Conference Recap #4 – All the Feels

copper

I am here at the biometals conference at my alma mater (GO DUKE!!). As I look around, I am the only black guy. About 150 people here and I am the only black guy. Do you have any idea how I feel about that?!?!?!

Normal. I feel normal. I feel normal because that’s how I choose to feel.

Where did you think I was going with that???

Look, I would love for this meeting to have more than the 4 total black people here, but I can’t let that bother me while I am here. Nor can I let that limit me.

If you approach a situation as if you are disadvantaged, then you will be disadvantaged. Again, the cards may very well be stacked against you (although this is a great crowd and I ABSOLUTELY do not feel that way here), but you cannot stack the cards against yourself.

You have to believe that you belong. You have to walk and talk with authority. You have to literally sit at the table. Fortune favors the BOLD.

I’m learning so much at this great conference and making some wonderful connections. Budding collaborations are in the works!!!

MDLJ

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One response to “Conference Recap #4 – All the Feels

  1. The same thing just happened to me last week. I attended and presented at the Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security and was 1 of 3 Blacks at the conference. Although I noticed it, I still felt like I belonged there. Plus, the people were AMAZING and very friendly. There were also a lot of women there, so that helped too. I wasn’t surprised at all at the demographics present considering this is a very specialized community in technology. It did make me wonder; however, how many Black people attend in general and if they have any at previous conferences, since it was the first time for two out of three of us.

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