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Tell Me More's social storytelling series using #NPRBlacksinTech ends on December 20th. Since Decem- ber 2nd, black tech innovators from all over the country have spent a day tweeting about their lives. The social media series is creating new storytelling opportunities that run parallel to what Tell Me More does every day on the radio.

If you have been engaging with the #NPRBlacksinTech hashtag, please share your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

Published in: Social Media, Business, Technology
  • Next Steve Jobs: 10 Black Innovators To Watch: http://www.blackenterprise.com/technology/the-next-steve-jobs-10-black-innovators-to-watch/#.UsBG0Ae6PLQ.twitter. Where are they now? Other Kanye, have you heard about them in 2013?
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  • @Lancieux1962 Are you saying that Enstitutes board isn't diverse?
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  • @Lancieux1962 I think this may be the realest post yet. We talk a lot about tech but we don't talk a lot about technology. We say we need our young people to get engaged but where are our discussions about the building blocks of tech. Let's stop sugar coating what is needed to succeed in tech and let's begin having real conversations about technology.
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  • Question: Is there enough diversity in organizations seeking to increase opportunities in the Tech Sector? Check out Enstitute http://bit.ly/1jxTqNwhelp. Would more diversity on the board of such organizations help with the reach out to young innovators of color? If yes, how can we send an appropriate message that inclusion matters at all levels? I am sure that we can find suitable candidates of color for board or advisory positions in such organizations.
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  • I want to paraphrase the comments that my student Miles Peterson made yesterday during the wrap-up segment on Tell Me More. He is a great example of a motivated student from an underrepresented background and I believe we should concentrate on his words:

