Introducing the AfroTech Advisory Board

AfroTech logo against a solid black background in promotion of the AfroTech Advisory Board

We’re proud to announce the establishment of the AfroTech Advisory Board. This initiative highlights Blavity and board members’ commitment to driving workplace equity, access to capital and economic mobility for underrepresented employees, founders & startups within the tech sector. The newly formed AfroTech Advisory Board comprises over 20 influential leaders representing diverse industries and expertise. 

The Board focuses on the following areas:

  • Enhancing Workplace Equity Initiatives
  • Driving Progressive Policies
  • Supporting Underrepresented Founders and Startups

Driving Progressive Policies

The advisory board is committed to enhancing workplace equity initiatives. We aim to cultivate an environment that not only embraces inclusivity but also actively supports underrepresented employees, fostering conditions conducive to their success within the sector. 

Moreover, we aim to drive progressive policies that advocate for fairness and innovation within the tech industry, spearheading transformative changes in workplace regulations.

Now, these endeavors are more crucial than ever, especially in light of McKinsey’s recent report. While companies have invested $8 billion in unconscious and implicit bias training, there have been minimal changes to the tangible circumstances of employees from historically marginalized groups. It’s realities like these that the AfroTech Advisory Board is committed to addressing through deliberate action.

Empowering Underrepresented Entrepreneurs

Equally, the Advisory Board is dedicated to supporting underrepresented founders and startups by facilitating increased access to capital and economic opportunities. Our mission is to provide the essential resources and opportunities necessary for the thriving of these entrepreneurs. 

Joining the Advisory Board are representatives from Amazon, American Express, Black Economic Alliance, Chewy, GAP, Google, Infoblox, Jordan Brand, Lam Research, LinkedIn, Lockheed Martin, L’Oréal, Mastercard, Morgan Stanley, Moet Hennessy, NAACP, Prudential, Silicon Valley Bank, Starbucks, Walton Isaacson, and Wells Fargo. The Board members, led by Morgan DeBaun (Blavity Inc. Founder) and Simone White (Senior Vice President of AfroTech and Live Events), bring a wealth of experience and insights to the table.

Mobilizing for Impact

Founder and CEO Morgan DeBaun highlights the consortium’s significance in magnifying impact and cultivating a fairer tech industry. Alongside fellow advisory board members, Blavity Inc. is dedicated to practical initiatives that bolster workplace equity and broaden access to capital, ultimately empowering community members.

The board will meet quarterly to discuss the current landscape, share successes, and strategies for advancing these critical areas, and explore collaboration opportunities with AfroTech, corporate partners, research institutions, political, and grassroots organizations.

The Strategic Imperative

Company leadership further underscores the strategic significance of prioritizing equity within the tech sector, citing the substantial economic influence of the Black community. With projections indicating a significant economic impact, estimated at $1.8 trillion this year, the imperative for equity becomes both a moral obligation and a strategic business imperative. 

In short, The AfroTech Advisory Board will drive innovation and inclusivity within the tech industry. Keep an eye out for further updates on the advisory board’s progress and its anticipated impact on the 2024 AfroTech Conference.