This summer, I attended Black Tech Week in Cincinnati, Ohio presented by Lightship Capital. The mission is to bring together people from many different industries, backgrounds, and levels of expertise to learn from Black leaders in the tech space. The three-day event featured more than 50 workshops and 100 speakers, so the 3,000+ attendees could learn from a diverse group of experts and pick the individual workshops that fit their niche.
The format of Black Tech Week was extremely innovative and different from any conference I have attended. Attendees customize their schedules and participate in workshops, networking events, wellness spaces, happy hours, and more.
Exploring Ethical AI and Healthcare Privacy
I am a part of the Health & Fitness industry team at InfoTrust, so the first seminar I chose to attend was the health and data privacy conference led by Eric Cook, CIPP/US from Loeb & Loeb LLP. His seminar touched on ethical AI use; the current state and history of Black and Brown people in the medical space; the health privacy landscape in the United States; and state, federal, and global privacy laws.
This seminar taught me so much about the history of Black bodies in medicine and current practices and technology in medicine, which can be discriminatory. This led to discussion about HIPAA and the importance of privacy in data and healthcare. Cook spoke about the difference between protected health information (PHI) which is protected by HIPAA and personal identifiable information (PII) and the laws that apply to each. HIPAA protects PHI as well as PII, data collected, transmitted, and maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity, and data relating to the past, present, or future health status of an individual.
I am glad to have been able to learn from a legal entity regarding this specific subset of data that pertains to my particular industry team. His perspective opened my eyes to all the legal variables to consider when consulting HIPAA entities.
Learning Across Industries: The Power of Diverse Knowledge
I listened to many other seminars, ranging from Google Analytics to entrepreneurial workshops. I believe it is important to learn from others even if their industry doesn’t immediately align with your career at the moment. You can always glean knowledge from someone else’s experience. After the seminars closed for the day, there were options for yoga and sound baths presented by Afro Yoga House or a happy hour “Vino and Vibes” at Nostalgia, a black-owned wine bar, in the heart of Cincinnati.
Inspiration from Issa Rae: Amplifying Voices in Media
The keynote speaker for the conference was Issa Rae. She presented to a packed ballroom about her journey creating her company, HOORae Media, which has branches in film, TV, radio, and digital creation. Her mission to amplify Black and female voices in those spaces aligns with InfoTrust’s core value of diversity. The much-anticipated speech showed her tenacity and offered inspiration to everyone in attendance.
Leaving with a Fresh Perspective
Black Tech Week offered an inclusive space to learn from specialists in a multitude of professions. The customizable setting (amazing DJ) and space to network exemplified a perfect combination of familiarity and professionalism. I left the week learning not only about my particular industry, but also about individual passions I have yet to explore. The InfoTrust core value of diversity is extremely important to me. I could experience the diversity of thought leadership and learn from numerous Black leaders within the tech space and about myself in the process.
Black Tech Weekend is set to kick off in Detroit, October 12-14. More information can be found at blacktechweek.com.