Black leaders and communities have been at the root of digital inclusion work for decades. Black History Month is a key time to acknowledge this history, reflect on accomplishments in Black communities, and celebrate Black leadership. We also acknowledge that this needs to be done all year round, as digital equity is inextricably tied to racial equity and the empowerment of Black communities. This month, we wanted to highlight and celebrate some work by affiliates and friends that highlights the variety of Black influence and excellence in digital inclusion.
1. Inspiredu, Atlanta, Georgia
Inspiredu hosted a town hall on “Youth In Tech: Opportunities and Challenges for 2022 and beyond,” featuring young Black innovators. They highlighted Black History Month and each young technologist spoke about a person who inspired them. Oneisha Freeman, Inspiredu director of partnerships and programs, kicked off the event quoting Madame C. J. Walker: “The girls and women of our race must not be afraid to take hold of business endeavor and by patient industry close economy, determined effort, and that lie at their very doors.”
Inspiredu also hosted a challenge for the month for youth to submit digital projects in honor of Black History Month. Follow Inspiredu at @inspireduATL to see the winners or check them out below on YouTube.
2. Community Tech Network (CTN), San Francisco
This month, CTN published an update on “Supporting Digital and Racial Equity in San Francisco.”
They write, “By centering our digital equity model on partnership with long-established nonprofits and social service agencies working to disrupt systemic inequities, we can better understand community-specific needs and create culturally-responsive strategies to pursue digital equity.”
3. Tech Goes Home, Boston
This Black History Month, Tech Goes Home featured Black alumni of their program who are succeeding as entrepreneurs with a call to action to support Black-owned businesses.
Tech Goes Home graduate, Melissa Hoyt, runs Adjusted Crown Photography and Adjusted Crown Apparel. Check out their pages to preview their photography services and apparel offerings and remember to support your local Black Owned Businesses this #BlackHistoryMonth and every month! pic.twitter.com/qAYwYw7iV4
— Tech Goes Home (@TechGoesHome) February 23, 2022
4. Byte Back, Washington, DC & Baltimore
To honor Black History Month, Byte Back focused on the long history of Black leaders in technology, with one person honored for every day of February.
This year @We_ByteBack will be taking you on a 28 Day Journey in Black #Tech for #BlackHistoryMonth. Every day we will feature some of the change-makers and industry shifters in #Technology over decades. Join us in celebrating these icons #Webyteback #BHM2022 #blackhistoryintech pic.twitter.com/jJIBYbbOig
— Byte Back (@We_ByteBack) February 6, 2022
5. Connected Nation, US
Connected Nation published multiple features for Black History Month, highlighting various aspects, including a feature on two African American tech leaders working to close the digital divide in the US and a blog highlighting the role of Black churches in closing the digital divide. “To do this work, churches are transforming some of their spaces into computer labs, classrooms, digital literacy training centers, and are helping to bring awareness to digital inclusion services. It is magnificent to see,” the article states.