The bar is set high for Philly’s first NorthStar Conference
In 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney returned from his first visit to megaconference South by Southwest (SXSW) with one concern: The rooms he was in did not reflect his city’s demographics.
As a response, Kenney said, Philly should host its own big tech conference and call it the NorthStar Conference, in honor of Frederick Douglass’santi-slavery publication. On Tuesday, the City announced the event was indeed coming together, with the help of a nonprofit called Black & Brown Founders.
At the helm of Black & Brown Founders is Aniyia Williams, a Philly native and Penn State grad who moved to San Francisco in 2014 to start her hardware company, Tinsel. In 2017, she founded the nonprofit — currently at five full-timers split between the West and East coasts — which has so far organized its conferences in four U.S. cities.
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