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American Student Assistance® (ASA), a nonprofit dedicated to transforming how students explore careers and prepare for the future, has announced a significant investment of $25 million.  The nonprofit targets funds and companies with diverse founders and early-stage firms focusing on career education, postsecondary pathways, and workforce development.  The move aims to expand access to essential skills and resources, helping middle and high school students navigate their career paths and achieve long-term success. A $25M Investment ASA’s investment strategy began in April 2022, and since then, it has directed over $40

Tangent, a technology platform founded by former LinkedIn employee Gary Izunwa and Joe Adams, has secured $1.1 million in funding and officially launched out of beta. Tangent, an employee referral platform aims to make referrals accessible to everyone by increasing tech career opportunities for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. A Vision For Inclusive Tech Tangent’s approach centers on starting with tech sales roles, engaging companies like Revolut, Stripe, and Amazon to support the transition of talent from diverse backgrounds into the tech ecosystem. This strategy aligns with the broader vision of Tangent—to democratize access to tech careers and create

Toku, a fintech startup that specializes in recurring payment solutions, has raised $9.3 million in its latest funding round.  The funding round was led by Gradient Ventures and supported by existing investors including F-Prime Capital, Clocktower, Y Combinator, Wollef, and Funders Club.  This latest investment has now pushed Toku’s total funding to nearly $20 million. Revolutionizing Payment Collections In Latin America Founded in 2020, Toku has become a leading player in the fintech sector by automating the entire payment processing lifecycle.  Its platform offers varied payment options, handles customer outreach, and optimizes collection strategies using real-time data.  This approach enhances the

Bitcoin teller machines (BTMs) in the U.S. are disproportionately installed in areas with large Black and Latine populations, a Bloomberg analysis has revealed. BTMs in Black and Latine areas The number of BTMs, which allow people to convert cash into Bitcoin, has risen drastically over the last four years, now totalling around 31,100 units nationwide.  These machines, commonly found in gas stations and convenience stores, saw a surge during the pandemic as interest in digital currencies grew. However, a Bloomberg analysis has revealed that the machines are disproportionately installed in

Tuskegee University recently announced a $20 million donation to enhance its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs and various campus facilities.  This gift, bestowed by an anonymous benefactor, marks the second $20 million gift in less than four years. Fostering a Dynamic Campus Community The donation’s generosity will facilitate the creation of faculty leadership positions and scholarships, helping to enhance the academic environment.  It will also improve student affairs and campus security staffing, contributing to a safer and more engaging student experience.  “This gift will allow us to invest in

Lafarge Africa Plc has recently launched the Girls in Tech Program to foster a new generation of female innovators.  The program seeks to diminish the gender disparities within the tech industry by focusing on empowering young women from host communities in Cross River State, Nigeria. Bridging the Gender Gap in Tech The Girls in Tech Program is designed to provide vital skills and opportunities to ten young women aged 18-25.  By introducing them to the technology world, Lafarge Africa aims to create an environment where these women can become self-reliant and influential problem-solvers within

The Folklore, a platform known for connecting global consumers with African brands and diasporic fashion, has secured a substantial $3.4 million seed funding.  This round was spearheaded by Benchstrength Ventures, with contributions from Techstars, Black Tech Nation Ventures, and Slauson and Co. Connecting brands with Major Retailers In 2022, Folklore underwent a transformation. Originally a shopping platform showcasing primarly African brands, it now aims to enhance how emerging brands integrate into the retail landscape.  “[Brands] would come to me for advice on how to expand their footprint, how to get a loan or how

Researchers are improving detection algorithms to make them fairer and more accurate by incorporating greater demographic diversity, according to The Conversation. Deepfakes, synthetic media in which a person’s likeness is replaced with someone else’s without consent, are rapidly advancing. From realistic representations of celebrities in compromising situations to false statements by political leaders, technology poses a significant threat to trust and truth in digital media.  As these manipulations become harder to detect, the want to develop tools to disprove them grows. Bias in Detection Algorithms Typically, deepfake detection systems rely

Dr. Dionne Mahaffey has developed an AI-powered platform, Behavioral Health Notes, to decrease the time mental health professionals spend recording notes. The Need For Efficiency in Mental Health Documentation The mental health sector has long faced challenges related to clinician burnout, increased by time-consuming administrative tasks.  According to a recent report by Accenture, using AI in healthcare could save up to $150 billion annually by 2026, mainly by reducing such inefficiencies. A solution was needed for mental health professionals, where documentation can extend into personal time. Introducing Behavioral Health Notes Dr. Mahaffey, a

Hispanic and Latine employees feel pressured to conform to mainstream office norms at the expense of their authentic selves and cultural heritage, a new study by Coqual has revealed. Hispanic and Latine professionals represent a rapidly growing demographic in the U.S. workforce, yet they continue to navigate several stereotypes, colorism, and cultural invisibility. The Coqual study used a mixed-method approach, including surveys, focus groups, and expert interviews, involving more than 2,300 full-time professionals across the United States. The pressure to assimilate Key findings indicate that 68% of Hispanic and Latine professionals with sponsors

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