A letter to Bitwise Industries leadership before the collapse

At the end of May this year, on Memorial Day, Bitwise Industries, a tech startup that “promised to uplift marginalized communities and change the narratives of underestimated places” furloughed its workers and soon shut down. Among those who lost their jobs were Kennan Scott, the former OUSD Director of Computer Science, a longtime educator and winner of one of the first State of Black Education Oakland (SoBEO) Impact Awards. Kennan’s wife, Karen, also worked for Bitwise Industries Oakland. In this guest piece, Kennan shares a message he sent to the Bitwise team shortly before the layoffs:

SOLD OUT: Join us for the 2022 Black Excellence Awards Tomorrow on YouTube

In a year of devastating loss within our community – our founder Dirk and our peerless advocate Rachel Willis Henry, among others – we are honoring their spirit and endless drive for our Black children with tomorrow’s 2022 Black Excellence Awards. It’s a time where we will hold space for their memory and legacy by…

SOBE RANTS: Are Allies in Education Getting in the Way of Black Excellence?

The following post is from your host of SOBE Rants, MarQuis Evans, and is intended as an introductory companion piece for the next SOBE Rants podcast . Follow Quis on this journey by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify!

On top of there being a shortage of teachers overall, there’s critically a lack of cultured educators who possess the ability to effectively educate our scholars. Due to this, many of our schools that provide service for our scholars blessed with melanin superpowers are populated with educators/administrators who claim to be “allies” to provide quality education for our scholars, but are slick getting in the way of their elevation. Willingness to educate Black scholars, however, is not the only ingredient required to get the job done. For quite some time now, Black educators have been voicing that our “allies” are unintentionally getting in the way, and make decisions that ultimately result in the miseducation of our Black scholars. This leaves us Black educators furious, feeling unheard, and thinking out loud, “What in the pumpkin pie is going on here?”  #TakesShotOfDrink