Resources for Black Founders
The University of Maryland's innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem stands in solidarity with the Black community. We stand united against racism, violence, and hate. We believe in racial equity, social justice, and creating an inclusive community. We are committed to removing barriers and to providing Black innovators, entrepreneurs, business owners, inventors, mentors, investors, changemakers, and ecosystem builders with access to resources, mentors, talent, capital and ongoing support.
This page includes a collection of resources available for supporting Black founders, as well as information and content for anyone interested in learning about and understanding systemic racism. This page also consists of upcoming #UMDSolidarity events being hosted by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and campus partners, as well as dozens of tangible actions that can be taken to enact lasting change.
- Please take a few moments to read these statements shared by student leaders and administration officials, as well as President Darryll J. Pines' statement to the UMD community.
August 27, 2020
Dear University of Maryland community,
As we fight two pandemics - COVID-19 and racial injustice - it pains and angers me that we continue to see the senseless shooting of Black people. This includes Jacob Blake and the many before him who have been killed or wounded. And, again, we find ourselves being forced to fight for justice, while also fighting to protect our health.
We see advocates in the spotlight - like many athletes and demonstrators across our country - rising up, protesting and advocating for change. We must all rise up, becoming advocates within our own community and supporting our fellow Terps. Here at Maryland, we will continue to grow and enhance the ways in which we educate and activate our community on the issues of racism and violence.
If you have not already done so, I urge you to learn, reflect, and determine ways that you can take action by accessing resources from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion:
I am joining the Virtual March on Washington - a demonstration honoring the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" Speech. The March will demonstrate advocacy for comprehensive police accountability reform, the Census, and mobilizing voters for the November elections. I hope many of you will consider participating as well.
We understand ongoing social injustices impact our mental health, and please don't hesitate to reach out to the Counseling Center for help.
As we continue to fight injustices as a country and a community, I must say it again and ask you to say with me:
Black Lives Matter.
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
University of Maryland, Office of the President
1101 Main Administration Building / College Park, MD 20742-5025, USA
Dear University of Maryland community,
We are grieving the killing of George Floyd, McKinsley Lincoln, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop and Ahmaud Arbery, and all who came before.
We are deeply concerned about insufficient police accountability across the country, systemic racism, and the social, economic and health inequities that have led to protests born of despair, anger and hope. We support the many peaceful demonstrations for justice across the United States.
We acknowledge that we have our own painful history at UMD, which includes the tragic murder of Lt. Richard Collins III.
The University System of Maryland (USM) chancellor and all the presidents of USM institutions recently stated publicly: "We acknowledge with one voice the structural racism that’s taking the lives of our fellow citizens, and we stand in solidarity as we speak out against racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, discrimination against our LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities, religious intolerance, and bigotry of any kind."
Our university must be even more committed to creating a more inclusive, respectful and supportive environment, and follow up with actions that will help shape a more just and equitable campus community and society.
We would like to inform students, staff and faculty of the following campus opportunities, and invite your participation as a step toward taking action:
- If you are interested in being in community with others, to process the pain, exhaustion and fear, email the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at DiverseTerps@umd.edu.
- If you seek individual support, email Dr. Chetan Joshi, director of the Counseling Center, at email@example.com.
- If you seek spiritual support, email campus Chaplain Holly Ulmer at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will connect you to other campus chaplains as needed.
- If you are interested in reading “White Fragility” or “Me & White Supremacy” and discussing it with members of the community and leaders from embraceRace@umd, email Student Affairs at email@example.com.
- If you are interested in working with your leadership team, unit, department or division to strengthen cultural competency, and engage in doing the work, email Dr. Carlton Green, director of Diversity Training and Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you want to connect with and/or receive support from leaders within our Nyumburu Center, email director Dr. Ron Ziegler at email@example.com.
- If you are a member of a cultural student organization, and want to be in community with others, email Brandon Dula, assistant director of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have concerns or questions about current policies that could negatively impact you and members of your community, email Dr. Andrea Goodwin, director of Student Conduct, at email@example.com.
- If you would like to know more about our University of Maryland Police Department and its policies and protocols, email Chief David Mitchell at UMPDchief@umpd.umd.edu.
- If you are interested in organizing other efforts that help our university become more of what it professes and aspires to be, email any of us your ideas and we will help you organize and connect with others.
In community and solidarity,
- Dan Alpert, Student Government Association, President
- Annie Rappeport, Graduate Student Government, President
- Laura Dugan, University Senate, Chair
- Wallace D. Loh, President
- Mary Ann Rankin, Senior Vice President and Provost
- Carlo Colella, Vice President for Administration and Finance
- Georgina Dodge, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
- Damon Evans, Director of Athletics
- Jeffrey K. Hollingsworth, Vice President for Information Technology
- Jackie Lewis, Vice President for University Relations
- Laurie E. Locascio, Vice President for Research
- Patty Perillo, Vice President for Student Affairs
- Mike Poterala, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
June 1, 2020
Dear University of Maryland Community,
On Wednesday morning, May 26, 2020, I woke up to go through my normal daily routine of getting prepared for the work day. But even before I could start my morning walk with my dog, my cellphone was already vibrating with texts and emails about something that had happened the evening before. Many colleagues, family members, and friends had sent me links to the now-infamous video of yet another black man losing his life at the hands of law enforcement. This time, for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a local shop in Minneapolis, MN.
