Latest Articles

How Jackie Aina's Latest Brand Collaboration Will Provide Black Girl Ventures Foundation With A $50K Boost

Jackie Aina has inked the first co-branded collaboration for her lifestyle company, Forvr Mood. Aina’s Forvr Mood and Canadian whisky brand Crown Royal have created a limited-edition Crown Royal Blackberry x Forvr Mood candle, which will be available for purchase online and at the Crown Royal Blackberry Stand (a lemonade stand, but make it adult ), per a press release. Throughout her career as an influencer, Aina has amassed more than 3.5 million YouTube subscribers. She has also worked with major beauty brands, from Anastasia Beverly Hills and Sephora to Fenty Beauty. Aina’s made a name for herself as a Black woman within an extremely competitive industry. However, she will rarely turn down the opportunity to use her platform to amplify and support other Black women, and this recent partnership is no different. While attendees sip Crown Royal Blackberry and shop the Forvr Mood candle, Crown Royal is also collaborating the nonprofit Black Girl Ventures Foundation by providing a...

Jun 21, 2024

Fayetteville State University Receives $750K Donation For Its Summer School That Decreases Student Debt

North Carolina’s Fayetteville State University has landed a whopping donation set to support its students further. WTVD-11 reports that the HBCU received an anonymous donation of $750,000. The donation will aid Fayetteville State University’s free summer school called 30/60/90. The outlet details that the summer school program works to assist students with decreasing their student debt. What’s more, it focuses on students earning their degrees early. According to the summer school program’s website, the scholarship covers two courses or up to seven credit hours for undergraduate students, one course or up to three credit hours for graduate and doctoral students in the College of Education, book rental fees, other fees, and on-campus housing and meals. “The financial aid, they help me,” Deborah Cathcart, a rising sophomore student at Fayetteville State University, said per WTVD-11. She continued, “It helps me so much…this school, they introduce such an easy and just a practical way...

Jun 21, 2024

AFROTECH™ Executive Is Heading To Newark — Here's How The Event Has Been Helping Professionals Expand Their Network One City At A Time

Half the battle of achieving career goals is being in the right room at the right time. For Black professionals in tech, AFROTECH™ Executive is a time to get the ball rolling further to learn what it takes to reach new career heights. As a reminder, AFROTECH™ Executive is an event that brings founders, executives, and techies together to join discussions revolving around today’s pressing topics and gain important knowledge that is imperative for the community. In addition to the engaging fireside chats, AFROTECH™ Executive has time carved out specifically for networking. During the networking reception, attendees can connect with fellow professionals from the local area of the events, as well as from across the U.S. “It was a really great opportunity to bring people together in the community, and it was also really great to see people fly out for the event,” shared Christina Tymony, senior diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) strategist and enablement manager at...

Jun 21, 2024

Nia Long Reflects On Saving Money For Her Kids Before Becoming A Mother — 'It Allowed Me To Get My Son Through NYU Without Any Student Loans'

Far before Nia Long could fathom becoming a mother, she was putting in work to ensure that her future children would be able to live out their collegiate dreams. An actress best known for starring in cult classics like “Soul Food,” “The Best Man,” and “Love Jones,” Long is the mother of two sons, 23-year-old Massai Z. Dorsey II and 12-year-old Kez Sunday Udoka. During a fireside conversation hosted by Ally Financial during the 2024 American Black Film Festival, Long opened up about her journey to motherhood and how smart financial savings helped her put her eldest son through college without the help of any loans. At one point during the panel, “Money and Mindfulness: A Conversation with Nia Long,” the actress was asked what her values regarding her finances are. “One of the things is [that] I started saving for my children before I became a mother,” she recalled. “I took $3,000 and I just put [it] in this account. I was like, ‘I’m never touching that.’ And it allowed me to get my...

Jun 21, 2024

Observations While Working In The ER Led Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne To Create A Medical Device For Nosebleeds

While working in the emergency room, Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne’s observation led her to create a medical device. NasaClip During her residency in Washington D.C., Clayborne noticed a surprising number of people coming to the emergency room (ER) with nosebleeds. Clayborne found this issue’s prevalence unexpected, as medical professionals consider it a “lower acuity issue.” She soon considered ways to assist patients with this medical condition and recognized technology could bridge the gap. Clayborne created NasaClip in 2015 after completing her residency. Its first prototype, described as the Band-Aid for nosebleeds, would launch to market in the years following. “The problem was we didn’t have anything to give patients in the waiting room… something to stop their nose bleeding,” Clayborne said during an interview with AFROTECH™. “So, I was always taping together tongue depressors to make a clip. And I realized like, ‘Why am I doing this? Why do I have to maneuver together some...

