Lauryn Nwankpa understands how using social media can have a positive and negative impact. During a tech meet up event at Google LAX, Nwankpa shared her thoughts on the power of messages that are spread through the use of technology.
“I never imagined that people would leverage the same technology that brought us Black Twitter to turn it into something so ugly,” Nwankpa said. “And to spread false information about all different communities. It affects our lives right now. What keeps me hopeful is that people can leverage that same technology and express their own narratives in a way that has never happened before. I found hope in the power of people being able to tell their story to counteract the negativity.”
Nwankpa has shared her story through her passions in tech, education, and natural hair. As the CEO of Hair To There, Nwankpa developed natural hair products and curriculum to empower young Black and Brown girls to embrace their natural hair.
Nwankpa now serves as the Customer Success Manager in the newly established Business-to-Business division of Headspace, Inc. which has headquarters in Los Angeles.
“I do a lot of work to make sure that women in tech can be comfortable with themselves and be comfortable owning their work,” Nwankpa said in an interview.
Following her graduation from the University of Chicago, Nwankpa worked in Baltimore for a non-profit that focused on education. She eventually moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked as a producer of media content that specialized in education and human rights.
After founding Hair To There, she was able to combine her passions once she relocated to the West Coast.
“Once I started a natural hair products company, I realized that there weren’t many spaces for Black women like me to enter entrepreneurship,” Nwankpa said. “I ended up coming to Los Angeles from the East coast to study entrepreneurship and found myself at a tech company. I’m able to combine my passion with entrepreneurship while working at a company that’s at the cutting edge of innovation.”
Nwankpa also takes the time to help the next generation of young women who desire to enter the fields of business and tech.
“The biggest piece of advice is to be unapologetically yourself and seek mentors,” she said. “Talk to as many people as you possibly can to understand how they got to where they are and just learn. It’s the only way to really understand how to get from point A to point B.”