National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) announces Michele Lezama as President & CEO

Michele served as the CEO and executive director of The National GEM Consortium (GEM). GEM is dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented individuals who pursue and receive a masters or PhD in engineering, computer science and other applied science fields. During her tenure at GEM, she strategically positioned the consortium for advancement by moving its headquarters from its 30-year home in Indiana to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Prior to GEM, Michele served as executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community. She is credited for turning around the organization’s financial position, tripling the organization’s capital position and creating a long-term investment structure. Under her leadership, NSBE received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring awarded by the White House Office of Science and Technology.

“NACME is delighted to have Michele join the organization as president and CEO,” said Ray Dempsey, NACME board chairman. “Her transformational leadership style, and history of dedication and support of access to education for underrepresented minorities, is a great fit for NACME.”

Michele earned her B.S. in Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University, and both her M.S. in Industrial Engineering and MBA in Finance and Accounting from Columbia University.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected as NACME’s President and CEO,” Lezama said. “As a proud NACME Scholar Alum, I am excited to work with the NACME team to dramatically increase the number of high performing students who gain access to our nation’s most rigorous engineering and computer science undergraduate programs, to deliver exceptional outcomes for our university and corporate partners and to actively showcase the opportunities and successes of our nation’s diverse STEM community.”

The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering supports high-performing African American, American Indian, and Latino engineering and computer science students, from college-to-career. NACME is nurturing the next generation of diverse leaders.

OneUnited Bank Presents Plan To Create Economic Power In Black America

“Make Black History” Now Sends Economic Message to 30 Million Black Americans

OneUnited Bank, the largest Black owned bank in the country, presents Make Black History Now, a plan for 30 million Black Americans to use the internet to organize their $1.2 trillion in annual spending power to build wealth and protect the Black community. This year, OneUnited Bank encourages Black America to #MakeBlackHistory now instead of just celebrating Black history.

The #MakeBlackHistory Plan will create tens of thousands of new Black millionaires, hundreds of thousands of new Black businesses and over one million new jobs in the Black community. OneUnited President & COO, Teri Williams explains, “We are at a unique point in history when the internet allows us to organize our money at a scale and speed never seen before.” She continues, “Hands down, this is the best time to build generational, personal and community wealth by using technology and expanding financial literacy.”

The world is witnessing a global awakening as people “take a knee” to protest injustice. America’s Black community is re-focusing its attention on the “Black economic empowerment” messages espoused by historic Black leaders such as Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. In 2018, OneUnited Bank encourages the Black community to invest in technology and provide financial literacy to children and adults alike in order to effectively re-channel its $1.2 trillion in annual spending back into the Black community – to #BankBlack and #BuyBlack – to create long-lasting change and make the dreams of civil rights leaders become reality.

Is a Black Facebook On The Horizon?

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Facebook has catapulted into the media gaining the attention of investors & venture capitalists with its over 500,000 million users who account for 900,000 billion status updates and likes on a daily basis. It is an idea that was cooked up by Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 that hatched in 2004. Despite the legal hurdles he’s had to climb over, he was able to launch an IPO (Initial Price Offering) worth $100 Billion. Technically, Facebook is a part of the 1% that the Occupy Movement has been protesting. It is a company that is cashing checks worth tens of millions from GM, Ford and others totaling around $600 Million in 2011.

When it was a $50 Billion company, it employed 2,000 people, a fraction of the $1 Million people GM employed when it was a $50 Billion company. It is lean, innovative and for some, addictive. It needs less people to generate much more than some of our antiquated businesses. So can its model and innovative prowess come from the ranks of the black community? Let’s examine some of the highlights.

Zuckerberg was attending an Ivy League college when he decided to drop-out to build his vision. (Yes, we have our HBCUs but what would we tell one of our students attempting to drop-out to pursue a half-baked idea?)

Facebook provided no compensation to the visionaries that tirelessly worked to build it working out of the home of Zuckerberg. (Would we encourage college students to work for free or to “get a job!”?

Zuckerberg is not flashy. (Nothing to say here…)

Zuckerberg, the 28 year-old billionaire, rejected two offers to purchase his company, one from Yahoo! for $1 Billion and another from Microsoft for $15 Billion. (Are we wired to turn down a $1 Billion check?)

Zuckerberg doesn’t have any baby mamas and recently married his longtime girlfriend. (Have you seen the story of the 33 year-old man with 30 children? Here’s the link.)

The Facebook visionaries didn’t sabotage the company by stealing information to start their own or decided to become haters against anyone supporting him. (Nothing much to say here.)

Some would say that Facebook is causing societal disconnect, but when we say that, we must also say that Zuckerberg is one dedicated and focused individual.

So, do we have a culture in our community to produce the next Mark Zuckerberg or will we simply remain spectators and users of everyone else’s visions? It is important for us to demonstrate frugal focused behavior to our children so they mimic what we do? It is important for us to actually “water” the seeds of our ideas by investing our earnings into them.

I may not be the very next billionaire nor am I promised to become one before I die but I do know that I work hard to do right and do good by others. What about your overall behaviors? If they are copied by those around you will it make their lives better or worse? Will it make them average or accomplished?

Only you can answer these questions but know that until we are able to layout an environment where our children can blossom or one where our adults can achieve greatness, as the Facebooks go public, our community will remain private and we will forever be eye witnesses watching history made while we protest the 1% to be paid.