I took a moment to click on the links and watch the more than 9-minute video of the last breath being sucked out of the body of Mr. George Floyd. As a black man, I screamed words that I cannot repeat here. As a father, I started to reflect on the safety of my son and daughter and on all the diverse communities who are negatively impacted by acts of injustice. I asked myself, what is wrong with our country when these incidents continue to happen time and time again?
In recent weeks we have again witnessed senseless acts of violence perpetrated against the black community. The tragic loss of lives -- those of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and before that, the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Sean Reed -- due to racial violence is deeply saddening and a stain against the values that we personally hold, and that the University of Maryland, as an institution, cherishes.
The fact that these horrific acts have occurred in the midst of a pandemic is a double blow to black and brown communities. They cause additional pain and grief at a time when we are dealing with so many other challenges. But the shameful reality is that the virus has disproportionately affected communities of color. It has exposed the base inequities of our healthcare system and made painfully clear how those who have suffered so many other injustices for so long must also unequally bear the burden of this disease. These additional acts of racism and hatred bring into greater focus the injustices occurring in our nation.
Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that:
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy."
As a university community, we must not accept these latest incidents as inconsequential. We all must rise up and stand together to show our humanity to one another. We must remind ourselves of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Finally, we must heed the words of the late President John F. Kennedy, "what unites us is greater than what divides us."
Even though we are physically separated, now is the time to stand in solidarity and unite against any injustice.
Darryll J. Pines
Glenn L. Martin Professor of Aerospace Engineering
University of Maryland
To Our Do Good Community,
The last few weeks have been a devastating reminder of the hard work we still have to do to ensure justice prevails, for all. While our country continues to struggle with a pandemic, we are also grappling with the ramifications of our centuries-long history of racial injustice, white supremacy, and systemic racism. This time, the movement was sparked by the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, and intensified by the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks. We, as the Do Good Institute team, see Black lives. We hear Black lives. We stand with Black lives. And, we unequivocally believe that Black Lives Matter.
As educators and advocates, we have always encouraged understanding, action, and doing good for our communities, but we’re embracing and encouraging this now more than ever. As we often suggest to our students, our team has taken a step back over these last few weeks to listen and learn. We are committed to learning as much as we can about how to be anti-racist and how to best support Black communities and other communities of color. You can find some of the resources we have been using to learn on our social channels.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” This quote from former President Obama is emboldened on the wall in our Do Good Accelerator, which serves as daily inspiration for our team and students that we can create meaningful change no matter your background, interests, or race. Now, more than ever, it’s an important reminder that change cannot wait. And, we have the power to create that change.
Below are a few concrete learnings, actions, and commitments that we’re starting with to support Black communities right now:
Educating Ourselves: We’re reading more, actively listening, watching films, and are committed to having difficult and open discussions about race and injustices in this country. Our full team is joining the Black Students in Public Policy and the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Taskforce for a School of Public Policy Antiracist Discussion Series using Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be An Antiracist as a tool to guide the discussion.
Supporting Black Communities: As part of Young, Black & Giving Back Institute’s Give 8/28 campaign, which closes out Black Philanthropy Month, we’ll be giving a grant to support black-led and black-benefiting grassroots organizations. The event takes place on August 28 - the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech - but giving is live now to help participating organizations stay funded during this crucial moment.
Revising What We Teach: We're dissecting and reevaluating our program offerings like the Do Good Challenge, Accelerator Fellows, and workshops. We're working to ensure we include diverse voices and perspectives, that we consider the historical, political, and social contexts of the social issues students are working on, and that we're "decolonizing" any curriculum we offer.
This is just the start. We know there’s so much work and progress to be made, we know we cannot remain silent. We take our responsibility as educators seriously, and we’re committed to using our voices, expertise, and funds to develop emerging leaders who are prepared to create meaningful change for a truly equitable world. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll regularly share updates on our actions and commitments to becoming actively anti-racist and more supportive of Black communities.
We’re calling on our Do Good community - full of passionate leaders, innovative thinkers, talented changemakers, and staunch advocates - to join us and countless others breaking the silence and fighting to rid our nation of white supremacy. Do you have ideas or feedback? Please reach out to us - our doors are always open. We urge you to find ways to help now and in the future, whether you take ideas from our commitment, or find new ideas from experts like Equal Justice Initiative, Black Visions Collective, or Black Lives Matter.
We stand in solidarity,
The Do Good Institute Team
June 5, 2020
Black Lives Matter. Three words that have sparked a national debate over a relatively simple concept: The lives of black people in America matter. And before you click away, I want you to ask yourself why? Are you uncomfortable? Good. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, because the days of catering to societal comfort are over. The time for change is now.
The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Tony McDade are not isolated incidents. They are merely the most recent results of a system that has vilified blackness and weaponized black skin since this country’s inception. The system I am referring to is racism. Institutionalized racism takes many shapes and in order to dismantle the system that continues to oppress and kill black people, it is important to understand that racism is more than blatant or explicit bigotry.
Racism is housing discrimination, food inequity, mass incarceration, underfunded schools, unequal access to sport, over-policing, voter disenfranchisement, the war on drugs, hiring discrimination, unequal access to health care and a flawed criminal justice system that far too often lets officers go unchecked for abusing their power.
I am tired of seeing black people beaten and murdered by police. I am deeply disturbed by the lack of accountability for police officers who so blatantly cause harm, shielded by a blue wall of silence that seems impenetrable by the justice system. Over the last month, I have seen people who look like me, who look like my brother, who look like my father, brutalized and killed at the hands of the police. It is unfair, unjust and unconstitutional.
