Updated: Sep 8
By: Michael Butler | April 12, 2023
Black technologists will converge on Miami Dade College’s North Campus at the end of the week for a two-day event showcasing technology and ingenuity. The second annual Black Innovation Technology and Entertainment Conference focusing on Web3, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrency and their value to Black and brown people is slated for Thursday and Friday.
“When it comes to having access, exposure and education around Web3 and emerging technologies that we’re trying to educate attendees about at BITE-CON, there’s a lack of general access and education for Black and brown communities,” said Temanté Leary, a Microsoft content developer who co-launched the unique conference last year at Florida Memorial University’s campus. As an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College, Leary thought the large number of Black students made the educational institution an accessible place for the event. Leary sees tech education as the cornerstone of informing Black community members about opportunities.
Howard Jean, founder of Black Meta Agency, collaborated with Leary to get the Black innovation conference started. Jean’s agency helps prepare Black professionals for the transition from Web2 to Web3, the third generation of the internet. “When we talk about the advancement of minorities in this space, ... we have to address the workforce issue and engagement of the community,” he said. Leary is hopeful the networking and discussions at this year’s Black innovation conference help lead the way for more inclusive programming across the many events in April that are being held during Miami Tech Month. He said it’s important for Black community members to learn how to utilize tools like Web3 and artificial intelligence in their jobs so their work becomes more valuable and they don’t get left behind in the city’s budding tech sector.
Get unlimited digital access Try 1 month for $1 CLAIM OFFER For example, the conference will include workshops on popular AI application ChatGPT led on both days by a Microsoft trainer to help conference attendees learn how to use the application as a tool to work more efficiently. “We’re at a point where we’re seeing advanced technologies like AI, you can use this to empower your work and work more efficiently or it’s going to replace you and potentially take your job,” Leary said. “It’s important for people to realize the point we’re at and not be replaced.
You want to learn how to use this stuff so you’re irreplaceable.” With a background in law, Leary frequently talks to students and young professionals about leveraging transferable skills to enter the tech industry. He was never a tech professional by trade, but he learned how to adapt his skills. “If you like to talk, there’s a room for you in sales,” he said. “When I say that I work with people at Microsoft that get six-figure bonuses, their jaws drop. All the stuff I talk about is non-technical, but I also say it helps to learn Python. I got in through education.”