Racial Reckoning: Toward Healing and Transformation
Part II: Black Tech Innovators and Disruptors
Monday, Feb. 27, 2023
1 p.m. (Eastern)
Racial Reckoning: Moving Toward Transformation and Healing is a series of one-hour, news-style conversations where we examine what, exactly, has changed or not changed in the 2+ years since widespread rallies for racial justice rocked the world, and what it will take to harness our renewed awareness of racial inequity into transformation, healing and narrative change.
In the second installment of our discussion series, we examined the lack of diversity in the tech industry and highlight Black innovators and disruptors who are breaking down barriers, pushing boundaries, and transforming the tech landscape with their ingenuity and creativity.
Tech's lack of diversity persists despite pledges and commitments by company leaders and investors to address racial inequality in Silicon Valley and other tech centers. According to a 2020 report in Techonomy, while 15-19% of computer science degree graduates are Black or Latinae they make up less than 3% of the tech industry.
Industry executives often blame this failure—and the wealth gap that it fuels—on the so-called "pipeline problem," using terms like "lowering the bar" to infer Black, Latinae and women candidates are less qualified. These stereotypes are then amplified in media coverage that continually hypes the brilliance of White male innovators and disruptors like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs while ignoring, for instance, the contributions of Black tech superstars and Black-owned tech companies that built the internet and are at the forefront of Web3 developm
On Feb. 27 we talked with several Black tech innovators and disruptors whose accomplishments are shattering the myth of Black tech inferiority and ushering in a more inclusive and equitable society through technology.
We spoke to Albert White about his book, “Race for the Net: When African Americans Controlled the Internet and What Happens Now?,” which charts the story of Net Solutions, a Black technology company that played a pivotal role in creating the Internet. We also got an update from Tayler James, then-director of research at The Plug, on The Plug’s recently released The Black Tech Effect Report.
Racial Reckoning Discussion Series Part II: Black Tech Innovators & Disruptors
Black entrepreneurs are creating new opportunities for themselves and others by launching startups, designing apps, and founding organizations that tackle pressing issues such as racial equity, social justice, and economic empowerment.Yet they are woefully under-represented in the industry and in mainstream media narratives about it.
On Feb. 27 we explored why that is and what is needed for meaningful change to occur, as told through the experiences of Black innovators and disruptors whose work is changing the face of tech and helping to create a better future for all.
Racial Reckoning: Moment or Movement?
In the summer of 2020, the widely publicized murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police created global shockwaves that magnified and amplified the inherited disparities of a pre-pandemic segregationist society across the spectrum of life in America — in education, housing, jobs, business, finance, healthcare, transportation, access to food and other vital resources.
And yet, as U.S. Representative Barbara J. Lee (D-Calif.) recently noted, "This country has never had its truth-telling moment as it relates to the Middle Passage and the impacts of enslaving so many people for so many years."
“We’ve seen the manifestations of the enslavement of Africans through the murder of Mr. George Floyd, for example; through the disparities in healthcare, through Black and Brown people dying disproportionately from Covid. You can’t separate that from the trajectory of enslaving Africans to today," Lee said in her keynote speech at the October 2022 Truth and Transformation conference, hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center. "After genocides, crimes against humanity, slavery, you can’t heal without people coming forth.”
MMCA has created a discussion series to provide space for exactly that — for people to come forth, to speak their truth, to feed a groundswell in activism and advocacy around antiracism, and to combat the mis/disinformation about race that is derailing our economy and threatening our fragile democracy.
Racial Reckoning: Moving Toward Transformation and Healing is a series of one-hour, news-style conversations where we examine what, exactly, has changed or not changed in the 2+ years since widespread rallies for racial justice rocked the world, and what it will take to harness our renewed awareness of racial inequity into transformation and healing.
Each discussion will provide insights and spark a debate that will then be summarized in a news story that, along with related content submitted by journalists and other contributors, will be syndicated and distributed to hundreds of BIPOC media outlets via the BIPOCXChange Media Wire. Our ultimate goal is for the BXC to serve as a repository for information, stories, and insights about the current racial justice movement that the media and private, public, and social sector DEI leaders can access.
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Racial Reckoning Discussion Series Part I: Good DEI vs Bad DEI
Three in four Black workers say they are more likely to work for or st...