On November 13, the AfroTech Conference, one of the largest Black tech conferences in the United States, will return to Austin after a two-year hiatus.
Once a year, the newspaper AfroTech hosts a conference, and this year, the focus is on the third iteration of the World Wide Web. NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, billionaire Mark Cuban, and “venture rapitivist” — VC and rapper — Chamillionaire will be among the conference’s prominent speakers, discussing brand-building and investments. Speakers also include Aurora James, originator of the 15 Percent Pledge, Ruben Harris, CEO of Career Karma, and Arlan Hamilton, founder of Backstage Capital.
Morgan DeBaun, co-founder and CEO of AfroTech’s parent firm Blavity, told TechCrunch that the goal of this year’s event is to unite the worlds of music, culture, technology, and financial technology. It will hold seminars on how to locate mentors and advisors in addition to its already announced sessions and programmes aimed at enhancing the technical expertise of its participants.
DeBaun said to TechCrunch, “Tech continues to be the fastest-growing sector in the world.” To paraphrase, “We want to make sure that our community is not only receiving the early career employment, but really making it all the way along the professional ladder.”
At AfroTech, music and culture take centre stage, unlike at many other tech conventions. To that end, DeBaun emphasised the importance of music, a cornerstone of African American culture. Disney will launch “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” and there will be live performances by musicians including Bia, Wale, and Zaytoven.