Race: Know When to Hold It and When to Fold It

A session at SXSW Interactive 2012

Monday 12th March, 2012

5:00pm to 6:00pm (CST)

This panel seeks to change the conversation from “What can technology conferences do about diversity?” to “What can attendees do about diversity at technology conferences?” The panel is composed of speakers who have each presented at multiple technology conferences on topics that did not focus on race or diversity but instead spoke on topics of sci-fi, electronic ownership of email and digital wills, the influence of mobile development via comic books, social media for youth and business automation lessons from Amazon. While the diversity of some major tech conferences has steadily improved over the years, geek culture - which remains overwhelmingly white and male - is still the norm. This can be daunting for people who, despite being experts in technology and new media, don’t see themselves reflected in the marketing materials or content. Panelists will share how individuals can contribute to making technology conferences more inclusive.

About the speakers

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Adria Richards

Tech Consultant, ButYoureAGirl.com

Adria empowers people through technology and is known on Twitter for her helpful answers. She works with individuals and organizations to help them master technology with hands-on training. Combining 12+ years of technical expertise with passion, Adria turns complex topics into easy to understand concepts. Adria has been cited by newspapers, blogs and online news sites about technology. She was interviewed on the Rachel Maddow Show after discovering a data security problem with a political campaign website and covering it on her blog. Adria has presented at several conferences including SXSW, Blogworld, BlogHer, Blogalicous, and Wordcamps around the country. Topics range from blogging and SEO to high-tech career strategies and the influence of science fiction on modern inventions. She does training on cloud applications and business productivity workflow. Now living in geek capital of the world, San Francisco, Adria continues to focus on raising awareness for open source, cloud apps and digital equality.

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Corvida Raven

Tech Blogger, Social Media Consultant, SheGeeks.net

Founder and Editor of SheGeeks.net, Corvida has consistently captured the tech world's attention since she was 19. Corvida passionately shares spot on insights on the value of today's gadgets, social media services, and mobile applications for people and businesses. Noted as one of 50 Most Influential Women in Technology by Fast Company (2009), Corvida's light shines when she's helping others take on technology fearlessly. Now 23, Corvida serves as an Intel Advisor while managing a host of blogs in addition to SheGeeks.net. Corvida has toured the US as a Social Media Specialist for General Motors/Chevrolet and served as a contributing writer and community manager for ReadWriteWeb. A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida comes not only in peace, but with technological insights in plain English. Currently Corvida Raven serves as the Conversations Catalyst at TED.

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Anjuan Simmons

Principal, Adverlyze

Anjuan Simmons is an information technology consultant who helps companies understand and implement enterprise software solutions. He is currently a Principal at Infosys, a 44.2 billion dollar technology services company with a global client base of 612 companies. Before joining Infosys, Anjuan worked as an executive for consulting giants Accenture and Deloitte. Anjuan is also an energetic and informative speaker who often presents at conferences, seminars, schools, and community events. He is a sought after thought leader for his opinion on social media, equal access to technology, careers in technology, and IT leadership. Drawing from his work experience as well as his educational background, Anjuan delivers presentations that focus on facts and provide simple explanations of complex ideas. Anjuan has been featured in USA Today, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post, NPR’s Morning Edition, and other media outlets. Anjuan has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Texas A&M University. Anjuan lives in Houston with his beautiful wife and three amazing kids. His hobbies include reading, writing, social media, photography, travel, and exercise. You can learn more about Anjuan by viewing his primary online social media profiles: facebook.com/anjuan, twitter.com/anjuan, and AnjuanSimmons.com.

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Scott Hanselman

Principal Community Architect, Microsoft

My name is Scott Hanselman. I work out of my home office for Microsoft as a Principal Program Manager, aiming to spread good information about developing software, usually on the Microsoft stack. Before this I was the Chief Architect at Corillian Corporation, now a part of Checkfree, for 6+ years. I was also involved in a few Microsoft Developer things for many years like the MVP and RD programs and I'll speak about computers (and other passions) whenever someone will listen.
Before Corillian and Microsoft I worked as a Principal Consultant at a local Microsoft Solution Provider called STEP Technology, speaking, writing, consulting, and very much not getting rich during Web 1.0. Even earlier, I worked at a Car Parts Data Warehouse called Chrome Data, and before that I had a small company that specialized in internationalization and thunking. I've also been an Adjunct Professor at OIT, teaching C#. On the side, I created the first PalmPilot Diabetes Management System in 1998 and sold it to a healthcare company five years later. It's now in limbo, but I'm trying to get it released as Open Source.
What else would you like to know? I am an early adopter, it seems. I ran Tweak Computer Support BBS, with some success, a very long time ago. I was a FidoNet node. I have nice teeth and love cheese amongst other things. I like Tools, and I've co-written some books. I'm diabetic. I like studying Amharic and Zulu/Ndebele and listening to African Music as well as other more diverse music. I know Black Hair and can both braid and cornrow. I have a podcast. I hack on hardware and waste time. I do Open Source. I have a large forefive-head. I am good at Excel and keep my resume mostly up to date for no reason. We speak Sign Language to my son and my wife speaks Ndebele. I have a great family and have had great teachers and a fantastic wedding with a great Cake Topper. I don't sleep too much. I write a lot. I'm trying to raise $50,000 for Diabetes research.
That's me, today. I'll be different tomorrow, hopefully better.

This person is speaking at this event.
Latoya Peterson


Latoya Peterson is a writer, blogger, and digital activist. Skilled in interviewing, creative non-fiction, and editorial content, Latoya Peterson spends her time editing the blog Racialicious.com - the intersection of race and pop culture. She was contributor to Jezebel.com and has written for Vibe, The American Prospect, The Atlantic Blog, Bitch Magazine, Clutch Magazine, the Women's Review of Books, Slate's Double X, The Poynter Institute and the Guardian. Her essay, "The Not Rape Epidemic" was published in the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape (Seal Press, 2008). As a digital media consultant, Latoya Peterson has worked with brands like NPR and Wikipedia to improve the user experience and provide key qualities like blogging voice and reader connection to help humanize larger brands on the web.


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19 attendees

  • Adria Richards
  • Anjuan Simmons
  • Corvida Raven
  • Farai Chideya
  • Hadiyah Mujhid
  • Krishna Billy Brown
  • Karthik Gaekwad
  • Latoya Peterson
  • Mjumbe Poe
  • Monique Woodard
  • Morgan Burton
  • Mutewatch
  • Jeff Putthoff, SJ
  • santagati.
  • Scott Hanselman
  • Erica Mauter
  • toft
  • Vijay Renganathan
  • Mary Beth Faccioli

3 trackers

  • Andrea Genevieve
  • Aaron Ogle
  • Powen “power user of the internet” Shiah

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Time 5:00pm6:00pm CST

Date Mon 12th March 2012


Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

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Books by speaker

  • Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0
  • .NET 3.5 Wrox Box
  • Professional ASP.NET 2.0

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