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The Technology 202: Black tech leaders share reading recommendations for the industry

American Politics

The Technology 202: Black tech leaders share reading recommendations for the industry

with Tonya Riley Recent protests against racism and police brutality are pressuring the tech industry to also look at its own record on diversity.  At this critical moment, I reached out to several black tech leaders and asked them what books they would recommend to The Technology 202 newsletter readers. Their picks range from fiction…

The Technology 202: Black tech leaders share reading recommendations for the industry

with Tonya Riley

Current demonstrations against racism and authorities cruelty are pressuring the tech industry to also look at its own record on diversity.

At this defining moment, I reached out to numerous black tech leaders and inquired what books they would suggest to The Technology 202 newsletter readers. Their choices vary from fiction from famous black authors to recent organisation books that resolve diversity concerns.

Here’s The Innovation 202 summer reading list, assembled from those suggestions:


Toni Morrison, author of “Beloved.” (Mitsu Yasukawa for The Washington Post)


By Toni Morrison

Luke Thompson, financier at Maschmeyer Group Ventures: “It is complete of complicated love that makes the reader confront what it implies to be human. Like all of her work, it is importantly Black and never overtly “political.” Morrison, with subtlety, ties the slave experience with what it indicates to be a modern-day Black American. As soon as you do, if you can, exist within the commonplace fear of the servant experience, you will thrill in the endless familial love that exists in the standard, white, nuclear-American household, however likewise the familial love between Black Americans that exists today. Finally, her writing prospers in a vacuum. The language, the plot, and the experience are perfectly brutal and beautiful.”

Black Software Application: The Internet & Racial Justice

By Charlton D. McIlwain

Brandi Collins-Dexter, senior campaign director at Color Of Change: “Dr. McIlwain tracks in rich detail the 50- year history of the Black tech leaders, innovators, and organizers at the lead of building and specifying the Web, the ways they were cut from history, and how calculating technology and Silicon Valley was constructed to undermine Black company.”

Heart Talk: Poetic Knowledge For A Better Life

By Cleo Wade

Sarah Kunst, managing director of Cleo Capital: “ Wade is a knowledgeable political activist and savvy businesswoman, but her occupation is poetry. Reading this book of life and career guidance in the type of poems and essays feels a bit like if ‘Chicken Soup For the Soul’ was composed by the Harvard Organisation Evaluation. All of us know how to do our jobs, this is an excellent pointer of why we do our tasks and in these unpredictable times it feels more prescient than ever.”

A Native Peoples’ History of the United States

By Roxanne Dunbar

Julia Collins, co-founder of Zume Pizza: “This meticulously investigated history of the United States provides a version of our history that is hardly ever if ever provided. The reality of our history as a nation devoted to the destruction of a whole population in the name of land acquisition, gives an excellent structure for comprehending the vast inequality and lack of justice that we currently face. Possibly in finding out the reality of how our nation happened, we can begin to comprehend how to satisfy the promise of who we wish to become.”

Collins likewise advises Farming While Black” by Leah Penniman. She adds: “Any discussion of reforming our food systems is incomplete without understanding the story of Black American farmers.”

Cleo Capital

Arlan Hamilton unpacks her book “It’s About Damn Time.” (Courtesy of Arlan Hamilton)

It has to do with Damn Time

By Arlan Hamilton with Rachel L. Nelson

Hamilton, creator of Backstage Capital: “ When I wrote ‘It’s About Damn Time’ a year back, I might have never envisioned it would be launched in the middle of a worldwide pandemic or a nationwide revolution. However, the book’s styles about overcoming your circumstances and thriving in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds could not call more pertinent or relatable as it does today. I think about it as a self-help service book about utilizing the power of being underestimated.”

Parable of the Sower

By Octavia E. Butler

Ifeoma Ozoma, previous Pinterest public law and social effect manager: “‘ All that you touch/You modification.’ I’ve thought a lot about this verse over the last week, year, and years. In this time of pandemic and an ongoing reckoning with the different damages of racism, we all would succeed to be a lot more mindful of the methods we impact those around us. With unbelievable prescience, Octavia E. Butler set out a world that looks frighteningly like our current one, and yet supplies a confident path forward for us as people.”

Do not look for to just understand Black individuals’s predicament why oppression. Find out about our resourcefulness, genius, innovation, and brilliance also.

Subtlety your reading product. We have actually constantly been a people of triumph regardless of centuries of cruelty. It never stoped us from developing.

— Sherrell Dorsey (@Sherrell_Dorsey) June 19, 2020

Race After Innovation

By Ruha Benjamin

Sherrell Dorsey, creator of the Plug: “ As we end up being a more ingrained socio-technical society, understanding the extreme ramifications of not inspecting how predisposition shows up in the tools we eventually utilize in our everyday lives will be to our detriment. ‘Race After Technology’ provides a framework in which we can collaboratively consider innovation for justice and presence for those who are generally neglected of its style.”


