In 2014 I ran a $1million national program offering free trainings in beginners digital organizing and tech for campaigning, in 2015, within 1 month of joining a company, I (1 of 9 black employees in a 250 person company) was named the de facto head of the diversity committee. I'm currently an advisor for the Kairos Digital Fellowship, a fellowship committed to bringing more black and brown folk into the online organizing sphere. I think a lot about diversity and have seen and been a part of some cool success stories, and some major screw ups.
We've all seen it: some splashy org loudly announces an initiative to diversify the (insert here) industry. An incredible sum of money is spent and just as suddenly as that initiative came, it's gone. Working on campaigns has shown me that everything is cyclical. What was old is new and the focus on diversity in tech is no different. In my session I'll talk about previous efforts to diversify industries (successes, failures and who knows from sports, cable and other industries), my own misadventures working to diversify politics/campaigns and tech and some ways we can take advantage of the current spotlight on the issue.