Afrotech 2019 Kapor Center:
Social Impact Sessions

BIG THANKS to all who attended the 2019 AfroTech x Kapor Center Social Impact Sessions! The speakers, participation, and content were fantastic!

We’ll post the recorded sessions from the livestream by November 22nd. Meanwhile, for highlights of the day, check out our Twitter feed.


The Kapor Center welcomed 2019 AfroTech registrants to hear from vibrant and accomplished speakers who shared their experiences in three areas: Public Service through Tech, Building Inclusive Tech Ecosystems, and Imagining a Black Tech Future.


8:00 AM

Registration & Breakfast

9:45 AM


10:00 AM



10:45 AM


12:30 PM


1:30 PM


LEAKY TECH PIPELINE: Gaps and Opportunities for Black Communities


3:30 PM


4:00 PM

2019 Community Impact Awards

[AfroTech Community Stage]

Our speakers

Alia Toran-Burrell

Alia Toran-Burrell is the Senior Program Manager with Clear My Record, where she leads partnerships and program strategies. Prior to working with Code for America, she managed a jail diversion program in Massachusetts, which worked to divert people with mental health and substance abuse issues away from the criminal legal system. A social worker by training, she has over ten years of experience in the field, including work as a community organizer and social justice educator.

David Holmes

David Holmes is the Director of Engineering with the United States Digital Service, a tech startup at The White House. Founded by the President in 2014 to fix when it crashed post-launch, USDS continues its non-partisan mission by bringing government services to all Americans through design and technology.

Fallon Wilson

Dr. Fallon Wilson is the CEO of Black in Tech Nashville and Research Director of Black Tech Mecca which seeks to build a national black tech ecosystem. She’s 2019 TEDx Speaker (e.g. Stop Ignoring Black Women and Hear of Our Tech Prophecies). She’s a Board Member of the State of Tennessee’s Future of Work Taskforce and Co-Chairs Nashville’s smart city plan.

Bernard C. Coleman III

Bernard is the Global Head of Inclusive Engagement and he drives the D&I programs through meaningful relationships, both internally and externally, as well as promotes Uber as a leader in ride sharing, and as a forerunner in D&I engagement. Prior to Uber, Bernard led Hillary for America’s D&I and HR initiatives, as the first ever Chief Diversity and Human Resources Officer in U.S. history for any presidential campaign and political party.

Ayori Selassie

Ayori ‘Selfpreneur’ Selassie is an entrepreneur, patented inventor and expert in the field of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and has held roles at Salesforce in Product Management, Marketing and Solution Engineering for Einstein AI and Platform. As an entrepreneur Selassie is the founder of, a company whose mission is to create a new model for the future of living where entrepreneurship and employment are merged.

Danny Allen

A seasoned technologist and serial entrepreneur, Danny has been able to turn a passion for change into an assignment at SAP in Tech Diversity; dedicated to finding a self- sustaining method for ethnic inclusion via the natural complement to corporate profitability. He works with all SAP teams, while focusing on partnership and collaboration with our SAP ecosystem partners, customers and schools.

David Barthwell

David Barthwell is the founder of Wakandacon, a 3-day inclusive Afro-Futuristic celebration for comic nerds, big thinkers, techies, gamers, science geeks, and anyone contributing to the culture. Born in Chicago, he studied art at Yale University, graduating with honors and distinction in the major. His work is strongly influenced by his classical fine arts training in drawing, painting, photography, color, and composition. David is also a developer, allowing him to apply his artistic eye to technology design. He is deeply interested in the tenets of Afro-futurism and a proponent of diverse voices and viewpoints in the tech industry.

Andrea Long

Andréa Long is a Bay Area native, UC Davis alumna, event planner, and health and fitness enthusiast. Andréa is the Global Diversity Events Manager at Twilio and manages the event series, Twilio After Hours. Twilio After Hours creates inclusive environments for underrepresented groups in tech and fills the opportunity funnel with highly qualified, often overlooked candidates who can help Twilio fuel the future of communications.