Jun 21, 2024

Jaylen Brown Was In An MIT Robotics Session When He Secured The Largest Contract In NBA History

NBA player Jaylen Brown was once labeled “too smart” to join the very league he would go on to earn a historic contract with. Athlon Sports reports Brown graduated Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA, at the top of his class. He accomplished this while excelling on the basketball court. He was a first team All-American and top-five national high school prospect, his NBA bio reads. Between 2015 and 2016, Brown continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), while playing for its basketball team. However, he was not satisfied with the freshman courses they offered him, which were not challenging enough, The New York Times reports. He swapped out some of his classes to take on African American Studies, an upper-division class from the Global Poverty and Practice minors program, and a graduate course titled “Theoretical Foundations for the Cultural Studies of Sport and Education,” which he had learned about through Hashim Ali, co-founder of the Oakland...

Jun 20, 2024

85-Year-Old Grandmother Earns An Honorary High School Diploma

85-year-old Shirley Smith has fulfilled her academic dreams. Raised on a tobacco farm in Wilmington, NC, Smith eventually had to move to Somerville, NJ, because her father needed to earn more money to support the family of six children after tobacco rates fell, Fox News Digital reports. By this time, Smith had left her academics behind, leading her to fill her time with jobs, including at a dry cleaner and a pocketbook factory. “I was going to the 10th grade, and I told him, the biggest mistake that I made, I think, was telling him that I didn’t want to go to school,” Smith told the outlet. “And he said, ‘Go to work.’” Smith eventually had a family of her own and moved to Georgia. Although she considered vocational school, she never completed her studies as her days were spent caring for her growing family. Still, Smith instilled the importance of education in her home and required her children to finish school if they were to live under her roof. “Matter of fact, they cried to go...

Jun 20, 2024

Angela Rye, Principal And CEO Of Impact Strategies, Announced As A Guest Speaker For The Highly Anticipated AFROTECH™ Executive Newark

In case you missed it, AFROTECH™ Executive is heading to New Jersey. If you’re unfamiliar with the event, previous stops included Seattle, WA; Washington, D.C.; Brooklyn, NY; and more. As the event heads to Newark, NJ, on June 28, attendees will have the opportunity to explore topics like practical AI applications, equitable resources for entrepreneurs, tech advancements, and innovative economies. In addition, the highly anticipated AFROTECH Executive Newark will allow attendees to hear from speakers like A ngela Rye, principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies and co-host of the Native Land Pod. Her fireside chat will focus on bridging the gap for an equitable community. The conversation, moderated by Black Tech Green Money host Will Lucas, will explore a world where opportunities and access are endless, ensuring that entrepreneurs who represent the community are equipped with the tools needed to be successful and can inspire others to build a more accessible, diverse, and thriving...

Jun 20, 2024

APB Skatepark — The First Privately Held, Black-Owned, Publicly Accessible Non-DIY Skatepark In The US — Opens In Charlotte, NC

A community-driven project is coming to revitalize Charlotte, NC. According to a press release provided to AFROTECH™, The Whitaker Group — the creative company behind brands such as A Ma Maniére, Social Status, APB, and Prosper — has revealed its plans for The Collective on Tuckaseegee , a 13,000-square-foot compound and retail campus with 10 retail units located in Charlotte. The Collective aims to stimulate economic development in many ways. The venture will feature local entrepreneurs as well as The Whitaker Group’s existing brands, partners, and experiences, including APB Skatepark, the first privately held, Black-owned, publicly accessible, non-DIY skatepark in the country. This skatepark was developed in collaboration with The Boardr, which encompasses three firms with expertise in skateboarding facility design and construction, event production and consulting, and athlete management, its website mentions. Additionally, The Whitaker Group plans to launch the in-house apparel...

Jun 20, 2024

Master P Launches Miller Family Foods To Offer Healthier Alternative Food Products

Master P is launching a health-focused food venture. On Juneteenth, June 19, the rapper- turned-businessman took to Instagram to announce the launch of Miller Family Foods. The company will promote healthy living by offering consumers better “alternatives in cereal, oatmeal, breakfast bars, pancakes, waffles and more, deliciously made with the highest quality, using natural ingredients and flavors from the earth it grows.” By design, its foods will be made without artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and colors, GMOs, and BHA/BHT. Furthermore, Miller Family Foods’ mission will be to diversify the products shelved in grocery stores. “We are evolving as a culture, we are no longer just consumers,” Master P said in a statement shared on Instagram. “We spend trillions of dollars annually with no real ownership, but that’s changing. African Americans want healthier food alternatives. I heard them loud and clear. And that’s why...

