Research Institute

Growing a National Black Tech Ecosystem through research, #blacktechpolicy, and data-driven intervention

Our Purpose

Growing a Sustainable
National Black Tech Ecosystem

Sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation 2020 Open Knowledge Grant and housed at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Stillman College, #BlackTechFutures Research Institute builds a national network of city-based researchers and practitioners conducting research on sustainable local black tech ecosystems. The outcomes of this work are actionable policy recommendations and a national public data archive.


We use research to inform liberating policy recommendations and advocacy at the municipal, state, and national level.

Community-Led Research

We increase the number of Black researchers focused on innovation, technology, and public policy by growing local talent in cities.

An Ecosystem Approach

We eradicate intersecting racial tech disparities within cities through alignment of community leaders and collective impact.

Our Long Term Goal

Lay the foundation for National Black Tech Ecosystem Association

Reminiscent of the founding of the NAACP and the National Urban League, the longterm work is to establish a Black Tech Ecosystem Association that will guide the building of local black tech ecosystems in cities across the US. The Association will be composed of black tech ecosystem builders, black public interest technologists, black tech activists, HBCU scientists, black STEM and Computer Science practitioners, government techies, and black church futurists.

Our Roadmap

Building A National Black Tech Ecosystem

November 2020

Pilot Launched

Officially launched the #BlackTechFutures Research Institute to build a thriving, sustainable technology ecosystem for Black people in the four cities.

December 2020

Announced Fellows

Welcomed #BlackTechFutures Research Institute inaugural fellows in four cities – Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Houston, TX; and Memphis, TN.

December 2020

#BlackTechPolicy Week

Launched annual #BlackTechPolicy Week targeting Black STEM professionals, tech startups, and government officials.

January 2021

Lecture Series Kick-Off

Launched annual guest lecturers series supporting the development of a thriving Black tech ecosystem to champion community-centered research and address issues of racial tech disparity.

Our Impact

Data + Policy Development

We begin this work in four cities in the Southeastern region of the US working with black tech ecosystem builders, HBCU scholars, and community leaders. Our municipalities include Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Houston, TX; and Memphis, TN.

Our Calendar

Upcoming Events

What's Next for Black Innovation

January 9, 2021 at 1 PM CT

This panel will explore both the past, present, and future of black innovation through the lens of Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, artificial intelligence, black faith, and black dreams of liberation.

Watch us live on Facebook & Twitter





Make Your Voice Heard

Our events offer an unparalleled lineup of STEM professionals, tech startups, faith leaders, and government officials sharing actionable insights, data-driven knowledge, and innovative ideas to build a Black techecosystem. Join the conversation. 


Online Views

Hours Watched

Audience Engagements

Meet Our Upcoming

Guest Lecturers







Dr. Charlton Mcllwain

Author of Black Software







Deshuna Moore Spencer

Founder of KweliTv







Dr. Timnit Gebru

Co-Founder of Black in Ai







Jamye Wooten

CLLTIVLY, Advisory Board Member







Dr. Menna Demessie

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation







Dr. Nicol Turner Lee

Director, Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings Institute; Senior Fellow, Governance Studies







Andreen Soley

New America







Clinton Odom

The National Urban League







Michelle Ferguson

Tech Dream Corps

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