top of page

Power List: Black Men in Tech

Power corrupts, this we know to be true. For some, they use the power they wield to inspire and be an example of the good that can come from hard work and ultimately, a payoff. As the world constantly advances, it is important that as a community we advance with it. Technology is changing every day, and in order to have a seat at the table, or build our own house, we must be proactive in being in the rooms that usually do not think about us. From social media to streaming. From Fortune 500 companies that are changing the world, to small businesses entering industries with us in mind. The men represented on this list are leading by example. They are taking over spaces and being their authentic selves while ushering in new ways that we function in life. This is our 2022 Power List: Black Men in Tech.



Ruben Harris

Company: Career Karma

Position: CEO

Instagram: @RubenHarris



What does POWER mean to you?


Power is the ability to act. Power is choices and the ability to execute those choices. When you can say, "No I don't want to do that. Yes, I want to do that."


What is one myth about working in tech?


You don't have to know how to code or be a coder/programmer to break into tech.

I am not a coder for example. My tech background is in sales, partnerships and lead generation. We currently offer over seven different career paths in Career Karma in sales, design, data analytics, cybersecurity and more.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


You can't get wealthy from a salary. So equity/ownership is important which is why getting a job at a startup can change your life. More importantly, tech gives you more than a salary and ownership, it gives you power, which we discussed above.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Perfection is the enemy of execution. The reality of breaking into startups is that the first product you build is yourself.


Photo Credit: Ruben Harris


Isaac Hayes III

Company: Fanbase Social Media, Inc.

Position: Founder/CEO

Instagram: @IsaacHayes3



What does POWER mean to you?


The ability to make change without the permission of other people.


What is one myth about working in tech?


That you have to be from a tech background to work in tech.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


It gives the ability to own and monetize your culture for the benefit of your community as well as use the revenue generated to be able to give back to your community.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Learn about the space first; understand the fundamentals of tech, such as the positions, the jobs, the language and the vernacular, etc. before you forge forward.


Photo Credit: Carlton Adams


Andrew Hawkins/Troy Jones

Company: StatusPRO

Position: Co-Founders

Instagram: @Hawk / @StatusProTJ



What does POWER mean to you?


Power to us is an ability to influence. An ability to influence your own circumstances. An ability to influence others and an ability to influence an industry. That is why power and responsibility should go hand in hand because we believe there is a duty to use that influence for good and for the betterment of people.


What is one myth about working in tech?


One myth about working in tech is that there isn't a lot of people who look like us in the industry, and that couldn't be further from the truth. We were told that there isn't a lot of Black talent in the industry so many times, that we began to believe it. But, as we started to grow and people started to hear about us, our mission, and what we wanted to stand for, we were blown away at just how deep the Black talent pool in tech was.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


Both of us grew up wanting to be football players because that’s what we were exposed to at a young age. The people from our neighborhoods that looked like us who got the most respect, whose names were in the paper or on TV, and who were looked at as successes, were athletes. What that taught us was that seeing is believing. So our goal is that companies like ours, which are hopefully one day being covered as success stories, will make Black ownership in tech feel less like an anomaly to the next generation. We want our communities to look at tech the way kids look at sports or music, as viable possibilities, and we are fusing all three to make that vision a reality.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Our advice for anyone looking to enter the tech industry is to let your passions guide you. We'd be lying if we told you that 10 years ago we thought the tech industry would be how we made our dreams come true. The reality is, we let our experience as athletes and our passion for the sports we played create a path we didn't even realize was there. That's the beauty of this tech renaissance, there is a place for everyone, no matter what your passions are. When you combine your talent with the thing you care about most, you are putting yourself in line for true fulfillment with a chance to change the game.


Photo Credit: Allen Daniel


Torrence Boone

Company: Google

Position: Vice President of Global Client & Agency Solutions; Site Co-Lead, Google NYC

Instagram: @TorrenceBoone



What does POWER mean to you?


The ability to achieve one's ambitions.


What is one myth about working in tech?


That it's inhospitable to people of color.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


Technology is critical to societal advancement. It allows access to knowledge and capabilities that help define the future. It is expansive and opens the aperture on what's possible.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Network: seek out those who will help you understand the best points of entry and how to refine your story to align with the requirements of the role.



