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Turn Up, Turn Out for Black History Month

This February, the Kapor Center is proud to recognize Black History Month with a rich slate of activities that highlight and celebrate the many achievements — and challenges — of African-descended people in the United States, from fantastic panels to art exhibits to movie screenings to volunteer experiences — even a parade! Most of these events have been organized by our community partners, companies, and institutions, including Our Collective, the Oakland Education Fund, and Twilio. No matter your preference, you can plug in, so please do! Join us!

FIRST FRIDAY FOUNDERS · Friday, February 2 · 5:30p-8:00pm

The Kapor Center and Oakland Startup Network invite you to join us for our monthly fireside chats at 5:30pm every First Friday of the Month as we sit down with entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders of impact. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other current and aspiring founders of color, potential future team members, and even potential investors. Be ready to be inspired by tech entrepreneurs of color who will share their journey through the highs & lows. Come to network over food, drinks, tech, and music celebrating the thriving Oakland tech entrepreneurship community.

February Edition will focus on celebrating Black Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists in honor of Black History Month. We’ll be featuring Brian Dixon, Partner at Kapor Capital and Sydney Thomas, Investment Associate & Head of Ops at Precursor Ventures. They will share their journey into venture capital as well as share insights of what investors in pre-seed to seed look for in entrepreneurs, and more. We will have a special announcement, so join us to learn more!

THE ART OF LIVING BLACK · Reception, Saturday, February 3, 12–5pm

(From RAC Website)

The Art of Living Black, now in its 22nd year, speaks to a long history of social struggles, cultural affirmation, and art making as a transformative practice. As a preview exhibition and self-guided open studio art tour that recognizes Bay Area artists of African American descent, the exhibition contains a vast range of artistic endeavors, styles and media that references forgotten cultural histories, struggles and personal identity. Here, it is the artists’ ability to construct meaning for themselves and others that defines the significance of the work.

(SELFISH NOTE: I have a piece in this show!)

AFRICAN AMERICAN READ IN · February 5–9 · Oakland public schools

(From OPEF website)

In a diverse city like Oakland, our students need opportunities to see themselves — and all of their classmates — in the books they read. To honor African-American History Month, Oakland Education Fund is hosting a citywide appreciation of African-American writers and illustrators. From February 5–9, 2018, schools across Oakland will host volunteer read-alouds in classrooms, Family Literacy Nights, cross-grade buddy reading, and more. Sign up here to volunteer.

BLACK EXCELLENCE WEEK: Twilio After Hours Presents Hidden Figures: A Celebration of Black Excellence & Achievement · Thursday, February 22 · 6:00pm-9:00pm

Given our current social climate, what better time is there than now to come together and celebrate black excellence & achievement within our community!

Join us for a moderated discussion with celebrity guest speakers Baron Davis & Marcus Bullock, amazing music, and networking with young and diverse professionals. Featuring food by Chef Mimi, we will be recognizing the great accomplishments of individuals who are doing amazing work in our communities.

Join us along with our partners as we celebrate Hidden Figures in our community. RSVP HERE.

NOTE: Twilio is a Kapor Capital portfolio company.

BLACK EXCELLENCE WEEK: Code Black: The Inaugural Tech Gala · Saturday, February 24 · 7:00pm-11:30pm

The CODE BLACK Tech Gala is the culminating formal event for the Coalition of Black Excellence Week and will highlight Bay Area nonprofit Tech organizations making a difference in communities of color. All proceeds for the event will go to a designated nonprofit. This non-traditional gala will include heavy hors d’oeuvres featuring cuisine from across the diaspora and a bar of signature cocktails, wine and beer. BET’s own, Jeff Johnson will be the Master of Ceremony and will assist with honoring the Inaugural Award Recipients: Morgan DeBaun, CEO of Blavity and Monique Woodard, Venture Partner. A surprise special guest performance and live DJ will make this a night you will not forget! Find out more about speakers and honorees on the program page. BUY TICKETS HERE.

NOTE: Sponsored in part by the Kapor Center.

BLACK JOY PARADE · Sunday, February 25 ·11:00am-4:00pm

(From BJP website)

The Black Joy Parade exists to provide the black community and allies a live experience that celebrates our influence on cultures past, present and future. We will unite a diverse community by creating a space to express each of our unique contributions to the black experience. We invite you to be creative, be open, be present, be free.

NOTE: Sponsored in part by the Kapor Center.