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More Than A Pastor: Touré Roberts Talks Infusing Faith In Business And The Key To Innovation

“For those of you that think gospel music has gone too far, you think we got too radical with your message, well, I got news for you. You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.” If those lyrics resonate with you in any way, it’s likely because you remember the 1997 gospel hit “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin that had the church rocking. While the song is based around lifting radical praises despite life’s circumstances, the opening line offers a bold and audacious declaration that the innovation and creativity of Christians cannot be boxed in. A textbook example of this radical innovation is Touré Roberts. Roberts is the current pastor of ONE (Formerly One Church LA), serving over 7,500 local members and an online viewership of more than 700,000 subscribers. And while his faith and work in the church have catapulted him to success in the religious sector, Roberts had a lucrative career in the tech industry. During an April 2022 conversation with Blavity, Inc. CEO Morgan DeBaun on her Work Smart podcast,...

Nov 29, 2022

Apple's Impact Accelerator Program Showcases Black And Brown Businesses With Green Tech Solutions

Apple is continuing its fight against systemic barriers with another equity initiative to uplift Black and brown tech founders. Today, Apple unveiled a class of 15 Black and brown-owned businesses developing innovative green technology and clean energy solutions joining the tech giant’s Impact Accelerator program. As part of the program, these businesses have committed to support equity and opportunity in the environmental sector while also advancing change for communities most impacted by climate change. According to an announcement, the 15 businesses come from cities all across the U.S. — including Silicon Valley in California and Detroit, MI — that have demonstrated innovation in environmental sectors like energy efficiency, solar, green chemistry, recycling, and more. The focus of this program is to allow these founders and innovators to offer clean energy, opportunity and vital services to underserved communities nationwide. Photo Credit: Apple “We are thrilled to welcome our...

Aug 17, 2021

Happy Birthday Hip-Hop: How The Evolution Of The Culture Birthed Musical Tech Innovations

Aug. 11, 1973 will forever go down in history as the day that Hip-Hop was born–and it all started with a “back to school jam” at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. With nothing but a pair of speakers, two turntables and a crate of banging records, founding father Clive Campbell — better known as DJ Kool Herc — helped create a historical moment that singlehandedly produced the culture-shifting genre the world has grown to love today. Credit: Public Domain Every year Hip-Hop fans gather round, both on and offline, to revel the genre’s history and teach kids today about where it all started. Even Google commemorated Hip-Hop’s holiday back in 2017 with a drawing that explained its origin story. The first-of-its-kind Doodle also featured a custom design by graffiti artist Cey Adams, plus interactive turntables for users to mix samples from some of Hip Hop’s most legendary tracks. They even had industry icon Fab 5 Freddy narrate the whole experience which you can view below. Hip-Hop has...

Aug 11, 2021

Collab Capital Closes $50M Inaugural Fund To Foster Innovation In Black-Owned Businesses

Early-stage investment fund Collab Capital is continuing its mission to support Black communities and Black-founded companies with its inaugural fund. Today, the Black-founded company announced the close of their $50 million fund to support its overarching goal to build generational wealth in Black communities. According to the company, the purpose of the debut fund is to invest “financial, human, and social capital” to effectively grow and sustain innovation amongst Black-owned businesses. “For far too long, Black founders have been overlooked despite being the fastest growing entrepreneurial segment remaining the most under-funded and under-resourced group,” Collab Capital founder Jewel Burks Solomon tells us. “As founders ourselves, we’ve witnessed first-hand how difficult it can be to attract VC attention and secure funding, despite having successful business track records. We truly believe this is an important step in narrowing the racial wealth disparity while driving...

May 26, 2021

Clark Atlanta University Partners With First-of-Its-Kind Innovation Initiative to Serve Over 100 HBCUs Nationwide

Renowned HBCU, Clark Atlanta University has announced a new partnership with the Propel Center — a new global campus for innovation headquartered in Atlanta — to provide leadership and career development opportunities to both students and faculty nationwide. As a first-of-its-kind initiative aiming to serve over 100 HBCUs, the Propel Center is designed to connect students and faculty across communities, a press release reports, with necessary knowledge, skills, tools and resources to help transform America’s talent pipeline and gap in the workforce. Additionally, the Propel Center’s mission includes bridging the gap between HBCU students to couple them with tech curriculum, cultural thought leaders, entrepreneurship skills development, and accelerator programs, while focusing on social justice and equity. “Propel represents the most inclusive, game changing and collaborative partnership that I have witnessed within my 17 years as both college and university president,” said CAU...

Jan 14, 2021

Careers In Tech: Karen Ford of Kaiser Permanente Shares Advice On Advancement And The KP Culture

Kaiser Permanente (KP) is dedicated to helping underrepresented groups thrive in tech. Karen Ford, Executive Director and Chief of Staff – Strategy, Planning and Portfolio Management at Kaiser talks about why she loves her job and Kaiser Permanente. Her primary job function includes supporting the 2000+ employees charged with keeping KP’s IT system running smoothly and efficiently. Ford isn’t a stranger to being the only woman — and woman of color — in the room, and she’s excited to be working at a company like KP that reinvests in communities and promotes diversity and inclusion in its ranks. At the end of the day, Ford’s job is to help KP deliver high-quality, affordable health care to Kaiser’s customers. Coming from a career in advertising, marketing, radio, and production, Ford never saw herself in the health care industry. However, she credits her advertising experience with inspiring her to imagine endless possibilities for herself. She still uses the skills she learned early...

Dec 6, 2019