Every community matters. But if we can’t put a face to them, how can their stories live forever beyond the edges of that community? I am black and I’ve worked in tech, but I have never come to AfroTech.

Being there, seeing folks that fit the frame of a tech employee while expressing themselves inspired me to do a portrait series. I had the opportunity to speak with dozens of people about what being black in tech means and why AfroTech matters.

Here are a few of the portraits I captured:

Joah Spearman, founder & CEO of Localeur

“AfroTech is so necessary both as a way for black people to learn from the best and elevate their skills and to build community with others in tech who look like you in an industry filled with institutional bias and low inclusion, despite our demonstrated influence on this global industry.”

Jacques Bastien, Founder of Shade

Afrotech is important because we need a space that’s our own where we could talk about what we do for a living while also being ourselves. Afrotech allows us to remove the code switching, fake laughing, and discomfort that normally comes from other conferences.”

Brittany Chambers, EdD
“Love the vibrancy of AfroTech and ability to connect with so many dope Black people! 

Zim Ugochukwu, Founder, Travel Noire
“Afrotech is important because it’s necessary to see ourselves in spaces that don’t reflect us!”

Brian Watson, Tech Professional

“AfroTech is like homecoming. It’s a chance to reconnect with those from far away, in an environment that’s both supportive and welcoming. I came to support the community, meet new people, and learn a new thing or two.”

Kayla Robinson, Marketing/Advertising Professional

“AfroTech is important because it’s the one time a year that we can all gather and basque in each other’s excellence.”

I will be sharing portraits through the week on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #facesofafrotech. Be sure to check him out!