Alysia Gradney, Principal
Institute targeting Black STEM professionals, tech startups, and government officials launches #BlackTechPolicy Week, a virtual event on December 1 – 5, 2020
(Black PR Wire) #BlackTechFutures Research Institute opens registration for its first-ever #BlackTechPolicy Week. Funded in part by an Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Knowledge Challenge award, granted to Stillman College School of Business and Dr. Fallon Wilson, #BlackTechPolicy Week will explore the challenges and opportunities municipalities and organizations encounter when building equitable tech policies, and the impact of these policies on Black lives.
Amid the U.S. presidential transition period, #BlackTechPolicy Week places Black lives at the epicenter of AI ethics, EdTech, VC investments into tech startups, privacy, bridging the digital divide, and more. The week-long engagement will bring together technologists, higher learning institutions, professional and affinity groups, entrepreneurship organizations, government officials, community organizers, private foundations, tech startups, urban planners, faith leaders, and local organizations.
"By placing the value of Black futures at the center of technological development and advancement, #BlackTechPolicy Week will serve as the birthing ground for innovative policies and strategic networking," said Dr. Fallon Wilson, Co-Founder of #BlackTechFutures Research Institute. "Our goal is to unite scholars, practitioners, and community activists in a dialogue—a movement—to grow tech equity at the hyper-local level."
Launched in 2020, the #BlackTechFutures Research Institute serves as a long-term educational initiative housed at Stillman College, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The institute is positioned to build a national network of city-based researchers and practitioners researching sustainable local Black tech ecosystems. The outcomes of this work are to develop a national public data archive and create actionable policy recommendations at municipal, state, and national levels. #BlackTechPolicy Week serves as the institute's first public engagement opportunity.
For nearly 150 years, Stillman College has been a creator and advocate of inclusive and equitable environments for Black people. Dr. Cynthia Warrick, Stillman’s first female President, continues that legacy in the 21st Century through innovation and technology.
"To proactively increase the participation of Black technologists, it is imperative we identify, engage, educate, connect, and support scholars and practitioners in technology," states Isaac McCoy, Dean of the School of Business at Stillman College. "Not only is this work important, but it's critical to the equitable advancement of Black people in a digital world."
#BlackTechPolicy Week includes three panels, free and open to the public, where participants will hear directly from Black tech leaders in multiple sectors. This year's sessions include:
- A National Black Tech Policy Agenda: December 1, 2020, at 6:00 pm/CST
- Black Public Interest Technologists: December 3, 2020, at 6:00 pm/CST
- Organizing Black Tech Communities Online: December 4, 2020 at 6:00 pm/CST
- Supporting Local Black Tech Ecosystems: December 5, 2020, at 10 am/CST
Participants will hear from the nation's top technologists, politicians, entrepreneurs, community organizers, medical professionals, and more. This year's #BlackTechPolicy Week speakers include:
- Rev. Leah Daughtry, Black Church PAC
- Clint Odom, National Urban League
- Dr. Nicol Turner Lee, Brookings Institute
- Chris Lewis, Public Knowledge
- Dr. Andre Brock, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Maurita Coley, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC)
To register and learn more about the institute, visit blacktechfutures.com.