Why we need Digital Mobility

Digital Mobility’s Yolanda Lewis and Jerry Mixon – Photo: Johnnie Burrell

Register for the Virtual Tech Talk Expo happening Oct. 22, 2-4 p.m., at http://www.techexpo.digitalmobility.net/.

by Lin Robertson

Digital Mobility is a new nonprofit organization that was founded by San Francisco-born technologists Jerry Mixon and Yolanda Lewis. Their mission? To bridge the technology divide that exists because of economic exclusion and discrimination against populations branded “Black.” Mixon and Lewis joined forces to address the systematic exclusion that has led to extermination as evidenced by centuries of gentrification, imprisonment, discrimination and death, to the point that we have become nearly “extinct” in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

As principal of Urban Techies, LLC, Jerry Mixon used his unique skills to reduce violence on the streets of San Francisco by introducing technology as an outlet, resource and enabler for positive outcomes. Urban Techies is a service and training company bringing tech literacy to African American populations in San Francisco. 

Not enough minorities or women are graduating with technical degrees, giving tech companies another excuse for arguing that they aren’t able to choose from a diverse applicant pool for tech jobs.

Mixon’s past experience supporting the City and County of San Francisco programs operated through the Mayor’s Office as well as programs such as Mega Black SF and San Francisco’s Street Violence Intervention Program has prepared him to lead progressive and measurable positive change that addresses systematic gentrification, discrimination and exclusion in San Francisco’s underserved neighborhoods.

Jerry Mixon – Photo: Johnnie Burrell

Yolanda Lewis, on the other hand, founded Innovative Resources, where she launched one of the nation’s first Help Desk Certification programs in the early 1990s. She developed technology training programs, delivered contract services as a graduate of the SBA’s 8(a) program, and led nonprofit advocacy organizations including the Black Economic Council and Black Equal Equity Coalition, where she took part in the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition and the No Traffic Ahead Super Bowl initiative. As a participant on the White House African American Leaders Council during the Obama administration, Lewis was an important voice from our community that focused on social and economic inequities we still experience today. 

Yolanda Lewis – Photo: Johnnie Burrell

Mixon and Lewis agree that not enough minorities or women are graduating with technical degrees, giving tech companies another excuse for arguing that they aren’t able to choose from a diverse applicant pool for tech jobs. The result? CNN Money reported in 2018 that African Americans at Intel, for instance, consisted of 0 of 41 officers or directors, 111 of 5,027 mid-level managers, and 722 of 10,970 technicians (source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, compiled by Julianne Pepitone Interactive). 

Historically, Silicon Valley companies import labor from overseas, pushing for H-1B visas. They’ve basically said that H-1B Visas are preferred – “Americans need not apply.” The consequence is that for years women, Blacks and Latinos have been kept out of the tech job market.

Digital Mobility hopes to increase our footprint not only in tech companies that are thriving in the Bay area, but also in all other industries where computer literacy is more important today especially since COVID-19 has caused many of us to have to work online from home. Check out Digital Mobility’s upcoming Virtual Tech Talk Expo on Oct. 22, 2020, which will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. This event is already getting support from various high profile partners, including members of our own Warriors team. 

For additional information and to register for the Virtual Tech Talk Expo, please go to http://www.techexpo.digitalmobility.net/

Lin Robertson began her career by launching the Aruba Foreign Investment Agency in her native Aruba, a Caribbean island nation off the coast of Venezuela. Coming to California in 1998, she worked with the San Jose Office of Equality Assurance and in 2005 founded The Labor Compliance Managers, where she is managing director. She is also senior producer for International Media TV. Lin can be reached at lin.tlcm@gmail.com.