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US Commits $32M To Support STEM Educational Initiatives In Kenya

Kenya will receive significant backing to support education. According to a news release, the United States signed a Framework for Cooperation with the Kenyan government to support innovation in STEM fields in partnership with its universities and the industry. During Kenyan President William Ruto’s U.S. visit, USAID Counselor Clinton White signed the “Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education for Economic Development Framework for Cooperation” along with Kenyan Prime Cabinet Secretary Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Enhancements to Kenya’s education infrastructure will soon be in effect, empowered by a $32 million commitment, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) also announced. This includes $850,000 earmarked for the Edtech Africa initiative — a program to promote collaboration between HBCUs, the Open University of Kenya, Mastercard, and Microsoft. The investment will also encompass a $6.5 million project to...

May 23, 2024

Colorado Governor Signs One Of The First US Bills To Regulate AI And Prevent Algorithmic Discrimination

Colorado is taking a stand to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace. On May 8, 2024, the Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 24-205 (SB205), Forbes reports. In the bill’s summary, it wrote that it “requires a developer of a high-risk artificial intelligence system (high-risk system) to use reasonable care to avoid algorithmic discrimination in the high-risk system.” Moreover, the bill described high-risk artificial intelligence systems as any machine-based system that plays a role in consequential decisions being made in education enrollment and education opportunities, employment and employment opportunities, financial and lending services, essential government services, healthcare services, housing, insurance, or legal services. According to Forbes, the bill marks Colorado as the first U.S. state to establish a comprehensive law that not only addresses utilizing AI in employment but also in other critical sectors. On May 17, Governor of Colorado Jared...

May 20, 2024

President Joe Biden Signs Law That Would Ban TikTok In The US If It's Not Sold

T he Biden administration has taken a ction against TikTok. On April 24, 2024, President Joe Biden signed a law to ban the China-based social media app under parent company ByteDance in the U.S. if it’s not sold within a year, NPR reports. The move comes after the House of Representatives introduced in March the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act , which aims to “protect the national security of the United States from the threat posed by foreign adversary controlled applications,” as previously shared by AFROTECH™. Under President Biden’s new law, if TikTok fails to be sold in 12 months, it would become illegal for web-hosting providers to host the platform. What’s more, Google and Apple would have to pull the popular app from its app stores. According to NPR, this is the first time that a law has been passed that could result in banning a social media platform in the U.S. What has led to this timeline of events is U.S. government officials have...

Apr 24, 2024

President Joe Biden Unveils New Plans That Could Eradicate Debt For Over 30M Borrowers

President Joe Biden is unveiling plans that will provide relief to minority borrowers. A press release shares the Biden administration is looking to build on its efforts to eradicate debt for Americans. Already, it has provided financial relief to 4 million borrowers. Now, pending on approval of its latest proposal, the Biden administration is looking to scale its efforts to more than 30 million borrowers and projects it will positively impact Black borrowers, among other targeted demographics including Hispanic borrowers as well as working- and middle-class families. According to Education Data Initiative, Black graduates owe an estimated $25,000 more in student loan debt than their white counterparts. Furthermore, four years after graduation, Black students will be burdened with over 188% more debt than white students. A separate study looking into students who started college between 1995 and 1996 showed the median debt for white borrowers  decreased by 94% 20 years later, with...

Apr 8, 2024

Just Q'in, A Black-Owned Barbecue Restaurant That's President Joe Biden-Approved, Has Expanded To A Second Location

Matt Cuff’s Cincinnati, OH, barbecue establishment boasts official recognition from President Joe Biden.

Jan 10, 2024

President Joe Biden Issues Letter Celebrating AFROTECH Conference's Efforts Of 'Putting Racial Equity At The Core'

In case you weren’t already aware, AFROTECH Conference 2023 officially kicked off on Nov. 1 in Austin, TX!  

Nov 2, 2023

President Joe Biden Announces Additional $9B Student Loan Relief Plan

President Joe Biden is issuing another wave of relief for student loan borrowers.

Oct 5, 2023

Biden Administration Reveals Plans To Wipe Out $39M In Debt For Reportedly 804K Student Loan Borrowers

The Biden Administration is working to deliver on its student debt relief promise.

Jul 14, 2023

How President Joe Biden's Economic Plan Is Creating More Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree

For the past three years, the labor market has been drastically changing. According to Crunchbase News, over 151,054 workers at tech companies in the U.S. have been laid off in 2023 so far. In the midst of the mass layoffs, AfroTech is playing its role in supporting the community. As previously reported, AfroTech’s first-ever SaaS platform, Talent Infusion, launched in April 2023. Talent Infusion features tools such as AfroTech’s Resume Book that gives direct access to a growing group of diverse talent. To learn more about Talent Infusion, click here.