Daryl Butler

Company: Google

Position: Vice President of Devices and Services

Instagram: @U4IQ_ST8



What does POWER mean to you?


Power is the ability to shape and influence behaviors and beliefs.


What is one myth about working in tech?


One big myth about working in tech is that we're overly consumed with features and functions at the expense of consumer-driven use cases and solutions.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


Technology levels the playing field. It is an equalizer. Common access to information and an appreciation for the reciprocating relationship between tech and culture allows those who shape culture to do it at scale.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


One bit of advice for someone looking to enter the tech field is to not think about it. Functional excellence is valuable regardless of industry and transferable across categories defined. Ask yourself how can you meaningfully contribute and influence the business based on your base of skills and experience.


Photo Credit: Cameron Dantley


Dr. Terrance Stradford

Company: DentRX

Position: President



What does POWER mean to you?


Power can be defined as the ability to bend society or people to your will. It is a constant fight against the pushback of fear, and it has the ability to create a self-reliant environment. Power is a necessary element for change.


What is one myth about working in tech?


One myth that is ever prevalent about working in tech is the idea that everyone is 21 years old!


True enough my son who is now 30 has been in tech since high school, yet I, on the other hand, have only been involved in tech for the last seven years. There are a growing number of 50 and 60-year old’s who are making it clear that tech is not just the young person’s game. Today the world of tech has become much more diverse and extends beyond Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


You need only look at the disparities that Black and Brown communities face as a result of not owning or advancing their technology. The current pandemic impacted distinct groups of people in dramatically different ways. There were those already out of work or underemployed. There were the frontline essential workers (who were at the highest risk of exposure to the virus). Lastly, there were workers with digital jobs that allowed them to work safely from home. Unfortunately, Black and Brown workers were an overwhelming majority in the first two categories and were barely negligible in the third category.


By owning or becoming the architect of your own digital space or working in any number of digital tech jobs, you are better equipped to handle the pressures of office shutdowns and can easily transition to work from home and be paid to do it.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Live your life, not someone else’s and don’t settle or take the easy way out. Be confident, yet be willing to embrace failure. And most importantly, don’t forget to follow your intuition.


Photo Credit: Dr. Terrance Stradford


Daniel White

Company: TikTok

Position: HR Business Partner, Global Business Solutions

Instagram: @TheOnlyDWhite



What does POWER mean to you?


POWER to me means having the influence, confidence, and fortitude to drive impactful change that can even transcend your respective community.


What is one myth about working in tech?


The biggest misconception or preconceived notion that I find is that you have to be a software engineer or be in a "technical" field in order to work in tech, which is quite the contrary! We need people in a variety of other fields (e.g., finance, HR, policy, education, music, creative, marketing, etc.) to help build, run, and grow companies and the industry as a whole.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


We should continue to demand representation at all levels and create opportunities for leadership and influence (instead of waiting for them) so that our voices can be heard and our perspectives can be recognized. Black and Brown communities are not only influencers of technology, but we're also disproportionately impacted by the advancements of technology due to classism, capitalism and access. By ensuring our voices are amplified, we should be the ones to help make decisions that positively impact and advance our respective communities.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


For those who come from non-traditional backgrounds and want to get into the industry, your background or current career path should not define your worthiness in tech! The tech industry is not a "mysterious" place that's only reserved for software engineers. Anyone can get into tech, but you need to be patient, strategic, and creative in finding your entry point.


Photo Credit: Martavius Leonard


Jared Brown

Company: Apple

Position: Outreach Manager, Community Engagement

Instagram: @_4thepeople_



What does POWER mean to you?


Power is the ability to control your own destiny and achieve your full potential.


What is one myth about working in tech?


One myth is that tech jobs are overwhelmingly concentrated in Silicon Valley. This myth can deter young Black professionals who would prefer to live and build careers in metropolitan areas that are more racially diverse. Not only are there major tech hubs outside of the Bay Area (NYC, Atlanta, DC), but opportunities for remote work are also becoming the industry standard.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


Black-owned tech companies can create pathways to economic independence by cultivating a wealthy Black entrepreneurial class and addressing unemployment disparities impacting the Black community.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Don’t be discouraged by a single rejection or a handful of rejections. Breaking into tech requires patience and persistence. Stay the course — the industry needs your magic and creativity.


