SXSW Blacks in Technology Weekend got off to a great Start on Friday evening at the Carver Museum.
This was primarily a networking event. And as such it was very successful. Many thanks to Donell Creech of GriotMedia for including me in such an important event.
I was also able to re-connect with some of the brothers and sisters who are making it happen on the Austin entrepreneur and tech scene such as Sonia Gaillard and Kevin Williams.
We enjoyed great conversation, food, music and a brief talk on The State of Blacks in Technology from University of Texas Professor S. Craig Watkins, whose book The Young and the Digital I am currently reading as part of my dissertation research. I was able to speak with Dr. Watkins briefly about my research and received some very encouraging words and hopefully will be connected to someone at UT that will be able to help with my study.
I also met leaders who I have connected with online but never met face-to-face such as the dynamic Elizabeth Bert and the prolific and ubiqutious Anjuan Simmons and many others. Anjuan does not miss much. Although after speaking with him briefly he did not participate in R.I.S.E. (Relationship and Information for Entrepreneurs).
Since we have have officially connected I will do my best to make sure he brings his talents and energy to that wonderful event next year. These are folks who are changing the game. And based on the Twiiter comments Anjuan did a masterful job in his session on Saturday interactive panel, What Comic Books Can Teach Mobile Application Designers.
This was a fantastic event where I connected with folks young and old who are not only involved in technology, but also interested in bridging the digital divide. Don't believe the hype the divide is alive and well it has only morphed into a different manifestation of the same social and economic inequities that are the root cause.
If our communities are to continue to move forward in terms of participating more fully in the information society, events such as these will have to continue to develop and mature. Although a good time was had by all there was also much collaborative learning that took place and the social capital that was created and fostered is critical to the next generation's social inclusion.