Registration deadline looms for Silicon Harlem conference

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New York, NY (July 22, 2014): Early registration for Silicon Harlem’s inaugural conference is approaching its August 15 deadline. Silicon Harlem, the pioneering group dedicated to transforming Harlem in to a technology hub, will present its inaugural Silicon Harlem Conference on Thursday, October 16 in Harlem, New York at My Image Studios (MIST), 46 West 116th Street. The title of the conference will be “Show Your Love” for technology, film, video games, apps, Harlem and more.

clayton Banks

Clayton Banks, business executive, is a co-executive producer of Silicon Harlem.

The event is a one-day interactive conference on how to transform Harlem into a technology and innovation hub. Inspirational speakers and leaders from software engineering, digital film and art, video game development, broadcast and video, graphic design, mobile and more will share actionable insights about technology, practical skill building, new creative techniques and business innovation that impacts the Harlem community. The event will also feature keynote speakers such as telecommunications expert and technology visionary Larry Irving, whose company The Mobile Alliance for Global Good” is using mobile devices to solve global problems.

“The Silicon Harlem Conference brings together the brightest and most creative minds in the industry to discuss ways to best serve our freelance, startup and anchored businesses and institutions,” said Clayton Banks, co-executive producer of Silicon Harlem. “We’re excited to have so many great people sharing their experience and setting Harlem on the path to thrive in the innovation economy.”

Technology expert Larry Irving will speak at the conference.

Technology expert Larry Irving will speak at the conference.

Silicon Harlem is a social venture focused on growing the technology sector in Harlem. The Silicon Harlem pillars include Gigabit infrastructure, Monthly Meet-ups and an annual conference to galvanize the community, provide opportunities in STEM education for the youth in the community, and collaborate with electives, stakeholders and the investment community to bolster business opportunities in Harlem. Learn more at siliconharlem.net.

The conference will be held at MIST in Harlem and includes a welcome breakfast, networking breaks, luncheon and an appreciation reception. For details, please visit http://showyourlove.mydagsite.com/For questions about registration, contact Katrina Monroe at info@siliconharlem.net or visit the Conference website. For sponsorship information, contact Von Joseph, at von@siliconharlem.net.–OnPointPress.net.

 

Immediate reforms are needed to combat police brutality in NYC

eric gatner

Eric Garner stands on a Staten Island corner selling loose cigarettes before being put in a chokehold by undercover NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, and his partners, who squeezed his life out of him despite his repeated gasps of “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.”

In yet another incident of policy brutality, an unarmed African-American man, father of six, grandfather, son and husband is dead, murdered at the hands of the New York Police Department (NYPD). According to two explosive videos obtained by the New York Daily News that have been making the rounds, Eric Garner, 43, was standing on his usual corner on Staten Island, New York, where he is often seen selling loose cigarettes, which is considered a low level crime in New York City.

Eric Garner's family, including his children, wife and mother.

Eric Garner’s family, including his children, wife and mother are angry and sad about his death.

Mind you, Garner, was no saint, having had numerous brushes with the law for misdemeanor offenses. However, in this instance, all he was doing was standing at the corner, unarmed. According to published reports, he had exchanged numerous text messages with his wife, Esaw, telling her that he was “good” and would “be home early.” She, in turn, told him what she was preparing for dinner.

Garner's heartbroken wife collapses

Eric Garner’s heartbroken wife, Esaw Garner, collapses at the National Action Network (NAN) on Saturday. She is supported by the Reverend Al. Sharpton and Rev. Daughtry.

As the tapes unfold, Garner is surrounded by about five officers who try to arrest him. He is heard stating to them: “I didn’t do nothing. What did I do? Don’t touch me!” He is then overpowered by the NYPD crew, who threw him to the ground in a chokehold, which is an illegal form of restraint. He was heard gasping “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eventually he crumples to the ground, his life squeezed from him in heartbreaking fashion. Protesters have taken to the street to peacefully but angrily denounce this open season on black men and boys.

Eric Garner's family sit with the Reverend Al. Sharpton at the NAN headquarters in Manhattan.

Eric Garner’s family sit with the Reverend Al. Sharpton at the NAN headquarters in Manhattan.

Speaking at the National Action Network (NAN) headquarters on Saturday, Garner’s wife said: “They snatched my heart out of my chest. It’s like I’m an empty shell right now.” She collapsed onstage, tears racking her body, when the Reverend Al. Sharpton said: “An unarmed man was subjected to a chokehold and he’s no longer with us.”

Members of the community march in search of justice for Eric Garner.

Members of the community march in search of justice for Eric Garner.

