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2017: The Year in Press

At the Kapor Center, one of our most important goals is to change the way tech talks about issues of diversity and inclusion. Specifically, we challenge the notion that tech’s dismal diversity numbers stem either from a pipeline issue or bias issue. In reality, it’s both — a complex problem that requires comprehensive solutions.

To that end, the media that cover tech can be very important allies. When they define the problem correctly, we come closer to finding solutions that work. In 2017, we’ve seen a terrific amount of coverage of our work, and we’re delighted to see our message being adopted more and more.

In all, we saw nearly 400 regional, national, and even international outlets cover our work in 2017 — that’s more than one a day throughout the year.

But beyond the volume of coverage, we get excited by the high quality pieces.

Here are a few of our favorite stories from the past year:

“The Investor Who Took on Uber, and Silicon Valley”

-NPR’s All Things Considered

Photo:Talia Herman/ NPR

In May and June, NPR tech reporter Aarti Shahani shadowed Freada Kapor Klein as she met with investors, VCs and community leaders to develop a captivating portrait of our founder as a woman who won’t back down when it comes to what’s right.

“This Program has a Brilliant Plan for Bringing Diversity to the World of Stem”


Photo: Dr. Jennifer Cohen/Level Playing Field Institute

Out of everything we do, the stories of our SMASH scholars — in their own words — make us most proud. This fall, the viral news site Upworthy spent a couple of days with our SMASH campus at UCLA to talk about how the program has transformed individual lives.

Tech Leavers Study

-Various outlets

Ok, it was hard to pick just one here. Last April, our Research team published a groundbreaking report exploring why people leave their tech jobs. The results were different for women, LGBT tech workers and underrepresented people of color, but the meta-theme was consistent: culture matters. The study was referenced by more than 5 dozen outlets, including USA Today, the Washington Post, and NPR. Perhaps the most interesting was a profile in the Danish IT magazine, Prosa bladet, where our own Dr. Allison Scott was featured on the cover.

“Startups Pitch Ways to fight Workplace Bias, Harassment and Discrimination”

-San Jose Mercury News

Photo: Tiffany Price/Kapor Center

In December, Kapor Capital hosted the 3rd Annual People Operations Tech competition where ten startups pitched ideas focused on eliminating workplace bias, discrimination and harassment to a panel of judges, who then decided how to give out the $100K prize money.

“Kapor Center Helps Launch Startup Network”

-Black Enterprise

L-R: Crystal M. Jackson, Freada Kapor Klein, Mitch Kapor, and Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. at the Black Enterprise 2017 TechConneXt Summit. Photo: Black Enterprise

The heart of our community engagement work involves making sure the entire community is engaged in transforming tech. This year, we co-founded the Oakland Startup Network to bring together entrepreneurs, government leaders, venture capital and community organizations to ensure that Oakland becomes the home of tech done right. This Black Enterprise piece is a testament to how powerful this network has already become.

“Silicon Valley’s Most Famous Gender Discrimination Plaintiff Returns to Venture Capital”

-Inc. Magazine

Photo: Getty Images

2017 began with some exciting news: Ellen Pao joined the Kapor Capital investment team and simultaneously founded a Diversity and Inclusion department at the Kapor Center. The news travelled quickly. More than two dozen original stories helped herald her move, including this piece by Sal Rodriguez.

“They’re Changing the Face of Silicon Valley”


Photo: CNET

This story was months in the making. CNET reporter Terry Collins turned up at a number of Kapor Center events, from pitch competitions to networking nights for our SMASH academies, interviewing not just our staff, but the people who stand to gain most from tech getting things right. The result is a vivid picture of the work we do — and why.

“Metro Atlanta Students Learning Stem Help Themselves and Others”

– Atlanta Journal Constitution

Photo: Mikki K. Harris

Part of Mitch and Freada’s $40 million investment in tech diversity was to bring SMASH to thousands more deserving students of color with STEM aspirations across the nation. The program expansion continued in 2017 and the AJC was there to cover the launch of SMASH Morehouse in Atlanta — our first site outside of California and our first HBCU!

“Pride 2017-Cedric Brown Works to Address Tech Equity”

-Bay Area Reporter

Photo: Bay Area Reporter

Last June we were thrilled to see the Bay Area’s preeminent LGBT newspaper honor our Chief of Community Engagement in their annual Pride issue. Cedric Brown has been with the Kapor Center for over 15 years, including leadership roles at the Level Playing Field Institute and the Mitchell Kapor Foundation. This piece encapsulates his work and is infused with his personality, and we couldn’t be more proud.

“What Every Latinx Entrepreneur Should Know”


Photo: Michael Oleaga

We’ve always believed that the lived experiences of entrepreneurs can be a competitive advantage. In this print and video interview for VoiceLatina, Kapor Capital Principal Carolina Huaranca provides helpful advice for Latinx entrepreneurs as they get started.

“The Kapors Hand Over the Reigns at Groups that Push for Diversity in Tech”

-San Francisco Business Times

Photo: San Francisco Business Times

As Mitch and Freada prepare to step back from the day to day operations of the Kapor Center, we couldn’t have asked for a better profile of their work and mission here — along with a look ahead at what’s to come in 2018.