Friday, April 23, 2010

BWB 2010 Confirmed Speakers

We are happy to announce our initial list of confirmed speakers for BWB 2010. More speakers will be announced in the weeks leading up to the conference.

Lola Adesioye
Lola Adesioye is a socio-political commentator. She is a regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper (where she writes a weekly online column), The Economist, The Huffington Post, ARISE magazine and Until recently, Lola was also Deputy Editor of African-American news site,

Born and raised in London, England, of Nigerian heritage and now living in New York, Lola brings a unique and well-informed international perspective to the topics that she writes and talks about. She also travels extensively, and has lived in post-apartheid South Africa.

With a grandfather who was one of the forefathers of journalism in Nigeria, the media is in Lola’s blood. Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Social & Political Science from the world-renowned Cambridge University also inform her work. Lola regularly appears on TV & Radio, as a talking head for CNN, MSNBC, BET, the UK’s Channel 4 News and the BBC. In 2004, Lola appeared in a critically-acclaimed BBC documentary series entitled ‘Black Ambition’ which documented the final year (pre-graduation) of a handful of black Cambridge University students.

Dedicated to giving back to her community, Lola recently got a group of Cambridge alumni together to begin an educational fund which will provide financial assistance and mentoring for minority students. She also is part of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, a body of over 100 high caliber Nigerians who are dedicated to transforming Nigerian society and is on the New Media Advisory Committee for the Applied Research Center.

Angela Benton
Angela Benton’s experience spans a variety of industries and roles. She has worked at several InterActive Corp businesses including,, and Additionally she has held roles at, UPS, and Homes of Color Magazine. Throughout her career she has worked in a variety of roles in design, marketing, development, and digital strategy. Her expertise lies in New Media.

Presently Angela is the CEO of Black Web Media, which publishes the leading online publication for African-Americans interested in Technology and New Media. Black Web Media’s mission is to be a catalyst for innovation and inclusive ideas on the web for African-Americans.

Angela also speaks on topics such as diversity in the web and media industries, web trends, web strategy, and web 2.0’s effects on urban media. She was recently named as one of Ebony Magazine’s Power 150 in the Technology and New Media category along side David Drummond (Google) and Ray Ramsey (One Economy Corporation).

Angela graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications with a specialization in Digital Design. She has also completed postgraduate coursework in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. 

André Brock
André Brock is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa and studies the Internet and other technologies from a critical race theory framework. In many ways, technologies are structured to reflect an "ideal user"; one which subliminally (or even explicitly) seeks to mold users into the prescribed template – typically Christian, heterosexual, white, male, and middle-class. In recent work, he has examined the construction of race on the NY Times Freakonomics weblog; representations of race and gender in videogames; and the intersections of race, hip hop, and representation in the African American blogosphere's reactions to Kanye West's Katrina monologue.

Maurice Cherry
Maurice Cherry is creative principal at 3eighteen media. His client list includes top companies and agencies such as AT&T,, Grady Health Foundation, NASA, and more. Cherry also works with tech startups, small businesses, and many others. Cherry holds degrees in both mathematics and network and communications management, and brings a high level of strategic expertise, future-forward creativity, and agile problem solving to 3eighteen media's clients. Cherry also does independent consulting work and has several years of project management experience under his belt. Cherry's passion for technology and good design is contagious. He has written for several technology websites on numerous facets of online marketing and branding. Cherry is also the creator of the Black Weblog Awards, which is entering its sixth year. Cherry is also an authority on social media and technology for political campaigns, and has served as Director of New Media for the Borders for Atlanta Mayoral Campaign in Atlanta, GA. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, playing video games, travelling, haphazardly spelling words the British way, and writing the next great science fiction series.

Cheryl Contee
Cheryl Contee is a consultant whose private practice specializes in helping major non-profit organizations, tech startups, Fortune 500 companies and leading trade associations manage their brands and their campaigns online with a focus on Web 2.0, social media and blogger relations. She is also a blogger and co-founder writing as Jill Tubman on one of the top 10 black blogs online, Jack and Jill Politics. She has over 13 years of award-winning interactive expertise and previously served as lead digital strategist for Fleishman-Hillard for the West Coast in San Francisco.

Patrice Grell Yursik
Patrice Grell Yursik is a Trinidadian born writer who now lives in Chicago and works as a full time blogger and freelance writer-for-hire. Her blog, has won more than ten online awards including five Black Weblog Awards, and is listed at #7 on Konector's list of top 50 Beauty Blogs.

Scott Hanselman
Scott has been blogging since 2002 and his technical blog gets over a half-million hits a month. He's been podcasting a weekly show for over 200 shows. He works out of my home office for Microsoft as a Principal Program Manager, aiming to spread good information about developing software, usually on the Microsoft stack. Scott has done stand-up comedy, beat poetry, been an adjunct professor at university, written or worked on a half-dozen books, is an amateur linguist with a focus on Amharic and Zulu, and will talk technology to whoever will listen.

Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D
Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D., studies animal behavior and teaches biology and urban ecology. As an active member of several scientific societies and science blogging communities, Danielle encourages students from under-represented groups to study science and pursue science careers. Danielle’s interest in outreach to under-served groups, particularly African-Americans includes mentoring undergraduate and high school students, participating in after-school science programs, and speaking to youth groups about careers in science and ecology. She was selected as the 2009 Diversity Scholars Award by the American Institute of Biological Sciences for her contributions to science and promoting diversity within the field. Her science blog, Urban Science Adventures! ©, introduces the young people and the scientifically naïve to science through urban ecology and environmental science. In 2009, she attended in the ScienceOnline meeting, a science blogging conference of scientists and online science communicators. There she co-moderated a panel on promoting ethnic diversity in the sciences. She also created the Diversity in Science Carnival – an online vehicle for promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) diversity to larger audiences. Her blogging awards include the 2009 Black Weblog Best Science and Technology Blog (Popular Vote) and her work has been featured in the 2009 Open Laboratory Anthology of the Best Science Writing on the Web.

