AfroTech blogger

Want to read more?


Our Commitment To Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion In The Changing Landscape

In light of recent legislative changes and the evolving social and political climate, AFROTECH™ continues to stand firm in its commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the technology and business sector. Our mission, to highlight the talents and achievements of Black professionals in technology, has never been more critical. The Supreme Court’s 2023 decision to overturn affirmative action and recent laws enacted in some states pose challenges to DEI initiatives, particularly at colleges and universities. However, it’s important to emphasize that this decision does not alter the law governing corporate diversity programs (New York State Bar Association Report on Advancing Diversity, 2024). Abandoning diversity initiatives at this juncture can pose significant risks for companies, including discrimination litigation, pay equity enforcement, public relations backlash, shareholder derivative suits, and more. We are immensely proud of our partners who have...

Mar 18, 2024

Unlocking Success: UC Berkeley Extension and the Trend of Professional Certificates

Written by: Carolynne Mims Christoff In a world where professional landscapes are ever-evolving, the pursuit of continuous learning has become more than just a choice; it’s a strategic move. For Black professionals navigating their career paths, staying ahead of the curve is not only a testament to resilience, but a key to unlocking unprecedented success. We all know there’s really no such thing as a “traditional career trajectory” anymore. Between the exponential speed at which technological advances keep changing every aspect of our work and lives and the way the market keeps shifting to keep up, professionals are recognizing the need to upskill continuously. UC Berkeley Extension is leading the way with this movement, offering a gateway to achievement through professional certificates and continuing education courses . The days of relying solely on a degree are a wrap. Instead, we are walking into an era in which specialized knowledge and skills hold the key to career...

Jan 31, 2024

Op-Ed: White Men Prove Incapable Of Handling More Than One Task At A Time

So, Who Killed Silicon Valley Bank? Despite all the indicators of incompetence on the part of a senior leadership team consisting of over 60% men and 60% white people, the “Andy Kesslers” of the world flocked to The Wall Street Journal’s opinion section. The op-ed entertained the classic argument that focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion was distracting from the “real” business of running Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). How original and worthy of publication! Those who promote this idea seem oblivious to the fact that they are essentially admitting that homogeneous leadership teams are incapable of multitasking. If incorporating the perspectives of women, LGBTQ, and Black people is enough to cause a group of white men to fail in leading SVB, then they were not competent to manage a bank in the first place. So, let’s be clear — a focus and commitment to diversity is a strength and never a distraction. Research has shown that companies with diverse leadership teams are more likely...

Mar 15, 2023

How 'Missing' Allowed Nia Long And Storm Reid To Rethink Their Relationships With Tech

The new big screen thriller “ Missing” may be a different viewing experience than many moviegoers are used to — in the best way possible. The film, which follows Reid’s character June trying to find her mother (Long) who has gone missing while on vacation with her boyfriend (Ken Leung), takes place across multiple computer and phone screens. The format and presentation is similar to “Missing’s” 2018 predecessor “ Searching ,” starring John Cho and Michelle La. The 2018 film was directed by Aneesh Chaganty and written by Chaganty and Sev Ohanian. Chaganty and Ohanian wrote the story for “ Missing,” which is written and directed by Will Merrick and Nick Johnson.

Jan 19, 2023

We Had A Time At AfroTech Conference 2022 — From The Sessions To The Link-Ups, Here's What You Missed

If you missed AfroTech Conference 2022, make it the last one missed because we had a time in Austin, TX. From Nov. 14-17, 2022, an estimated 25,000 people gathered for AfroTech Conference after meeting virtually in AfroTech World for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference sessions, the link-ups, the fashion, the music, and most of all — the connections — contributed to a one-of-one experience for Black techies.

Nov 23, 2022

AfroTech Conference Schedule: Make The Most Of Your Time At This Year's Preeminent Black In Tech Conference

The AfroTech Conference schedule has been released. And, needless to say, it proves that some things are worth the wait. After nearly two years of virtual conferences, thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Blavity family is pleased to announce the return of an in-person gathering for the preeminent Black in tech conference in the United States. The AfroTech Conference schedule features fireside chats with thought leaders and intimate performances with some of the industry’s hottest artists. What’s more, it’s a chance to connect with a global community of more than 20,000 Black tech innovators during a series of digital and in-person events filled with dynamic programming on emerging trends, networking opportunities with industry leaders, and conversations with top tech recruiters. The 2022 installment of the conference will take place from November 13-17, 2022, at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX. Tickets are on sale now and are available for every budget and...

