Blerds Unite: Black Tech Week Makes Big Splash In Miami

News

Desire Thompson | February 18, 2016 - 10:26 pm

Black nerds or “blerds” and tech entrepreneurs from all over the country, gathered in sunny Miami to kick off the second annual Black Tech Week conference to celebrate and discuss the role of people in technology.

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NBC News reports the event was co-founded by husband and wife duo Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson. The couple began their love for innovation and new wave technology when they created ‘Code Fever’ in 2014, an organization devoted to teaching young Black youth how to code. The conference aims to increase the amount of people of color in technology and start-up companies. Hatcher and Pearson also plan to change the conversation surrounding the African-Americans and encourage tech creativity during Black History Month.

The event kicked off Monday (Feb 15) and concludes this Sunday (Feb 20.)

Black Tech Week comes as numbers were released this year showing the disparaging make up in Silicon Valley. While the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in America is Black women, people of color make up 9 percent of the technology industry and less than 1 percent of technology company founders, The Miami Herald reports.

Hatcher and Person plan to change this with speakers from tech and media companies like Metalayer and Maybach Music Group. Other speakers include Trick Daddy, former Twitter engineer Leslie Miley and White House policy advisor Dr. Marvin Carr.
Miley, who was the only African-American in a leadership position at the company cited his departure last year over diversity issues. Hatcher shared the importance of speaking out the untapped talent Silicon Valley has failed to explore.

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“We have amazing genius and raw talent in our communities,” Hatcher said about the event. Clarence Wooten, the founder of VentureFund.io, also shared the importance of spreading innovation awareness. “Black Tech Week is a very important event for a number of different reasons, Wooten said.  “There is a perception that blacks aren’t creators of tech. The diversity discussion in Silicon Valley illustrates that perception. The 12-year old boy and girl programmers in our community must have positive examples of success to be inspired by, and the greater tech community can take notice”

Clarence Wooten, the founder of VentureFund.io, also shared the importance of spreading innovation awareness. “Black Tech Week is a very important event for a number of different reasons, Wooten said.  “There is a perception that blacks aren’t creators of tech. The diversity discussion in Silicon Valley illustrates that perception. The 12-year old boy and girl programmers in our community must have positive examples of success to be inspired by, and the greater tech community can take notice”

In addition to having an agreed love for technology empowerment, the conference hopes to make Miami the premiere hub for people of color wanting to jump into technology.

Check out more details behind Black Tech Week here.