Greetings ITSMF Family!
I recently watched the Black Panther movie that debuted in 2018 and saw it with a new set of eyes. I almost forgot about this movie being based on a Marvel Comic Book Series and was inspired in the first few minutes of the movie about how aspects are based on ideas not so farfetched. The idea that an all-Black Kingdom remains hidden in plain sight. A Kingdom that operates collaboratively and interdependently and has leadership, excellence, brilliance, and technology far more advanced than anyone could imagine. A Kingdom that is rich in resources and one where women and people of color can reach the highest level of respect and leadership. Wakanda represents a world where there is true ethnic and gender diversity, equity, and inclusion. A Kingdom that is yet challenged by factions within the Kingdom and outside, that could destroy it because they are seeking to control the vibranium, a powerful tool for control. A black superhero emerges that is strong, powerful, inspiring, and able to deploy futuristic technology to achieve and succeed under the most challenging of circumstances.
I remember people going to the theater in 2018 and seeing families, seeing people of all ages wearing traditional heritage garments or dressing like characters in the movie. Wakanda Forever became a meme, a GIF, a slogan, and a reminder that there is a place where we can all be excellent, where we can all be successful and great.
Fast forward to 2022. The movie was a groundbreaking commercial success however we are still trying to create real-life environments where we can all be successful. We still want Wakanda. We are making DEI progress, but we have work to do to make statistical progress consistently.
Within ITSMF, we are ready to ReBoot and press forward with renewed vigor and commitment to doing this challenging work together. On Friday, November 11th, in Austin, Texas, we will have a premier of the new Black Panther movie, Wakanda Forever on its opening night. This special premier hosted by Wells Fargo will raise money for the ITSMF Foundation. The funds will be used for college scholarships for underrepresented students of color majoring in computer science-related fields.
Join me at this event! We are wearing all white. Bring your hope, bring your vision, and your action steps to ensure that we are undistracted and pushing forward to ensure that we increase the representation of Black professionals at senior levels in technology, to impact organizational innovation and growth.
President and CEO, ITSMF
About Information Technology Senior Management Forum
Since 1996, Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) has been dedicated to increasing the representation of Black professionals at senior levels in technology to impact organizational innovation and growth. We do this by developing and nurturing these dynamic leaders through enrichment of the mind, body and soul. At its inception, only 3% of senior-level positions in the technology industry were held by Blacks. With a half-million new computer-related jobs expected by 2028, ITSMF is committed to increasing the number of qualified Black professionals for these positions. For more information about ITSMF, visit www.itsmfleaders.org.