Oct 19, 2022

11 Things to Know About Marsai Martin, The Youngest Black Executive Producer in History

Marsai Martin is one of the brightest stars in Hollywood and the definition of young Black excellence. Born in 2004, she’s quickly made a name for herself in Hollywood and presents herself as a role model for young Black girls around the world. The young actress and producer has accomplished so much since her breakout role in “Black-ish,” describing the time right now as “surreal,” according to Good Morning America . Let’s get to know her more with the fun facts below. Editorial note: This article was initially published in 2019 and updated to reflect the most recent information. Her real name isn’t Marsai Martin. “Marsai” is actually her middle name. Her given name is Caila Marsai Martin. Marsai Martin made her first national commercial appearance at 5-years-old. Photo Credit: Screenshot via YouTube Before starring in ABC’s “Black-ish,” the young actress got her first start in the entertainment industry by nabbing a national commercial with Meineke. She made her big-screen debut at...

Jun 8, 2022

Black Spending Power And How To Use It To Our Advantage Was The Main Course For AfroTech Executive Washington, D.C.

AfroTech Executive is still making its rounds, continuing to fuel leaders with the resources needed to not only succeed but smash ceilings, move the needle, and make room for generations to come. Before it makes its way to Los Angeles, CA, it stopped in D.C. for a sold-out event, where the room was filled with corporate executives, founders, and investors in an effort to cultivate connections and also build community. What’s more, spotlighting opportunities to cultivate Black wealth was the main course of the day on May 19, 2022, where panels included The Power Of The Black Dollar and Cultivating Capital In A Black Tomorrow. Plus, we ended the night with something sweet as DJ 5’9 set the vibes for a Networking Reception. Photo Credit: Jemal Countess

May 20, 2022

Amazon Alexa Fund And Alexa Startups Announce $100K Venture Capital Investments For Black Tech Entrepreneurs: Here’s What You Need To Know

With the mission of improving equity in venture capital funding and providing support for compelling and representative Alexa applications, Amazon Alexa Fund , Alexa Startups , and BLAVITY are excited to announce the Black Founders Build with Alexa Program . This four-month, remote program seeks 10 Black-founded startups located in North America that are driving innovation in voice, artificial intelligence, and ambient computing. The selected startups will have an opportunity to receive a $100,000 investment from the Alexa Fund and individualized technology support from the Alexa Startups team. The goal of Black Founders Build with Alexa is to combat the lack of inclusiveness and underrepresentation of entrepreneurs of color in the tech industry. According to the Alexa Startups team, this initiative will lead to more diverse perspectives, bigger thinking, and ultimately better products and services for Alexa customers. Interested in applying? Here’s what you need to know. What Is...

Apr 4, 2022

AfroTech Executive Brooklyn Celebrated Black Women Changing The Face Of Boardrooms And C-Suites While Inspiring The Next Generation

Black women dominate every space they enter. Therefore, it’s only right that we continue to uplift, support, and equip them with the keys that they need to win. To take things beyond just highlighting women across the AfroTech platform during Women’s History Month, the brand took things a bit further and ended March with a bang. The AfroTech Executive Brooklyn event was a one-day, in-person leadership summit dedicated to addressing the lack of representation in boardrooms across America, the wage difference that women are up against, and the actions that need to be put into motion to lead more Black women to the wealth that they more than deserve. Held in Brooklyn, at the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on March 25, the experience included sessions from boss women like Ursula Burns, the first Black woman CEO in the Fortune 500; Merline Saintill, Fortune 500 board director and lead director of Rocket Lab; Heather Hiles, entrepreneur, technologist, and investor; Samantha Tweedy, the inaugural...

