Applications are open for this summer’s four-day Black Girls Lead conference

opportunities cardApplications for the four-day Black Girls Lead summer conference are available online through Friday, May 20 at 11:59 p.m. The conference is organized by the team behind Black Girls Rock, the youth empowerment and mentoring organization for young women of color that is perhaps best known publicly for its annual, star-studded televised special. In fact, Black Girls Rock’s day-to-day work centers around its youth programming, which also includes a camp and a tech initiative.

The New York City-based conference is for girls between ages 13 to 17 from the spectrum of socioeconomic and geographical backgrounds. Organizers say the conference is designed to enhance leadership development, critical thinking skills, academic achievement, and civic engagement. The application calls for a demonstration by the applicant of strong leadership potential and a vested interest in their personal and professional development.

The conference features workshops, classes, lectures, and empowerment panels on media and cultural literacy, business, entrepreneurship, arts, social action, technology, financial literacy, and other topics.

For more information and to apply, visit Featured image via

Code for Newark offering free classes for teens at four city locations starting April 27th

opportunities cardCode for Newark will be offering free coding classes for teens at three separate Centers of Hope locations and one high school: The Waterfront, The Club House, and Vince Lombardi Centers of Hope will host 10-week “coding clubs,” and West Side High School will host a 12-week “design sprint.”

The purpose of the program is to equip 6th through 12th grade Newark students with the fundamentals of in-demand tech skills including product design, web development, game development, and mobile app development, as well as the thought frameworks to effectively approach this type of work, such as design thinking. The design sprint program will additionally expose students to the foundations of graphic design standards and practice.

Parents and students are highly encouraged to attend an orientation at The Clubhouse (205 Spruce Street) on Tuesday, April 19th at 6 p.m. The schedule for the coding classes themselves are as follows:

  • The Waterfront (2 Grafton Avenue): Tuesdays starting April 26th (10 weeks)
  • The Club House (205 Spruce Street): Wednesdays starting April 27th (10 weeks)
  • Vince Lombardi (201 Bloomfield Avenue): Thursdays starting April 28th (10 weeks)
  • West Side (403 South Orange Avenue): Wednesdays starting April 27th (12 weeks)

To sign up, visit

Free info session for 16-week entrepreneurial training program downtown Newark

opportunities cardThere’s a new opportunity for Newark residents to learn essential business fundamentals, and maybe even get some retail space.

The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (Newark CEDC) and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) have announced the Community Storefront Program, a training program meant to help Newark business owners and entrepreneurs launch, expand, or strengthen their businesses.  Their recent announcement specifically noted that creative entrepreneurs who offer custom clothing, jewelry, accessories, home decor, artisinal crafts, personal products, and specialty items are welcome to attend the program.

According to the announcement, a number of the program’s participants will also have an opportunity to join a “shared retail space” in the city’s Central Ward.

For more information, interested entrepreneurs should visit For more information, contact Al-Qadr Camillo at or call (973) 273-1040.

Apply for GrassROOTS Community Foundation’s ‘Super Camp’ for elementary and middle school girls

opportunities cardPublic health and social action organization GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF) is again offering a summer camp for girls, and this summer they’re expanding the program to address middle schoolers in addition to the elementary school girls they served last year.

The organization, which centers health and wellness within a more holistic set of programs and initiatives for girls, will offer leadership training, confidence building, historical and cultural instruction, mentorship, community service opportunities, and a weekly internship project to Essex County girls of African decent who are admitted to the program. The program is grounded in the principles of Ma’at, which emphasizes truth telling, order, balance, and reciprocity, and employs yoga practice in order to underscore several of those areas.

The “Seedlings” program is for girls in first through fourth grade, and the “Leaves” program is for girls in grades five through eight. Written applications for both programs are due this Saturday, April 2nd. The application calls for the student’s grades, most and least favorite subject, a statement about their interest in the camp from both the student and the parent and, for the “Leaves” applicants, an essay about social justice, among other information.

A separate financial aid application is due on April 12th. (The program costs $1,600, and financial aid can cover up to 75% of the total cost, or $1,200.)

The camp will take place at The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and Holy Communion in South Orange from July 11th through August 5th.

Parents discuss how Super Camp enhanced their daughters’ well being:

The deadline to apply for the program is Saturday, April 2nd. Apply for the “Seedlings” program (grades 1 -4) here, and apply for “Leaves” (grades 5 – 8) here.

