On Wednesday at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, Google’s Black Googler Network (BGN) hosted the inaugural Soulfest 2018, a music festival and summit celebrating the intersection of Black Culture, Arts and Technology.
The afternoon featured discussions on social justice and technology, black inclusion in TV & Film and “Culture in the Internet Era.” Speakers included MC Hammer, Chamillionaire, Sickamore, MURS, Morgan DeBaun (co-founder/CEO, Blavity), social media maven Karen Civil, actor Allen Maldonado, Jamie Broadnax (founder, BlackGirlNerds), Tiffany Warren (SVP, Chief Diversity Officer at Omnicom Group), Annie Jean-Baptiste (Diversity Programs Manager, Google), Alicia Sabuncuoglu (Strategic Partner Development Manager, Social Impact at Google) and Erika Bennett (Head of Social Shows, YouTube) as well as keynote presentations from Elaine Welteroth (former Teen Vogue editor) and David Drummond (SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer for Alphabet, Inc.)
The evening concert featured performances by Rayana Jay, Noname and H.E.R.
SoulFest is a continuation of a Google tradition where the Black Googler Network (BGN) hosts a company-wide celebration at the end of Black History Month (BHM). The event highlighted various diversity initiatives at Google, with the intention of making a strong statement about inclusion using the lens of Black Culture.