RALEIGH – After attending a Juneteenth event in Tulsa, Oklahoma last year, Tiffany Spencer, a Salesforce consultant by trade, felt inspired to “make a deeper impact.”
So she decided to launch a tech conference specifically targeting aspiring Black professionals.
Enter Dreamin’ In Color, a two-day conference covering the ins and outs of Salesforce, one of the most popular cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platforms in the world.
It kicks off at the Marriott Crabtree Valley in Raleigh on June 30.
“The Dreamin’ in Color Conference is not about excluding anyone. It’s about the celebration of black tech professionals,” Spencer told WRAL TechWire. “When we feel seen, we feel less isolated and more a part of a larger community and purpose.”
This year’s theme is the third principle of Kwanzaa, Ujima, pronounced oo-JEE-mah, meaning “collective work and responsibility.”
Spencer said she expects 200 attendees at the inaugural event. It will include 60 sessions covering topics such as careers and well-being, leadership and entrepreneurship, Salesforce best practices and product design. Tech demos, a career fair and an “entrepreneur consulting lounge” will also be on offer.
Free or discounted tickets will be offered to students and faculty from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
‘A gap that can and should be filled’
According to a recent Salesforce report, African Americans represent roughly 5% of professionals in the Salesforce ecosystem. LatinX employees fare slightly better at 5.3%.
“There is definitely a gap that can and should be filled,” she said.
Spencer, who lives in Orlando, Florida, is currently the chief operating officer of Esor Consulting Group, a Salesforce implementation partner that serves educational institutions and non-profits.
She is also the founder of Tech Forward, a non-profit organization that partners with historically black colleges and universities to implement programs that provide early access to cloud computing careers.
She said she picked Raleigh as the host city because of its fast-growing ecosystem. “It’s one of the best places for tech professionals to work and live,” she said.
Kelly Spaulding, a Raleigh-based Salesforce strategist at PSI, a global contract research organization, will be among the speakers.
“I’m [want] to encourage more people of color to go into this field so that there is more representation in driving innovation,” she told WRAL TechWire. “I [believe] in exploring ideas and creating solutions that are more reflective of the world we live in.”
Salesforce is among the sponsors, as well as Raleigh-based Cloud Giants, a Salesforce consultancy firm.