Announcing the complete agenda for TC Sessions: Justice

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Megan Rose Dickey and Richard Smith
·8 min read
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TC Sessions: Justice, our second-ever dedicated event to diversity, equity, inclusion and labor in tech, is coming up on March 3, 2021. This is a virtual one-day conference featuring the brightest innovators, leaders and worker-activists in the industry.

We're pumped to be able to host Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Backstage Capital founder and Managing Partner Arlan Hamilton, Gig Workers Collective's Vanessa Bain, Alphabet Workers Union Executive Chair Parul Koul, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and others.

In addition to the firesides and panel discussions of the virtual stage, the event will also include networking, startup presentations and the chance to connect with attendees from around the world.

Below, you'll find the official agenda for TC Sessions: Justice. If you want to be a part of this event, you can grab a ticket here for just $5.

If you're interested in a sponsored speaking opportunity to join the stage with these fantastic speakers, contact us here to speak with someone from our sales team!

AGENDA

Wednesday, March 3

State of the Union with Parul Koul (Google), Grace Reckers (Office and Professional Employees International Union) and Clarissa Redwine (NYU)

Labor unions have been fairly uncommon in tech. That’s finally starting to change in recent years, as workers have pushed to organize at some the industry’s biggest companies, from Alphabet to Kickstarter. Parul Koul (Google), Grace Reckers (Office and Professional Employees International Union) and Clarissa Redwine (NYU) will join us to discuss the growing movement.

Finding the Next Unicorn with Arlan Hamilton (Backstage Capital)

Arlan Hamilton, the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, has raised more than $12 million to back 150 companies led by underrepresented founders. In this session, Hamilton will discuss how she vets the biggest opportunities in investment, and how to disrupt in a positive way.

The Path Forward for Essential Tech Workers with Vanessa Bain (Gig Workers Collective), Jessica E. Martinez (National Council for Occupational Safety and Health) and Christian Smalls (The Congress of Essential Workers)

Gig workers and warehouse workers have become essential in a pandemic-ravaged economy. In California, a law went into effect earlier this year that makes gig workers independent contractors. Meanwhile, Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama are actively seeking to form a union to ensure better protections at the workplace. You’ll hear from workers and organizers about what’s next for gig workers and tech’s contractor workforce, and what battles lie ahead for these essential workers.

Creating Equity in Tech with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)

The ‘pipeline problem’ is often cited as the reason for a lack of diversity in the tech industry. But it’s a myth. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, having represented the East Bay of California for almost a decade, knows all too well about the rise of tech in the Bay Area. We’ll talk with Congresswoman Lee about the opportunities before us to create an equal playing field in tech so that underrepresented investors, founders, designers, coders and the like can reap the benefits.

Identifying and Dismantling Tech's Deep Systems of Bias with Haben Girma (Disability Justice Lawyer), Mutale Nkonde (AI for the People) and Safiya Umoja Noble (UCLA)

Nearly every popular technology or service has within it systems of bias or exclusion, ignored by the privileged but obvious to the groups affected. How should these systems be exposed and documented, and how can we set about eliminating them and preventing more from appearing in the future? AI for the People's Mutale Nkonde, disability rights lawyer Haben Girma and author of "Algorithms of Oppression" Safiya Umoja Noble discuss a more inclusive future.

Sponsored by Latinx Startup Alliance: Latinx Founders Leading with Inclusion

Latinx Founders who are leading with inclusion through diverse teams and/or supporting a diverse mission, inclusion is a part of their DNA.

Founders in Focus with Tracy Chou (Block Party)

We sit down with the founders poised to be the next big disruptors in this industry. Here we chat with Tracy Chou of Block Party, which works to protect people from abuse and harassment online.

Why social media is broken and what to do about it with Naj Austin (Somewhere Good and Ethel's Club), Jesse Lehrich (Accountable Tech) and Rashad Robinson (Color of Change)

Toxic culture, deadly conspiracies and organized hate have exploded online in recent years. We’ll discuss how much responsibility social networks have in the rise of these phenomena and how to build healthy online communities that make society better, not worse.

Sponsored by StartOut: The Impact of Out LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs

StartOut and Socos Lab are excited to speak at TechCrunch Justice, and cover the Inclusion Impact Indexes. Its first iteration; the StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index quantifies the economic value of under-utilized LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. The project looks at entrepreneurs’ economic impact in terms of job creation, patents, financings, and exits in the U.S. Our agenda will be a brief introduction, a demo of the index and its current findings, and a Q&A discussion with the publishers of the index.

Sponsored by Onshape: Fireside Chat - Diversity Is More Than Hiring People of Color

It may appear that the country is accepting change – from racial diversity to equality in the workplace. However, we still have ways to go. For example, organizational diversity is still about hiring from diverse talent pools. In reality, to activate the full potential of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requires more than a “people strategy.” Robust and sustainable work in this area requires embedding DEI principles, policies, systems, and practices into all parts of the business, including the employee and customer experience, brand culture, and overall industry/corporate citizenship.

Networking Break

With our virtual platform, attendees can network via video chat, giving folks the chance to make meaningful connections. CrunchMatch, our algorithmic matching product, will be available to ensure you’re meeting the right people at the show, as well as random matching for attendees who are feeling more adventurous.

Demystifying First-Check Fundraising with First-Check Investors with Brian Brackeen (Lightship Capital), Astrid Scholz (Zebras Unite) and Sydney Thomas (Precursor Ventures)

There are so many ways to finance your startup that don’t include Y combinator or a traditional fund. In this stacked panel, founders will hear from a trio of decision-makers about how to leverage unconventional communities and resources to get the first dollars they need to execute.

Tech in the Era of Accountability with Jonathan Greenblatt (Anti-Defamation League)

A hands-off approach to moderating online platforms invited hate to flourish in plain sight over the last four years. We’ll speak with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on proposed policy solutions, if tech is on the cusp of a real era of accountability and what the organization’s mission looks like in 2021 and beyond.

Meeting of the Minds with Sandra Altine (Facebook), Wade Davis (Netflix) and Bo Young Lee (Uber)

Diversity and inclusion as an idea has been on the agenda of tech companies for years now. But the industry still lacks true inclusion, despite best efforts put forth by heads of diversity, equity and inclusion at these companies. We’ll seek to better understand what’s standing in the way of progress and what it’s going to take to achieve real change.

Access All Areas: Designing Accessibility from Day One with Cynthia Bennett (Carnegie Mellon University), Srin Madipalli (formerly of Accomable and Airbnb) and Mara Mills (NYU)

The session will examine the importance of ensuring accessible product design from the beginning. We’ll ask how the social and medical models of disability influence technological evolution. Integrating the expertise of disabled technologists, makers, investors, scientists, software engineers into the DNA of your company from the very beginning is vital to the pursuit of a functioning and equitable society. And could mean you don’t leave money on the table.

Reimagining Pathways for Returned Citizens with Jason Jones (The Last Mile), Deepti Rohatgi (Slack) and Aly Tamboura (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative)

Reentering society after having been incarcerated presents challenges few of us can understand. In this panel, we will examine the role tech can play in ensuring pathways to employment for returned citizens.

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