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Black Tech Street Announces Partnership With Microsoft to “Digitally Transform” Greenwood


Nonprofit Black Tech Street announced their collaboration with tech company Microsoft yesterday as part of multiple initiatives to digitally transform the historic Greenwood location. 

In a press conference at the Greenwood Cultural Center and in an official release, Tyrance Billingsley II, the founder of Black Tech Street, announced that, with the help of Microsoft, the nonprofit will work on the Tulsa ecosystem by increasing Black cyber talent in Greenwood. 

The new partnership will specifically focus on working on areas of cyber security, business intelligence and data analytics as well as equitable artificial intelligence. 

Initiatives in the workforce, developing skills through education, access to tech, as well as leadership, will be launched by Black Tech Street; with the help of local group Tulsa Innovation Labs, the group will provide Tulsa residents with a cybersecurity scholarship program and a national consortium. 

The new partnership will provide increased access to tech education, including a program geared for high school students and studies in cyber research alongside the University of Tulsa. Black Tech Street is also poised to hold their first Black Tech Street Cyber Summit next year, an event that will feature guest talks by leaders in cyber security. 

Founded in 2021, the nonprofit’s focus revolves around using tech to rebuild Tulsa. Through tech, Black Wall Street’s aim is to build intergenerational wealth and prepare Black entrepreneurs for the 4.3 million high-paying tech positions that are expected to be available by 2030.

In the early 1900s, Greenwood was known as “Black Wall Street,” one of the most prosperous neighborhoods in the U.S. built by entrepreneur O.W. Gurley. On May 31, 1921, in what is now considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in America, the district was horrifically attacked by a white mob over the course of two days, resulting in close to 300 deaths. 

In the aftermath of the attack, homeownership and the overall economic wealth of the Tulsa area dramatically declined. 

With the new partnership, Billingsley and Black Tech Street hope to restore the wealth of Black Wall Street and Tulsa in general.

“Since its inception, Black Tech Street’s focus has been on securing transformative partnerships capable of addressing deeply-rooted economic inequities stemming from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre at scale,” said the founder in a statement. “Our partnership with Microsoft is a perfect example of such an opportunity and reflects the very essence of both our organizations.

“We are grateful for Microsoft’s support and engagement that is game changing for Greenwood, and sends a clear message that Black Wall Street will continue to be a national leader of Black innovation in the 21st century,” he added.

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