Black Data Processing Associates
|Founder(s)||Earl A Pace Jr.|
Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) is a non-profit organization that serves the professional well-being of its stakeholders. BDPA provides resources that support the professional growth and technical development of individuals in the information technology industry. Through education and leadership, BDPA promotes innovation, business skills, and professional development. Backed by more than 50 chapters in cities throughout the United States, BDPA is widely recognized as the premier organization for African-American information technology professionals. BDPA National headquarters is located in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) was founded in 1975 by Earl A. Pace, Jr. and David Wimberly after the two met in Philadelphia to discuss their concerns about ethnic minorities in the data processing field. The founders cited a lack of minorities in middle and upper management, low recruitment and poor preparation of minorities for these positions, and an overall lack of career mobility.
The founders built an organization of 35 members, hosted presentations to improve data processing skills and launched a job opportunities announcement service. This nucleus has grown to over 50 chapters throughout the United States and thousands of members. The organization is a catalyst for professional growth and technical development for those in the IT industry.
 What is BDPA?
BDPA, a volunteer-run professional association, relies on Word of mouth to reach out to its stakeholder community (e.g. members, students, volunteers, educational institutions, entrepreneurs, corporate supporters and sponsors). Many people have never heard of BDPA. In June 2010, the BDPA Social Networking Team asked the question What is BDPA? with surprising results.
BDPA is a dream promoter.
- For me BDPA is a dream come true. I am an social entrepreneur and masters student at North Carolina State University studying public administration and nonprofit management and I aspire to uplift and motivate young people to learn innovative trends in technology.
- I came from a rural community in Illinois where it was difficult to even find an internet connection let along learn about social networking and online philanthropy. I am very thankful for organizations that support underserved populations and I know that BDPA will help millions do that.
- Every time I receive an email or message from BDPA I share it with all my students and they are always so amazed at the opportunities that are available. Some students need exposure to greatness so they can truly learn what is lying dormant in their own lives.
- In my organization, Destiny Fulfilled Leadership inc I teach 21st century technology skills, entrepreneur skills, nonprofit management, leadership and character development and arts education. Although my program is new I see the tremendous impact we are making in North Carolina, Illinois, California and Missouri through social networking. I connect all my students and their parents with mentors in all professions and allow them to be globally connected. I know that BDPA will help me continue to fulfill this purpose by constantly sharing great information that inspires and motivates daily.
- I know that BDPA is a catalyst for change for many people's lives and I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be involved in this awe-inspiring organization.
- I just joined in the last month but I know with BDPA the possibilities are endless!
- -Ty D. Harris, Executive Director, Destiny Fulfilled Leadership Inc
BDPA is an IT legacy builder.
- I'm a charter member of BDPA (1975) and have been financially current since then (and now a life member). When Earl Pace and David Wimberly first had the audacity to approach a bunch of us in Philly in 1975 about starting an organization for Black IT professionals to help each other and our community, there was no doubt in my mind that they were on to something. We met a number of times to determine what it was we wanted to really be, then we voted on the name BDPA from among three names placed on the table. This, and the rest, is history.
- I've served as President of the Philadelphia Chapter 1990 and 1991. And received National Member of the Year shortly thereafter. My active involvement with BDPA has varied from heavy to light depending on my availability. What makes me want to contribute, at least to some extent each year, is knowing that BDPA has built and continues to strengthen a legacy. Even the significant numbers who are no longer members, take what they have gleaned from BDPA and use it to contribute to the IT industry in many ways that we often don't even hear about. BDPA's positive impact on African-Americans in the IT field, as well as its impact on global IT in general, is much more far reaching than any statistics that we may gather will reveal. We should all make a commitment each year, no matter how small, to assure that BDPA's stamp of excellence is perpetuated. Let's sing it together; you know the tune: "I'll be there, I'll be there, just call my name, and I'll be there". And let's sing it every year.
- -Howard James, BDPA Philadelphia Chapter, Charter Member
 BDPA High School Computer Competition
The BDPA National High School Computer Competition, (HSCC), was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse Bemley, of Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Ga. has grown to over 20 teams of various high school students from chapters throughout the nation. It's all designed to introduce our Youth to the field of Information Technology, encourage them to seek higher levels of education, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals.
Once at the National Conference, students will be able to attend Workshops and Seminars covering topics related to Personal Development, Academic Development, Youth Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. They will be able to participate in activities including, Corporate Sponsored luncheons and receptions, visits to educational places in the hosting city (i.e. museums), and networking evenings with IT professionals and students from around the country. On top of all this, they get to showcase their talents in the National Competition which consists of a timed computerized written exam, oral questions and the development of a web application per specifications. If they feel creative, they can also participate in a T-Shirt Design Competition.
Student Eligibility Students who will be entering the 9th through 12th grade during August or September or graduating from high school the year of the competition are eligible to participate. They must also be a member of BDPA and sponsored by a local chapter.
---Gibran McDuffie, BDPA Chicago Chapter
- Lesley S. J. Farmer (2005), Digital Inclusion, Teens, and Your Library: Exploring the Issues and Acting on Them, Libraries Unlimited, ISBN 978-1-59158-128-4
- Group for Black Technology Professionals Comes to N.Va. Washington Post, (December 8, 2005).