    1. Allow students to see how technology works including an opportunity to build technology themselves.
    2. Connect STEM education to actual jobs in a granular and detailed fashion.
    3. 'Be real' about the daunting challenges that students from underrepresented backgrounds face in achieving success in the STEM fields. However, be positive and optimistic about what the students can achieve despite the odds!
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  2. 2. #NPRBLACKSINTECH Beginning on December 2, 2013, black tech innovators from all over the country spent a day tweeting about their lives using #NPRBlacksinTech. This social media series created new storytelling opportunities that ran parallel to what NPR’s Tell Me More does every day on the radio. In real time and unfiltered, journalists and the digital public engaged around one hashtag. The series ends on December 20, 2013. Some comments and feedback follow. Please add yours in the comments section here and follow us @TellMeMoreNPR.
  3. 3. NPR's Tell Me More is again using social media to reach out to a new community of leaders — this time, to recognize black innovators in technology. African-Americans represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation. ! ! #NPRBlacksinTech generated over 12,000 Tweets and millions of impressions. 2
  4. 4. WHAT ARE WE LEARNING? Feedback on #NPRBlacksinTech Jewell Sparks – CEO of Strategic Diversity Group and BiTHouse; 12/20 contributor “NPR is in the business of telling stories that start conversations, increase understanding and enrich lives and enliven minds.  The@TellMeMoreNPR #NPRBlacksinTech Twitter chats are doing just that, starting conversations that must be had.  This effort has brought together leaders from across the country together via one platform.  This platform has also sparked unity and respect amongst those who have operated in silos.  As an organizational effectiveness expert and business strategist, I have always felt that unity amongst African American leaders is the first step to productive growth and change.  When people work together, great things can and do happen. A Day In The Life: Blacks At The Cutting Edge Of Innovation, is motivating our youth. 3
  5. 5. “...The youth are the future of the world and providing role models for them who are part of the technology ecosystem will change the world. I look forward to being part of the story and inspiring others to pursue their dreams and impact the world in which we live.  Facts + Effort + Unity = Growth + Change“ -- Jewell Sparks  Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science students Xavier Manning and Ciara Chase at NPR. Jewell Sparks is the CEO and founder of Strategic Diversity Group and BiTHouse. Strategic Diversity Group provides out-of-the-box business development solutions for startups and nonprofits. BiTHouse helps corporate entities and technology organizations find, align, innovate, fund and promote technologies created by minority entrepreneurs and technologists. Some  of  the  tech  thinkers  are  answering  ques4ons  from  seventh  and  eighth  graders   from  Howard  University's  Middle  School  of  Mathema4cs  and  Science.  Those  stu-­‐ dents  include  Xavier  Manning  and  Ciara  Chase,  who  created  their  own  apps   as  part  of  a  class  project.   4
  6. 6. AMY TA Ayori Selassi – Co-founder of Pitch Mixer; 12/02 contributor “The #NPRBlacksinTech campaign is important because it presents role models that African Americans can relate to whether you are a current professional, a student in universities, community colleges, or high schools, it shatter the perception that there are no African Americans in technology.   From the hackathon winning entrepreneur/developer Brian Clark to the President of a University Walter Kimbrough and all the tech advocates/social media mavens in between, the message being sent is "it is being done, there is a network available to support you". The campaign opens a network for everyone to engage and brings talented and accomplished individuals out of the woodwork across the nation, many who are not featured in the campaign but are now visible in the twitter feed. “ Ayori Selassie is product manager of Salesforce.com and founder of Pitch Mixer Entrepreneur Forum. Selassie's passion for technology and entrepreneurship led her to co-found Pitch Mixer, a nonprofit that encourages entrepreneurs in undeveloped communities to share their business ideas and receive feedback and advice. 5
  7. 7. DAVAR ARDALAN Christopher Thames – Series observer, wrote blog post When I was younger, I was always into technology but there was no one around to help cultivate my interests. Now here I am at the age of 31, competing against some of the top technologists and engineers in America (of all colors!). If I maybe had an #NPRBlacksInTech back in the day, maybe I would already be better off. So I believe this is a great way to groom the future for a better, brighter America of equal opportunity and resources. I think that this is a great effort to get some awareness going not only in the African-American community, but throughout all minority communities as well that may have collective interests in technology or STEM Engineering. I also believe that it is absolutely imperative that nonminorities ask questions as well to educate themselves and to educate others. Hopefully, this nearly month-long event creates more interest and sparks up even more positive, large-scale conversations regarding all minorities in technologically advanced education. 6
  8. 8. AMY TA Brian Clark – Entrepreneur - 12/03 contributor It was great to be involved in more ways of promoting tech to the black community. It truly is one of my passions that I practice nearly every day and the more ways I can the better. Favorite tweet that I want to repeat over and over - "@TellMeMoreNPR Q7 want to see kids like me do as many today have shared- become creators not just consumers. #NPRBlacksinTech" Brian Clark is the CEO of Silith.IO, a mobile-first technology company that creates platforms to simplify and improve users' lives. Previously, he was a part of GE's Information Technology Leadership Program, driving excellence in technology across all of GE. “We are at a potential inflection point in getting people of color into technology... after being left out of past revolutions, the technology revolution needs to be the most inclusive jump in human potential and productivity that we’ve seen in this country.” - Anjuan Simmons of Minority Tech via Anisfield-Wolf blog 7
  9. 9. Mike Street – Head of Blacks in Tech New York - 12/ 02 contributor "#NPRBlacksinTech was an eye-opening experience. Our community has come so far but we still have a long way to go. But connecting through this shared experience has help to un-cover even more amazing AfricanAmericans in the technology space. This experience has helped us to get a better understanding of the work that we need to do. Thank you NPR for this amazing experience." Mike Street is the head of BITNY: Blacks in Tech New York, an organization dedicated to advancing minorities in technology. #NPRBlacksinTech featured on Flipboard via Mike Street 8
  10. 10. AMY TA AMY TA This is Tell Me More's first endeavor with this type of social media outreach, and it's revealing something new and surprising each day. So far, the participants have included a hackathon champion from San Francisco; a New Jersey physicist who tweeted about his nanotechnology research; and an entrepreneur in Wisconsin who tweeted about the challenges of building a start-up and the importance of civic tech. Roxann Stafford is a design strategist at the San Francisco tech company SecondMuse. She says civic tech is a grassroots movement, joining members of government with all members of a community to solve social problems. "You know these ideas don't have to come from the top officials, they can come from throughout. And so the ability to recognize, let's say in this situation, that there was a need around trash collection and more people to be aware of that — that's a part of that type of dialogue, and it can result in lots of different things." Each day of the series has been curated on Storify www.Storify.com/TellMeMoreNPR 9
  11. 11. SUGGESTED CONTENT & TECH IDEAS: 1. Leveling the coding field. How do you do this? Hackathons in urban schools? What about systematic problems of limited access to computers and internet and ongoing issues of poverty and inequality? 2. Hashtag study groups. Are there credible social media initiatives that allow students/ teachers/innovators to engage and even help with projects/homework? African-Americans represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation. 3. How do you make STEM fun? Integrating HipHop. How is that working without being corny or cheesy? 4. News app that resonates with the next generation. Howard University Middle School students are working on a local news app. What other news apps are students creating? 5. Audio fingerprinting. Blacks and Latinos over index on social media. Develop an app similar to Shazam that allows listeners to capture the LIVE digital footprint of an audio story as it happens. An app that helps users identify story tracks on the go and tag not only the topic but who is being interviewed via their social media handles. The app will make it easier for people to listen and share stories they are interested in. 10