By Ellen Pao

Brian Dixon, partner at Kapor Capital: “Ellen’s book focuses on how to build culture in tech with an intersectional lens on gender and race. This book is a must-read for anyone who is already operating in tech or aspiring to work in tech, either as workers, creators, and/or investors.”

The Heat of Other Suns: The Legendary Story of America’s Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Erica Baker, director of engineering at GitHub, recommends this book for readers “starting to understand more deeply what happened to Black individuals in America post-slavery. A good beginning indicate branch into other research study.”

She likewise recommends White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Kid” and “ James Baldwin: Collected Essays

What books are you reading today? Let me know at or @Cat_Zakrzewski on Twitter.

Welcome to The Innovation 202, our guide to the intersection of technology and politics.

Our top tabs

Black staff member groups are under pressure to fix their companies’ race issues free of charge.

David Kaye

Washington Post illustration/iStock

” Staff member resource groups” for black, Latino, LGBTQ and female workers have been exploited by employers in lieu of company-led variety efforts, my associate Nitasha Tiku reports based on interviews with 17 existing and previous leaders of ERGS.

” The dependence on ERGs has stifled the industry since it offers an incorrect sense of progress,” said Dominique Hollins, a veteran of Google and eBay. “We joined the ERG due to the fact that we required assistance, however we ended up being the aid.”

Twitter, Slack, Facebook, GitHub and Eventbrite are just a few of the business where workers have arranged these groups. But leaders of the groups state that their tasks worked out beyond casual camaraderie to being asked to serve their business as brand ambassadors, variety strategists, employers and to deal with business policy with few resources. Some revealed issues their participation had actually kept back their professions.

Now there’s a spotlight on the treatment of these groups

” If you, a company have postponed the work of supporting the black community to the black staff members without recognizing them beyond empty platitudes, or pointed to your black workers to discharge yourselves, possibly reassess that?” Raki Wane, who formerly led Twitter’s employee resource group, Blackbirds, wrote on Twitter.

TikTok is scaling up its existence in Washington with new hires.

forward for us as people.

The logo for TikTok. (Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg News)

A number of brand-new hires will help develop out the social networks business’s “Openness Center” in Washington, which the business released to offer policymakers a more detailed look at its content small amounts and user privacy choices. The company is dealing with growing analysis from legislators over its ties to its owner, China-based ByteDance.

  • Lisa Hayes will join Monday as the company’s director of technology policy and senior counsel. She previously worked as the previous interim co-chief executive and general counsel of the Center for Democracy & Technology and board member for CDT Europe.
  • Michael Bloom, a former staffer of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), will function as the business’s director of federal affairs.
  • Kim Lipsky and Mac Abrams, f ormer Senate staffers, will also sign up with the federal policy team.

” TikTok is going to be the industry leader in transparency,” Hayes stated in a statement to The Technology202 “They’re dedicated to making sure that user data is treated with self-respect and providing policymakers unprecedented insight into how they moderate content. I’m delighted to sign up with the company at this pivotal time and to assist lawmakers and professionals take an appearance under the hood of TikTok, where a lot of American families are finding delight in these difficult times.”

A growing variety of Republican political leaders are flocking to a Twitter option in a rebuke of Big Tech.

law and social effect manager

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). (Al Drago/Reuters)

Republican Politician Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas submitted a video yesterday revealing he was joining the Parler app in an effort to “end the Silicon Valley censorship.” Tech business have repeatedly rejected they make material decisions based on political ideology, and there is no credible research to support the GOP accusations of censorship.

I’m happy to join @parler_app— a platform gets what complimentary speech is everything about– and I’m delighted to be a part of it. Let’s speak. Let’s speak easily. And let’s end the Silicon Valley censorship. Follow me there @tedcruz!

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 25, 2020

Parler, which was founded in Nevada in 2018, boasts liberty from the “ideological suppression and privacy abuse” of significant platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Republican politicians have been promoting it as an option to Twitter since the company released a series of labels on President Trump’s tweets for offenses, consisting of controlled media and threatening damage to a group.

The Trump project has likewise gone over moving to Parler or perhaps developing its own app as Twitter, Snap and Facebook continue to rebuke the campaign, the Wall Street Journal reports. Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Trump project supervisor Brad Parscale already utilize the platform, according to the Hollywood Press Reporter

Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), Jodey Arrington (Tex.) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.) likewise joined today. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been a member given that last summer season.

It’s about time y’ all joined me on @parler_app What’s taking the rest of you so long?!

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) June 24, 2020

It’s not likely Republican politicians will decamp from Twitter completely and even less probably they’ll stop using Facebook, which has actually turned into one of the greatest political marketing platforms. Parler claims to have more than 1 million users, however that’s not much compared to the more than 200 million Facebook boasts in the United States alone. A representative for Cruz told Politico he would user Parler in addition to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Parler even prohibits a few of the exact same practices as Twitter. David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression:

do not be tricked by @tedcruz even @parler_app has rules. take a look at their Neighborhood Guidelines (sound familiar?), which govern eg:

☑ foreign terrorist material (however domestic Nazis/White Supremacists ok?)

