Rev. Jesse Jackson steadfast in commitment to diversification of tech industry

Jesse Jackson Sr Commencement speaker at Wilberforce university
Rev. Jesse Jackson

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition announced critical new steps forward in their ongoing campaign to diversify the technology industry on Monday, June 30 at the Rainbow PUSH Annual Conference in Chicago. Demonstrating the critical nexus of education, civil rights, and technology, Rainbow PUSH has teamed up with Google on a series of events throughout its 43rd Annual Conference, demonstrating ways that the industry and the community can work together to bring change quickly.

Rainbow Push and Google also announced on Monday that they will use the new Rainbow PUSH video as part of an upcoming joint PUSH-Google Community Empowerment and Education event in Atlanta in mid- August, aimed at engaging community and educational leaders, and forging a pipeline to the technology industry.

Attorney David Drummond

“We have a lot of work to do when it comes to diversity in our workforce,” said Google’s Drummond. “We’re committed to working with civic, community and education groups and leaders like Rev. Jackson to turn these gaps into new bridges of opportunity.”

Rev Jackson said “Google prides themselves on moonshot thinking and the technology industry writ large prides themselves on innovation. It’s time to harness that moonshot thinking and innovation towards closing the gap when it comes to minorities and technology. We look forward to working together with Google and other tech companies across America to raise the employment of African Americans in technology to achieve parity with their consumer market and population, and to help spawn a new generation that will become the innovators, creators and tech leaders of tomorrow. Inclusion is the key to growth. Working together we can create jobs, business opportunities, and generate positive community economic development in underserved communities across the nation.”

Volunteers from Google and other tech companies spent Monday hosting STEM training sessions, panels and a national Town Hall youth dialogue;

Rainbow PUSH premiered its new video, “Face the Change: inspiring and connecting African Americans to Technology,” at the Push for Excellence Scholarship Dinner on Monday evening as 100 students received scholarship awards from the organization. This new video is designed to be used by corporate, religious and community leaders and educators across the country to inspire a new generation of tech leaders and motivate the industry to champion and executive effective inclusion and diversity strategies;

In addition, Rev. Jackson presented attorney David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president of Corporate Development and chief legal officer, with the Rainbow PUSH Technology Innovator Award at the dinner.

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