Fabian Elliot has a dream to diversify tech by turning Chicago into a tech hub for Black people. Elliot is not a native of the city and he did not visit until he started his career at Google as co-chair of the Black Googler Network that serves as Google’s Black talent reservoir.
At 25 years old, Elliot has created Black Tech Mecca, an organization that wants to teach technology and attract more Black people to the city. In fact, Chicago is perfect for this initiative because of Techweek.
Every year the city vibes with tech experts, CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators and dreamers that come to talk shop and network for a week. In addition to that, Chicago is home to a variety of Fortune 500 companies.
In an interview with Dnainfo.com, Elliot explains why he wanted Chicago to be this mecca. “I realized that less than 1 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs were black,” he said. “I started to question why there are not more people of color in influential positions. I started to develop a plan. If we’re not in positions of influence, I want to be a person of influence to help change that.”
Elliot goes on to say that he wanted to bridge three communities — Black, tech and global.
“I was thinking of how I could make Chicago a beacon for all three communities, and I thought I would merge them all and address my vision. I did my research and found out what was out there. I came to realize that we had all of the ingredients, someone just needed to come up with a nice recipe to bake the cake.”
Black Tech Mecca launched during the Techweek in the last week of June. Elliot’s team includes business people and tech experts Rachel Green, Nehemiah Bishop, Keith L. Gordon, Edward Wilkerson Jr. and Floyd Webb.
For more information on the initiative, check out blacktechmecca.org.