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What happened last week at In3? Amazon Web Services Hosts Event for Underrepresented in Tech

Thursday evening marked an evening of panelists, cloud computing and discussion on bridging the racial digital divide in tech. Hosted by Amazon Web Services on Sept. 28 at Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3 DC), “Underrepresented in Tech - Bridging the Racial Digital Divide” was an event focused on connecting students and veterans with the opportunity to “connect the dots between technology, community and developed partnerships.” The event kicked off with host Tara Walker, an Amazon Web Services Evangelists who briefed the audience on the benefits of cloud computing, the challenges in tech and her hopes for the future. “Tech should be inclusive, the world is inclusive and we should be inclusive,” Walker said. Panelists included Vennard Wright of CIO, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Elizabeth Lindsey, Executive Director of Byte Back, Inc., James Collins, CIO, State of Delaware and Priyanka Komala, Vice President of DC Web Women. “When you get a more diverse organization, it starts to erode that bias that you have,” said Collins. Other topics discussed during the panel included trends in tech where communities of color can make a difference, seizing the moment when it comes to opportunities, a willingness to be uncomfortable and forging your own path. “This is a great area [tech] to be an entrepreneur for minorities,” said Wright. Attendees were left with the message from panelists of what success looks like before a Q&A session. “Do work that you are passionate about. It is privilege to wake up every morning and go to a job you love. A metric to success is waking up every morning and doing a job that you love,” said Lindsey. Following the panel and Q&A session, breakout sessions began with an emphasis on students interested in learning the basics of cloud computing and a general AWS cloud computing course taught by host Tara Walker. Food and drinks were provided for attendees to mix, mingle and connect with panelists and others at the event in related fields to conclude the event. Check out the Storify and see what people were tweeting below:

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