Photo Credit: Reese Bland


Tuma Basa

Company: YouTube

Position: Director of Black Music & Culture

Instagram: @TumaBasa



What does POWER mean to you?


Power is the ability to make things happen. It's energy that comes in many forms and has to be managed. Sometimes it's invisible and only traceable by its effects. It's power nonetheless.


What is one myth about working in tech?


That there’s no place for creative people. That's a myth. Yes, it's heavily populated with super-techie people but when you work in it, you discover that the need for people with creative talent and mindset is super high. Especially as competition heightens and the need for differentiation increases. The more creatives in tech, the merrier.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


Our needs cannot only be met at a high standard, we can be hyper-served. Also, technology is where a lot of growth is. There are huge macro-economic benefits for us to participate in its advancement.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Don’t be intimidated by the tech vernacular. As soon as you enter, you’re gonna hear a whole lot of new words and abbreviations that make you dizzy. Just look them up and learn them and keep it moving.


James Ward III

Company: Netflix

Position: Manager, Multicultural Publicity

Instagram: @JamesWardiii



What does POWER mean to you?


POWER is when you walk in your purpose with intention and being so aligned in that path that you’re able to EMPOWER others. In short, it’s a blessing to be a blessing. One of my favorite quotes is by the French philosopher Denis Diderot, “Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to do great things.” Where there’s passion lies purpose and hence where you can access your true power.


What is one myth about working in tech?


That you can’t be yourself in a corporate environment. In fact, from my personal experience, throughout each stage of my career working at entertainment companies that produce content, my successes have been a result of leaning into my core values of authenticity and integrity. Showing up each day, authentic to who I am and all of my intersectionalities, is what makes you not just a headcount on the “bottom line”; it positions you to actually add value into each space that brings unique perspectives and experiences that are more often accepted than people have often been conditioned to believe. Be you!


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


Ownership is key. It doesn’t matter what lane it’s in. Owning a home or commercial property, owning creative IP, etc. Throughout history, ownership is something that was often safeguarded by gatekeepers who knew the value in it and wanted it for themselves. With ownership, Black and Brown communities can position themselves as key stakeholders in an industry that has few rules given the ever-evolving landscape and has room for endless creativity.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Working in the entertainment and tech industries is the land of opportunity, creativity and innovation. Although they can seem like they might as well be on Mars to some, build that spaceship (put a plan in place), get your crew assembled (leverage your relationships and resources), countdown to launch (apply for that job you want) and tap in! Every element of tech and every piece of content we consume today went through rounds of “no.” Let that be an example that anything is possible.



David C. Williams

Company: AT&T

Position: Assistant Vice President

Instagram: @DavidChrisGlobal



What does POWER mean to you?


Power is humility. The less you fear, the more POWER you have. Power corrupts the best and attracts the worst. It's only reserved for those who are willing to lower themselves to pick it up. Before seeking Power over others, we should desire maturity over our emotions.


What is one myth about working in tech?


You're not qualified. I lead the largest Robotics Process Automation program worldwide. We work very hard for that top spot, but we also have a unique makeup. Many of the members of my organization do not come from traditional STEM/Tech backgrounds. However, culture trumps strategy and no one will beat our culture. This enables the most diverse discussions in search of problem-solving. As a proof point, we operate at 3,000+% ROI. How? Because we allow... no, encourage everyone to bring any perspective they have to every problem.


How can Black and Brown communities be impacted by the ownership and advancement of technology?


Every advancement of mankind started with technological advancement. Fire, the wheel, the plow, ships, plumbing, airplanes, etc...


Technology is critical to the success of any community, company, or country. Taking a "leadership" role in creating the next era of technology is key to inspiring and equipping ourselves for future success. This table is more important than the dinner table. We must have a seat.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to enter the tech industry?


Believe in yourself. Know that your past experiences combined with your professional passion creates your own unique business model for success. Start innovating wherever you are. Starting small will build momentum and confidence. Never stop growing. Ever.


Check out The Quintessential Gentleman's Power Issue below.




bottom of page