Jul 5, 2023

Joe Biden Has Announced A Student Loan Forgiveness Plan, But Research Shows It Could Slightly Favor Higher-Income Americans

After what seems like years of back and forth regarding student loan forgiveness, President Joe Biden has come to a decision to help roughly 45 million Americans affected by student loan debt. “In keeping with my campaign promise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle-class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023,” said President Biden via Twitter. On Wednesday (Aug. 24), President Biden revealed that his new plan will give $10,000 in relief to borrowers whose annual income falls below $125,000. Additionally, those who qualified for federal Pell grants will receive an additional $10,000 bringing that total amount of relief to $20,000. The aforementioned agreement was issued to low-income undergraduates whose earnings fall below the income cap. According to Forbes, research shows the latest plan announced by the Biden administration slightly falls in favor of Americans with higher incomes. “Despite...

Aug 24, 2022

Joe Biden Administration Says It Has Managed To Cancel $15B In Student Loan Debt

Joe wants folks to know that he’s out here doing it! According to Complex, the Joe Biden administration has managed to cancel a total of $15 billion in student loan debt since taking office in 2021. A press release from the Department of Education also confirmed that more than 675,000 borrowers have come out on the winning end of his student loan forgiveness program. The news comes on the heels of President Biden’s move to extend the pause on student loan debt payments until May of this year. “Given these considerations, today my Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments for an additional 90 days – through May 1. 2022 – as we manage the ongoing pandemic and further strengthen our economic recovery, ” he wrote. “Meanwhile, the Department of Education will continue working with borrowers to ensure they have the support they need to transition smoothly back into repayment and advance economic stability for their own households and for our nation.”

Jan 27, 2022

HBCU STEM Programs Could Receive $3B In Funding Under Biden's Build Back Better Agenda

Funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) could be underway through a new bill proposed by President Joe Biden. NBC News reports that HBCUs are currently awaiting the final passing of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, which includes record funding for HBCUs. The money could finally give the institutions the push that they need to compete against top-tier universities when it comes to the fields of science and technology. “The significance here is that there’s an opportunity for an HBCU to move into the top echelon,” said Harry Williams, the head of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in an interview with NBC News. “And it requires this type of federal investment for that to happen.” With a safety net package that would provide $3 billion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for schools serving minorities, this level of funding will be a “game-changer.” Currently, about a dozen HBCUs are classified as second-tier research...

Nov 15, 2021

Research Reveals HBCUs Pay More For Loans Than Other Colleges And Universities

It’s time for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to get what they deserve. After a 2016 Duke University research paper revealed that HBCUs pay more for loans than other colleges and universities, Congress has decided to revisit the issue at hand and it looks like the change that is needed could soon come. Professor Bill Mayew — one of the researchers on the topic at hand — told AfroTech via email what all of this means for our beloved HBCUs. “Specifically, in an analysis of almost 1,000 colleges, about 10% of which were HBCUs , issuance costs for HBCUs were about 20% more than non- HBCUs because it’s harder for those underwriters to find buyers,” said Professor Mayew in regards to those exact findings. “As an example, our estimates suggest that to issue a $30 million bond, it costs an HBCU about $290,000, versus about $242,000 for a non- HBCU . This $48,000 difference is a significant financial burden.  And this effect is much stronger in states that are known to...

May 17, 2021

Stacey A. Dixon To Make History As The First Black Woman To Rank No. 2 In U.S. Intelligence

A Black woman is on track to make history twice over in the country’s intelligence sector. Last Wednesday, President Joe Biden nominated Stacey A. Dixon — technology, research and development expert — to serve as the nation’s No. 2 intelligence official, a historical feat for a Black woman of her caliber, the New York Times reports. According to the news outlet, if the Senate confirms Dr. Dixon for this position, she will become the “highest-ranking Black woman in the intelligence community and the first Black person to serve in one of its most senior posts.” “Dr. Dixon possesses a deep knowledge of the intelligence tradecraft and understands the critical work intelligence professionals perform every day,” Avril D. Haines — the director of national intelligence — shared. Dr. Dixon’s position, if and when it’s confirmed, will include being responsible for convincing Congress to approve funding research and developing new technologies to help the U.S. keep up with China’s data...

Apr 27, 2021

Dr. Alondra Nelson Appointed to President Biden's Science Team

Science, and facts, have returned to the White House — and not a moment too soon. Award-winning researcher Dr. Alondra Nelson was appointed one of the key members of President Biden’s science team, according to the Institute for Advanced Study. Dr. Nelson joins other luminaries like Narda Jones and Dr. Frances H. Arnold on the seven-person team. “Science, at its core, is a social phenomenon. It’s a reflection of people, our relationships, and our institutions. There is an incredible window of opportunity ahead of us to approach our science and technology policy in ways that are accountable, inclusive, and trustworthy,” Dr. Nelson said in a statement. “I am honored to be entrusted with this important role in public service at this critical time in this nation’s history.” As part of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) — as Biden’s “science team” is officially called — Dr. Nelson will be tasked with the responsibility of delivering “accurate, relevant, and timely...