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  • Writer's pictureJxn Tech District

AFROTECH | Black in tech

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

Meet two Amazon employees blazing trails in the South.

When we think of the latest news in the tech scene, we often train our gaze out west, keeping an eye on Silicon Valley for the latest tech innovations and IPO sound bytes.

But in doing so, many of us miss out on the expertise and insights of brilliant minds in the emergent tech scene in the South. Hubs like Jackson, Mississippi, Austin, and of course, Atlanta are serving up a goldmine of tech innovation. So why don’t we know more about them?

We caught up with two Atlanta-based changemakers to learn more about the tech hub in the southern states. Nashlie Sephus and Ivan Walker are longtime friends and tech founders who’ve been paving the way for the Black tech community in recent years. The Georgia Tech grad school grads form a critical part of Amazon’s AWS team while maintaining strong ties with outreach initiatives in the community.

Nashlie and Ivan are co-founders of The Bean Path, a nonprofit organization based in their hometown of Jackson. It creates strong tech foundations in underserved communities by providing one-to-one tech consults in local libraries, holding coding programs and scholarships for students, and more. Its aim is to provide resources and mentorship that have largely been unavailable to those communities, offering a means for young Black tech hopefuls in the South to carve their own path in the industry.

While we’re just beginning to understand the South’s impact on the tech world, the Jackson, Mississippi, natives are giving us an inside look into a world that many in the region have known about for years. And we’re ready to catch up.

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