What does it take for companies to operationalize racial equity? At Opportunity Hub’s HBCU@SXSW we chatted with leaders in the tech field about how companies can support black and brown entrepreneurs through skills development and talent placement.
Opportunity Hub (OHUB) is the leading future of work, startup entrepreneurship, early stage investment and multi-generational wealth creation for everyone, everywhere. OHUB is an official diversity, equity & inclusion partner of South by Southwest (SXSW).
This March, we joined OHUB in Austin for their signature program, HBCU@SXSW, where African American, Pan Asian, and Latinx students are sponsored to gain immersive exposure, interactive learning opportunities and direct access to paid summer internships and early career roles. In 2019, 252 students from 100 colleges and universities were sponsored to attend HBCU@SXSW, and ninety percent of the students were placed in paid summer internships or permanent jobs.
Rodney Sampson is the founder of OHUB, an expert entrepreneurship ecosystem builder and a contributor to the Builders and Benefactors group. We are excited to continue to learn from his efforts to develop a pipeline for tech talent of color and we are proud to share the belief that high-growth entrepreneurship is a tool for closing racial wealth and income gaps. Rodney’s commitment to developing inclusive ecosystems while investing in black and brown entrepreneurs is both an inspiration and proof point for what the capital for the new majority could look like. Rodney welcomed us to HBCU@SXSW, where we met and interviewed professionals and executives of corporations focused on operationalizing racial equity. The interviews are featured in this podcast series, Planning for the New Majority: A collection of stories from OHUB@SXSW19
Our first episode, Skills Development and Talent Placement features Maurice Wilkins of Fastly, Wayne Davis of Comcast, and Michael Ellison of CodePath.org. Listen in to hear their thoughts on how competency building, such as skills development, can change the way the tech industry defines the roles of people of color in the field. As Michael, Wayne and Maurice put it, we need more than disconnected efforts to shift narratives on how people of color are valued and attracted to the tech industry– we need an army of people who celebrate and nurture their excellence.