The City of Los Angeles is rapidly emerging as the nation’s most innovative technology ecosystem-- a charge that is being led in tandem by the public and private sector in communities such as South LA’s creative hub, Leimert Park, and with organizations such as TEC Leimert. As part of TEC Leimert’s annual conference on technology and entertainment, Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas hosted a panel on the future of technology in Los Angeles with representatives from Google, Amazon and South LA venture capital firm Slauson & Co. Speakers included Albert Sanders, Global Public Policy lead for Google, Cameron Onumah, Southern California Public Policy Manager for Amazon, and Austin Clement, General Partner of Slauson & Co. for the hour-long discussion.
“When we talk about the arts, technology, and Afro-centric culture there is no other place like Leimert Park Village. And with LA as the national hub for media, technology, and innovation, we must create more inclusivity and opportunity for communities of color, right here in our backyard,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas We must not just expose our community to the creative economy, but to propel them into well-paying and innovative career opportunities.”.
Driven by a mission to celebrate Black culture and bring together professionals, entrepreneurs, and Black creatives in one place - the conference focused on the latest trends in technology and entertainment, as well as ground-breaking innovations and how attendees and communities could take advantage of available opportunities. In addition to discussing the future of technology in Los Angeles, the theme of this year’s conference was “Black to the Future”. Industry stalwarts and disruptors alike, focused panel participants discussed bridging the digital divide in communities like Leimert Park that are re-emerging as creative hubs within the city of Los Angeles and across the region.
Panel and conference highlights included Issa Rae’s HOORAE Takeover discussion with top company executives, Beth Gibbs from HBO Max’s “The Hype” led a fashion panel with creative executives from Sony, Snapchat, Soundcloud, the Los Angeles Sparks, and more.