In partnership with Microsoft, Black Tech Street announces the digital transformation of historic Greenwood
On July 31, 2023, Black Tech Street, a Tulsa-based organization that promotes Black innovation in the technology industry, announced an unprecedented partnership with Microsoft to digitally transform Historic Greenwood. This alliance, dubbed “The Digital Transformation of Black Wall Street,” aims to reestablish Greenwood as a national center of talent and innovation for Black people.
It was once the wealthiest Black community in the United States, known as “Black Wall Street” for its thriving businesses and financial institutions. In 1921, however, the neighborhood was destroyed in a white supremacist massacre that left hundreds dead and thousands displaced.
Although Greenwood has been rebuilt since the massacre, it has not fully regained its economic prominence. In partnership with Microsoft, Greenwood will have the opportunity to reclaim its place as a center of Black innovation.
In accordance with the terms of the alliance, Microsoft will provide technical assistance, training, and funding to Black Tech Street. Black Tech Street will also work with Microsoft to develop a digital strategy for Greenwood that focuses on digital access, computer science education, and digital entrepreneurship.
“This is a historic moment for Black Tech Street and for Historic Greenwood,” said Tyrance Billingsley II, the founder and executive director of Black Tech Street. “The partnership with Microsoft will help us accelerate our work to digitally transform Greenwood and create the next generation of Black tech entrepreneurs.”
“Microsoft is committed to helping communities thrive,” said Kevin Scarbough, general manager of Microsoft’s Technology and Civic Engagement group. “We are excited to partner with Black Tech Street to help them achieve their vision for a digitally transformed Historic Greenwood.”
Black Tech Street is working with Microsoft as part of its efforts to promote Black innovation in the technology sector. Additionally, Black Tech Street offers a variety of events and programs, such as hackathons, workshops, and networking opportunities. Black tech entrepreneurs are also mentored and supported by the organization.
“We are building a movement to make the tech industry more inclusive,” said Billingsley. “The alliance with Microsoft is a major step forward in our work to create a more equitable tech industry.”
Black Wall Street’s Digital Transformation is a long-term initiative that will take years to complete. Nonetheless, the alliance with Microsoft is an important milestone that will contribute to the success of the project. In conjunction with Microsoft, Black Tech Street is in a unique position to help Greenwood reclaim its position as a national hub for Black talent and innovation.
Along with its alliance with Microsoft, Black Tech Street also works with other organizations to support Historic Greenwood’s digital transformation. Among them are the Tulsa Community Foundation, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.
There is no doubt that the Digital Transformation of Black Wall Street is a bold and ambitious undertaking, but it is one that is vital to Greenwood’s future. Black Tech Street is well positioned to make this project a reality with the support of Microsoft and other organizations.
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