We move with intent this Friday.

I’m fresh off a red-eye flight from San Francisco with a to-do list that won’t quit and less than 12 hours before I hop my next flight to Orlando.

My spontaneous trip to the Bay proved to be eventful and forming. I crashed hella black parties at Instagram and Airbnb, spent time on a pink couch talking venture capital bias my boy Russell Ladson of Drop.ai and got a mouthful of Silicon Valley truisms on the campus of Apple visiting UX engineer Khalia Braswell (whom I met in Cuba this year) of InTech Camp.

I arrived Tuesday and drove to Menlo Park where Jesse Sanchez and I sat at the dinner table of his mentee Daniel who’s mother prepared fresh salad and veggie pasta. She pardoned me for my broken Spanish with a smile and boasted about the accomplishments of her four children all in college and excelling.

Dani’s neighborhood, predominately Latino, has changed drastically. A set of new townhouses sit across the street from his family home—at price points out of reach from the neighborhood natives. He’s almost done with school, working on the side to help his mom with bills. Get this for the juxtaposition, Dani lives just three blocks from Facebook’s campus.

It’s the divide we see all too common in our cities that are touting progress and still very far removed from everyday inequities. Jessie and I made Daniel come with us to Instagram in hopes to get him networking and into an internship. I hope he follows up on his new contacts.

My lodging was impeccable. Your girl is logging frequent flyer miles like crazy, and subsequently earning extra points on Delta due to my insatiable habit of booking dope Airbnb spots around the world.

I flew into San Jose and stayed at the home of Andy, a senior software engineer at Apple who works on the Maps team. He’ll celebrate 20 years at the company. We sat at his kitchen counter well into the Wednesday night evening as he showed me plaques he received from his 10-year anniversary and recalled stories of working with Steve Jobs. He described him as a family man that always invited employees and their kids to campus. Andy’s daughters grew up with the Jobs kids and attended some of the same schools.

Rarely do I get a chance to have one-on-one interactions such as these when I’m in the Bay. I’m usually rushing to a meeting and immediately back at the airport. I’m grateful for the nuance of what this environment means and the executives who are seemingly up for the task of understanding the social constructs outside of their normative experiences shaping work culture and opportunity for underrepresented peoples.

We’re ouchea. And many of us, as founders, investors, employees, and storytellers, are working to get more of us in the game.

Keeping watch.

Sherrell

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