Atlanta changemakers launch a new application to empower and elevate technology professionals from minority backgrounds

Atlanta-based community builder and NFT studio Umba Daima has announced the launch of Tech Misfits – a bold new professional networking app focused on collaboration, community, and wealth building for tech and stem professionals.

Working with some of the most exciting and diverse global networks of tech professionals and enthusiasts, Umba Daima will use Tech Misfits to thoughtfully bring together various members of different communities onto one platform – a mobile app that will create a new avenue of networking opportunities for tech professionals with an emphasis on ensuring that individuals from underrepresented backgrounds are intentionally included in this community.

The initiative is brought to life by community activist and software engineer turned co-founder and CEO of Umba Daima Iris Nevins who launched the company to build a multi-cultural ecosystem of educational and social Web3 experiences.

Umba Daima will use innovative blockchain technology powered by Flow to release Tech Misfits NFT avatars, an art collection that reimagines the future of the technology industry by showcasing how truly diverse and inclusive the community could and should look. The art collection features characters that have varying professions, and carry a variety of unique looks, aesthetics, and cultural differences. They represent a truly diverse and inclusive tech industry in which people of many cultures and perspectives are collaborating on building the technology that shapes our day to day lives. 

Ownership of a Tech Misfits avatar grants membership to the Tech Misfits network. Owners can download the Tech Misfits app to their android or iphone, set up a profile, and join various public forums as well as create their own forums. The goal of the app is to enable “CGWB” or “Collaboration, Growth, & Wealth Building.” Members can network and build relationships; build teams for their initiatives; seek mentors, advice and investment, and vitally, post and find opportunities.

The app will empower members to build both online and IRL member-led initiatives. Many members will already have their own initiatives and companies that they can further support through the app. In addition, community members are encouraged to co-create new experiences and projects together using the app as a place for community building, professional development, recruiting, feedback, and resource sharing. 

In today’s world, many professionals struggle with finding opportunities for career growth, educational upskilling, and business funding because their networks are limited. Aspiring founders also struggle to find competent co-founders or early team members with complimentary skills. Underrepresented professionals, particularly women and BIPOC communities, are most likely to face these struggles which ultimately limits access to the power and knowledge needed to build wealth and cultivate influence.

With STEM & tech professionals earning some of the highest incomes in the world, these industries present an exciting opportunity to build wealth, innovate, and contribute to decisions that impact people’s everyday lives. Additionally exciting is the opportunity to launch businesses that solve important problems, and generate wealth for founders and employees.

The Tech Misfits network is for everyone of every race, gender, and region who believes in the power of sharing information and advancing DEI in tech. It will also be a place for those with power, privilege, access, and funds to be able to share and distribute their power to others. Thus, leaders, managers, recruiters, investors, and CEOs with privilege and influence are encouraged to join because they are needed in the fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Internet and software technology has transformed every major public and private industry and every part of our day to day lives while creating significant wealth and job opportunities. Yet this extremely important and transformative industry continues to struggle with problems such as the lack of gender and racial diversity. A 2018 MIT study found that commercial gender-recognition systems misclassify darker-skinned females at rates of up to 34 per cent, while error rates among lighter-skinned males are around 0.8 per cent. It is the lack of racial or gender diversity in tech that leads to algorithmic bias. Algorithms are susceptible to programmed, implicit biases in coding, that can be shaped by datasets largely composed of white subjects, and the prejudices of the programmers and those collecting the data. Facial recognition software is one of the latest high-tech tools used by police departments, but it’s already leading to false arrests (source) and wreaking havoc on those innocent people’s lives.

Umba Daima is a huge advocate for art, diversity and acknowledging the role technology should play in the creation of a better, safer and more equitable world. The avatars are designed by rising illustrator and graphic designer talent Saniyyah Zahid and the project is powered by Flow and Mint.Store.

Various partners are coming together to support the project including Tribl, Dr. Ernest Wilson of USC Center for Third Space Thinking, TST Solutions, Flow Blockchain, and Sista Circle: Black Women In Tech.

Most notable is the partnership with Dr. Wilson whose ACE-IT methodology is used by USC and TST Solutions. ACE-IT helps innovators develop the soft skills needed to solve problems in challenging times. Dr Wilson is teaming up with the Tech Misfits team to help the Tech Misfits network access soft skills training. More exciting partners will be announced in the coming weeks and interested partners are encouraged to reach out.

 

 

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