DIGITIZE or DIE: Africans, Americans, the Internet and the new Millennium
by Chido Nwangwu

Howard University,Diaspora Development Corporation hold
Digital Economy Conference

Special to The Black Business Journal,, USAfrica The Newspaper and

In the information and digital economy such as we have, education of the general public as to available resources is increasingly important. In light of this realty, Diaspora Development Corporation in conjunction with the Howard University Small Business Development Center is presenting 'Digitize or Die' Surviving and Thriving in the New Technological Millennium.

It is a conference focused on launching and growing technology-based enterprises established by and/or targeting peoples of African, Hispanic, or Native American descent. With a theme, Exploring Ways to bridge the "digital divide," beginning Friday, October 8 and ending Saturday, October 9, 1999 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC, it promises to be very informative and useful in bridging the gap between the digital haves and have-nots.

The Conference was created to provide a platform for dialogue, networking, and strategic partnering. The conference is targeted towards emerging technology enterprises, aspiring technopreneurs, venture funders, and organizations proactively promoting the importance of "being wired." Opening Keynote address will be made by William Kennard (top left), chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Other participants are speakers H. Patrick Swygert (right) who serves President, Howard University; Omowale Crenshaw, executive director of Howard SBDC Network, and CEO, Diaspora Development Corporation; Chuck D, web music pioneer and rap music superstar of the group Public Enemy (top right) and Bring the; Tariq Muhammed, CEO, Digital Mafia Entertainment; moderator Leland Hardy, New Media Consultant; and Vicki Johnson.

Crenshaw informed The Black Business Journal and that the conference "is an excellent forum to share insights on the emerging digital economy and how it will impact our community. There's only one way forward: to digitize."

The DDC believes that the 'Digitize or Die' Conference will promote technology as the ideal foundation for creating sustainable economic development and wealth creation throughout the world in general, and the minority community in particular.

Others taking part include Andrew Bryan Burnett, Exec. Director, Howard SBDC Network, Director New Media, FCC; Co-founder of NetNoir; Jay Young, Bruce Lincoln, LaSean Smith, Paula Y. Bagasao, Lori Perine, Darien Dash, Barry Cooper, Myra Peterson, Gary Trujillo, Marcelino Ford-Levine, Jacqui Jenkins, Damon Miller (Country Manager - Japan ) of NetMoves and Knox Lasister.

Other presenters and speakers at the conference include a pioneer in web and multimedia publishing in the African-American community Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher of The Black Business Journal ( who also established the first African-owned, U.S.-based professional newspaper on the internet,; Della Clark, Wendy Dubit, B. Keith Fulton, Steven Rangel, Anthony Gee, Chris Young, Mike Granger, Millicent Y. Hodge, Dan Rua, Leandro Burnes, Eric Williams, Alma Derricks, Tony Woodroffe, Rod Matthews, Allan Black, Damon Williams, Ice-T, Sam Lokenauth, Tanaga Boozer, and John Taylor.

Various seminars addressing each of these segments include:

• State of Technology in Our Communities

• Creative Solutions in Bridging the Digital Divide

• Global Technology Arena Enterprise Creation

• How and Where to play?: Successful Business Models

• Developing a Winning Business Plan

• Business Plan Competition Profiles/Product Demonstrations

• Digital Entertainment

• Venture Funding

• Product Demonstrations

Through those panel-based seminars and keynote addresses, the conference attendees, guest speakers, and corporate partners will have the opportunity to learn, share, and discuss many of the innovative ways in which to create, develop, and fund the next generation of emerging enterprises, locally and internationally (outside the U.S.)
By Lawrence Nordee, correspondent for The Black Business Journal

Special reports and interviews from the conference at Howard University will feature in the
October and November, 1999 editions of The Black Business Journal,,
USAfrica The Newspaper and Technology companies are invited to run supplements and features about their products, agenda and presence in the African-American community. Send e-mail to or
Mail Contact: Alverna Johnson, Special Projects, The Black Business Journal.
8303 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Tx 77074. Phone: 713-270-6500. Fax: 713-270-8131


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