Keys to Unlocking an Inclusive and Just Tech Future
The engagement of marginalized communities is necessary
Michael Odiari, a Dallas-based entrepreneur, seeks to revolutionize traffic stops. He was motivated by his own experience, which includes a history of being pulled over by police and on one occasion, being forced to stare down the barrel of an officer’s gun.
After surviving this harrowing, yet all too common, experience for African Americans, Odiari harnessed his skills as a developer and created Check, a technology-based solution that allows drivers to use their mobile devices to send documents like a driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance to an officer, while both parties sit in their vehicle. This solution could increase safety at scale and calm the angst Odiari and others feel during traffic stops.
Check offers an example of the countless innovations that are possible when we invest in tech social entrepreneurs, or public interest technology (PIT) entrepreneurs, who represent a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. PIT entrepreneurs from historically marginalized communities have too often been passed over for funding, which stymies both equity and progress. Investing in PIT entrepreneurs who are marginalized based on race, identity and class is an investment in innovative tech-based solutions to society’s most pressing personal and collective challenges, including the root causes of systemic inequality.
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