There are many adjectives to descibe Silicon Valley, the technological hub of San Francisco Bay Area: innovative, groundbreaking, futuristic, creative and white. For an industry that prides itself on creativity, its workforce is homogenous and remains out of
reach for many under-represented ethnicities. In this talk, "Culture Fit has a Look," LeRon Barton touches on Silicon Valley's 20-year-long history of exclusivity, then dives deeper into the ways "culture fit" is used as an excuse for discrimination. Barton not only explores the internal structures keeping such discrimination alive, but also what can be done to make Silicon Valley more diverse - a much for tech companies that are
increasingly scrutinized in the global spotlight.
LeRon L. Barton is a writer from Kansas City, MO currently living in San Francisco, Ca. A graduate of Paseo Academy of Fine Arts, LeRon is the author of two books, “Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American Drug Culture” and “All We Really Need Is Love: Stories of Dating, Relationships, Heartbreak, and Marriage.” In addition to the books, LeRon is an essayist; whose topics cover racism, mass incarceration, politics, gender, and dating. These works have appeared in Black Enterprise, Salon, The Good Men Project, Media Diversity, Raconteur, Elephant Journal, East Bay Times, and MoAD.
As a young man, LeRon has had to live with a stutter. At times it was debilitating and confidence hindering, but he has learned to manage the stutter and not let it stop him taking on another passion: public speaking. LeRon has also given talks and speeches at TEDx Wilson Park about overcoming the fear of stuttering, University of San Francisco on Black and Asian Solidarity, Glide Methodist Church on collective liberation, been a guest of Al Jazeera’s The Stream, Story Corp, Dr. Vibe’s Do You Know What Time It Is podcast, and has participated in panel discussions on race and prison recidivism. In his spare time LeRon mentors young men in San Francisco and loves to backpack around the world.