ASTRA and Career Communications Group join Congressman G.K.Butterfield and Congresswoman Barbara Lee at TECH 2020 Press Conference fostering Diversity in Innovative Tech Companies

December 10, 2015

Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein represented ASTRA as Advisor and Futurist, and Career Communications Group as their Alum and 2015 Women of Color in STEM Lifetime Achievement Awardee at the TECH 2020 press event, “African American Tech Talent: Ready, Willing and Able,” held on December 3rd. at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Convened by the CBC Foundation Diversity Task Force, co chaired by Congressman Butterfield and Congresswoman Lee, this forum spotlighted the progress of the CBC TECH 2020 initiative ( ) to break down the barriers to fostering an innovation economy,  and highlighted the collaborative work of 7 national professional associations who had designed and adopted an “African American Inclusion Plan” to increase diversity within the growing tech industry.

After each organization shared its individual mission, each reiterated a commitment to the equity strategies of increasing inclusion of women and traditionally underserved minorities in leadership roles in their companies.

All of the attendees , whether representing government, or telecommunications, financial services, bio tech, cybersecurity industry,  or STEM non profits, agreed that  DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IS REQUIRED TO STRENGTHEN AMERICA’S INNOVATION CAPACITY.

Like ASTRA, several of the groups assembled recognize technology and telecommunications as the tools of transformation and partnerships as the strategy to achieve America’s transformations. Three of the founders of the Global Leadership Forum (, Tyrone Taborn (CEO Career Communications Group), Zackerie Lemelle, (CEO of NEW HOPE Coaching and Consulting), and Viola Thompson (President of the Info Technology Senior Management Forum), further assert:

“It is only through broad based coalitions of government, private sector, academia and STEM based organizations that a multiplier effect can be created, and a collective impact ensure America retains its innovation leadership and competitive edge.”

Co chairs of the CBC Diversity Task Force congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman G.K Butterfield.                                       

Troy Clair (Chief of Staff to Cong Butterfield), Kevin Antoine (AAAED), Perry Carter (BDPA), Cam Snaith (Bleeker), Viola Thompson (ITSMF), Zack Lemelle (GLF).

Dr Ronnie Lowenstein (ASTRA & Career Communications Group) and Viola Thompson (ITSMF).

Mrs Shirley Whicher (AAAED) discusses importance of diversity in the tech sector.

Graduate student from Bowie State, Ms Ogochikwu Eduruoh provides testimony on the benefits of technology for global innovation.

Zack Lemelle, CEO of NEW HOPE

Zack Lemelle, CEO of NEW HOPE and Dr Ronnie Lowenstein (ASTRA & Career Communications Group)


American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity (AAAED)
AAAED promotes advocacy of affirmative action and other equla opportunities to enhance inclusion and equality in employment and educational opportunities.

Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA)
BDPA is an organization of professionals in the fields of information technology, computer science and STEM, who are actively engaged in serving the community through outreach and charting the future of the IT industry.

Blacks In Technology (BIT)
BIT establishes a blueprint of World class technical excellence and innovation by providing resources and guidance to members to surpass the high mark and establish new standards of global innovation.

Bleeker works with individuals and companies to empower them to create sustainable career paths.

Career Communications Group (CCG)
CCG promotes career opportunities in engineering science and technology to historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields through professional and career development opportunities.

Global Leadership Forum (GLF)
GLF helps young professionals develop skills they need to become competent leaders and community builders.

Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF)
ITSMF's mission is to increase African-American representation at senior levels of IT through executive leadership development programming.

Related Article:
Moving Beyond The Pipeline Discussion: African American Tech Talent Is Ready, Willing, & Able

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