Beyond the Usual, Passive DEI Efforts in Tech

About Me: The Gist

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Manny Becerra as a child

¡Hola! 👋🏼

Mi nombre es Manny. I am a first generation Mexican-American; a proud son of Mexican immigrants, and a proud father. Thanks for swinging by to learn more about me, and my professional experiences, personal joys, including my philosophy on products and brief take on artificial intelligence.

Experience, Leadership & Empowerment

I am an inclusive technology leader, community advocate & problem solver. I operate from a place of compassion, possibility and imagination.

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I have a successful, proven track-record in:

Manny is one of the most hard-working, dedicated and loyal members of the team who embodied the Tesla spirit more than anyone I have known. — Victor Barclay, Sr. Manager, Web & Digital Products @ Tesla

I lead by

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Manny has been an excellent engineering partner. His tenacity and constant positivity has had an incredible impact to the product and the team. — Henry Lee, VP of Technology @ Space Needle

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Community Partnerships & Involvement

I also give my time and partner with organizations and causes with shared values with the intention of creating inclusive, safe, and sustainable communities. Some of the organizations I've collaborated with fall under the areas of:

I offer support and guidance in recruitment and workplace culture, community outreach & education, board governance, communications, fundraising, digital media & content development, and moving boxes around or whatever else is needed. ;)

Manny also managed a team of staff, interns and volunteers to align them on an array of issue campaigns around environmental justice in Nevada in a skillful and highly professional way. — Bob Fulkerson, PLANevada

If you would like to connect and explore values-aligned work together, please reach out.

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Related:

For a lot of people, accessibility (A11Y) in your products isn't a luxury, it's a necessity; access to information and electronic technologies is a civil right. — On Inclusive Design

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Experiences leading up to present day

Over the span of my professional career, I've had the pleasure of being an educator, entrepreneur, community space founder, an organizer and activist for social, racial and environmental justice; however, my aspirations and experiences are not positional. Being a "founder", “director”, or an “organizer” in some specific way isn’t the end game for me, or a badge of hubris to wear, although I take humble pride in my work; they're experiences that are driven by my core beliefs and that I carry forward to the next opportunity to contribute to meaningful, interdependent work and equitable relationships.

I have a CSS joke, but I can't flex it properly 🤣

Related:

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In the grand scheme, we're all a part of the same tribe: Human, each trying to live and do our best in this temporary galaxy ride we call Life, so inclusive, compassionate, and interdependent collaboration and cooperation is something I deeply value and practice with the teams I work with and the projects I work on.


Personal Commitments and Joys

Speaking your truth

I believe in speaking my truth in thoughtful and compassionate ways and supporting everyone in doing the same, particularly Black, Indigenous, other People of Color, and marginalized groups. I leverage my opportunities and privileges in different areas of my life to lift-up and empower people.

The Joys

I enjoy and value a number of things, people and activities, like:

My biggest joy is being a father to my incredible daughter, Nina and nurturing her playfulness, curiosity, self-discovery and overall well-being. I also make what I have been been told are, 'lame dad code jokes' 🕺🏽, e.g.

I am conscious about what and where I place my focus on for maximizing my efforts toward helping solve real-world injustices and problems.

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On Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML)

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I am cautiously optimistic about the challenges ahead of us, along with the rewards, with the advent of AI/ML. My concerns revolve around the current lack of representation of Black, Indigenous, Latin, and other people of color and marginalized communities in the AI industry. Without representation, including the absence of an equity-centered community design approach, for instance, AI solutions are susceptible to being driven by deeply harmful bias algorithms, which have far reaching impacts on society, such as on individual relevance, economic and social (in)justice, and workforce displacement.

We should ensure humans have ultimate control of automated decision systems especially with these final decisions impact a persons life quality of life health or reputation. — Ayodele Odubela, data scientist

There are, however, individuals, groups and other initiatives, like Ayodele Odubela, Timnit Gebru, Rachel Thomas, Black in AI, Meredith Whittaker, OpenAI, and the AI Now Institute, to name a few, that are making concious efforts in helping remove barriers-of-entry into the tech and AI industry for Black, Indigenous, Latin, and other historically underrepresented communities, in addition to helping the wider community understand and conscientiously respond to the inevitable transition toward an equity-centered AI society. Check out their work!

Organizations

Also, check out these organizations that are helping to elevate Black women and other BIPOC communities in tech roles, and connecting folks to scholarships, speaking events, etc.:

You can’t automate yourselves out of systemic racism, sexism and inequities. Meaning: this situation is beyond the scope of the quantitative. You’ll have to face the qualitative perspectives too. — Dr. Brandeis Marshall

Related:

Guidance and compassion

I value the on-going guidance of my loving parents and extended family, both in the US and those in Mexico, along with my close friends and selected mentors.

I make a conscious effort to surround myself with people that will push me to continuously learn and grow, with the idea that, I too, am reciprocating the favor in others' constructive self-improvement and growth process.

As I child, I had a range of people in my life, mostly people of color, that modeled the importance of compassion, understanding and extending a support base to everyone—as the norm. In looking back at this further, this intentional approach I was taught early on, and have carried with me through adulthood seems to align with what folks refer to as kindness in one form or another. However, for my siblings, parents and the hard-working immigrant families I grew up with-and-around, we simply knew our acts as doing the right thing centered around compassion, and paying-it-forward to others whenever we could, even if in small ways.

Mindset

I make a conscious effort to surround myself with people that will push me to continuously learn and grow, with the idea that, I too, am reciprocating the favor in others' constructive self-improvement and growth process.

If you would like to connect with me, feel free to reach out through Twitter-landia, LinkedIn, or even, good ol' fashion email.

Adelante,

Manny

PS - To learn more about how I built this site visit the meta section.