At first, I was angry. Then I was fearful, heartbroken, bitter and full of resentment until all of a sudden, I was numb.
And with numbness came a familiar sense of anguish. A feeling of defeat. No matter how many names we add to the never-ending list of black people who've been wrongfully murdered in this country, nothing changes. It feels like screaming in your dreams when no one can hear you and suffering in silence as life goes on around you. It's waking up exhausted, not being able to explain why. It’s not wanting to check your phone or talk to anyone who asks, “How are you doing?” Simply put, it's draining.
I, a 20-year-old, am drained.
I can only imagine how my parents feel or how their parents feel, having to relive the nightmare that is watching people from your community killed senselessly because to be black in America is to be inherently threatening. Because society tells us that in order to survive an interaction with the police everything has to be just perfect. Don’t move too fast, don’t move too slow, put your hands out the window, wait, no put them on the steering wheel, where is my license? A routine traffic stop can easily become a crime scene as was the case in 2016 for Philando Castile, who was shot and killed in front of his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter.
So here we are, years later, in the middle of a pandemic still demanding justice and systemic change. Trying to cash the same check Dr. King spoke of in his “I Have a Dream” speech. Almost 56 years after the Civil Rights Act was signed, and black people are still fighting for equal protection under the law and the genuine right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
America can do better. America needs to do better.
It took a video of a black man being pinned down in the middle of the street, in broad daylight, literally having the life choked out of him for people to finally look up and realize we need change, and we need it now. Call it an amalgamation of being quarantined for three months, pent up rage, I don’t care. Non-black people are slowly starting to realize there is a problem in this country and they are pissed.
Everyone is finally acknowledging the fact that black bodies are viewed as dispensable. Playthings, to be discarded when they aren’t wearing your favorite team’s jersey or performing in any other arena that directly benefits whiteness in America.
Enough is enough. “Thoughts and prayers” is no longer a sufficient response to the atrocities that continue to plague black communities across the country. Stop saying you are with us and be for us. Not because it affects you, but because for too long this country has profited from the achievements, culture and lives of black people without holding up its end of the bargain.
White people: The time has come for you to sacrifice your privilege. Educate yourself on the ways your whiteness has benefited you up to this point and work to utilize your privilege for social justice. Engage in meaningful dialogue, read about black history, support black businesses, advocate for the end of police brutality and racism and demand structural change. Pride yourself on being a lifelong learner and consumer of knowledge. Focus on facts and form your own opinions.
Please understand. All Black Lives Matter. It’s not just a hashtag, it is a movement, created to affirm the humanity of black people. Callously stating all lives matter in response to Black Lives Matter invalidates the experiences of black people and perpetuates the same racism that continues to murder us.
Denounce racism when it's not convenient for you. In rooms where there are no black people. At parties when you hear people rapping along with the n-word. In every space, especially those in which you hold a position of power or influence, leverage your privilege. Do not stay silent. Be explicitly anti-racist and hold others accountable for their words and actions.
We are at a pivotal point in this nation’s history. On the precipice of progress, the time has come for us to do the work. Black people cannot end racism. We can continue to lead, educate, and challenge, but we alone, cannot end racism. Racism will persist in this country until white people and non-black people of color who benefit from the many systems suppressing Black people do the work. Work that is challenging and uncomfortable, but nevertheless necessary.
Racism will not just go away with time. Injustices being committed against Black people won’t magically stop if we pretend that we don’t see them. We have the chance right here, right now to start dismantling the very systems that continue to oppress and kill black people in this country. A chance to end the vicious cycle that has crushed generations, so America can finally begin to live up to its promise.
Let this be the last time our 50 states and countless countries have to protest the murder of a black person at the hands of the police. Assemble. Petition the government. Vote. Do something. Because to do nothing in the face of injustice is unacceptable.
If reading this made you uncomfortable, good. Get comfortable being uncomfortable because I promise you, this is just the beginning.
Taylor Wilson '21 is majoring in Kinesiology and plays infield on the Maryland softball team.
July 10, 2020
The past couple of weeks you all have been exposed to the reality of police brutality that has targeted the Black community for far too long. And while it may be hard for some of you to comprehend, this is just an everyday look into our everyday lives.
This is about a system of oppression and systemic racism which lies at the very foundation of this country’s origins. I went to a protest and a University of Maryland student who was speaking said that, “This country was built by me but not made for me.”
Let that sink in!
From my experience this movement is not about looting or rioting. The media is misconstruing the situation and looting is a very small fraction of what has and is still occurring today. Those stores and material things can be replaced but the lives lost cannot.
This movement is also exposing the idea of privilege to people across this country -- many of whom don’t have to think about the everyday occurrences that affect people of color.
- If you have never had to worry about a cop pulling you over and asking yourself “will I die today?”, then you are privileged!
- If your parents have never had to have a conversation to explain to you why people may say hateful things towards you because of the color of your skin then you are privileged!
- If you have never been questioned walking into your own home then you are privileged!
- If you have never had to worry about your chances of dying in childbirth due to racial bias, then you are privileged!
We travel all the time to play tennis and being an African American female, I always have to check where we are going, and to see if I will feel safe there or wonder will my team protect me in certain situations?
