By Ayanna Jones for The Philadelphia Tribune
WURD Radio and The Plug, a tech media platform, are collaborating to amplify the stories of Philadelphia’s burgeoning Black technology sector.
Sara Lomax Reese, president and CEO of WURD said that the work of the two outlets complement each other.
“We’re much broader in terms of looking at Black people in the many manifestations,” she said.
“We also know that Philly is this kind of growing tech hub so there’s lots of interest, there’s lots of creativity and lots of focus on Philly as a place that is getting more and more tech resources.”
Content is produced by former Inquirer writer Hadriana Lowenkron which includes a bimonthly segment on WURD Radio about the city’s top tech news from Black founders/entrepreneurs.
Lomax Reese said having the opportunity to join forces and look specifically at the tech space allows WURD to tell stories in a more comprehensive and nuanced way.
“The other thing that I am really excited about is we have initiative called Lively-HOOD at WURD that is all about trying to use our different platforms at WURD to connect Black Philadelphians up with jobs and career readiness information, small business supports and financial literacy and the tech space is just really ripe for job opportunities, investment and business development and innovation,” Reese said.
“So there is a real kind of natural connection between this Lively-HOOD initiative and the work that we are doing with The Plug.”
The Lively-HOOD job portal offers employers a place to feature employment opportunities, requests for proposals, and contract opportunities for vendors.
“In our work at The Plug we cover the Black tech ecosystem at large across the nation, so for us it was an opportunity to get deeply rooted into a community, particularly in a city like Philadelphia that really has been drawing the attention of corporate companies, said Sherrell Dorsey, founder of The Plug.
The partnership between The Plug and WURD comes as many media outlets have focused on highlighting the underrepresentation of Blacks and Hispanics at prominent tech companies and the racism within the industry.
“As a city that is majority Black and brown part of the challenge was being able to identify stories that felt empowering and future thinking and future forward that didn’t just harken on some of the disparities,” Dorsey said.
“We wanted to be able to share that not everything coming out of Philadelphia or any other Philadelphia is just full of these terrible statistics – that there are folks who are thriving and are also creating pathways for others to thrive. That for us was paramount in our partnership.”
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