The Innovation CO-LABoration (CO-LAB) was held on Friday, July 26th from 9 a.m to 6:30 p.m in Los Angeles, California. This groundbreaking conference brought together innovators across the tech industry. The Innovation CO-LAB focused on the create transformative and radical solutions for the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women of color in tech. 

This one-day event had 200 women, students, and allies of various backgrounds in tech, creative, business, academia, civic, policy, and community-based organizations. Through sessions, workshops, and product demos, the Innovation CO-LAB created interactive experiences that engaged creativity, sparked curiosity, and empowered attendees with strategies to implement real change within their organizations and communities. The conference Keynote Dr. Noble challenged participants to demand healthy pillars of democracy, require policy literacy and advancement of research funding. She also spoke on the need for creating multiple paths to knowledge and reducing technology over-development. 

The event organizers, Julian S. Green, Jeanette Plascencia, and Crystal Ngo of’s DEI Guidance team, highlighted that the one-day event was a unique opportunity to gain insights on the intersectional challenges of women of color tech and strategies for advocating on their behalf. Other conference attendees reiterated that same sentiment:

“Being in a room full of strong, smart, AND beautiful black and brown women, was truly inspiring.”

Another participant spoke to the advocacy that the keynote speaker highlighted during the conference: 

“Nonny De La Peña and Dr. Safiya Noble delivered thought provoking and inspiring presentations during the entire 45-minutes. Nonny’s work transported her audience to the front-lines of societal realities and Dr. Noble’s research challenged our knowledge, tools, and vantage point.”

The National Diversity Council cultivates a nationwide network of affiliated councils to advance diversity and inclusion in workplaces and communities. We applaud the efforts of the Innovation CO-LAB, as they continue creating a space for women of color to advance in the tech industry. We look forward to additional conferences that bring diversity and inclusion initiatives center-stage and prioritize working towards equality and acceptance for all. 

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