It is not just about blatant racism; it is also about the daily microaggressions we face as Black people. Being in a predominantly white sport, there is a double standard. I have to act better than everyone else. I have to be more polite. To even be looked at by college coaches I had to work three times harder to be seen as half as good as my counterparts. And these are not just my experiences, these are the same experiences as my friends and a lot of Black tennis players.
On more than one occasion, my doubles partner and I experienced multiple forms of discrimination such as: it was implied that the only reason we were winning was because the referee was Black, or telling us to calm down when we win a point but someone who isn’t a person of color can scream at the top of their lungs and not get a code violation.
There was another instance when we were playing zonals, and we were only 14. At 14 we were getting called monkeys and that we were too dark and teams would come behind my friend’s court and shake rocks while she served. This is something that must change.
I should not have to be uncomfortable to play a sport I love. No one should. Being in a predominantly white major (civil engineering), these issues follow me into the classroom as well. I am regularly asked questions like, “Are sure you are in the right class?” or “Did you get in on affirmative action?”
Not only is it these questions geared toward my peers, it’s the actions as well. Speaking over us when we are trying to explain things or touching our hair without our permission.
There are a lot of things that need to change, and that starts with us. If we are really One Maryland then we need to act like it creates change.
The main way everyone can help is acknowledging that they have the privilege and taking advantage of that in order to help minority individuals. First, it’s important to listen. This situation is not about you, it is about your teammate, your Maryland community, and in order to make a change, you need to listen.
No one is faulting you for having privilege or white privilege, but my point is there are resources out there for you to understand your privilege and to understand how you can use your privilege to help others. Also, Black people are not your only resource and they do not have to answer your questions.
It can be exhausting to live your life scared and tiptoeing around people, and then on top of that having to explain your pain multiple times.
Like I said earlier, there are other resources available to you. All I am asking for you to do at this time is to be an ally for me and other people of color. It is not a political issue, there should be no debate. This is not a trend, these are our lives.
Below are some informational resources and educational items that could be useful for you!
- Mary Turner
- Black Wall Street
- Just Mercy
- When They See Us
- Fruitvale Station
- White Man’s Burden
- King in the Wilderness
- Dear White People
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington
- Elaine Massacre
- Rosewood Massacre
- Tuskegee Experiment
- How White People Can Be Allies
Ayana Akli '23 is majoring in Civil Engineering and is the B1G TEN Freshman of the Year.
In Their Own Words: Maxwell Costes and Noah Seth
Congratulations on discovering the fact that there are people who don’t look like you, think like you, talk like you, walk like you, share the same worldview as you, nor have the same experiences as you!!
We know that it must have taken some hard effort to arrive at this point (and we’re so proud!), but we also recognize that you’re still new to this, and given the volatility of the current political and social climate, we thought it’d be best to not only commend you, but also offer some sort of guidance before you begin this journey of yours.
So consider this your official welcome to the TRAGIC inconsistency that is the American story, a story marred by betrayed promises, the destruction and mitigation of cultures for personal enjoyment, and a cacophony of violations against the human spirit.
A story, where consortiums of political leaders have shown such paucities of moral righteousness, have shown us their darkest depths of avarice and egoism, that to this very day they continue to make a mockery of the values and ethics that are supposedly the center and foundation of this country.
This is what you’re stepping into, but don’ t worry, you aren’t going to have to face this alone … admittedly if you’re reading this it probably means you’ll never have to face it, but that’s ok, we don’t blame you for that, and it also probably means you’re trying to help someone who deals with this on a daily basis.
Truthfully, we figure that the best allies are those that are well-read and well-spoken, not necessarily seen and not heard, but rather a meticulous combination of present, open-minded, and throw in some humility just for good measure.
Unfortunately, you’re going to have to learn to step out of that bubble of comfortable innocence you have, you’re going to say something stupid, you’re going to do something stupid, and that’s OK.
See we’ve become so engrossed, so staunch in our pursuit to not be wrong, that we’ve lost any sense of our curiosity, a characteristic that has single-handedly brought about golden ages of advancements and discoveries.
The only way to grow, the only way we put some color on our sunset horizons, is to go and seek information, to challenge our beliefs, and in doing this at some point we come across something that demands we recognize a conviction we hold in our hearts as not true, and it’s perfectly fine, it’s time we normalize adjusting and reshaping our thoughts and acts around reliable information.
Now with this expansion of knowledge and awareness comes the responsibility to share it with others who are ...”behind” for lack of a better term, engage with your confidants, bring them along to events, challenge their misguided words and ill-informed actions, hold elected officials responsible for not answering the calls of justice on the first ring, because it’s easy to say that one doesn’t “see” color, but that statement entails the inability to see color PATTERNS.
Finally, recognize that this is all bigger than just George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, that America was racist before Donald Trump was conceived, that with luck these senseless deaths are the inflection point on the vast crescendo that is racism in America.
It’s recognizing that Black Lives “Mattering” is really just the baseline, it should be the standard, and it is on us to raise that standard to where Black lives are celebrated, where black lives are valued beyond our inherent talents, where black lives are afforded every right under that clause of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
It’s coming to terms with the fact that racism is more than consciously hating someone, that even if you’re a white person that loves black people, racism couldn’t care less, that it is a parasite, feeding off the destruction of societies from the inside out, finding any possible way to affect how you deal with other people
Yes, hatred is the preferred brand of racism, but this is just one of the many outfits in its closet that it can choose to don, it wears availability as pajamas, Friday nights it likes to wear ignorance, Saturday’s it throws on entitlement and goes to the game with friends, perception is its favorite walking shoes, and unbeknownst to most, Apathy is its Sunday best.
