As we all know, February is Black History Month. It’s a month where we honor those who have made an impact on American culture for equal rights, those who have invented, those who have a helped others and those who have inspired everyone to be the best they can be, not only as a person of color but as a human. Last year for Black History Month, I started an online series called 28 Days Diversity where I would feature someone new everyday during the month of February for just being awesome in their own right. Even though it’s black history month, the goal for 28 Days of Diversity is to feature not just African-Americans but other minorities in the web/tech space. Also note that 28 Days of Diversity is not a popularity contest or an influencer list but a list of thought leaders in the social web sector, including entrepreneurs, bloggers, conference organizers, IT professionals and friends not ranked in any particular order who I have either met in person or followed online. Each post will include a picture, bio, two links from the selected person and this paragraph.
For 2011 I wanted to not just feature individuals but also address a topic that affects everyone. For 28 Days of Diversity 2011 each post/person will answer the question “How can we use technology to close the digital divide?” So for the next 28 days, come back to visit SocialWayne.com/tag/28daysofdiversity and 28daysofdiversity.com to see who’s on the list. For day 9, I would like to introduce to some and present to others:
Twitter: @robertmurray & @saltriverstudio
Born in Jamaica, Robert has lived in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, Miami and now Austin. Robert has worked at large and small interactive agencies such as razorfish and CREATETHEGROUP. Prior to entering the agency world, Robert owned a boutique agency in Miami’s South Beach servicing the entertainment and tourism industries. Murray has worked on international brands such as Amway, Armani, Burt’s Bees, Fendi, Royal Caribbean and Taco Bell. He has also worked on projects for the “World’s Fastest Man” Usain Bolt, Ultra Music Festival and the Official DJ of the Miami Heat, DJ Irie.
Recently, Robert shifted his attention to iOS development. Along with that, he is slowly shifting his focus from client applications to his involvement in startups such as http://www.passthenotes.com. Since moving to Austin in December of 2010, Robert has been working on two exciting startup projects that are slated to be released in Q1 of 2011.
Robert is the proud father of a 6 year old son.
How can we use technology to close the digital divide?
The biggest bridge that needs to be built to overcome the digital divide would be overcoming the access to technology. We have to work together to get technology in the hands of as many people as possible. Having a plan to connect rural areas, as well as making sure that underserved urban areas are well connected to the Internet is essential. In many parts of the world, cellular technology is being used to connect rural areas to the grid. We should work towards following Finland’s lead in making high-speed Internet in the home a right of the people.
As far as race and gender are concerned, we should work harder as a society to make sure that our children do well in math and sciences. Only through this will we lead have more diversity in technology fields. And only through having a diverse group at the table can we find better technological solutions that serve everyone more efficiently. This will, in turn, generate a cycle of involvement and interest in technology. I believe this process has already begun. As this interest continues to spread, we will see a more defined impact in the coming years.
You can follow the status of 28 Days of Diversity 2011 on http://28daysofdiversity.com and http://socialwayne.com/category/28-days-of-diversity/