A chokehold is a specific way of wrapping a police officer’s arms around a person’s neck to restrict breathing. It often leads to death and as a result it was discontinued in New York City several years ago. Sill, it is evident that the rogue officers used this illegal tactic in taking Garner’s life. Addressing the media on this weekend New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said of the incident: “It’s defined in the department guidelines that this would have been a chokehold.”

Eric Garner with his family, including his grandchild.

Eric Garner enjoying an outing with his family, including his grandchild.

Mayor Bill de Blasio delayed his family vacation to Italy by a day to speak to the Garner family and Garner will be buried on Wednesday  While officer Pantaleo has been stripped of his gun and placed on desk duty, this is not enough. And while Internal Affairs is investigating, along with the Staten Island District Attorney, it is clear that immediate reforms are needed to protect innocent civilians, particularly African-Americans from ruthless, overzealous police officers who keep murdering black men and boys. Enough! It’s time for this war on black men and boys to come to an end.–OnPointPress.net.

Enjoy a delicious, tasty, treat for National Ice Cream Day

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What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Is it chocolate, rum and raisin, butter pecan? or is it cherry, strawberry, pistachio? Are you the adventurous type who prefers cookies and cream, chocolate chip or will a simple vanilla scoop do the trick? Do you prefer ice cream bars, sandwiches or cakes instead of a bowl, scoop, cone or sundae of the delicious treat? Do you dress up your ice cream with toppings and syrup?

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Whatever ice cream flavor or product causes you to quiver in excitement and move from side to side in uncontrolled anticipation, today is the day to soothe that craving. Yes, today is National Ice Cream Day and July is National Ice Cream Month.

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So if your ice cream supply is nonexistent, take the time today to replenish your stock. Savor the smooth, creamy or crunchy texture and thank the genius who decided that ice cream is special and worthy enough to be celebrated and enjoyed not only for one awesome day during the stifling, hot summer season, but for the entire month of July. Enjoy a cone today! or a scoop! Happy Ice Cream Day!–OnPointPress.net.

Drake drew laughs, Stuart Scott caused tears, at 2014 ESPY Awards

Music artist Drake (c) was the host for the 2014 ESPY Awards. He was joined on stage  at this moment by the Seattle Seahawks in attendance that won the award for  Best Team.

2014 ESPY Awards host is surrounded by members of the Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks, who won the for Best Team award.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On July 16, 2014, ESPN aired the ESPYs, the network’s award show for the world of sports. Hosted by musician and former child actor Drake, the award show drew laughter and tears. The host performed numerous sketches, monologues, and presentations that are standard for current award ceremonies but Drake stood out by creating a special song for those who didn’t win an award.

Drake  had skits with a few different people including Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins.

Drake had skits with a few different people including Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins.

The well-dressed crowd was entertained all night by Drake and other stars like Brian McKnight, Blake Griffin, Chris Brown, and Skylar Diggins, who teamed up to perform skits.

Drake made jokes on some audience members including Richard Sherman (l) and Russell Westbrook (r). Both won awards that night as well.

Drake made jokes on some audience members including Richard Sherman (l) and Russell Westbrook (r). Both won awards that night as well.

Drake also poked fun at a number of athletes who were in attendance, such as Lance Stephenson, Russell Westbrook, and Richard Sherman. All those who were mentioned as part of jokes and skits seemed to take everything in stride in what was mostly a light-hearted event.

Michael Sam (r) was presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (l).

Michael Sam (r) was presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (l).

There were serious moments in the show as well. Michael Sam was presented with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Sam expressed his appreciation for the award and shared a touching story of how he was able to make a difference in the life of a young woman who gained courage to admit that she is also gay after conversing with Sam.

Stuart Scott (l) gave an emotional speech after receiving the Jimmy V Award for  Perseverance. He is pictured with his daughter Sydni (m) and Peyton Manning (r).

Stuart Scott (l) gave an emotional speech after receiving the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. He is pictured with his daughter Sydni (m) and Peyton Manning (r).

The emotional highlight of the night might was ESPN’s Stuart Scott’s acceptance speech for the Jimmy V[alvano] Perseverance Award. Scott was presented the award by the star of Scott’s favorite television show, Kiefer Sutherland, from “24″. Scott’s moving speech touched on all the challenges he currently faces while fighting cancer and continuing to persevere for the sake of his family, his daughters in particular. Scott was joined on stage at the end of the speech by the youngest of his daughters, Sydni, 14. Scott concluded his speech stating:

Scott (m) and his daugher Sydni (r) were congratulated on stage by the presenter for the  award, Kiefer Sutherland (l).