Because the way that they kill black men in the streets, is the same way they kill black minds in public schools, is the same way they kill black self-esteem and uniqueness with appropriation, is the same way they kill black wealth with specific market and policy discrimination, is the same way they kill black communities by defunding recreation centers, education, housing development, and libraries, is the same way they kill Black women in Doctor’s and ER offices.
If you’re still reading this, I would imagine that you’re feeling overwhelmed by this task laid in front of you, feeling simultaneously infuriated yet defeated, it only took a few moments to do that. Imagine what 400 years must feel like! But don’t fret, because we still hold the greatest superpower in the known universe:
The most consistent partner of strength and the unsung hero of every success story, I’d wager that all of us hold some conviction on searching for a better life and working towards a better world to exist in, and I’d argue that being hopeful is the most American act conceivable.
In two weeks, none of this will be trendy anymore. You won’t see anymore black squares on social media, celebrities will have stopped making statements, and the toll of activism will start to wear on on our spirits.
So if you are really about change, about being a part of the revolution, my challenge to you is to hold on to that dream of more to be had, that dream of absolute justice, carry it, protect it, fight for it like it’s the only thing that you can be sure is real in this world.
So once again, congratulations, and welcome to social consciousness :)
Maxwell Costes '22, is a two-time All American for the Maryland Terps Baseball team
Support Black Innovators and Entrepreneurs
- 1863 Ventures Build Back Better - This initiative will provide access to Technical Assistance that helps small businesses of all industries in the nation's capital reposition themselves to succeed in our new environment.
- AfroTech - This platform includes business model & revenue resources, upcoming tech conferences, venture capital news, and much more.
- AmplifyHer Ventures - An early-stage fund investing in female founders and diverse leadership teams specializing in commerce, health care, and technology that helps people connect.
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- CODE 2040 - This nonprofit activating, connecting, and mobilizing the largest racial equity community in tech to dismantle the structural barriers that prevent the full participation and leadership of Black and Latinx technologists in the innovation economy.
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- Color - Invests in early-stage companies and entrepreneurs who are female, people of color, or otherwise "underestimated," working in the retail, e-commerce, and consumer product industries.
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- Diversity Photo - Diversify was born out of a recognition that calling for more diversity in the photo industry is not enough. To diversify photo, we need to equip Art Buyers, Creative Directors, and Photo Directors with resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments and commissions.
- Elevate Capital - Oregon’s first institutional venture capital fund that specifically targets investments in underserved entrepreneurs—such as women and ethnic minorities, or those with limited access regionally to capital and opportunities. The Elevate Capital Fund invests locally, regionally, nationally, and globally in scalable startups.
- FEARLESS Fund - Fearless Fund invests in women of color led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed level or series A financing. It's mission is to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders building scalable, growth aggressive companies. Fearless Fund is built by women of color for women of color.
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- Founder Gym - It is the leading online program training underrepresented founders on how to raise money to scale their tech startups.
- Founder's Institute Resource List - The organization has compiled a list of more than 200 Black American startup resources including accelerators, incubators, investors, and more.
- Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders - A three-month digital accelerator program for high potential Seed to Series A tech startups based in the U.S. The accelerator program is designed to bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to Black founder communities across the U.S. In addition to mentorship and technical project support, the accelerator also includes deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development for founders.
- Grow with Google Digital Coaches - This community provides digital skills training and coaching to help Black and Latinx small businesses reach new customers, thrive online, and grow. Participate in digital skills workshops, hands-on coaching and opportunities to meet and learn from successful businesses in your community.
- Harlem Capital Partners (HCP) HCP is a New York based early-stage venture capital firm on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse founders over the next 20 years. HCP is focused on investing in minority and women founders in the United States.
- Hire or Wire Now - This organization's goal is to double the number of People of Color working in technology jobs and double the amount of venture capital invested in their startup businesses.
- IFundWomen of Color (ifw) - The go-to funding resource for diverse, early-stage entrepreneurs. IFundWomen of Color was created with our founding partner Caress to help diverse entrepreneurs bring their dreams into reality through raising capital via crowdfunding and providing grants, coaching, and the connections needed to launch and grow successful businesses.
- Inclusive Innovation Incubator - An innovation space in Washington, D.C. providing programs, services and events for this generation of leaders and the next.
- January Ventures - Founded by operators turned investors who believe in an equal opportunity tech ecosystem. They believe the founders of the next decade will look fundamentally different: more female, more diverse and more distributed. They back founders based on their tenacity and ambition, not their pedigrees or who they know
- Kaleidoscope Black Realities Grant - The Black Realities Grant is a response to the ongoing state violence and murder of Black people. The Grant awards a monthly cash prize to media projects that explore the varied conditions, experiences, feelings, and range of humanity of the Black global community.
- Lightship Capital - This fund invests in entrepreneurs that other investors have overlooked or excluded — people of color, women, members of the LGBTQIAP community, and people with disabilities. It finds and funds these remarkable entrepreneurs across the Midwest, working with them to make capital more inclusive and to create a more equitable future.
- Lowe's-LISC Partnership - Thanks to a $55 million significant commitment grant from Lowe’s, LISC will provide the emergency grant assistance that small businesses desperately need to stay afloat.
- Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) - MLT’s distinctive model provides the know-how, navigation systems and network to ensure talented underrepresented minorities are able to get on and stay on the path to senior leadership. MLT partners with more than 100 leading companies, social sector organizations and universities to strengthen their recruitment and retention of diverse talent.
- Marathon Fund - The Marathon Fund is a seed-stage equity fund dedicated to creating high growth, foundational businesses that embrace the diversity of talented innovators historically underserved by the private capital market ecosystem.
- Miles & Stockbridge Black Business & Startup Initiative - This initiative supports Black businesses by providing introductory legal counsel at no cost or a reduced cost. Inclusion in the initiative will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and subject to other parameters determined by the firm.
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) - The MBDA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research.
- Minority Christian Women Entrepreneurs Network (MCWEN) - MCWEN is a thriving community for Christian women of color who have an interest in entrepreneurship and business ownership. This nonprofit provides a community of support to Black female founders through networking events, business development services, funding opportunities, and resources for growth and success.
- National Association of Investment Companies - The Largest Network of Diverse-Owned Private Equity Firms and Hedge Funds.
- National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) - The NBCC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. It is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora.
- NewME - An entrepreneurship education program that is serving early stage business founders and their teams through mentorship, specialized curriculum, and capital investment.
- New Voices Foundation - Provides early-stage companies led by women of color with personalized help, either through grants, education, or pitch competitions.
- New Voices Fund - This fund invests specifically in women entrepreneurs of color
- OHUB - This is the world's first inclusive technology, startup & investment ecosystem building platform built to ensure shared prosperity and multi-generational wealth creation for all.
- PayPal Empowerment Grants for Black Businesses Program - Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is committed to addressing economic inclusion by creating transformative change, and in partnership with Paypal, will award up to $10,000 to more than 1,000 black-owned businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and civil unrest.
- Portfolia Rising America Fund - The Fund focuses on founders, ecosystems and products and services historically overlooked by traditional venture capitalists but positioned for significant growth and profitability. Because of recent demographic shifts and the increasing influence of POC and the LGBTQ community, numerous areas and industries present out-sized opportunities for innovation, growth investment and returns.
- Precursor Ventures - Invests in seed-stage founders who represent a wide variety of backgrounds in terms of gender, race, academic experience, and life circumstances.
- Realist Ventures - Strategically invests in founders and ideas at the development, seed, and early stage of SaaS, technology, and software companies. Realist Ventures is not seeking investments in food, consumer goods, and hardware at the moment.
- Reign Ventures - Invests in women and people of color. The firm's goal is for at least half of its entrepreneurs to be Black, Indigenous, or people of color.
- Revolution Growth - Invests in technology-enabled companies outside of tech hubs in California, New York, and Massachusetts. That's resulted in a more diverse portfolio, with nearly one-third (28 percent) of their founders being Black, Indigenous, or people of color
- Seizing Every Opportunity (SEO) - This organization has been an innovator in education, mentorship, positive peer pressure, high standards, and networks to turn untapped potential into newfound greatness.
- Shea Moisture Fund - A $1 million fund supporting minority and women of color business owners affected by the pandemic. The fund is aimed at supporting small businesses in the hospitality, e-commerce, and wellness industries, along with other businesses that serve their communities.
- SoftBank Group Opportunity Fund - launched a $100 million fund to support Black, Latinx, and Indigenous entrepreneurs. The fund invests in companies across both early and growth stages that are using technology to innovate and challenge traditional industries.
- SoGal - The largest global platform for the education and empowerment of diverse entrepreneurs and investors.
- SoGal Ventures - The first female-led, next generation venture fund. Its mission is to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital. Invests in diverse, early-stage founding teams in the U.S. and Asia
- Startup-Investor Matching Tool - Lolita Taub has developed this site for underestimated founders to gain access to investors and capital.
- The Black upStart - This organization teaches aspiring Black entrepreneurs how to start a successful and profitable business through an intense, culturally-relevant popup school.
- The Plug - Humanizes Black people’s engagement in technology related markets and industries one investigative narrative at a time. Through quality journalism and reporting, it brings underserved and under-covered entrepreneurs and their companies to the forefront of tech’s evolution.
- Toigo - This foundation opens doors for some of the most talented under-represented minorities working in the investment and finance industry.
- Valence - Valence connects, showcases, and empowers the global black professional community through the magic of technology and art. We establish meaningful connections with companies and capital that create career opportunities and spawn new ventures. We help demystify professional advancement pathways through inspirational storytelling and structured community driven mentorship.
- Venture Forward - A 501(c)(3) non-profit and supporting organization to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). It was founded to drive human capital, culture, values, and narrative of venture capital to promote a strong and inclusive community that will fuel the economy of tomorrow.
- Walker's Legacy - This global platform for the professional and entrepreneurial multicultural woman exists to inspire, equip, and engage its community through thought-provoking content and educational programming.
- WeWork Grants for Black-Owned Businesses - WeWork has committed $2 million in grants in support of Black-owned member businesses, in an effort to begin driving real impact for the Black community. Applications are open to eligible member companies through June 30, 2020.
- Black Nation App - Find or list your black-owned business in the highest rated social discovery app. You can now create giveaways, follow friends and family, earn Black Gold, win free gifts and much more.
- Five Big Ideas to Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap - After centuries of systemic barriers, the median net worth of Black households is one tenth that of white ones. The first idea on the list is to "funnel capital to black-owned businesses.
