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Top Stories

This year’s top stories reflect the challenges, opportunities, and dynamic changes in the tech industry and broader society.  Unsurprisingly, many of these years’ top stories concern the boom in generative AI, from developing the “BlackGPT” to concerns around the historical and present-day harms and philosophies underpinning AI developments. We’ve also shared stories of Black innovation, Latine entrepreneurship, workplace wins and challenges, collective triumph, and personal tragedy. Here are the ten stories that resonated with you, our POCIT readers, the most this year. 10. Cash App’s Appeal in the Black Community

In a startling revelation, Barbara Furlow-Smiles, previously renowned for her role as a global diversity strategist at Facebook, has pled guilty to wire fraud charges. Her conviction comes after siphoning over $4 million from the tech giant, purportedly to support an extravagant lifestyle across California and Georgia. Furlow-Smiles, who significantly contributed to Facebook’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives between 2017 and mid-2021, orchestrated a complex fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta detailed how she exploited her position to funnel funds through fictitious vendors and bogus charges, culminating in

Airbnb has announced Google’s Senior Vice President of Research, Tech and Society, James Manyika, is joining its Board of Directors. Meet James Manyika Zimbabwe-born Manyika is Senior Vice President of Google’s Research, Tech and Society Team, a role which includes overseeing Google Labs and Google Research. Manyika is a graduate of both the University of Zimbabwe and the University of Oxford, where he holds two master’s degrees and a PhD in AI and Robotics. He also was a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. and sat as the chairman and

TIME chose the 100 Most Influential People in Artificial Intelligence for the TIME100/AI, featuring several people of color. TIMES’ most knowledgeable editors and reporters spent months fielding recommendations from dozens of sources to assemble hundreds of nominations they whittled down. “We wanted to highlight the industry leaders at the forefront of the AI boom, individuals outside these companies who are grappling with profound ethical questions around the uses of AI, and the innovators around the world who are trying to use AI to address social challenges,” said executive editor Naina

California is working on passing SB 54, the nation’s first legislation to increase diversity in venture capital. In California, venture capital investments do not reflect the state’s diversity, according to the bill. It states that companies founded or co-founded by women receive far less investment funds than companies founded by men. Additionally, companies founded or co-founded by people of color receive far fewer investment funds than companies founded or co-founded by white people. Black founders have long faced challenges securing funding for their businesses, with VC funding dropping by 36%

A leaked Google spreadsheet has revealed that Black employees at Google make $20,000 less on average than their white coworkers. Insider obtained an internal Google spreadsheet with over 12,000 U.S. staff reporting their annual salaries in 2022. The data covers software engineers, business analysts, salespeople, and legal counsel roles.  Race disparities The data sheet found that Black staff at Google tend to make $20,000 less than their white co-workers, with $147,000 going to Black workers and $170,000 going to white workers. White staff also got $40,000 more in equity than

The body of Yohanes Kidane, a 22-year-old Software Engineer graduate who had just moved to the Bay Area to work with Netflix, was found near the Golden Gate Bridge last week and has been positively identified. What Happened? Yohanes Kidane was reported missing on August 14 after moving to San Jose, California, to start a role as a software engineer at Netflix. He had been last seen entering a black Toyota Camry with an Uber sticker on 28 N 4th St. San Jose, wearing grey sweatpants, a black hoodie and

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley has called on the five largest banks in America, asking them to update their racial equity commitments following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Anniversary Approaching the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Representative Pressley, a House Financial Services Committee member, has reached out to the five largest American banks for updates. Held on August 28, 1963, in Washington, D.C., this pivotal march sought to champion African Americans’ civil and economic rights. Its

The Aster app was created to help women keep track of their pregnancy, communicate with a care team on the app and book appointments and remote monitoring. Founder of Aster FiFi Kara created the app after witnessing her family’s distress as her nephew was brought into the world. “After an emergency CAT 1 C-Section delivery, he required over seven minutes of resuscitation before he took his very first breath,” she wrote on LinkedIn. “The fact that both my nephew and sister are now thriving feels like a miracle, yet this narrative is sadly

Mariam Jimoh, the founder of African and Caribbean goods and foods online delivery service Oja has announced the digital supermarket is shutting down. Oja – Digital Supermarket In 2020, British Nigerian Mariam Jimoh launched Oja, which means market in Yoruba, as the UK’s first ethnic digital supermarket focusing on African and Caribbean goods.  After struggling to find the Nigerian food she grew up with in her local supermarket chain, Jimoh was motivated to leave her corporate career and work towards a solution. The result was Oja, which promised fast and

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