Ep. 027: Black Tech Unplugged Live in Chicago

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On this very special episode of Black Tech Unplugged I celebrate my 2 year anniversary by doing a live episode of the podcast! I need to take a moment to just acknowledge… 2 years… some of yall have been rocking with me for TWO WHOLE YEARS! I want to take a moment just to thank you for listening, supporting, and the endless encouragement. I created this podcast so people could hear the authentic stories of Black people in tech. Everyone was talking ABOUT us, but I felt like no one was talking TO us and that is one of the main reasons I created this podcast. And I just want to thank each and every listener, supporter, sharer, and hater (yes, even the haters) for allowing me space into your mind, hearts, and ears on a monthly basis.

Now let me tell you about this wonderful and diverse panel I had for the live show. On episode 027 I decided to allow 4 Chicago based techies share their insights with my live audience. You can find the bio of each panelist below:

Will McNeil – CEO & Co-Founder of Black Tech Jobs. Black Tech Jobs was founded in 2018 to solve the burning issue in the tech community, the exclusion of blacks as a significant part of the diverse landscape in technology job opportunities. The absence of blacks in tech has been a hot topic for the past 5 years, yet there has been almost zero net movement in the employment of blacks in tech. Will’s company brings over 100 years of combined tech talent recruiting experience to help our clients execute their missions.
Jane Hamner – Jane is a dedicated and seasoned IT staffing professional with more than 25 years of experience delivering top technology talent and IT solutions to businesses.

Jane is passionate about attracting, retaining, and advancing women in technology, and is a proud founding member of ARA. What began as a quarterly dinner among friends has grown into a national organization which seeks to promote women in technology through mentoring and events.

Giovanni Perez – Giovanni was introduced to technology development through Healthcare Informatics at The Advisory Board Company. A Chicago native, Giovanni graduated from DePaul University with a BS in Entrepreneurship and is interested in mobile and wearable development, GIS visualizations, and sensor technology. He naturally creates community around him and brings with him a background in socially responsible leadership.

Vunzai Yeazel – Vunzai T. Yeazel is the founder of Gorgeous Within. Born in America and raised in Zimbabwe, she sees the world through a panoramic lens. Guided by her faith and life experiences, she founded her company in accordance with the core values and strategies she has applied throughout her life and business career.

On this episode the panel and I discuss:

  • How to share your value proposition to your next job (think strengths and weaknesses, but better)
  • Why mentorship is crucial and some criteria to choosing a mentor (remember this is only advice)
  • Why you should expand your network and how
  • Why diversity and inclusion is still just a buzz word in the tech industry

And much more!

Special Shout out to the sponsors of the event:

Ulta Beauty for supplying guests with tote bags and other goodies. Make sure to check out their job openings.

Full Stack Academy for providing guests with goodies and an amazing offer for a free class!

Thank God It’s Natural (TGIN) for providing my guests with hair products that will leave my guests feeling silky smooth.

Spread the word about the episode by using #BlackTechUnplugged when posting on social media.

Links to topics mentioned on this episode:

ARA Mentors


General Assembly

SEED (Diversity concept)

Connect with Will McNeil:


Website (Black Tech Jobs)

Connect with Jane Hamner:


Connect with Giovanni Perez:


Connect with Vunzai Yeazel:





Connect with Black Tech Unplugged:

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