Apr 1, 2022

Meet The AFROTECH™ Future 50

AFROTECH is honoring individuals across the tech industry — including the disrupters, innovators, wealth-makers, and overall game-changers in the industry in honor of Black History Month. The inaugural AFROTECH™ Future 50 list honors 50 rising titans in the tech industry. These are up-and-coming visionaries from sectors across CPG, FinTech, D&I, VC, Board Directors, Product Leaders, Beauty, Crypto/NFTs, Social Impact, and Entrepreneurship. You’ve seen their stories on here, and elsewhere. You’ve followed their journey and watched them change the face of technology. You even may have been inspired to begin your own entrepreneurial journey after reading about theirs. And that, really, is what they’re here for. AFROTECH prides itself on bringing you the best — and brightest — Black men and women who overcame impossible odds to become thought leaders, disruptors, and innovators. Black men and women certainly don’t get enough credit, and recognition, for their role in the ever-changing...

Feb 21, 2022

Careers in Tech: Ashton Elizabeth Talks Making the Leap into Tech from a Nontraditional Background

You don’t always need a traditional computer science background to make it in tech. Ashton Elizabeth is living proof of that. The Seattle-based software engineer didn’t take a straight path into the tech field but has now been at Indeed for the past three years. And she knows about navigating twists and turns in the career path. Having originally gone to school to study psychology, Ashton’s focus was working with children — particularly kids diagnosed with autism. From there, she worked in the nonprofit sector to develop after-school programs in low-income housing complexes. And while she remains passionate about working with kids, Ashton decided to challenge herself by jumping into something new: the for-profit sector. “I wanted to stay competitive,” says Ashton, “so I decided to add that technical toolbelt to my skill set.” From there, she enrolled into a bootcamp where she trained to become a software engineer. Not long afterwards she found herself at Indeed. As part of her role,...

Apr 5, 2021

What President Biden's Executive Orders Mean For The Tech Sector

If you’ve read the news post-Inauguration, you’ve doubtlessly seen President Biden signing a flurry of Executive Orders in his first weeks in office. These Orders constitute directives to the aspects of the federal government over which the President has authority, such as federal agencies, and may cover some areas in which precedent, case law, and Acts of Congress give the President implied authority. Here’s a look at several with implications for your business: Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers : This Order directs federal agencies to procure goods and services from American-based corporations whose quality and pricing are competitive with foreign-born suppliers, unless waivers are granted. The Order also includes further logistical details on how this shall be enacted across agencies, and may provide you an opening for new federal contracting opportunities. Executive Order on Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal...

Mar 23, 2021

Five Tech Stocks Poised to Grow as the Economy Reopens

As countries begin to vaccinate their populations, businesses will begin to reopen. With those re-openings, and the jobs that will be restored in their wake, the economy will gradually begin to make up lost ground. As workers are rehired and incomes begin to grow, so too will consumer confidence. And both mass vaccinations and rising consumer confidence will also allow us to begin to venture out again and be social once again, which ill provided ballast to the ailing hospitality, outdoor recreation, travel, and restaurant sectors. Some businesses are better positioned to take advantage of these expected developments than others. If you’re looking to invest in stocks sure to surge when the economy reopens, look no further than these five stocks. Expedia The biggest company in travel-related search and bookings, Expedia’s stock should grow nicely as consumers begin to travel more frequently. The company owns large players in the online booking space like Orbitz, Travelocity, and...

Mar 20, 2021

Tech Jobs: 10 Ways to Get Accenture's Attention

Technology jobs continue to rank among the fastest-growing occupations in the country, maintaining momentum despite the economic downfall caused by COVID-19. Yet many tech jobs remain out of reach—particularly for candidates of color, who continue to be underrepresented across the industry. The need to innovate, transform and grow in the digital economy has never been greater. To meet these demands, Accenture actively seeks out people who bring their unique perspectives and skills to the table. To this end, Accenture is committed to recruiting, developing and advancing talent — especially professionals of color who are often underrepresented in the industry. The perspectives of these individuals drive the disruptive change that Accenture clients seek, and the global professional services firm is committed to helping those individuals thrive in the workplace. Chantel Soverall-Johnson, US South Market Unit Recruiting Lead at Accenture, has more than 15 years of experience in executive...

Mar 9, 2021