Be the change you want to see in the world.
Entrepreneur Iziah Reid took those words to heart when he founded Nuracode in 2013. Based in Atlanta, Nuracode is a minority-owned tech company in which most of its staff members are black.
A tech company that is for blacks by blacks is necessary in an industry that is still overwhelmingly white. How white? Diversity statistics gathered from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter show that on average, only one percent of their collective workforce is black.
“Nuracode is the beginning of the response to Silicon Valley,” Reid said in an interview with Black Enterprise. “I am not in any way angry, upset, or even questioning why there are so few black people in Silicon Valley. It makes perfect sense. When I look to hire people, I am going to hire my friends. They (Silicon Valley) are going to hire their friends. It’s totally normal. At the end of the day, if they don’t know you, you won’t get hired. You are going to hire people that you know and trust.”
Some might argue that only hiring (or mostly hiring) black employees is just another form of racism. But I disagree, and here’s why.
Nuracode is a response to institutionalized racism, not a perpetuator of it. If companies had diverse workforces to begin with, there wouldn’t be a need for minority-owned businesses.
The way I see it is that Reid had two options: he could either suffer from a lack of opportunity, or he could create his own opportunity. He chose the latter, and he’s been pretty successful so far.
Reid and his team have had the pleasure of working with several big-name clients, including AARP, DreamWorks Studios, and Sprite. But for Reid, the real victory is in the camaraderie he has built.
“I’m most proud of the ability to look at this team. We have a team of brothers who are able to express their talent with no restrictions,” Reid told Black Men’s Dossier.
Jamil Bonnick, User Interface and Graphics Developer at Nuracode, agrees.
“Here it’s more of a brotherhood, and a stronger bond,” said Bonnick.
But for as great as it is to have a culture of “brotherhood” it’s equally important to have a culture of “sisterhood.” A small company of ten employees, Nuracode only has two female workers. As the company continues to grow, it would be nice to see black women rise alongside their brothers.