- Hire and Wire - The startup community must do more to demonstrate their solidarity for Black entrepreneurs. Two ways to do that is to hire black people and invest in startups founded by Black entrepreneurs.
- It's Time We Dealt with White Supremacy in Tech - This article provides tangible ways to support black entrepreneurs and tech workers.
- Learn how crowdfunding is supporting Black livelihoods and communities - If you are interested in supporting Black-owned businesses currently raising money online, check out this list of active Black-founded campaigns.
- Karma - Read what Black entrepreneurs and investors have to say on how impact investors might address the centuries-long American problem of racial injustice.
- So You Want to Fund Black Investors - This article elaborates on three specific and immediate actions VC firms should take now to show their commitment to racial equality.
- Startup Champions Networks - Find a breakdown 13 organizations that support Black entrepreneurs
- Support Black Owned (SBO) - This website hosts a free Black and African American owned business directory and blog filled with thousands of 100% Black, Moorish, and African American owned businesses, spread all over the world.
- We Buy Black - The largest e-marketplace for Black owned businesses.
Learn about the contributions made by Black Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders.
- Black STEM Innovators and Leaders - A list of 16 Black innovators who have defined our modern world.
- For Harriett - 9 Black Women Game-Changers in the STEM Fields
- The Black Inventor Online Museum - The number one resource on the web focusing on the ingenuity and accomplishments of the top Black inventors over the last 300 years.
- The History Makers - The nation's largest African American video oral history collection.
- The Undefeated 44 - A collection of Black dreamers and doers, noisy geniuses and quiet innovators, record-breakers and symbols of pride and aspiration.
Take Action Now
- A Better Chance
- Black Lives Matter
- Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity
- Blackout Collective
- Black Visions Collective
- Black Women’s Blueprint
- Campaign Zero
- Black Trans Women Fund
- Crowdsourced Google Doc of bail funds
- Equal Justice Initiative
- George Floyd’s Memorial Fund
- I Run With Maud, the Ahmaud Arbery Memorial Fund
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Local Bail Funds
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- National Association of Black Journalists (specifically the Black Male Media Project)
- National Bail Fund Network
- National Bail Out
- National Police Accountability Project
- Nation-Wide Bail Funds
- Reclaim the Block (Minneapolis)
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
- Southerners on New Ground
- Supplies for DC Protesters
- Support Black-Owned Businesses
- The Bail Project
- The Conscious Kid
- The Movement for Black Lives
- Twitter users continue to crowdsource lists of local organizations that help bail out protesters who get arrested.
- UndocuBlack Network
- Design As Protest Collective - Anti-Racist designers dedicated to Design Justice in the built environment.
- Get Involved and connected - Become a Design as Protest Field Organizer. Contribute to Research & Data. Engage Direct Action. Amplify Storytelling & Media Campaigns. Join the Mailing List.
- How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change by Barack Obama
- Included is a report and toolkit developed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which is based on the work of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing that former President Obama formed when he was in the White House. Visit this dedicated site at the Obama Foundation, if you’re interested in taking concrete action, which will direct you to useful resources and organizations who’ve been fighting the good fight at the local and national levels for years.
- Join your local BLM chapter or start your own chapter.
- Join your local demonstrations and protests
- Mobilize Black Voters through the NAACP Civic Engagement Program.
- Follow these guidelines offered by public health officials when participating in peaceful protests.
- 'FLOYD' to 55156
- 'JUSTICE' to 668336
- 'ENOUGH' 55165
- Leave a voicemail to demand justice for Breonna Taylor at (502)-574-2003
- #ShutDownAcademia & #ShutDownSTEM
- Sign Change.org Petitions
- Justice for George Floyd
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
- Justice for Tony McDad
- Civil rights group Color of Change launched a petition asking that all the officers involved in Floyd’s death are brought to justice.
- The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
- Write a Letter to your family members using Letters for Black Lives 2020
- Check out this short list of content to get started.
- Anti-Racism Project
- Anti-Racism Resource List
- Anti-Racism Resources from the GoodGoodGood Project/Sarah Sophie Flicker & Alyssa Klein
- Baltimore Collegetown Black Lives Matter / Anti-Racism Resouces
- Dismantling Racism Works
- How the Black Lives Matter Movement Started
- Justice in June, a lesson plan for being a better ally
- Let’s Get to the Root of Racial Injustice
- Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice
- Racism in Healthcare
- Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism
- Timeline of Black protests in America & a timeline of racial injustice
- Who Gets to be Afraid in America?
