them into its AI model,’” a practice that the plaintiffs say violates copyright laws, Forbes reports. Moreover, Suno and Udio AI are accused of using artists’ songs to “train their AI services.” In the suit against Suno, the filings allege that if the company hadn’t “violated copyrights on such a large scale, Suno’s service would not be able to reproduce the convincing imitations of such a vast range of human musical expression at the quality that Suno touts.” Similarly, the accusations against Udio AI hold some of the same weight, noting that “since the day...

Jun 25, 2024

Google Funds 20 Black And Latino Founders Of AI-Powered Companies With $150K Each

Google is awarding Black and Latino startup founders who are disrupting the artificial intelligence (AI) space. The tech giant established the Google for Startups Founders Funds to ensure Black and Latino entrepreneurs receive financial assistance and necessary support to influence multiple sectors. According to information provided to AFROTECH™, each recipient will receive $150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards and $100,000 in Google Cloud credits. Recipients also receive mental health resources and mentorship from Google’s experts across AI and sales. This is Google’s fifth year in funding, and it has allocated more than $50 million t o 570 Black and Latino founders. Moreover, founders who received funding support have later secured more than $590 million in additional investments. Google has unveiled its latest round of recipients, whose work encompasses using AI in preventative wildfires, keeping fast fashion out of landfills, and education. The 2024 Google for Startups cohort...

Jun 25, 2024

Work Smarter While You Travel: How to Make Every Trip Count By Maximizing Benefits and Experiences

Paid Moment By American Express and Delta. If you’re a small business owner, optimizing your time is something you’ve mastered. Whether sending an important email while on a work call or meeting a prospective client while traveling to a conference, determining the best use of your time is often necessary to keep things thriving. Although choosing which priority should come next can sometimes seem challenging, it doesn’t always have to be. When you become a Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Amex Card Member, you can give new meaning to optimizing time by maximizing benefits with every purchase. If you’re ready to level up and see how to make the most of your business purchases, follow our top three tips for working smarter and maximizing the benefits of being a cardholder. 1. Turn Expenses into Experiences As a savvy business owner, you’re always looking for unique ways to get the most out of your business expenses. For instance, you already know you need to buy a new printer for the...

Jun 25, 2024

Morehouse College Professor Muhsinah Morris To Debut The World's First Reported Fully Spacial AI Teaching Assistants

Once again Morehouse College is bringing innovation to the classroom. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) made history in 2022 for being the first college to offer classes in the metaverse. Less than two years later, it is now poised to disrupt the education landscape for the better through the launch of reportedly the world’s first fully spacial artificial intelligence (AI) teaching assistants. Muhsinah Morris, a senior assistant professor in education and metaversity director at Morehouse College, developed the technology in spring 2021 with the assistance of faculty such as Ovell Hamilton, Ethell Vereen Jr., and Tanya Clark, she mentioned on LinkedIn. She also benefited from a partnership with VictoryXR and received backing from Southern Company, Qualcomm, Meta, Unity, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and T-Mobile. “I am so proud of Morehouse College Metaversity Faculty and MetaHouse Scholars who keep this work going full...

Jun 24, 2024

50 Cent Claims His Social Media Accounts Fell Victim To A Crypto Scheme That Earned $3M In 30 Minutes

50 Cent claims his social accounts fell victim to a cryptocurrency scheme. Fox News reports the rapper’s X account had been hacked to promote a cryptocurrency token called $GUNIT. The token’s name suggests his former Hip-Hop group G-Unit. On Friday, June 21, 2024, the scammer allegedly wrote on 50 Cent’s account, “$GUNIT for winners only…” Complex reports 50 Cent’s Instagram account included screenshots of the $GUNIT crypto, which showed under $1 million in market value, and that number quickly increased. The message gained popularity, accumulating 57,000 likes on June 22 and drawing hundreds of users to the comments section, with some even making purchases. Despite this, 50 Cent stated he was not associated with the venture, and his accounts were later locked, Fox News notes. 50 Cent claims the hacker made $3 million within 30 minutes from the scam. It’s not possible to verify 50 Cent’s assertions, nor is there a way to confirm if the hacker earned the alleged $3 million. “My...

Jun 24, 2024