We go hard this Thursday.


“I will not let us get lost in the data algorithm.”

Nicole Williams, as I’ve come to know her, doesn’t mince words. She’s a straight shooter and holds decades worth of data in her brain. She was in the room as a black gay woman and technologist long before the conversations on representation became a field of study.

I arrived in Chicago right before rush hour took the streets. I met Nicole, who also lives in Charlotte, at the bar in my hotel before we headed down to the meet-and-greet in preparation for the State of the Black Ecosystem Conference which kicks off this evening.

In an awkward huddle around a cocktail table with complete strangers wishing to think through the nuances of “diversity”. Nicole was adamant, the quest, as she shared, was not simply to wait to be called on, but for our community to solve the room.

I’m excited to walk through some of these ideas and thinking as I host this evening’s affairs. Keep watch with hashtag #SBTE2017.



Sponsor an HBCU student to attend SXSW, the largest technology festival on the planet where they can join tech CEO’s, top suppliers, angel investors, professional athletes and beyond. Student applications are due January 31. Encourage a student in your life to attend.





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