Former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson has taken tech companies to task in recent months, encouraging them to release data about workforce diversity. Things heated up so much in early September, that Jackson pledged action against Amazon.com if the online retailer and cloud computing juggernaut did not meet his demands.
Amazon released its diversity numbers in late October, showing that its management is 71 percent white; 14 percent Asian, four percent Hispanic and four percent black.
Now, the civil rights activist is bringing his message to Seattle, with a talk scheduled at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on Dec. 2. He’ll also be meeting with technology firms while in town, discussing diversity in the tech industry.
This could get interesting, especially given some of the fireworks that Jackson is known to set off.
After Amazon released its diversity numbers last month, Jackson told The Seattle Times that the company’s executive leadership is “skewed toward white-male supremacy,” adding that they “do not look like America.”
According to a message on the UW’s web site, Jackson has specifically asked members of the computer science and engineering department to attend the event next month.
Jackson’s appearance in Seattle comes amid an ongoing debate on GeekWire, sparked yesterday by a guest post by Jeff Reifman in which he said Amazon.com is “dumb on diversity.”
Read the full post — ‘Amageddon’: How Amazon’s culture is taking a toll on Seattle’s future and the 89 comments its has generated — here.
More details on the Jackson talk here.