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Digital Equity Group Wants to Diversify Miami’s Tech Sector

Various organizations have come together to create Tech Equity Miami, an initiative that aims to provide $100 million over five years to improve equity in the Miami-Dade tech sector.

(TNS) — An initiative was announced Monday that aims to provide $100 million over five years to improve equity and inclusion in Miami’s rapidly growing technology sector.

Called Tech Equity Miami, JPMorgan Chase, The Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation and aīre ventures have come together to launch this effort to give underserved communities greater access to tech and create educational and career opportunities for youth, females and small business owners in underserved communities.

Aīre ventures president Leigh-Ann Buchanan sees Tech Equity Miami as another way to support Miami residents of all backgrounds that want to explore technology careers.

“It’s about making sure tech can be an accelerant of social mobility,” Buchanan said. “This is a downpayment on a significant need to invest in tech to drive equity in our community for people that have been traditionally overlooked and left behind.”

Over the five-year period, Tech Equity Miami intends to bring high-speed Internet access and digital literacy to 100,000 students in Miami-Dade County without broadband connections; help 25,000 underrepresented students and workers gain tech opportunities; assist 1,000 small businesses develop digital solutions; and boost 50,000 local families’ digital skills.

While 65% of Miami residents identify as Black or Latino, Black technologists only make up 12% of Miami’s tech workforce and Latinos comprise 27% of it. Tech Equity Miami hopes to close that gap and make Miami’s emerging tech economy more inclusive.

As JPMorgan’s head of corporate responsibility, Maria Escorcia sees the public-private effort as having the chance to help build an inclusive tech culture in Miami.

“We recognize that communities of color suffered the most through the pandemic,” Escorcia said. “We’ve seen the reports and data, and women of color specifically have suffered from the effects of the pandemic. Now more than ever, we’re trying to make sure we advance equity in communities of color through different initiatives.”

With support from Miami-Dade County and additional funders, Tech Equity Miami already has raised $55 million. Support for the effort is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion national commitment to improve racial equity that came after the May 2020 murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests against police brutality.

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