Another WCUS 2023 is in the books. The best and brightest came from around the world to showcase their expertise, insight, and provide valuable training all centered around WordPress. During this WordCamp, an incredible group comprising the BlackPress collective – Destiny Fox Kanno, Ray Mitchell, Maestro Stevens, and myself – gave a panel presentation about who we are and our vision for the Black Experience in WordPress. BlackPress is a group of people that represent all things WordPress in the Black diaspora. Whether transitioning into a career in tech, starting a business, or looking to build your network, the BlackPress Community is a place to feel supported, connected, and informed along your journey.
According to the LA Times, in the United States workforce, minorities comprise 7% of the workforce in tech. Depending on what company you are looking at (i.e., FAANGA), the number is around half of that (between 3-4%). Yet, when you look at Census.gov, we comprise 13% of the US population. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 8.6% of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer and information science were Black, and a little over 10% were Latino. There were more STEM graduates than us having a job in our field of study. Something is clearly wrong.
The goal of our panel discussion was to help the WordPress community learn about our group’s origins, objectives, and impact and explore the significance of amplifying Black voices within the WordPress ecosystem. One of the toughest challenges is doing what we do but not having a sense of belonging because many of the people we work with – albeit some great people – may not share the same journey as us.
BlackPress’ singular purpose is to fill that void. Building a community of people who look exactly like us. Not to raise our hand in apprehension but to let those who join the WordPress community know there is a safe space they can call home. We want people to know that we exist, but we also want people to know that we are open to opportunities for collaboration. Our group is here whether it’s paid speaking engagements, new projects, or even insightful discussions. We have a plethora of talent within this community, but to fulfill that role of inclusiveness, the same community we work for should also seek out those with diverse insight. The world isn’t a silo so your decisions shouldn’t be made in the same silo. Creatives span many countries, languages, backgrounds, and cultures.
In what ways can I help support BlackPress? I’m glad you asked. One of the first stops should be our website: https://blackpresswp.com/. There, you can get some information about our community, what some awesome members are doing, and how to contact us. Another awesome resource is Underrepresented In Tech: https://www.underrepresentedintech.com/. The Co-Founders of UIT (Hey Allie and Michelle) are our champions and loyal members of the BlackPress community.
We have many ideas to help further the initiative of DEI in the WordPress community, especially for the Black diaspora. This is just the beginning.