BeVisible, a dynamic professional networking platform that reflects the shifting demographics of multicultural America, is hosting its inaugural #BeWokeSF next Thursday, May 17 at The Pearl in the heart of San Francisco.
The trailblazing event will be an unprecedented opportunity to mingle, connect, and network with key players in tech, business, investment, and advocates of diversity and inclusion. Speakers and invited influencers include Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Business; Monica Marquez, Global Head of Community Advisory at Google; Arlan Hamilton, founder of Backstage Capital; and UrbanGeekz’s very own chief executive Kunbi Tinuoye, among others.
“Our mission has always been to showcase African-American, Latinx, and multicultural talent so this conference is a perfect fit for our brand,” said Tinuoye. “I am honored to be a speaker and for our platform [UrbanGeekz] to be one of the official media partners for this pioneering event.”
"Many Latinx have struggled to gain a foothold in this new economy. At the same time, many companies – including many tech companies – have struggled to find ways to diversify and win the talent race. BeWokeSF is about putting those puzzle pieces together.”
The goal is to provide a space for young multicultural attendees to establish meaningful connections with change agents at the top of their fields. It’s also a chance for forward-thinking companies to engage with and scout for brilliant diverse talent.
“Entering the innovation economy is the newest version of the American Dream and San Francisco is the Shangri La,” says Andrea Guendelman, founder of BeVisible. “But many Latinxs have struggled to gain a foothold in this new economy. At the same time, many companies – including many tech companies – have struggled to find ways to diversify and win the talent race. BeWokeSF is about putting those puzzle pieces together.”
Guendelman, a Harvard Law graduate, is at the helm of BeVisible. It’s the first and only online community for Latinx professionals to level the playing field by providing a platform that directly connects Latinxs to recruiters and companies. Latinxs have the lowest participation rate on LinkedIn of any minority demographic: just 18 percent. Part of the problem, says Guendelman, is that Latinxs don’t feel comfortable on traditional career social media sites.
“You cannot be what you cannot see,” said Monica Marquez, Global Head for Community Advisory, Community & Business Inclusion Team at Google. “BeVisible is shining the light on amazing multicultural talent and bringing visibility to brilliant leaders in underrepresented communities to help foster strong networks of role models and mentors. #BeWokeSF and let the light shine on.”
Guendelman also says that against the backdrop of #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo and advocacy for immigrants, there’s a larger message at stake for America. She says it’s also about both providing hope and making some concrete advances in a time that badly needs a healthy serving of both.
“If historically underrepresented groups are to realize their true place in this country’s history as cultural, political and economic powerhouses, they need to come together to create and innovate,” said Hugo Balta, former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). “BeVisible and its first networking event of this kind #BeWokeSF is a conduit in realizing that potential.”
"The days of diversity as window dressing and inclusion as lip service are over. To drive new opportunities for the under-represented and the under-estimated, we need creative thinking and great execution. BeWokeSF will bring us together to catalyze action and create the roadmap."
“BeWokeSF attendees are going to get inspired and they are also going to see concrete steps to make the most innovative city and the most innovative economy in the world more diverse and inclusive,” said Guendelman. “I want every attendee to leave the gathering with one seed of inspiration, one provocative idea for transforming their life or their institution, and one contact that will help them make that transformation.”
“The days of diversity as window dressing and inclusion as lip service are over. To drive new opportunities for the under-represented and the under-estimated, we need creative thinking and great execution. BeWokeSF will bring us together to catalyze action and create the roadmap,” said Tom Chavez, CEO and Co-Founder of Krux, a Salesforce Company.
BeWokeSF [Be Woke San Francisco] is an immersive experience, with a host of panels and workshops focusing on leadership, entrepreneurship, fundraising, careers in media and tech, fundraising for startups, the power of female networks, and much more. In addition, after a day spent networking and attending impactful discussions, the event will finish off with an evening after-party that features some of the hottest musical talents.
#BeWokeSF will take place Thursday, May 17, 2018, from 2:30 pm to 11:30 pm at The Pearl in San Francisco. Get tickets here.
Follow Carlyn Pounders on Twitter@GSUPounder