Scott (m) and his daugher Sydni (r) were congratulated on stage by the presenter for the award, Kiefer Sutherland (l).

“When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you lived, why you lived and in the manner in which you lived. So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”

Danica Patrick (l) and Taye Diggs (m) were the presenters for the Male Athlete  of the Year Award that was won by Kevin Durant (r).

Danica Patrick (l) and Taye Diggs (m) were the presenters for the Male Athlete of the Year Award that was won by Kevin Durant (r).

The awards presented to the different winners gave viewers an opportunity to see entertainers from numerous fields in the same setting. The most noticeable awards handed out that night include the Seattle Seahawks winning “Best Team,” Ronda Rousey winning Female Athlete of the Year, and Kevin Durant winning Male Athlete of the Year.

Blake  Griffin (l) and Chris Brown (m) were a part of one of the skits that kept the audience laughing at Drake's (r) expense.

Blake Griffin (l) and Chris Brown (m) were a part of one of the skits that kept the audience laughing at Drake’s (r) expense.

Overall, the ESPYs were entertaining from beginning to end. There was a good blend of levity and solemnity from host Drake and the other stars who graced the stage. If you were unable to catch the show, check your local listings for replays on the ESPN family of networks.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Grassroot efforts raise funds for New York City Public Libraries

New York Public Library received good news this year when they were informed that they would gain $10 million from New York City to help fund the free services the libraries provide.

New York Public Libraries received good news this year when they were informed that an extra $10 million was allocated  in the budget to help fund the free services the libraries provide.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On July 16, 2014, 130,000 petitioners and letter writers received thank you notices from the New York Public Library (NYPL). These grassroots efforts put forth by the NYPL were instrumental in securing the first budget increase since 2008. City Hall allocated  an additional $10 million for the 2015 fiscal year which began on July 1, 2014. The funding was set aside for the NYPL (which serves the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island), Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library. In a statement on the NYPL website, New York Public Library President Tony Marx stated:

This Brooklyn branch of the NYPL is one of the 92 total branches will be able to continue its normal operating hours with the addition of the funds to the budget.

This Brooklyn branch of the NYPL is one of the 92 total branches will be able to continue its normal operating hours with the addition of the funds to the budget.

“It is extremely satisfying that the Mayor and City Council see the value in the city’s libraries, and understand that New Yorkers desperately need the services that we provide, from internet access to technology training to job search resources to English language classes. The funding increase will certainly help us continue to provide free education, knowledge and opportunity to all New Yorkers. We are thankful to city officials for their dedication to and investment in libraries, a critical and irreplaceable city resource, and hope that this is a first step towards restoring our funding to Fiscal Year 2008 levels.”

New Yorkers of all ages benefit from the various services offered at the NYPL.

New Yorkers of all ages benefit from the various services offered at the New York City Public Libraries.

As summer vacation continues for the millions of New York City kids, it is useful to recognize the bevy of options that the New York City Public Libraries provide to keep children academically engaged throughout their time away from school. Many students use the library to complete summer reading lists and summer school assignments, or partake in the other amenities the library offers. The increased budget should allow the libraries of New York City to continue to offer a multitude of services to their patrons and online customers.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio (l) and New York City listened to the 130,000 petitioners and letter writers who urged them to increase the city budget for the NYPL.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (l) and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito listened to the 130,000 petitioners and letter writers who urged them to increase the city budget for the NYPL.

The New York City Public Libraries offer traditional books, magazines and newspapers, as well as audio-books, e-books, DVD’s and video games. There are millions of people in New York City who take advantage of the free services offered. It is good that Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the New York City Council recognized the importance of helping these libraries extend their services to New York City’s citizens. However, the New York City Public Libraries depend on both public and private funding, so for those interested in learning more about how to support the library, visit nypl.org/support.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Finding Samuel Lowe depicts tale of love, family, determination, grit

 

Samuel lw

Trailer from the documentary that tells the tale of the cross-continental search to find relatives.

By Carmen Glover

Retired NBC executive Paula Madison can truly say that she has reached the self actualization phase on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. Drawing from her love for family and the desire to trace her roots and forge a connection with all members of her extended family, Madison and her siblings, Elrick and Howard, embarked on a cross-continental quest to find their maternal grandfather, Samuel Lowe. The journey takes Madison and her siblings to the picturesque island of Jamaica, the homeland of their parents, to China, the homeland of their maternal grandfather. The result is the film Finding Samuel Lowe.

At a screening held at the Museum of the Moving Images in Queens, New York last Friday in conjunction with the New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ), Madison talked about growing up in Harlem with her mother, after her father was deported back to Jamaica, and observing an air of sadness hovering around her mother, whose face was unquestionably Asian.

paula madison

Retired NBC executive Paula Madison is greeted by a relative on one of her trips.

