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Inspirational Black Leaders and Pioneers in Ed Tech

 Nani Kalakau | Marketing Coordinator

Tragic recent events have sparked long-overdue conversations about racism and inequality.  CTL fully supports the anti-racist movement and is actively working on a series of efforts to do our part in not only creating more opportunities for the Black community but also highlighting inspirational leaders that have pioneered an exceptional path in technology and ed tech. It is important to credit those that have innovated and actively changed how we use technology today. CTL is dedicating a series highlighting leaders from the past as well as current leaders that are presently serving technology in education and serving as a forefront for future generations. 


Roy Clay


Computer scientist and inventor, Roy Clay is referred to as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley”. He was a founding member at Hewlett-Packard (HP) and directed the team that created one of HP’s first minicomputers. During his time at HP, Clay ran many initiatives to improve the representation of African Americans in technology, specifically Silicon Valley. Clay left HP to start his own business called ROD-L Electronics and is highly recognized for not just technical innovation but the company’s work in the community.


Emmit McHenry

Emmitt McHenry is the co-founder of NetCom Solutions International Inc. Having held many leadership positions with IBM, Union Mutual, and Allstate Insurance Company, Emmitt McHenry is a highly accomplished businessman. What started out as an internet domain services provider, McHenry’s company expanded to include telecommunications, engineering, consulting, and technical services. His company has won awards from IBM and NASA.


Lisa Gelobter


If you are a fan of GIFs and online animation in general, Lisa Gelobter had something to do with that! Gelobter was very involved in the early days and launch of Shockwave, which sparked the beginning of web animation. Gelobter held a role on the senior management team at Hulu and played a great role in online video, and contributed greatly to the early stages of GIFs! To add an even longer list of impressive accomplishments, Gelobter was the Chief Digital Service Officer with the US Department of Education during Obama’s presidency. 


Thom Jackson


President and CEO of EdisonLearning Inc, Thom Jackson runs a company that provides virtual and project-based learning initiatives to underserved students and communities. EdisonLearning offers eCourses with instructors and advisors for support, and even more so values its company mission to adhere to the nine core values the company was built on. 


Kimberly Bryant


Founder and CEO of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant found herself as one of only a few African-American women in her STEM program throughout college. Bryant’s mission is to educate and provide resources to girls of color about computer coding and programming. Bryant says, “Imagine the impact that these curious, creative minds could have on the world with the guidance and encouragement others take for granted.”


Malik Ducard


Malik Ducard paved the way at YouTube where he is Global Head of Family and Learning. He launched YouTube Kids and YouTube Learning which places a large emphasis on education in their platform. Most notably, Ducard is the Board President of LA Makerspace which is a non-profit organization that brings STEAM education to the youth.


We hope you enjoyed the first series of many that will hold a space for the Black community and honor the significant roles many individuals have played in developing education and technology to what it is today. Many of these individuals have also given back to their communities which have given more opportunities to those that have never received the same resources. CTL is striving to bring as much recognition to hard-working leaders in the Black community and encourage the continuous movement in the right direction for much-needed change. 


By Nani Kalakau | Marketing Coordinator
Nani Kalakau is the Marketing Coordinator at CTL. She loves to create, travel and experience different cultures.

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