Tennis Star Serena Williams Named Keynote Speaker For Black Tech Week

Tennis Star Serena Williams Named Keynote Speaker For Black Tech Week

Tennis star Serena Williams has been named the keynote speaker for Black Tech Week, which will take place in Cincinnati, OH July 18-22.

Black Tech Week is an inclusion-focused festival partnering tech founders and corporations with the Black community to create a fantastic experience for investors, entrepreneurs and tech startups. Williams is the founder and managing partner of the investment firm Serena Ventures and will represent the company at the five-day conference.

“Black Tech Week is a movement in support of the success of ecosystems being built by Black founders,”  Williams said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to joining this strong community of talent, connecting and impacting the future of technology.”

Black tech workers are still few and far between in America. A study released in March by the Kapor Center and the NAACP found the tech sector has not only stalled but regressed in achieving racial equity. According to Fortune, Black tech workers account for just 8% of the industry.

Tech companies including Google, Microsoft and Apple have forged relationships with HBCU schools to  improve IT programs and develop college-to-career pipelines and add diversity but more must be done,

The conference will include more than 60 sessions, with 50 tech influencers and minority innovation ecosystem builders as featured speakers. In addition to Williams, featured speakers include Kimberly Bryant, Founder of Black Girls Code, Arlan Hamilton, Founder of Hire Runner and Backstage Capital, Janeen Uzzell, CEO of National Black Society of Engineers and more.

The conference will also host a career fair at Washington Park coinciding with the Cincinnati Music Festival which will take place July 21-23 and will feature Janet Jackson, Ari LennoxAnthony Hamilton and Charlie Wilson and more.

Those interested can register for the five-day conference here as well as view the event calendar, panel discussions, demonstrations and more.