“Finding my family has been like filling a hole that existed in my soul. That longing that I had to find my family has been filled. Since I have found my family in China I have been back to China every six months,” Madison stated during a question-and-answer session that followed the screening. “It feels like I’ve been guided my grandfather since I was a child,” she said as she examined various truths that she unearthed during the investigation for the film and the redemption came when the family all met. “When we gathered in China there were over 320 of us and all of us were Lowes.”

The film explores the origins of the Haka clan, a Chinese tribe to which Madison’s ancestry was traced, the history of Chinese indentured servants in the Jamaica, how those servants eventually became entrepreneurs, and the link between the Chinese men who came to work in the cane fields in and the black women in Jamaica bonding and forming families.

Members of the Lowe family joyously come together in the spirit of love.

Members of the Lowe family joyously come together in the spirit of love.

The values emphasized in the film, such as respect for education, family and prosperity are stark. Told with no holds barred, Finding Samuel Lowe is an emotional, loving, tribute to a family’s determination to answer the most fundamental of questions: Who am I? It describes a journey that many viewers will be inspired to take so that they, too, can answer that question without reservations.

The screening was attended by a large contingent of NYABJ and NABJ members, current and former NBC employees, and media stars such as former Essence magazine editor Susan Taylor, publicist/author Terrie Williams and Karl and Faye Rodney, publishers of the Carib News. The film, which was directed by Jeannette Kong, will be screened in Jamaica, West Indies on July 30. Visit the website for more information.

Madison has been involved actively in the  national and local chapters of the association of black journalists for years. She is now expanding into the Chinese portion of her culture and will release a book detailing her nuanced journey, under the Harper Collins imprint, in February 2015.–OnPointPress.net.

Comedian Tracy Morgan sues Walmart, recuperates at home

Tracy Morgan waved to journalists as he left his New Jersey home on 7/14/2014.

Tracy Morgan waved to journalists and flashed a peace sign as he left his New Jersey home on 7/14/2014.

By Carmen Glover

Looking weak but apparently in good spirits, comedian and actor Tracy Morgan used a walker for balance as he left his home in New Jersey yesterday in a van driven by an unidentified male. Waving to journalists who were gathered to wish him well and get an update on his condition, Morgan flashed a peace sign and said:

“I’m Ok. I love you. Thank you very much.”

The crumpled remains of the Mercedes-Benz limousine bus in which Tracy Morgan and his friends were driving when they were rear-ended. Comedian James McNair was killed.

The crumpled remains of the Mercedes-Benz limousine bus in which Tracy Morgan and his friends were driving when they were rear-ended. Comedian James McNair was killed.

Morgan, who has appeared on “30 Rock” and Saturday Night Live, was released from the hospital last week, one month after he was critically injured on June 7, on the New Jersey Turnpike when his limousine bus was rear-ended by a Walmart truck. The truck’s driver, Kevin Roper, is alleged to have been driving for 24 hours without sleeping, which is believed to have contributed to the accident.

Walmart truck driver appears somber as he leaves court.

Walmart truck driver Kevin Roper appears somber as he leaves court.

Roper was charged and appeared in court regarding the accident. Morgan’s friend and mentor, comedian James McNair was killed in the accident, while fellow comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr. and Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea, were critically injured. Comedian Harris Stanton was treated and released shortly after the accident. Morgan sustained a broken leg, nose, as well as injures to his ribs and head. He underwent surgery during his hospitalization and has undergone therapy. He will continue recovering at home.

Ardie Fuqua Sr. talks about his son, during recent prayer vigil.

Ardie Fuqua Sr. talks about his son, during recent prayer vigil. Ardie Fuqua Jr. was critically injured during the June 7 accident that killed comedian James McNair.

Meanwhile, a prayer vigil was held for Fuqua last week in Jersey City by his family. According  News 12, Fuqua’s mother, Mrs. Doris Fuqua said that her son was receiving three hours of physical therapy daily and is being treated for brain trauma. Ms. Fuqua said:

“We would just like to thank everyone for all of their prayers. Our son is improving. He’s improving a lot.”

Comedian James McNair, seen in happier times with Tracy Morgan, died inn the accident.

Comedian James McNair, seen in happier times with Tracy Morgan, died in the accident.

Morgan announced last week that he is suing Walmart for negligence because the company “knew or should have known that Mr. Roper was awake for 24 hours before the accident.” Walmart, in a statement expressed being “deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved in the accident,” According to the statement, Walmart is “cooperating with the investigation.”–OnPointPress.net.