Posted June 13, 2015 by Editorial Staff in Science + Technology

[PHOTOS] Clorox sponsors first West Coast “Ebony (Magazine) Speaks”, focus on innovation economy

Ebony Speaks: Innovation
Ebony Speaks: Innovation

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By Y’Anad Burrell, Contributing Writer

On June 4, 2015, The Clorox Company in Oakland, CA, hosted Ebony Speaks: Innovation, a conversation about the Impact of Culture on Innovation – How Technology Can Be Inclusive. Ebony Magazine, founded in 1945 by John H. Johnson, reaches 10M readers each month between their online audience and subscribers and they remain a strong voice in Black media. Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, COO – Johnson Publishing Company, President – JPC Digital, shared that while there is skepticism about the future of Ebony Magazine, the company is committed to creating content and building their audience base to remain innovative and competitive. Clorox is committed to Diversity & Inclusion efforts on all levels and Erby Foster, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Clorox is the leading the efforts in this arena for the corporation. From my lens it was a good collaboration for Clorox to host Ebony Speaks on this topic.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Y'Anad Burrell, Ben Jealous

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Y’Anad Burrell, Ben Jealous

With a packed room of more than 100 “invitation only” attendees, the presentations began with a viewing of the video of’s new weable technology – i.amPULS. It was so inspiring to see someone that looks like me create their own world of technology, a wearable and very functional piece that has the capability to do everything from voice recognition to playing music. A surprise visit by Rev. Jesse Jackson was a highlight of the event. Rev. Jackson has moved the dial on Diversity in Tech on national and international platforms and he gave remarks about those efforts as well as the results of his recent PUSHTech2020 Conference (photos).

Ben Jealous, Partner – Kapor Capital, moderated a panel of speaking including Aisha Bowe, Co-Founder & CEO – STEM Board; Troy Datcher, VP – Customer Capability Development & Sport Marketing, Clorox; Erica Douglas, CEO – mSeed | Sister Scientist. Also, Todd Brown, former EVP & CRO – Johnson Publishing Company moderated a panel of speakers as well who included Kimberly Bryant, Founder & Executive Director – Black Girls CODE; Kamilah Priforce, VP Qeyno Labs and Jason Towns, Director – CODE 2040 Residency. The ongoing theme during these discussions stemmed around ensuring that the pipeline of talent is strong where recruiters can find students and adults of color to fill corporate technology opportunities and also starting the technology education in pre-school grades for boys and girls of color.

Supporting Materials
• [Print] Impact of Culture on Innovation, How Technology Can Be Inclusive
• [Video]’s Wearable Tech (USA Today)
• [Video] Code Oakland (trailer)