SF/Oakland, CA January 31, 2015
Conforming to Succeed and What it Means for People of Color

I'm a black person who has been successful in tech by anyone's standards. I felt fortunate, and I've rarely felt any overt obstacles to my progress. But there was a point when I realized that there was a reason behind this. I've made sacrifices to be accepted into an industry where people who look like me are woefully under represented. I've become distant from my culture, my heritage and my own personal history, in order to be more palatable to a white standard. This leaves me feeling stuck between 2 worlds. Obviously not able to pass for white (and not wanting to), but also not "black enough" for those who look like me. I want to try to convey this sacrifice and it's consequences in hopes that others in my position feel some solidarity.