TechConnect at Urban League Conference Explores Intersection of Technology, Racial Justice and Social Change

The question: How do emerging technologies influence racial justice and social change? The answer: National Urban League TechConnect.

Held over two days during the National Urban League Conference in St. Louis, July 27 and 28 and sponsored by Facebook, TechConnect will feature networking opportunities, and panel discussions from top executives in technology.                       

“Diversity in technology continues to be an important national conversation for tech companies and venture capital firms and in turn, a huge area of opportunity for women of color and tech entrepreneurship. As we see the importance of inclusion become more apparent, Walker’s Legacy is proud to bring this important conversation to TechConnect 2017,” said Natalie M. Cofield, Founder, and CEO of TechConnect partner Walker’s Legacy and Walker’s Legacy Foundation.

Panels will feature thought leaders and industry experts discuss various topics including emerging technologies, career opportunities in tech, and thriving in the tech space as a person of color 

A highlight of TechConnect is the Hackathon for Social Justice, sponsored by Comcast. The Hackathon provides a space for innovators—students, developers, designers, and creative thinkers—to design original applications to alleviate the most pressing social issues of our day, specifically those in tune with this year's Conference theme, Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs, and Justice.  Participants compete in teams of up to four to design technology-based solutions to address issues of public safety, voting, education, jobs, housing and health.

"Too often technology is seen as an ambiguous buzzword that our community doesn't know much about,” said Felix Flores, National Director of TechConnect partner #YesWeCode.  “In the worst cases, it's villainized and associated with gentrification.  Hackathons give a chance for people with different experiences to dive into the tech world by working in teams, learn from each other, and show how efficient and productive people can be using tech tools.  It's important that organizations like the National Urban League and #YesWeCode band together to demystify tech and get people to change from consumers to creators.  That is the key to our future economic empowerment."

The winning application or software should provide a solution for the Urban League to drive civic engagement, voting, education pipeline, housing, health, justice and job creation in urban communities.

"Technology is the key to Economic Empowerment for African Americans," said Dr. Lance McCarthy, CEO of TechConnect partner Ferguson 1000. “Everyone has access to the same information thus creativity is the economic indicator. African Americans are the most creative in the planet. Ferguson 1000 is proud to partner w the National Urban League in its tech platform at the conference.”

For more information and to register for TechConnect, visit

For more information and to register for the Hackathon for Social Justice, visit


TechConnect Schedule:

Thursday, July 27th


Professionals Night Mixer featuring: Women Trailblazers Shaping The Future Of Tech Sponsored by Chevrolet and presented by Walker’s Legacy

Friday, July 28th


Innovating with Inclusion: Advocating for Diversity & Why It Matters Presented by Walker’s Legacy

Inclusion is essential to innovation.  Yet minorities continue to be underrepresented in the fastest growing, highest paying industry of tech.  Our panelists discuss how they are striving to change the status quo and the impact that inclusive environments have on the tech ecosystem.

Panelists: Dr. Lance McCarthy (Ferguson 1000) and Felix Flores (Yes We Code) Anthony Frasier (Newark Venture Partners), Jason Green (SkillSmart)

Moderator: Rachel Hampton (Walker’s Legacy)



One-on-One Conversation with Shareef Abdul Malik (We Buy Black)



How To Build, Manage and Monetize Your Social Influence with Arsha Jones (Brand, Build, Sell)

Influencers are leading the way in content creation and big brands looking to authentically connect with consumers are following.  Whether you have 100 or 100,000 followers, branding expert Arsha Jones will share how to increase your influence and use your social power to monetize your brand.



The New Wave: African American Influencers in Digital Media and Entertainment

African American consumers are transforming the digital landscape by leading the way with content curation and distribution on multiple platforms. Disruption in     broadcasting, print and the recording industries has created a new and exciting frontier.  Hear what’s new and what’s next from our panel of influencers from media, music and entertainment on the front lines of this innovation.

Panelists: Tuma Basa (Spotify), Darnell L. Moore (Cassius Life),

Moderator: Colby Tyner (Radio One) 


2:30pm                                             Hackathon for Social Justice Presentations

3:30pm                                             Hackathon for Social Justice Judges Deliberate

    Judges: Dr. Lance McCarthy (Ferguson 1000), Felix Flores (Yes We Code), Comcast Representative

3:45pm                                             Prizes & Closing Remarks

4:00pm                                             Event ends


Hackathon Schedule

Thursday, July 27th

8:00am-9:50am                                Hackathon Check-in & Breakfast Mixer

9:50am                                             Welcome Remarks

10:00am                                           Hacking Starts

1:00pm                                             Lunch Break

1:30pm                                             Hacking Continues

3:30pm-3:45pm                                Break

5:00pm                                             Hacking Ends

5:00-7:00pm                                     Hackathon Meet-up at Professionals Night Mixer (attendance is optional)

Friday, July 28th

8:00-8:30am                                     Welcome

8:30am                                             Hacking Continues

11:00am                                           Presentation Prep

2:30pm                                             Hackathon for Social Justice Presentations & Judging

3:30pm                                             Judges Deliberate

4:00pm                                             Event ends


CONTACT:           Teresa Candori
                             (212) 558-5362 |