Ananda Leeke
Yoga + Creativity + Internet Geek = Ananda Leeke. Leeke is a lawyer turned “Jill of many trades”: innerpreneur, author, artist, coach, and yoga teacher. Her mission is “Empowering U2BU through creativity coaching, Reiki, self-care, social media, volunteerism, and yoga.” She penned That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (2009) and her debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (2007). Both books celebrate Leeke’s passion for yoga. She is currently writing Sisterhood the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (2011) and Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two (2011).

Presently, she serves as the DC Social Media Examiner for She also teaches online yoga classes for computer users on and MomTV. Leeke taught yoga for computer users at Blogalicious, She's Geeky DC, and Latinos in Social Media in 2009. In June 2010, she will teach a yoga class during DC Digital Capital Week. Visit to learn more about her. Follow her on Twitter too:

Luvvie is co-founder of The Red Project Collective, a national organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on minority communities (women, people of color, LGBT). The Collective was started as a result of the success of The Red Pump Project, which started as a campaign to get bloggers to "Rock the Red Pump" on their sites to talk about HIV/AIDS and its effect on women. Red Pump now has a brother initiative (The Red Tie Project), and 40 ambassadors in 20 states around the country.

When Luvvie isn't Red Pump Rocking, she blogs over at, where she roasts, rants and raves (and *wall slides*). She can also be found shopping for shoes, traveling and getting blocked by short, unfunny comedians on Twitter (@LuvvieIG).

Gina McCauley
Called “the Dean of Black Bloggers” and “a woman who's on the cutting edge of the internet and social media," Gina McCauley is one of the most influential African American digital media content creators in the world. In 2007, she was named to ESSENCE magazine's list of the 25 Most Influential African Americans. She has written for ESSENCE magazine and, The Guardian, and The Observer. Her blog posts have been quoted or mentioned on CNN, Entertainment Tonight, and the CBS Morning Show. She appeared on PBS NDTV, NPR, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, RTE Radio 1 in Ireland, XM radio and Frontline: Digital Nation on PBS.

In 2007 she launched What About Our Daughters?, a blog dedicated to combating negative portrayals of African-American women in popular culture and in 2008, she launched Michelle Obama Watch, a blog dedicated to monitoring the good, the bad, and the ugly media coverage of Michelle Obama. She founded Blogging While Brown, the

first international conference for bloggers of color. In addition to designing and implementing the curriculum for digital literacy training, she is a frequent presenter at some of the largest social media conferences in the world, including Blogher, South by Southwest and Blog World Expo.

Latoya Peterson
Latoya Peterson spends her time editing the blog - the intersection of race and pop culture. She is contributor to and has written for Vibe, The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Bitch Magazine, Clutch Magazine, the Women's Review of Books, Slate's Double X, Salon's Broadsheet, The Root and the Guardian. Her essay, "The Not Rape Epidemic" was published in the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape (Seal Press, 2008). She is currently working on projects related to race, pop culture, and video games.

Carmen Dixon Rosenzweig
Carmen Dixon Rosenzweig guides truth seekers who have a strong conscience and a desire to make the world a better place by showing them how to engage in honest and authentic conversations about race armed with understanding but without shame or overwhelming fear.

Those who work with Carmen can expect to emerge with renewed feelings of optimism and a re-energized connection to humanity and sense of possibility.

Prior to creating All About Race, Carmen spent more than a decade on the front lines of broadcast journalism, corporate public relations and crisis management honing her skills as an expert communicator. As an ABC News producer, Carmen won three Emmy Awards. She is a graduate of Yale University.

Now Carmen writes for AOL BlackVoices, hosts “All About Race” on BlogTalkRadio and conducts seminars and motivational presentations from the place on the racial frontier where the quest for understanding and tolerance faces down anger, reluctance and fear

Nichelle Stephens
Nichelle Stephens is a blogger, editor and social media strategist. She is the editor of,a branded lifestyle blog for African American women. She is also the co-founder of Cupcakes Take The Cake, the most popular blog about cupcakes, finance and small business tips.

Baratunde Thurston
Baratunde Thurston is a comedian, author and vigilante pundit who successfully combines technology, politics and comedy. He co-founded the black political blog, Jack & Jill Politics in the summer of 2006, works as the web editor at The Onion and hosts Popular Science's Future Of on Science Channel. Baratunde has contributed to Vanity Fair, The UK Independent and WNYC's The Takeaway, and with over 23,000 followers he tweets very, very hard.

Mr. Thurston, which he goes by in his bio, has often used satire as an expression of his activism and technology as a medium for that expression. He has self-published three books, including Keep Jerry Falwell Away From My Oreo Cookies and is currently writing How To Be Black, which will be published by Harper.

Baratunde was nominated for the Bill Hicks Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, declared a Champion of the First Amendment by Iowa State University, and called “someone I need to know” by Barack Obama. His stage presence has earned him speaking duties at the National Conference for Media Reform, Netroots Nation, South by Southwest Interactive & Film and Web 2.0 Expo. He has been featured various media outlets including ABC, NPR, BBC, CNN, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, C-SPAN and

Baratunde resides in Brooklyn, lives in The Internet and has over 30 years experience being black.

No comments: