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Milwaukee orgs leverage Wisconsin Tech Month to focus on equity in the industry

The importance of tech and how we can implement it in our lives comes to the state for its third year with Wisconsin Tech Month this October.

Wisconsin Tech Month brings together the state to celebrate the tech industry. The initiative, declared by Gov. Evers 2021 and organized by The Milky Way Tech Hub and Latinos in Tech, serves as a way to help Wisconsin’s BIPOC communities navigate the technology through educational opportunities. This year’s Tech Month will be focused on artificial intelligence.

The month-long celebration has been progressively scaling in size since its start in 2021. The first year Tech Month had around 40 events. The following year in 2022, Tech Month held over 80 events and plans to continue to scale up for this year’s celebration.

“It’s been an incredible ride so far being able to rally the state around our mission of advancing technology, not just for technology’s sake, but to do so in a way that’s equitable and beneficial for all of Wisconsin,” said Milky Way Tech Hub founder Nadiyah Johnson.

For Johnson, and from the standpoint of The Milky Way Tech Hub, Tech Month presents an opportunity to grow Wisconsin into a more equitable city through its focus on BIPOC communities. Tech Month is not only a celebration of tech, but also a way to focus and provide resources to those who are in need of it.

Johnson’s goal with Tech Month is to help people better understand how they can leverage tech in their day-to-day lives and careers.

“I think it’s incredibly important, especially for a city like Milwaukee that has huge achievement and wealth gaps, to ensure that marginalized communities have access to technology and programming,” Johnson said. “If you don’t educate yourself [on technology], it’s very similar to not knowing how to read these days.”

With this year’s focus on AI, Tech Month organizers want to use the celebration to focus on how to use emerging tech to make the industry more equitable. Events like the Equity and Tech Summit, set for noon to 6 pm on October 10 is one of the flagship events during Tech Month. It will use workshops and panels to promote educational awareness on how to leverage AI to make the dominantly white tech industry more equitable for its BIPOC workers.

Tech Month will feature a variety of events from mixers, parties, panels, speakers, workshops and many others. The list is still growing even as the month gets ready to start.

Tech Month will kicked off this morning in Milwaukee with a discussion with Mayor Cavalier Johnson and community members on smart cities and AI.

Wisconsin Tech Month spans all of October with events in Milwaukee and Madison. A full list of events can be found on Milky Way Tech Hub’s website.