courtesy of Apple

Image Credit: Apple

Where do we begin to tell the story of the future of the common child from our ghettos in poor communities? Whose lives were already confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, born in burden, raised in indecision. Have we done the best for our children? A question many may ask themselves in a given time. Have we become so high on talking points that we forgot the point in which we were talking about at all? 

My Goodness what have we done, or haven’t?

How have we, in the technology world, sold ourselves on the idea that technology has never been as great as it is in the history of time than it is today, when everyone has not had the opportunity to build it?

What are we saying to our little ones, of whom like us, have been met with a pandemic and the different world that arrives with it. How do we begin to tell our youth who’s done everything by the books who’re already subjected to a staunchly uncertain future that most of their lives have moved past uncertainty to nothing on the road at all?  

We find ourselves walking through the door of industry 4.0 and firmly on the other side of the digital transition, and so here we are, now we’ve become more virtual in the past year, then we have the past ten. 

But, we have to go back. Because as great as technology is today and with all that we’ve built in the last several decades of created and crafted technology, what we’ve built will never truly be as great as it can be until everyone has had the opportunity to build it.. and so we have to go back. 

We don’t go back, because it makes us feel good, we don’t only go back because there’s new markets and audiences that are missing for prospective product distribution, we go back  simply for the ones we left behind. Because present emerging technologies are not yet built on firm foundations. If the foundation is not built right, at some point the foundation is susceptible to failure and will shatter and fall.

D.E.I. = S

Most corporate programs for good continue to make a very small impact. Most pledges for solidarity convert into whimpers and almost every STEM solution runs dry early with rare bloom from its stem…   

More so to the point that if we do not address this situation of the lack of cultural involvement in business development, if we continue to fund small programs, camps and hackathons and not incorporate sizable, substantial and impactful change, we will continue to see the eroding of society as a whole in business and education and miss on the equalizing opportunity of diversity, equity, inclusion and Sustainability. 

We must incorporate Sustainability into the DEI ethos. 

Photo by Etienne Girardet

A Misinterpretation of Reality

There is no longer nor never has there been an accepted consensus on the American dream. For many have never felt that dream nor have been properly equipped to understand the so-called greatness of its meaning. 

Instead, our black and brown communities have been met with the American obstacle often paired with intolerable conditions that most would agree are not only inhumane, but has fueled and equipped its participants to rebel against the very nature and byproduct of these conditions. 

Many have played active roles of protesting voices about what we all have been witnessing in this past year; the discussion of social justice in an equitable state of society. 

Events propagated by the demise of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury and others. Amongst this past year in particular, we’ve heard many voices express throughout the world how they’ve come to feel about these situations. 

Men and women from all different types of backgrounds and cultures have stood in solidarity with the earnest desire for better. Of these spoken and heard voices, we also saw companies and corporations from all manner of different backgrounds, many heavily within technology, make soaring pledges for better.

Now, some are making good on these pledges while others are slow moving. 

I believe that many technology platforms stubbornly do not see the impending seriousness of the given situation. Whilst on the other side of this, there are many champion advocates within technology companies and corporations that fight daily for better opportunities to encourage their organizations and leadership to do more, yet, are met with incredible opposition from the top of their companies generally within leadership. Residually, leaving these champion advocates abandoned with winnable ideas and of whose desires have been swallowed up in leadership pits of bias. This discussion and situations are not new, yet they have become dramatically highlighted in the covid era.. 

Photo by Tim Mossholder

No, No, No..

But all of that (scroll above) is not what this writing is really all about. 

This is a message and plea for the ones that haven’t yet had the opportunity to speak. 

This is not about the daring and audacious soapbox men and women on the frontline battles of companies and corporations who seek to make a better way. 

This is not about them. 

For the discussion in this piece is about our children and what they may inherit from the action or inaction of their predecessors.

With the battle for equality raging within businesses, our future progeny, the torch carriers, sit addled in the trenches of vague hope. They’re witnessing and attempting to understand where their future roles might entail. Fearfully wondering what is next. Waiting to see the future they inherit. 

To quote from Radiohead While you make pretty speeches, I’m being cut to shreds.” 

Mentorship Reimagined

It is my observation and consideration that for as much as is presently given towards our underserved communities. We at the Black Technology Mentorship program believed that we can do so much more. A belief that the interconnected world of community development does not begin with Wi-Fi, but rather from Mentor to Mentee. 

We first had to realize that in order to achieve there were many things that had to happen. First, we could not build a platform that was exclusively for the black community and that only members of the Black community could participate in. 

We believe that it takes a village of contributors from all cultures and backgrounds to help survive a single culture.

A platform that is not one-way directional but more so a program of inspirational reciprocity. Those who extend a hand to help are met with welcomed hands of nourishment.

At the Black Technology Mentorship Program not only have we considered how to reimagine education, but we are now fulfilling education that has been reimagined. 

We believe this starts and begins with relationship development between Mentor and Mentee.

Sewing Greater Equality Through Technology

So, might we take the time to pause and consider and to appreciate that there are whole groups, thousands and millions that, by the sound of your voice, you, the reader can benefit the minds of many for only minutes of your time?

In BTMP, we humbly serve in our program where teenagers and adults are finding themselves thriving becoming entrepreneurs and getting better guidance on the next steps of their careers. We are also bringing in our forgotten children. Our future warriors of tech.

In whom we pass along what’s been gained in our journeys to be carried further down the paths of uncertainty, equipped with better opportunities to succeed.

Photo by Belinda Fewings

The most important element that we had to take in consideration is human engineering. Through human centricity and development we have trekked through a much more difficult path.

It is not a substantive benefit to offer hardware and software to underserved communities and expect folks to automatically understand and appreciate the meaning, function, form and everything that it took to make that specific product. 

Instead of handing only devices and intangible wifi to our children, lend them a hand of hope.  

Give them Mentorship. 

At BTMP, we’re working with professionals everywhere to help bridge the gap of served and underserved communities. We’re leveraging Mentorship in a better way by turning down the excuses of why we can’t and inspiring a higher volume of why we have.

For our children are the next pioneers, and the future of technology is in them.