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Getting To Know Black Innovators, One Tweet At A Time

Pitch Mixer founder Ayori Selassie speaks at an entrepreneur forum.
Tamara Orozco
Pitch Mixer founder Ayori Selassie speaks at an entrepreneur forum.

There is no question that Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Beach and all of the other places we associate with tech entrepreneurism face diversity problems.

African-American innovators represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation.

We've covered the dearth of women and people of color with a series of our own posts and those from outside contributors. But among the entrepreneurs of color, there are several who are making an impact in their communities.

Our friends at the NPR program Tell Me More are starting a three-week Twitter journey today, in which black game-changers will each tweet a day in their lives to provide a better look at how they're making a difference, the random obstacles they may encounter and what they observe as exceptions in an industry dominated by white men. The details, from Tell Me More:

"Between Dec. 2-20, tech thinkers will live-tweet a day in their lives; they'll also provide feedback to the questions that Tell Me More has collected with #NPRBlacksinTech...

"Then, on Dec. 17, Tell Me More will bring together some of these participants with other African-American technology heavyweights for a Google Plus Hangout on Air to broaden the conversation and to reflect on some of its key moments."

The participants will include Mike Street, the head of Blacks in Tech NY; Walter Kimbrough, the president of Dillard University in New Orleans; digital consultant Mike Green; Christine Johnson, who founded DiversiTech in Washington, D.C.; Nnena Ukuku, co-founder of Black Founders; and many more. We hope you'll follow along and shoot us questions.

Tweet your questions to @TellMeMoreNPR or use the hashtag #NPRBlacksinTech, and the participants will answer them over the course of three weeks.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.