Oakland's Unique "Tech and Soul Food 2016 Black History Month Speaker Series"

Posted by Billyjam, February 2, 2016 06:12pm | Post a Comment

Bay Area Black History Month events in this leap year include the Tech and Soul Food 2016 Black History Month Speaker Series at Impact Hub Oakland. The unique tech-talk-meets-soul-food series takes place over lunch and dinner on Wednesdays catered by Oakland's La Christa's Cafe with a choice of vegan, vegetarian, and meat soul food. The noon to 2pm and 6-8pm programs feature speakers addressing cultural and educational aspects of the modern tech age, all from an African American perspective. Brief talks are followed by a Q&A session. But the main portion of the program is an hour and a half workshop designed to further educate attendees on varied technology topics.

Blacks Online will be the topic discussed by Dawn Elissa Fischer who is a noted professor from San Francisco State University's trailblazing Africana Studies department. Kumi Rauf of I Love Being Black will speak on Online Stores (2/10). Brian Drayton of Oakland Spokes will giving an indepth talk on the innovative ways to utilize crowd sourcing for businesses (2/10). Meanwhile, both Melonie Green (KPOO, Omni Gallery) and "The Uber Rapper" Ashel Seasunz will speak on the topic of Arts and Technology (2/24). Green Technology will be the topic discussed by Ujamaa Villages (2/17).  Kicking off the new series tomorrow (2/3) will be Dream Nefra who will speak during both lunch and dinner sessions on the topic of  Blacks in Technology History.  As well as being a speaker, Dream Nefra is also the organizer of the series that comes under the recently formed Oakland-Berkeley Soul Food Tech meet-up group that is described as a group for people who are "in alliance with the African American community of Oakland, have web development skills to share or be helped on issues in technology" as well as providing soul food.

Today the Amoeblog caught up with organizer Dream Nefra to ask the longtime member of Oakland's hip-hop and activist communities where the idea for Tech and Soul Food came from. 

"I was inspired by attending National Society of Black Engineers events and meetings at San Francisco's Black and Brown Club. Plus I am a computer engineer and I wanted to use my time towards helping elders and disabled people understand modern technology. So I did not just want to do my usual post about engineers that are socially responsible. This event allows access to community members who use tech in an empowering way to help others in all communities. They all identify and have cultural values of Afrocentricity."  Nefra added that the workshops, designed to be educational and fun, include a "photo scavenger hunt, walking tours, making skits and acting them out. Plus you can build your own store online with our help. We are sensitive to people with mobility issues, so nothing that would be too strenuous is involved." 

Dream Nefra will be doing some follow-up 2016 programs including in San Jose. Tech and Soul Food 2016 Black History Month Speaker Series is an all-ages and family-friendly event with funds "covering the cost of the space, speaker fees, and fund raise for our elderly day camps that empower seniors to use tech wisely."

Impact Hub Oakland is at 2323 Broadway in Oakland, CA. Events are Wednesdays in Black History Month 2016 from noon to 2pm, and 6pm to 8pm. For more information and tickets (priced at $16.82) visit here.

Relevant Tags

Impact Hub Oakland. (1), Oakland (90), Dream Nefra (2), Black History Month 2016 (1), Black History Month (135), Tech & Soul Food Lunch And Dinner Series (1), Bay Area Black History Month (1)