- Toolkit for Black and Non-Black POC Organizers
- Toolkit for White People
Resources for Understanding Systemic Racism
- 7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism is Real by Ben & Jerrry's
- 10 action steps to sustain the fight against systemic racism by Stephen Babcok in Technical.ly Baltimore
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us by Adam Serwer in The Atlantic on May 8, 2020
- America, This is Your Chance by Michelle Alexander
- Becoming A Parent in the Age of Black Lives Matter by Clint Smith
- George Floyd death: Why US protests resonate in the UK
- Global Anger Grows Over George Floyd Death, and Becomes an Anti-Trump Cudgel
- How to Talk to Relatives That Care More About Looting Than Black Lives by Rachel Miller
- Letter to My Son by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas in the The New York Times Magazine on June 22, 2011
- PBS’s Teaching Your Child About Black History Month
- Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide by Tatiana Mac
- The Case For Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Combahee River Collective Statement
- The Intersectionality Wars by Jane Coaston in Vox on May 28, 2019
- Tips for Creating Effective White Caucus Groups developed by Craig Elliott PhD (pdf)
- Too Many Names, Too Many Hashtags: The Killing of Unarmed Black People is a Public Health Pandemic “Where do I donate? Why is the uprising violent? Should I go protest?” by Courtney Martin on June 1, 2020
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Knapsack Peggy McIntosh (pdf)
- White Guyde To The Galaxy by Tatiana Mac
- What is Juneteenth? by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
- Who Gets to Be Afraid in America? by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in The Atlantic on May 12, 2020
- Why You Need to Stop Saying “All Lives Matter” by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle | Harper’s Bazaar
- Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good
- A list of children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance
- A Terrible Thing To Waste: Environmental Racism And Its Assault On The American Mind by Harriet A. Washington
- Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
- Blackballed: The Black Vote and U.S. Democracy by Darryl Pinckney
- Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination by Alondra Nelson
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners: books for children and young adults
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
- Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class by Ian Haney López
- Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
- From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America by Elizabeth Hinton
- Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
- How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform by John Pfaff
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology by Deirdre Cooper Owens
- Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- Raising Our Hands by Jenna Arnold
- Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues by Angela Davis
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga and co-edited with Gloria Anzaldúa
- When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson
- White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum
- 12 Years a Slave
- American Son
- Black America Since MLK and Still I Rise
- Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
- Dear White People
- Django Unchained
- Do The Right Thing
- Dream Girls
- Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
- Fruitvale Station
- Get Out
- Hidden Figures
- I Am Not Your Negro
- If Beale Street Could Talk
- Just Mercy
- King In The Wilderness
- LA 92
- Poetic Justice
- Oprah Winfrey Network - Where Do We Go From Here? (Part 1)
- See You Yesterday
- Teach Us All
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
- The Boondocks
- The Hate U Give
- The Wiz
- When They See Us
- Who Killed Malcolm X
- Whose Streets
- About Race
- Code Switch
- Fare of the Free Child
- Insight Center Hidden Truths
- Integrated Schools podcast episode “Raising White Kids with Jennifer Harvey”
- Intersectionality Matters!
- Momentum: A Race Forward
- Parenting Forward podcast episode ‘Five Pandemic Parenting Lessons with Cindy Wang Brandt’
- Planet Money: Patent Racism
- Pod for the Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Scene on Radio: Seeing White Series
- Seeing White
- Shine Brighter Together
- The Combahee River Collective Statement
- The Diversity Gap
- The Heart: Race Traitor Series
- The Nod
- The Stakes
- United States of Anxiety
- Unlocking Us - Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist
- Check out these projects and helpful content
- 10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- 97 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Airtable Anti-Racist Resources
- Airtable Dataset compiled by Joey Best-James
- Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma
- Anti-racism Resources for White People
- Anti-Racist Packet
- Anti-Racism Project
- Black Lives Matters Syllabus
- Guide to Allyship
- Jenna Arnold’s resources (books and people to follow)
- National Museum of African American History and Culture: Talking About Race
- Poor People's Campaign
- Rachel Ricketts’ anti-racism resources
- Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism
- Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide by Tatiana Mac
- #ShutDownAcademia & #ShutDownSTEM Resources for Scientists and Academics
- #ShutDownAcademia & #ShutDownSTEM Healing from Anti-Black Racism Resources
- Showing Up For Racial Justice’s educational toolkits
- TED Talks on Racism
- The 1619 Project
- The [White] Shift on Instagram
- “Why is this happening?” — an introduction to police brutality from 100 Year Hoodie
- Zinn Education Project’s teaching materials
- Antiracism Center - Twitter
- Audre Lorde Project - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- Black Women’s Blueprint - Twitter and Instagram
- Color Of Change - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- Colorlines - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- The Conscious Kid - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- Families Belong Together - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- Gathering For Justice - Twitter and Instagram
- Justice League NYC - Twitter and Instagram
- The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- MPower Change - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- Muslim Girl - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- NAACP - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- National Domestic Workers Alliance - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- RAICES - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- SisterSong - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
- United We Dream - Twitter, Instagram, and facebook
This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one and it may be both moral and physical, but [it] must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will.
The University of Maryland community must be even more committed to our mission of building a supportive, respectful and inclusive environment. Words aren’t enough. We have to act! We must learn to be anti-racist in the face of racism whenever and wherever it occurs. Our system is broken as evidenced by disparities in education, criminal justice, income levels, housing, and health. We are all part of this broken system. It is our human responsibility to co-create a new system that is more responsive to inequities. It is difficult, yet pivotal, to consistently recognize, interrogate and disrupt ourselves in all of this. For many of us, our human tendency is to grieve every time a Black or Brown person is killed, to affirm enlightening media posts from friends, to engage in deep conversations, and then to return to our lives. And so that cycle continues. We have to do something different to disrupt the cycle.
Visit our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on other events and opportunities for solidarity and reflection. If your department or organization is planning a program to promote solidarity and/or reflection, please let us know at DiverseTerps@umd.edu.
Want to be an ally but not sure where to start? Members on the Do Good team have been using this working list of resources that meet you where you are.
Take a look through this list of news articles, how-to guides, podcasts, videos, action steps and more on topics related to anti-racism and how race and racism intersect with the built environment. This is a living document and is updated regularly.
Dr. Willow Lung-Amam, Associate Professor in the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland, will moderate a panel of industry experts in this webinar, followed by a Q&A session.