Birmingham and Montgomery communities have developed a partnership through which they aspire to elevate minority tech talent and entrepreneurs. This collaborative effort, entitled, The Alabama Collective, seeks to bring together a plethora of talented tech professionals and entrepreneurs to develop and expand the state’s emerging tech, innovation and entrepreneurial programs, while also preserving the existing infrastructure which has proven to be vital to the economic prosperity of the state.
 
The Alabama Collective is led by some of the state’s most dynamic leaders; Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham and Mayor Steven Reed of Montgomery, alongside Tech Birmingham CEO Deon Gordon and TechMGM Executive Director Charisse Stokes. These change makers have been instrumental in the growth and development of the existing technical landscape and have collaborated diligently to stand up great initiatives like: Montgomery TechLab, Bronze Valley, Apple’s EdFarm and the Lab on Dexter, a newly developed social and tech innovation facility located on historic Dexter Avenue.

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About the Alabama Collective

This collaborative endeavor welcomes professionals to participate in a series of community conversations to influence the development and growth of minority tech talent and entrepreneurs.
 
On Thursday, September 1st, at the Lab on Dexter in downtown Montgomery, we held the first event in our Fall 2022 community conversation series. The Blacks in Tech and Innovation Roundtable event kicked off with Mayor Steven L. Reed of the City of Montgomery, followed by a Fireside Chat with Dr. Olivia Cook, the Director of the Center of Social Justice at Miles College, and Delali Dzirasa, CEO and Founder of Fearless Tech. Waymond Jackson, CEO of EdFarm, led a panel discussion on Engaging HBCUs in Going Digital with Darryl Peek of Google, Anissa Lumpkin of the Air Force Research Laboratory, and Rep Anthony Daniels from the Alabama House of Representatives and Innovation Corporation Board. Vic Brown, IBM Federal’s Chief Information Officer, presented before closing with a panel on Emerging Technologies for the Minority Innovator. Dr. Kenley Obas, Professor of Applied Technology at Alabama State University moderated the panel alongside Brig Gen (Retired) Greg Brundidge of Salesforce, Stacey Lusk from Microsoft, and Brig Gen Marlon Crooks from the Air National Guard. The impressive lineup addressed a variety of topics integral to the development and growth of our talent base and ecosystem in the Montgomery area.

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@the classic

October 26th
1:00 pm - 4:00 pM

It’s ALL ACCESS @ The CLASSIC season and we’re following up our success during Tuskegee Morehouse Classic weekend with an event in Birmingham on Wednesday, October 26th focused on COLLABORATION. Join us at Dread River Distillery at 1PM to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs in the startup tech and innovation scene. We’re stronger together and it’s more evident than ever before how instrumental we can be in the growth of fellow entrepreneurs and our communities. Whether you’re a startup, established entrepreneur, tech professional, student or community advocate, this event is for you! Come and network with those that are making power moves in this space. Don’t miss out, this is sure to be another must attend event!

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A community conversation

TRANSCENDENCE

HISTORY.
CULTURE.
INNOVATION.

The Alabama Collective hosted a Black History Month event; Transcendence, on February 16th in Montgomery, AL, at The Lab on Dexter. Charisse Stokes and Dr. Nichole Thompson moderated an inspirational conversation on history, culture and innovation with Mayor Steven Reed of Montgomery, AL., Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport, LA., and Mayor Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS as panelists. The evening began with a moving performance by the Alabama State University Gospel Choir singing Stand Up and Lift Every Voice and Sing. Actress and educator Dr. Tonea ‘Tommie’ Stewart set the tone with a dramatic monologue chronicling progression and purpose throughout the South. The program also included remarks from several special guests within the Montgomery and Birmingham communities discussing the strength of our business and government partnerships in achieving success. The event concluded with the Bankhead Violinist performing Essence and Have Mercy. Transcendence was history, culture and innovation at its finest!

Thank You Birmingham!

By 2026 our state is projected to need 850,000 STEM-related jobs. Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Woodfin and Mayor Reed, Birmingham and Montgomery will do their part to prepare the state of Alabama. Tech Birmingham and Tech MGM are working to elevate the conversation around Minority-talent, Tech, and Entrepreneurs. They will no longer operate in silos but do what is necessary to bridge gaps and forge partnerships that offer everyone a seat at the table! 

Thank you so much for joining us at our inaugural conversation. Please be on the lookout for upcoming events!

Check out the photo gallery; you may find yourself in the mix!

Remember the words of Shirley Chisholm,
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

PART 3: MONTGOMERY

The alabama collective

Magic City Edition

The first Alabama Collective took place in October 2021 at Michael’s Steak and Seafood in downtown Birmingham.
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The alabama collective

Turkey Day Classic Edition

The Alabama Collective, a collaboration between organizations in the Birmingham and Montgomery communities hosted the last of its 3 part series in Montgomery, Alabama at the beautiful Central Restaurant on November 24th. The event was one for the books! The conversation was great and the networking was even better! The Collective continues to work together to diversify the State of Alabama’s economy by elevating minority tech talent and entrepreneurs.
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A community conversation

TRANSCENDENCE

HISTORY. CULTURE. INNOVATION.

The Alabama Collective hosted a Black History Month event; Transcendence, on February 16th in Montgomery, AL, at The Lab on Dexter. Charisse Stokes and Dr. Nichole Thompson moderated an inspirational conversation on history, culture and innovation with Mayor Steven Reed of Montgomery, AL., Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport, LA., and Mayor Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS as panelists. The evening began with a moving performance by the Alabama State University Gospel Choir singing Stand Up and Lift Every Voice and Sing. Actress and educator Dr. Tonea ‘Tommie’ Stewart set the tone with a dramatic monologue chronicling progression and purpose throughout the South. The program also included remarks from several special guests within the Montgomery and Birmingham communities discussing the strength of our business and government partnerships in achieving success. The event concluded with the Bankhead Violinist performing Essence and Have Mercy.Transcendence was history, culture and innovation at its finest!
Play Video

The alabama collective

Blacks in Tech

The Alabama Collective, a collaboration between organizations in the Birmingham and Montgomery communities hosted the first event in our Fall 2022 community conversation series. The event was one for the books! The conversation included an impressive lineup that addressed a variety of topics such as social innovation, emerging technologies, engaging HBCU’s in going digital and more! The Collective continues to work together to contribute to the development and growth of our talent base and ecosystem in the Montgomery area.
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The alabama collective

Accelerator Edition

The Alabama Collective followed up with its success during Montgomery’s HBCU Classic weekend with a brunch event in Birmingham on Thursday, October 6th to kickoff Tuskegee Morehouse Classic Weekend with a special session focused on Accelerators. We explored the rise of accelerator programs across the state, access to capital for entrepreneurs and organizations as well as best practices to having a sustained and successful business. Attendees heard from program directors with various accelerator programs that are making an impact across the state of Alabama. They also got to hear from Founders that have participated in these programs and get the low down on how these can truly advance and benefit your business and community.
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The alabama collective

Collaboration Edition

The Alabama Collective elevated the conversation regarding minority tech talent and entrepreneurs last week to kick off Birmingham’s 81st Magic City Classic. Professionals across the state came together to network, collaborate and forge intentional connections, benefitting the development and growth of Alabama’s entrepreneurs in the startup tech and innovation ecosystem. This event provided a space to present valuable insight and expert knowledge that addressed the bright future made possible by strengthening and diversifying the economy in our communities. Attendees witnessed the powerful bridge, established as the Collective, that connects Birmingham and Montgomery and contributes to the development and growth of our talent base and ecosystem in Alabama.
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