Posted May 17, 2018 by Editorial Staff in Business

[PHOTOS] Over 300 Gather for Culture Shifting Awards Annual Gathering of Diverse Bay Area Power Players (2018)

Awards Ceremony at Culture Shifting Weekend 2018
Awards Ceremony at Culture Shifting Weekend 2018

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Event: Culture Shifting Weekend 2018 (Silicon Valley)
Pictured: Denmark West, Lloyd Dean, Caretha Coleman and Ken Coleman attend Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 22
Date: April 20-22, 2018
Location: Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, Menlo Park
Photos: Drew Altizer Photography

Over three hundred of Silicon Valley’s best and brightest gathered April 21-22 – C-Suite execs, financiers, and tech and health entrepreneurs – for a weekend of collaborating, deal-making and celebrating actions that make the upper reaches of America’s boardrooms and tech company corner offices more diverse. Culture Shifting Weekend assembles a carefully curated group of Black and Latinx leaders who share a goal of diversity, inclusion and innovation.

Produced by business consultant Andrea Hoffman, CEO of Culture Shift Labs, Culture Shifting Weekend is a twice-yearly gathering of power players who can move the needle, impacting companies and industry sectors. Denmark West of Connectivity Ventures and former Booz Allen Partner Reginald Van Lee co-chair the event.

“We aim to close the racial divide in Silicon Valley and Culture Shifting Weekend is a firmstep towards that goal,” said Andrea Hoffman. “People often say to me, ‘Where are the people of color who can lead America’s best companies?’ The answer is they’re right here—hiding in plain sight. We’ve built a 5,000 person network that is leadership and board ready, that include top subject matter experts and investors who want to be in the room because of the business deals and business opportunities they access.”

Related: Making Diversity and Inclusion Practical and Tactical Part 1: Support Value-Aligned Events that Gather Hidden Figures

The weekend spanned activities including: A Millennial Tech Entrepreneurs Breakfast where founders of color with traction met corporate decision makers—led by Kwame Anku of the Black Angel Tech Fund; a Fireside Chat with Dr. Mae Jemison, pioneering astronaut, physician, engineer and entrepreneur led by Russlynn Ali, CEO of QX Institute; a Think/Action Tank afternoon, focused on inclusive healthcare innovation led by Dr. Michael Penn, which was kicked off with a conversation between Caroline Clarke of Black Enterprise and Dr. Keith Black, head of neurosurgery at Los Angeles’ celebrated Cedars- Sinai Medical Center; and Sunday’s Culture Shifting Awards, held at The Rosewood, Sand Hill. Other event venues included SAP’s San Francisco office and LinkedIn’s Sunnyvale campus.

The Culture Shifting Awards recognize leaders and pioneers of diversity and those who care about growth and innovation through diversity and inclusion. This year actor/producer/comedian Chris Spencer emceed the program honoring Peggy Abkemier Alford, CFO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Ime Archibong, VP of Partnerships, Facebook; Lloyd Dean, CEO of Dignity Health; and Denise Young Smith, Executive in Residence at Cornell Tech. The Culture Shifting Awards has honored more than 40 leaders to date that span technology, innovation and social impact.

A special appearance was made by 7-year old aspiring neuroscientist Amoy Antunet whose goal is to perform the first brain transplant. At the Culture Shifting Awards she had the opportunity to be on stage with actress Nichelle Nichols who played communications officer Lieutenant (later Commander) Uhura, aboard the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek TV series.

Andrea Hoffman Is Shifting Culture in Silicon Valley
As Nationalism Rises, SIlicon Valley’s Black Leaders Strengthen Their Resolve (April 2017)

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