Jun 20, 2024

Swizz Beatz, Timbaland's Verzus Lands Distribution Partnership With Elon Musk's X

Music media platform Verzuz has a new home. Billboard reports that Swizz Beatz and Timbaland ‘s media platform Verzuz has landed a distribution partnership with X, formerly Twitter. The deal will allow both artists to maintain 100% ownership and creative control of Verzuz, while X, currently led by Elon Musk, will maintain exclusive distribution rights. “ We are thrilled to partner with X, the most innovative platform globally,” Timbaland said, according to Billboard. “Our goal has always been to bring Verzuz to the world, which we can now do bigger than ever.” Verzuz brought together iconic music battles, such as Brandy vs. Monica and The Lox vs. Dipset, and plans to share more moments of music culture with fans through its free livestream series, which can reach more than 550 million users now through X. “We are beyond thrilled to have found the best partner for Verzuz,” Swizz Beatz added. “Not only are we excited to have Verzuz on X, we’re excited to help X build the biggest...

Jun 20, 2024

Black Women HBCU Graduates Win Top Prize For Their Research In Material And Process Engineering — Bringing Potential Innovations To Electric Vehicles

Three Black women graduates have been awarded a top prize. According to a press release provided to AFROTECH™, Central State University (Ohio) graduates Myesha Burnette, Shawntae Thompson, and Baijing Zinnerman, have received accolades for their research in material and process engineering. They grabbed top honors during the Midwest Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) Student Competition hosted at the University of Dayton Research Institute in Dayton, OH. SAMPE is a nonprofit organization and technical society that targets various areas of materials and processes (M&P), its website mentions. Among its initiatives includes aiding student chapters, providing information and forums, and offering scholarships and awards. “SAMPE provides growth and educational opportunities via conferences, exhibitions, technical forums, and publications. As the only technical society encompassing all fields of endeavor in materials and processes, SAMPE provides a...

Jun 18, 2024

Will.i.am Demos An AI-Generated Host He Created During The Cannes Lions Festival

Will.i.am believes diversified voices will be necessary for artificial intelligence (AI) innovation. While in conversation with The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Last at Journal House during The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the artist unveiled an AI-generated Black woman host named Felicia from his SiriusXM show. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the show spotlights AI innovation at the crossroads of pop culture, music, entertainment, world news, and technology. At the event in Cannes, France, Felicia introduced herself to the audience and shared a call to action on the importance of representation in technology. “Now, when we talk about AI, it’s crucial that we dive into the real deal. Representation, empowerment, and breaking those barriers in tech. Because let’s face it, you ain’t going to see much of our faces if we don’t get involved and steer that ship,” Felicia told the audience. “AI is more than just cool tech. It’s like a new frontier where we got to make...

Jun 18, 2024

Naomi Osaka’s Media Company, Hana Kuma, Receives Investment From The Players Fund, An Athlete-Led Firm

Naomi Osaka has scored another investment. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the tennis athlete launched the media company Hana Kuma with Stuart Duguid in June 2022, in collaboration with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Co., which serves as its financing, operations, and producing partner. In April 2023, Hana Kuma closed a $5 million funding round that included participation from SpringHill and other investors to support its team and programming and create “a more robust business plan.” The move was part of a spin-off that would give the company more independence. “We really want to see her build her own version of SpringHill,” Carter said then, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve worked really hard to get SpringHill where it is, but now we want to help others to do the same, and to do it different than as we have done at SpringHill, and to do it in their own way and their own voice.” Just over a year since its last investment, Hana Kuma has attracted...

Jun 18, 2024

Beyond Banking: Capital One's Commitment to Elevating Black Tech Leaders And Small Businesses

Prominent industry leaders are increasingly expected to embody customer ideals and represent the communities they serve. This expectation has even some of the biggest tech giants shook, but Capital One seems to be fearlessly embracing this responsibility with a sense of urgency. This is precisely what propelled Emmanuel Offiong, VP and CTO of Business Bank Engineering, to join Capital One after he saw the company’s deeply rooted commitment to diversifying their teams and empowering small businesses. “What struck me the most was meeting leaders who looked like me in even more senior roles than the one I was being recruited for,” Emmanuel recalled about his interview process with Capital One. This was crucial for Emmanuel who serves as a member of the mentor network for Level Up Ventures, a mission-driven investment firm founded by the Hearst Corporation that aims to close the wealth gap by investing in high-growth Black and Latino-founded startups. He also serves on the board of...

Jun 18, 2024