☑ character assassination

☑ ‘combating words’

☑ indecency/obscenity

— David Kaye (@davidakaye) June 25, 2020

There could be some dissatisfactions in shop. Sasha Moss, s enior director at Insight Public Affairs:

I can’t wait up until folk realize the DMCA follows you to Parler app. No shade no tea, but a little bit of tea. uss

— Sasha Moss (@smossdc) June 25, 2020

Tirade and rave

Amazon released plans for a sign that would relabel Seattle’s New Arena as “Climate Pledge Arena.” My coworker Tony Romm on the purchase:

nature is recovery

— Tony Romm (@TonyRomm) June 25, 2020

The New York Times’s Kate Conger is still processing:

I can not think this is a genuine thing and absolutely nothing any of yall state will encourage me

— kate conger (@kateconger) June 25, 2020

CBC’s Michelle Ghoussoub:

this is going to look so perfectly dystopian when it’s undersea and/or melting

— Michelle Ghoussoub (@MichelleGhsoub) June 25, 2020

But seriously:

I hope a tree falls on me today

— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) June 25, 2020

Hill watch

Democrats introduced legislation prohibiting federal government usage of facial recognition.

Octavia E. Butler

Visitors examine their phones behind the screen advertising facial recognition software during Global Mobile Web Conference in Beijing in2018 (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

The bicameral legislation reacts to growing concerns over police’s use of biometrics and warnings that flawed algorithms could add to discriminatory policing.

The expense would also restrict the federal government from using voice recognition. It would need state and regional entities to prohibit usage of the technology if they wish to receive federal funding Any details collected breaching the measure would be restricted from use in federal judicial procedures.

” Facial recognition innovation is fundamentally flawed, systemically biased, and has no location in our society,” stated Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who presented the legislation along with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) in your house. “Black and brown people are currently over-surveilled and over-policed, and it’s critical that we avoid government firms from using this defective innovation to surveil neighborhoods of color even further.”

Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) presented the legislation in the Senate.

More than a dozen groups consisting of the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Structure are backing the expense, called the Facial Acknowledgment and Biometric Innovation Moratorium Act.

Inside the industry

Verizon joins as the biggest business partaking in a continuous advertising boycott of Facebook and Instagram.


Verizon’s logo. (Richard Drew/AP)

” We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can develop an acceptable option that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve finished with YouTube and other partners.” Verizon’s primary media officer John Nitti informed CNBC in a declaration. Verizon invested nearly $2 million on Facebook and Instagram ads in the previous month alone, C NBC reports

So far 92 companies have joined the temporary boycott organized by the NAACP and other civil liberties groups in response to Facebook’s continuous failures to moderate hate speech and misinformation. Activists are encouraging more to join.

” Facebook’s leadership can stand up to regulatory, legal, and media analysis since of the billions of dollars the company receives in advertising,” Color of Modification president Rashad Robinson stated in a declaration. “Major corporations that have actually openly shared their compassions for the battles Black Americans face can and ought to go one action even more by taking our pledge to halt the financing of bigotry and hate.”

technology policy

Facebook revealed Thursday that it would introduce a notification screen alerting users if they try to share material that’s more than 90 days old.


Privacy monitor

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is slamming a mobile data company for spying on protesters.

The Wall Street Journal

Protesters participate in an anti-police cruelty march in Washington on Thursday. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Mobilewalla publicized its security in a report about protester demographics in 4 cities that evaluated more than 16,000 protesters’ smart phones, BuzzFeed Report It’s uncertain how precise the analysis is, however advocacy groups say the practice could weaken freedom of assembly for protesters who weren’t conscious they were being tracked.

” This report reveals that an enormous variety of Americans– probably without even knowing it– are turning over their complete place history to dubious area data brokers with zero constraints on what business can do with it,” Warren stated of the report.

Warren recently joined with your home Oversight Committee to introduce an investigation into another major information broker, Venntel, that deals with government firms.

Tech business are slamming a costs that would need them to assist police gain access to their users’ encrypted information.

Tonya Riley

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) (Al Drago/Reuters)

The “Legal Access to Encrypted Data Act,” presented today by Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and other Republicans would threaten the sensitive information of billions of tech users, the Reform Government Surveillance Union argues The group’s members consist of major tech companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google.

” The worldwide pandemic has actually forced everyone to rely on the Web in crucial ways, making digital security more vital than ever before for our economy and national security,” the group composes.

The Web Society likewise blasted the expense, stating its passage would be “entirely ravaging” for individual security.

” Avoiding criminal activity is essential, however we can’t accomplish that goal by making everybody more at-risk to the criminal activity we’re attempting to attend to,” the group said in a declaration. It boasts more than 100 tech companies as members consisting of Amazon and the Swedish telecom Ericsson. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post.)



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Nicol Turner Lee has been called the brand-new director of the Center for Innovation Development at the Brookings Institution, according to a press release.


  • Carnegie’s Collaboration for Countering Impact Operations and Twitter will host an event on influence operations on Twitter on July 9 at 1 p.m.

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