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Michael Ward, Jr.: Bridging the Gap Between the Black and Hispanic Communities and the Technology Industry
Michael Ward Jr. is a social entrepreneur and aspiring politician that is passionate about technology and socio-economic development. Michael is the President and CEO of Austin Urban Technology Movement and serves on several boards in Central Texas focused on STEM and workforce development. Michael, who is originally from Miami, FL, earned a degree in Political Science and Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career in enterprise sales at Oracle, concentrating on cloud and on-premise technology. Michael also led Oracle's Black employee resource group at this time, with the goal of increasing the upward mobility of Oracle's Black employees in the United States, Canada, and Brazil.

Michael is particularly interested in workforce development, education, and socio-economic development in Black and Hispanic communities. He is tearing down barriers and silos that inhibit those who have been marginalized by the system from being self-sufficient by encouraging community engagement. ​Through AUTM, Michael has been able to promote the Texas Technology for All petition, which aims to offer internet access to low-income, underprivileged, and marginalized communities. He has fought to connect these communities to technological devices (mobile hotspots and computers) while also attempting to upskill and reskill these individuals in order for them to apply for technical and non-technical jobs on the AUTM job board.

AUTM has donated over 275 computers to Texans in need, has introduced over 2,000 students to technology, and currently, more than 75 people are enrolled in AUTM's training programs. AUTM has also collaborated with firms such as Microsoft, Google, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Galvanize to enhance tech diversity and digital equity. This year, AUTM announced a collaboration with Workforce Solutions to pull 10,000 residents out of poverty by concentrating on workforce development and career readiness in technology.

Feb 3, 2022 12:30 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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