Janessa Harmon

Janessa Harmon is the VC Operations Associate at Kapor Capital. She focuses on venture capital operations, collaborating with diverse entrepreneurs to support Kapor Capital's ecosystem-building initiatives, and is passionate about tech driven innovations that positively impact our society.

Autumn Breon Williams

Autumn Breon Williams works to reimagine global narratives through the lens education of fine art. A graduate of Stanford University, Autumn Breon studied Aeronautics and Astronautics and researched aeronautical astrobiology applications for NASA. As the only woman of color in her cohort and dissatisfied with the lack of representation in her field, Autumn founded STEMgineers Shifting Gears, a STEM-focused after school, tutoring, and summer program based in Watts, CA that encourages students’ intellectual curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through project-based learning. Her work to further the dialogue on educational equity led to her role as Executive Director of the African Schools for Excellence, a network of independent schools in South Africa.

Elisha Greenwell

Elisha Greenwell is the founder of Black Joy Parade and senior brand strategist developing campaigns from insight to execution on global brands such as Nike, Starbucks and Facebook. Elisha is passionate about identifying sharp ideas that open space for culture and creativity to thrive.

Jasmine Shells

Jasmine is the Co-Founder & CEO of Five to Nine, an award-winning startup that's influencing the future of work. Five to Nine allows companies to better manage and measure the efficacy of their employee engagement programs. Currently, less than 10% of companies know the ROI behind their employee programming/events and her team is working to close that gap. Five to Nine has been invested in by top firms such as Kapor Capital and Morgan Stanley. 

Collin Wallace

Collin Wallace is the CEO and co-founder of Eatgeek, where they make it possible to order catering from thousands of restaurants online. For most people, catering is just a nice to have, but for restaurant owners, it is a matter of survival, because for restaurant owners catering might only be 20% of their revenue, but it represents over 50% of their profits. Prior to Eatgeek, Collin was the Head of Innovation at GrubHub.

Cedric Brown [Session Emcee]

Cedric Brown is the Chief Foundation Officer, providing executive oversight of the Kapor Center’s philanthropic and community initiatives. He has built a 25 year career of rich and varied leadership achievements, mostly dedicated to ensuring pathways to opportunities for people of color (see his work history here), including collaborations with the Obama White House Office of Science and Tech Policy, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Blavity’s AfroTech conference, and an appearance in the CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap documentary.

Allison Scott

Allison Scott, PhD is the Chief Research Officer, leading a research team aiming to enhance diversity in the tech ecosystem through: (a) conducting landscape studies and research on interventions within educational settings and the technology workplace, and (b) disseminating effective research-based strategies, resources, and practices across the tech ecosystem. Prior to leading research at KCSI, Dr. Scott was the Program Leader for the NIH’s Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-funded Workforce Program, a set of three experimental initiatives implementing and examining the effectiveness of training, mentoring, and institutional development interventions to enhance diversity in biomedical research.

Cynthia Overton

Cynthia Overton, Ph.D. is the Director of Tech Workplace Initiatives, where she provides diversity and inclusion-related education opportunities and resources through focused initiatives for tech professionals. Cynthia brings more than a decade of experience in social science professional services industry, leading research, technical assistance, and knowledge translation initiatives that enhance opportunities for underrepresented populations. Her particular expertise is in making technology accessible so that it can be enjoyed by people with disabilities and aging populations. She has also worked on corporate initiatives to advance workforce diversity and inclusion.

Troy cosey

Troy has spent nearly a decade working in the Silicon Valley, building products and programs to economically empower underserved communities. He spent 7+ years at LinkedIn where he worked as an operator across Sales, Marketing, and Product - launching and scaling strategic projects like LinkedIn’s Influencer Program, Publishing Platform, and the Sales Navigator platform. Most notably, he and 4 other leaders founded LinkedIn's largest Employee Resource Group - BIG.

Donnel Baird

Donnel is the founder of BlocPower, a startup that markets, finances, and installs solar and energy efficiency technology to help houses of worship, non-profits, small businesses, and multifamily project to slash energy costs. He previously worked as a community organizer, as a voter contact director for Obama for America, and on a Change to Win/LIUNA campaign. He resides in New York City.