In 1921, Greenwood, a booming Black neighborhood in Tulsa, Okla. was destroyed at the hands of white mobs and more than 100 years later, its effect is still felt. Because of this, two organizations have joined forces to restore Greenwood’s position as a national hub for Black talent and innovation, but with a modern imprint.
Microsoft and Black Tech Street, an organization aimed at rebirthing the neighborhood, launched “The Digital Transformation of Black Wall Street,” a long-term alliance that includes significant investment in the area.
“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 Tyrance Billingsley II, Black Tech Street Founder and Executive Director in a news release. “Our partnership with Microsoft is a perfect example of such an opportunity and reflects the very essence of both our organizations.”
The alliance will birth a litany of impactful investments focused on bolstering Tulsa’s ecosystem to produce, attract, and support Black cyber talent, per the news release.
This includes the acceptance of Tulsa Community College (TCC) into the Microsoft Cybersecurity Scholarship Program, which offers cash scholarships to the highly diverse students receiving training at TCC’s Cyber Skills Center.
One of the long-term goals of the partnership includes the hiring of at least 1000 Black Tulsans in cyber and adjacent fields by 2030.
Billingsley II said: “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.”