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.