SXSW 2014 Recap Post: Latinos in Technology connect and get inspired in Austin

On March 6th, I had the privilege to attend Latin@s in Tech, a day long event that preceded the 2014 SXSW Interactive conference along with 100+ Latino community members. The mission of the meeting, organized by the Kapor Center for Social Impact and Kety Esquivel, Principal of Esquivel McCarson Consulting, was to address issues that impact Latino’s participation in technology. While Latino’s low involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) professions and the technology industry in general, have been well documented over the years, I found a number of statistics to be particularly disturbing: 8% of AP Test Computer Science takers were Latinos 7% of science or engineering degrees are awarded to Latinos 7% of the entire STEM workforce is Latino 4% of software developers are Latinos Less than 1% of startups who are venture-backed have a Latino co-founder   Latin@s in Tech, was a well thought-out and organized event where interactive conversations from the panel and audience provided many great insights. Highlights include:  The Leaky Tech Pipeline, a new video from the Kapor Center for Social Impact, does a good job of summing-up the holes in education and opportunities that most minority groups face. Belen Jealous, former NAACP president and Maria Hinojosa executive producer of Latino USA challenged event participants to dream big and find ways to use tech to address top problems facing the Latino community. Rosario Dawson of Voto Latino, Julio Ricardo Varela of Latino Rebels and Elisa Batista of Moms Rising shared the ways they are reaching out and engaging Latinos via social networking. Also, they discussed the importance of storytelling and bringing real voices into the online conversation by using multiple...