Beyond the Usual, Passive DEI Efforts in Tech

Blog: Going Solo, Not Alone

Manny Becerra as a child

June 2011

In less than one month, I'll be closing one chapter in my professional life to begin a new one.

I feel it's time to step out of my now-comfort zone to challenge myself further for continued growth and added contribution to the wider community.

After nearly eight (8) years at the community college helping design and develop an accessible website for an audience of 12,000+ students, faculty and staff (local, national and international), presenting at national and regional conferences, snapping thousands of pictures, supporting campus inclusive initiatives, and more, I feel it's time to step out of my now-comfort zone to challenge myself further for continued growth and added contribution to the wider community. I've made the decision to resign from my position at TMCC to pursue a sole proprietorship venture.

I'm going solo, but I don't feel alone in doing this.

My focus will be on using what I know and have learned over the years, what I want to learn more of, and what I am passionate about, which is centered on cultivating community, lifting others up, particularly the marginalized, and on sustainability efforts.

There are some natural nerves to this major move, but I'm more excited than otherwise. Over the years, I have in one form or another, supported small businesses, non-profits, and individuals with creative, side work, and now I get to do this on a full-time basis. So, while the shift is happening next month, the move to this new chapter has been an intentional, inevitable migration-in-the-making.

I've centered my work around developing community through intentional collaboration with like-minded individuals.

While I'm going solo, I don't feel alone in doing this. I have incredible friends, family and extended community in my life who have offered me their moral support in making this leap. What's more, I've centered my entrepreneurial, side work leading up to this move around creating sustainable, equitable, and thriving collaboration opportunities that, in doing so, the future seems bright. By extension, this wasn't a necessarily difficult path for me to take—that is not to say that the work in itself isn't hard—as the approach I describe with specific intentions was and remains an approach my own mother, father, and many other individuals in our predominantly immigrant community growing up embraced; that is, one where community and equitable partnerships are guiding pillars to and for the work with others.

Though there won't be a steady paycheck coming-in, starting in one month, I saved a little in preparation for this move, and I know that over time in following my passion and giving it my best with the intentions mentioned above, the rest, such as finances, will fall into place over time. If anything, my mom and family have instilled in me a sense of resiliency, self-awareness and humility that I believe have helped me along the way so far and will continue to guide me well.

I wish my TMCC community—the students, faculty, and staff—only the best, and I'm grateful for the last 8-years. Maybe one day I'll return to teach a class or two or serve in another, helpful capacity, in the meantime, let's see where this new adventure leads.

To pursing your fullest potential.

Manny Becerra as a child

I operate from a place of compassion, possibility and imagination. My work and efforts share a common goal: create a better, sustainable and equitable world by building inclusive communities, products & experiences.