The Rainbow Push Coalition founded by American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson in partnership with GOOGLE, hosted the #PUSHTECH2020 Detroit Forum at the Madison Building in Detroit, MI on Monday, May 18, 2015.
The purpose of this “Dream Makers, Risk Takers, and Money Makers” event was to focus on Diversity in the Tech industry. Guest speakers included Mike Miller (Google - Head of Office, Ann Arbor), Jill Ford (Head of City of Detroit Innovation and Entrepreneurship), Peter Vazquez (CEO, Brand Echo Media).
A panel discussion was conducted by leading entrepreneurs and a motivating conversation with Jesse Jackson. Statistics show that diversity may not come about naturally when it comes to the rapidly growing technology industry. Therefore, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition was formed in order to contribute to changing that.
The Rainbow Push Automotive Project worked diligently to make this outstanding event possible and METALLON's ownAxel Cooley [Automotive Industry] and Dreams Project Director Jay Rayford [Education and Leadership], who both form part of the 20 leaders elected into the New Leaders Council Detroit Chapter, were present to join the many outstanding entrepreneurs and tech-savvy individuals in attendance to support this important diversity conversation.
Last year, the coalition worked to get more than two dozen leading technology organizations to release diversity data. The findings demonstrated women, African-Americans, and Hispanics were underrepresented.
Jesse Jackson and his Coalition have been hard work hosting these forums around the country, in collaboration with Google and other companies, in order to raise awareness, and more importantly find solutions to bridge this gap.
The National Science Foundation released an important study earlier this year demonstrating that only 8% of those employed in science and engineering jobs are Hispanic and 6% are African-Americans. For minority-owned companies, according to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, 24% sought angel investment while only 16 % received it. Jill Ford, who works diligently as Mayor Mike Duggan’s head of innovation and entrepreneurship, kindly shared her vision for the city by stating that there are minority-run industries in Detroit that could expand nationally with an infusion of technology and funding.