ICMCP National Townhall

Recap – Wednesday October 7, 2015 National Townhall Meeting on Underrepresentation of Minorities in Cybersecurity hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee 








Pre-Townhall Member Reception (Tuesday, October 6, 2015)

On the eve of the Townhall, our Membership Co-Chair Deb Page, with the generous sponsorship of Andy Bonillo of our Strategic Advisory Board, organized an ICMCP Mixer at the Verizon Center during the pre-season game of the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76’ers.

The event was professionally organized, well attended and provided an awesome stage-setting for Wednesday’s Townhall.

Our thanks to Deb and Andy for a job well done!

Please contact our Corporate Events Chairs, Bernice McCallum and Carol Anthony for more information.

Wednesday October 7th 1400hrs EST

The Opening Remarks of the Townhall were offered by Lillie Conte, a Senior Staffer to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee who apologized for the Congresswoman’s inability to make the start of the meeting due to ongoing votes on the floor but added that she would be joining the meeting later that afternoon along with potentially other legislators.

ICMCP’s Co-Founder and President Devon Bryan, provided a few opening remarks reflecting on the remarkable accomplishments of the “startup 501(c)3 non-profit and thanking the team of ICMCP Volunteers for donating time on their nights and weekends to further a social cause that’s already changing lives.

The event’s master of ceremonies (MC) was Melody Balcet who also led the phenomenal job of organizing a VERY successful ‘launch event’ for ICMCP.  CONGRATS Melody for a job well done!











The first panel was the Government Perspectives Panel where panelists discussed initiatives being led by their agencies or personal initiatives they have themselves undertaken.  Key takeaways/discussion topics from this panel are as follows:

– The National Science Foundation programs and government grants available for diversity focused initiatives
– NIST NICE has launched a K-12 cybersecurity education initiative to develop a comprehensive agenda focused on the challenges of cybersecurity education at the K-12 level.
– DHS has over 70 self-funded 70 internships each summer that provide tremendous exposure to students.



The second panel was the Academic Perspectives Panel and focused on higher learning diversity challenges in STEM.  Key takeaways/discussion topics from this panel are as follows:

– Only 18 institutions of higher learning offers approved cybersecurity curium
– Professors are still seeing far fewer female students in their classes than males

The Academic Perspectives Panel was interrupted as Congresswoman Judy Chu, stopped in to address the attendees and offered her prepared remarks which underscored the importance of cybersecurity to our nations economic and national security and the importance of representation of all citizens in tackling the problem.



The third and final panel presentation of the day was the Industry Perspectives Panel but before the final panel got started, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee stopped in to deliver the event’s keynote and pose for pictures.

The Industry Perspectives Panel got underway late afternoon with a roomful of fully engaged attendees.  Key takeaways/discussion topics from this panel are as follows:

– We need to do more to equip students with practical experience before graduation as employers continue to insist on “3-5 years of experience”
– Industry needs to do more and invest more


While the event was filled with rich content and insightful take-aways, a small extract of some notable items with strategic implications:

      1. Schools with a track in cybersecurity should be reaching out to the Military
      2. Panelist prediction – 10 years from now – Cyber will be core in schools
      3. College graduates – will have access to certifications & hands on (move out of traditional)
      4. Cyber Security must be a National Commitment/Initiative  – We are in a Cold War and losing as we’re fighting with half our resources
      5. Need a Cyber Cabinet – Cyber schools should have “On The Job Training”  – Apprenticeship
      6. Encourage Universities to blend both “Certificate & Degree”

The post-event reception was sponsored by HumanTouch LLC and held at the historic building of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.

1) Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee’s prepared remarks https://icmcp.mangoapps.com/sf/5R7Hqa6R5-Vp
2) Pictures from the event ref https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B3qD7TxGgaPMbXBTZldQQm9ZQm8&usp=sharing

The following are articles in the press about the event:
• https://fcw.com/articles/2015/10/09/minority-cyber-zach-noble.aspx
• http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2015/10/house-inspector-general-cybersecurity-team-sport/122661/
• http://www.blackenterprise.com/technology/congresswoman-jackson-lee-icmcp-on-need-for-diversity-in-cybersecurity/