Digital diversity

Nation’s largest event for Black tech entrepreneurs plugs into Austin this fall

Nation’s largest event for Black tech entrepreneurs plugs into Austin

AfroTech 2022 heads to Austin in November. AfroTech

An annual conference for Black tech entrepreneurs — the largest in the country — is relocating from the West Coast to Austin.

AfroTech 2022 is set for November 13-17 at the Austin Convention Center and nearby venues. The annual event attracts more than 20,000 attendees.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers switched AfroTech from an in-person event to a virtual event in 2020 and 2021. Before the pandemic, the San Francisco Bay Area played host to the conference. The first AfroTech event took place in 2016.

Morgan DeBaun, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based tech and media company Blavity, which stages AfroTech, says she and her team were searching “for a host city that is accessible to our diverse audience and provides the infrastructure for the vibrant experiences and connection we craft for our attendees. Austin is that home.”

“I can’t wait to see everyone in person in November,” she continues, “to learn, make connections, and revel in the Black excellence that has become a hallmark of our AfroTech experiences.”

AfroTech seeks to highlight an often-overlooked share of the population.

Tickets for the Austin event are on sale now.

Black Americans continue to be underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and math sector. According to the Pew Research Center, Black workers account for only 9 percent of the country’s STEM workforce but 11 percent of the entire workforce.

“Black and Hispanic adults are less likely to earn degrees in STEM than other degree fields, and they continue to make up a lower share of STEM graduates relative to their share of the adult population,” Pew says.