Science camp at NJIT seeks aspiring scientists and innovators for all-expenses-paid summer 2016 program

opportunities cardNew Jersey Institute of Technology will once again host the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, a two-week, all-expenses-paid camp for bright students entering sixth, seventh or eighth grades in the fall of 2016. The camp promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and supports historically underserved and underrepresented students.

The theme of this summer’s camp, which runs July 10 – July 22, is “Engineering Your Place in Space.” During the camp, students will work on fun hands-on activities, experiments, projects and field experiences to enrich their math, science, technology and communication skills. The campers will attend classes aimed to enhance their problem solving, research, critical thinking and communication skills. Certified secondary teachers, university faculty and other professionals will serve as instructors.

The camp will be held on the NJIT campus and housing is provided in the Cypress Hall dormitory, giving the students an early sense of what it’s like to live on a college campus. Camp participants will be selected from Essex, Union, Passaic, Hudson and Bergen counties, which are within a 10 miles radius of the NJIT campus. NJIT will accept 36 students — half girls, half boys — into the camp.  Click Here For Application.

NJIT has hosted the camp since 2007. It is the only university in the New York metro region to host this camp and one of only 10 universities in the nation.

“NJIT is proud to be a part of a program that has such a significant impact on our local students,” said Suzanne Berliner Heyman, executive camp director. “We believe the knowledge these young students gain during the camp will increase their passion for science and math throughout their lives.”

Questions about the camp should be directed to the Center for Pre-College Programs at 973-596-3550, or visit The center, the oldest and most successful pre-college program in the state, runs the camp in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation and the The Harris Foundation.

Bernard Harris, the camp founder, is the first African-American astronaut to walk in space. He’s a veteran of two space shuttle missions and a former NASA researcher. Today, Harris dedicates himself to his camp and to educating young people about the glories of science, technology, engineering and math.

Since 2006, ExxonMobil Foundation has partnered with Harris to host summer science camps at academic institutions across the country. Each year, the camps provide more than 1,200 middle school students, mostly from urban districts, with the opportunity to participate in lessons and activities provided by NASA and The Harris Foundation. ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corp.

“Our camp is designed to offer students of promise the opportunity to see what a career in STEM would be like,” said Harris, president of The Harris Foundation. “Through this experience, we are helping build the next generation of innovators.”

How to enter the 2016 Congressional Art Competition for high school students in our district

opportunity cardToday, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) announced that New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District is participating in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition.

 “I am pleased to announce that high school students from New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District will once again have the opportunity to showcase their artistic talents in the Congressional Art Competition,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “Every year, I am impressed by the creative pieces our local students submit and look forwarding to sharing them with our community and the entire country. I wish all participants the best of luck, and I eagerly await their artwork.”

The competition is open to all high school students in New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District. (Exceptions may be made for schools that have 7th through 12th grades on one campus.) Participating students must work with their school’s art teacher to participate.

 The final winner will be determined by a panel of local experts, and the winning student’s work will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol for members of Congress, staff, and visitors to see. The winner will also travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in a national ceremony with other winners from around the country. An awards reception will also be held on Monday, May 2, 2016, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Newark Museum.

Each submission must be two-dimensional, no larger than 28” X 28” X 4,” no more than 15 pounds, original in design, and prepared for hanging. Each student may submit only one piece of artwork. To learn more about the competition and to see the official guidelines, visit the Congressional Art Competition’s website.  A release form and submission checklist are also available online.

The Student Release Forms are due to Congressman Payne, Jr.’s Newark office by March 30. All artwork must be submitted to Newark office by April 6. Those with questions regarding the 2016 Congressional Art Competition may contact Samantha Washington at (973)-645-3213.

How do I get capital for my business? A new initiative from GNEC helps area businesses navigate the process.

opportunities cardLast month, Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) officially kicked off their Technology Business Support Initiative (TBSI). Partnering with the Enterprise Development Center at NJIT, and funded by grants from JPMorgan Chase and Synchrony, the first two-day session was led by certified financial trainer Ron Quintero and covered financial modeling essentials for raising capital.

The goal of the initiative is to equip CEOs, founders, and principals with the financial skills necessary to valuate their businesses, discuss financial details with investors, and negotiate with and utilize different capital sources. The roughly 25 businesses in attendance learned the key aspects of developing financial models defensible to all types of investors and lenders.  Over the next 6 months, TBSI will offer in-class trainings, one-on-one consultations, and online resources to aid participating companies in preparing for funding. Valuations, attracting the right talent, and negotiating term sheets and investor contracts are a few of the other workshops planned.

