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The Loop: Blacks can lead in tech in America just like we did in Wakanda

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MAKING ROOM FOR BLACK LEADERS IN TECHNOLOGY
The leader of the tech world is Princess Shuri! Well, at least in Wakanda she is…If you haven’t basked in the glory of Black Panther , this is a major spoiler alert, but the film is a huge step in the right direction for a conversation about black people in tech. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, black people make up for less than 5% of employees at the executive level in the tech industry. While diversity and inclusion is a layered conversation, we’ll be creating real opportunities for innovators to connect at TechConneXt this year in the Bay Area.

 

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Technology

A Man Says His DNA Test Proves He’s Black, and He’s Suing

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In 2014, Ralph Taylor applied to have his insurance company in Washington State certified as a “disadvantaged business enterprise.” The DBE program at the U.S. Department of Transportation was originally designed to help minority- and woman-owned businesses win government contracts. So as proof of his minority status, Taylor submitted the results of a DNA test, estimating his ancestry to be 90 percent European, 6 percent indigenous American, and 4 percent sub-Saharan African.

Government officials reviewing Taylor’s application were not convinced. They saw that he looked white. They noted that he was unable to directly document any nonwhite ancestors. They doubted the underlying validity of the DNA test. And, most relevant to the purpose of the program, they found “little to no persuasive evidence that Mr. Taylor has personally suffered social and economic disadvantage by virtue of being a Black American.” They refused to certify his company. So Taylor decided to sue—out of principle, he says, because other business owners who look white have won DBE certification before. The Seattle Times first reported on the case in detail last week.

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Community DMV

All Hands On Tech

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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For the next two Saturdays, District residents can get free computer and cellphone repairs through the All Hands on Tech program. The program, which was created to increase access to technology, provides laptop repairs, computer virus assistance, and smartphone troubleshooting.

Upcoming All Hands on Tech Events:

  • Saturday, September 22
    10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    Anacostia Library
    1800 Good Hope Road, SE
  • Saturday, September 29
    10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    Benning (Dorothy I. Height) Library
    3935 Benning Road, NE

For more information and to RSVP, text FIXED (34933) to 83224 or visit connect.dc.gov/free-tech-support.

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Entertainment

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Trump’s Space Force Is Not A Crazy Idea

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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