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General Discussions

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Celebrating Black Innovators in Tech

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

It's Black History Month, and that means we will no doubt begin to see many posts, shares, and statements  from all manner of organizations and individuals.  Some of these will feel genuine, some will feel a bit hollow, and some will also likely feel just plain tone-deaf. What we would like to do is share some information with you (since data is the main topic of conversation in our community) as well as encourage you to share your own.


Technology is a huge part of all of our lives in the modern world - and even more so for those of us that rely on it heavily in our day to day work (looking at all you Alteryx users in the community). Something that isn't always shared or celebrated is the people behind the technology we use.  You may have seen the new article in the INPUT Blog already, but if you haven't you should definitely check it out.  Don't worry, I'll wait here.


It's incredible how many of the inventions and technologies that we use on a regular basis were created by people that are not celebrated or well-known outside of those in a very specific field. And there's certainly no way that we could cover every groundbreaking contribution made to the tech industry by black men and women. So I want to ask you this - what other black innovators would you add to this list? Share in this thread and let's all learn about some great minds we might not have heard about before!

Will Machin
Community Management Team Lead
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Love this. One black innovator I learned about recently is Tope Awotona, the CEO and founder of Calendly.


I learned more about him when someone on Twitter went viral for a tweet that I disagreed with about Calendly and fell down the proverbial rabbit hole. It's fascinating where Tope started, what led to Calendly, and the pure tenacity and hard work to get here. This is a decent interview with him from Fortune. Check it out and when you get a Calendly link, you now know a black innovator started it. Even if that one guy on Twitter doesn't like Calendly links.


I also like to recognize black innovators that don't necessarily build tech but work in various tech spaces bringing people together.


Shana Sumers who works at HubSpot as the Senior Manager of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging communities bringing more voices to the forefront in Marketing spaces and being one of the kindest folks too. Wesley Faulkner who is the Head of Community at SingleStore Developers working with developer relations and is an advocate for neurodiversity. Also, while one can argue whether or not associations are 'tech', someone who innovates & knows how to bring people together - Marjorie Anderson, founder of Community by Association. These are some of my favorite community builders who innovate regularly to ensure more voices are heard & represented in tech spaces.


Happy Black History Month! 

Shannon Emery, she/her
20 - Arcturus
20 - Arcturus

Who is Alan Emtage?

 Alan Emtage.jfif

If not for him, you might not be able to answer the question.


Alteryx ACE & Top Community Contributor

Chaos reigns within. Repent, reflect and restart. Order shall return.
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