GNEC’s overall mission is to help put business owners in positions to make better decisions about funding sources. It has positioned itself as a major urban business resource due to its history of providing microloans, training, and technical assistance to greater Newark entrepreneurs and businesses. GNEC offically relocated to NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center at NJIT in January. GNEC’s collaborative partnership with the EDC is intended to support Newark-based businesses and helps strengthen the entrepreneur support ecosystem.

For more information about the EDC, contact Jerry Creighton at For more information about the Technology Business Support Initiative Workshop, contact Chike Uzoka at

Makers, crafters, and performers: How to participate in the Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire this spring

opportunities cardThe third annual Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2016 at the Newark Museum, 49 Washington St., Newark. The call for makers, performers and crafters is open now through March 11. Any groups or individuals interested in participating in this event should complete the simple application at

The Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire is modeled after the World Maker Faire in New York City, which draws more than 100,000 visitors. The Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire will follow the Maker Faire model of celebrating do-it-yourself creativity and tinkering.

Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, do-it-yourself science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music and local food, and educational workshops and installations.

Makers and creators will be listed and featured on after the Call for Makers closes on March 11.

Follow the development of the Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire on Twitter @nwkmakerfaire, as well as on its Facebook fan page, /greaternewarkminimakerfaire. Questions? Contact Ryan Reedell at or 973.596.5149.


Entries sought for Newark Black Film Festival’s 2016 Paul Robeson Awards

opportunities cardFilmmakers are invited to submit entries for the Newark Black Film Festival’s Paul Robeson Awards. The biennial competition, administered by the Newark Museum, recognizes aspiring filmmakers and honors the spirit of Paul Robeson, who was an activist, performer and athlete. The deadline is February 26, 2016.

Winners will receive special recognition at an award ceremony, a film screening, a plaque and a cash award. The award winners will be screened on August 3, 2016.

“The high caliber of films submitted to the Newark Black Film Festival Paul Robeson Awards is astounding,” said NBFF Chair and Charter Member Gloria Hopkins Buck. “The judges for the Robeson Awards are dedicated in choosing films that represent the festival’s mission, while engaging our audience with inspiring and intriguing films. It is an awesome responsibility to select films that represent the African-American and African Diaspora experience.”

To be considered for the 2016 Paul Robeson Award, films submitted must be deemed non-commercial independent films that were released since January 2013, with the understanding that the filmmaker had control of the completed work. The categories are long and short narrative, long and short documentary, experimental and animation. There is a $40 entry fee for each film submitted. The entry form can be obtained a

The Newark Black Film Festival (NBFF), which is celebrating its 42th anniversary in 2016, is the longest-running black film festival in the United States. The six-week Festival will be held on Wednesday evenings in Newark, starting June 29, 2016.

NBFF co-presenters include New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT); The Newark Public Library; Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey/Newark; and City Plex 12, all in Newark.

Stay informed about the 2016 Paul Robeson Awards and the Newark Black Film Festival by following the Museum on Facebook at or Twitter at; or by visiting

Call for Artists: ‘Urban Evidence II’ exhibition curated by Jae Quinlan

The team behind Artfront Galleries has issued a call for artists for an upcoming exhibit. The show will be curated by Jae Quinlan, one of the team of five who runs Artisan Collective on Halsey Street.

Quoting the call for artists:

Art is a powerful tool igniting change that will impact future generations by confronting the societal and cultural norms of the day. Urban Legacy will be Artfront Galleries premier 2016 event.  The goal of Urban Legacy is to challenge the viewer, as the ancestor to be, to examine what ethical, political, and aesthetic footprints the arts are creating for the next generation to follow or boldly shift away.

Urban Legacy is looking for artists of all disciplines to submit images of their work that support this vision.  Special consideration will be given to oversize sculpture, photographs, abstracts and “graffiti” reflective of the diverse cultural influences in the surrounding community.

Criteria for submission:

  1. Email an image for each work to by February 19, 2016.  Include title, media, dimensions, and sale price.  Note that artists retain 100% of sale price.
  2. Artists will be notified by February 26, 2016 which works have been accepted and forwarded a consignment form.
  3. Curator will contact the artists with days and times for drop off of consignment forms and pieces.  Note that late entries will not be displayed.
  4. Artists are expected to attend the opening reception on Friday March 11, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  5. Artists must pick up unsold works by deadline established by curator.