Your Imagination Matters.

So Shifts
the Sector


Code2040 believes that the United States needs an innovation economy where Black and Latinx people are contributing at all levels in all roles, at a proportional rate to their demographics in the United States. So Shifts the Sector (SSTS) is one of the various possibilities to make that happen.

Designed and led by Diedra Barber, SSTS is a series of conversations that invites Black technologists to be/exist – unapologetically – and to explore what Black liberation means in the current innovation economy. As our facilitator writes, SSTS offers Black technologists the “ space to build muscle and heart for imagining and creating outside of the context of the limiting effects of a lens that moves primarily from dismantling oppression.”

We are excited to share that the SSTS 2023 grounding force is IMAGINATION.

Join us in shifting the technology sector!

July 31st – October 3rd, 2023

Presented by

Facilitated by Diedra Barber

What is So Shifts the Sector?

So Shifts the Sector is a series of conversation-based online gatherings designed for Black technologists.

The conversations this year flow from an orientation to the cardinal directions. Why this orientation? As Diedra writes, Black people in the United States “have traveled North, South, East & West — seeking, chasing, building, and growing spaces to hold our humanity and right to a safe existence.” SSTS 2023 offers four different paths for you to access the brilliance of your Imagination as you (re)explore your relationship to the technology industry.

The 2023 So Shifts the Sector Conversation Paths

“For this year’s conversations, which will flow along four paths, Diedra invites Black technologists to step into the power of imagination both in their own being and in community with other Black technologists.”

North Path

On the path facing North, we invite Black students who aspire to become technologists – those who Diedra calls the first generation of likely celestial terraformers – to grow a steady earth foundation.

East PatH

On the path facing East, SSTS supports Black technologists who are employed with Code2040 company partners and who desire to breathe new air into existing systems and relationships at their workplace.

South Path

On the path facing South, our facilitator invites Black technologists to fire up their Imagination and dream communally about what is possible.

West Path

On the path facing West, our facilitator invites Black technologists to flow like water and explore rest and rejuvenation for the Black body and mind.

Letter to Potential Participants

Dear Reader, 

I am grateful you have taken the time to read this letter. It is written at the crossroads of Imagination & Liberation, located at the intersections of So Shifts The Sector (SSTS) and Transmuting white supremacy and patriarchy (Twsp)

SSTS is a conversation space for Black technologists to be and explore unapologetically. It is a space where we forego the implicit and explicit societal narrative that, to be seen and validated, Black people must produce something deemed desirable by those in economic, political, or academic power and/or must be working toward the greater good. This greater good focus is usually relegated to diversity, equity, and inclusion realms. As if producing for capitalist reasons and/or with a racial focus is all we have to offer!

The design and facilitation of SSTS 2023 are seeded in the belief that a deep connection exists between imagination (practical and theoretical) and social transformation.  SSTS conversations are facilitated to create space to build muscle and heart for imagining and exploring from a lens to do less harm to self and others.  Twsp is defined as changing, altering, or lifting the veil of white supremacy and/or patriarchy in form, appearance, or nature. This process is a transformative journey where we engage the reality of oppression and imagine, both individually and collectively, what a less oppressive reality looks and feels like. As we explore the four directions of this year’s conversation journey, I will ground us in this definition of transmuting systems of oppression and mechanism of control and how to engage it from and for the expansion and liberation at the individual level within a collective space.


A Word from our Host and SSTS Facilitator

Join Diedra Barber (Filament Consulting Group) and Mimi Fox Melton (Code2040) as they discuss the heart behind So Shifts the Sector.

Read the Findings from Last Year in the So Shifts the Sector Storybook

Code2040 & Filament Consulting Group created an optional journey for Black/African American people in the technology sector to build community and share their stories.


Bethanie Hines Photography

Bethanie Hines Photography

Diedra Barber

Meet the facilitator

“My professional background is in education equity, training design and facilitation, program management, operations and business development, organizational behavior and change management. I attended and completed multiple higher education college/university programs. For most of my life I have been extremely mind/intellect and body/physically driven. 

My personal background is in engaging daily the ever present work of transmuting white supremacy and patriarchy™ in how I think, move, interact and believe. For me, transmuting white supremacy and patriarchy is at the core of this work and intertwined in it, as opposed to separated or adjacent.”

Add Your Heading Text Here

Quotes from Last Year's Conversations

“Missing the mark: I have a friend who would have made 18% more if they moved to HQ in Seattle instead of opting for ATL. Telling a Black candidate that they’ll make 18% less if they do not move to a city that’s only 7% Black is very disappointing, imo.”

Remembering that sometimes or when I choose a non reaction - nonacknowledgment is a choice, especially if/when I am exhausted and that is a form of self-protection. The offering here from the facilitator is that yes, nonacknowledgment is a choice. And also consider that internalizing aggression and oppression that is micro and macro will sit in the body, and it can cause pain and harm. The silent killer for Black women is heart disease, and a lot of that is around stress. So holding those experiences can be detrimental to our bodies. If I choose to not acknowledge it in the workplace, I may want to choose to with at least myself and actively release it. If I am a swimmer, and I go swim some laps or I'm a runner, I run. I like to read, a grab a soothing book. I'm a writer, so I write some stuff down. Other choices - talk to my best friend or partner. I'm not just keeping it in the body and mind.

The fact that any of us are still here is a testament that we are powerful.”

“One of the major points that I got to at the end [of the prompt reflection] was about that kind of self-protection of always being prepared, and making sure that I knew a little bit about everything was really for one reason. [This] ties into one of my main boundaries within the tech sector. I never take on anyone's perception of me as stupid or incompetent or lazy, or any of the words that are thrown at me.”



So Shifts the Sector (SSTS) is a series of conversation-based online gatherings (that we call paths) designed to offer Black techies space to explore new ideas and engage their imaginations with the aim of solving nothing.  SSTS is about offering space to be in conversation around specific topics related to technology and innovation. 


SSTS  seeks to cultivate opportunities for Black techies to explore, imagine, and create the factors necessary to contribute at all levels in all roles in a way that centers the Black experience in the tech and innovation economy.  The SSTS 2023 grounding force is IMAGINATION.


  • STSS is a series of conversations between those in attendance-based workshops This is NOT a webinar or presentation.
  • These individual conversations/workshops are called PATHS.
  • Each series/Path is comprised of 2 sessions over the course of two weeks. Each Path is offered twice, one time will be aimed at supporting engagement for the Eastern time zone and one for the Pacific time zone. 
  • There are 4 series/paths being offered.
  • Each series/path has a different focus and/or audience being engaged.
  • Folks can participate in more than one if they meet the criteria of that intended audience.

Absolutely not! All conversation pathways are free. To attend, simply complete and submit the registration form and await an emailed confirmation.

Deciding you want to join us and signing up! Learn more here.

These conversations will be held online using Zoom.

Each conversation will likely include 10 – 12 people.

Each conversation is 90 minutes.

Diedra Barber will be facilitating these conversations. You can learn more about her approach here.

The framework for this project is transparently grounded in the following belief: the facilitator has little to no ability to control other people’s behaviors and ultimate engagement, so she cannot offer/guarantee what some folks call “safe space.”


Also, it is important to note that the idea of “safe space” is situated in the white supremacy premise of “right to comfort” (usually only offered to and imagined by those with implicit racial and/or gender/class power and privilege). 

Read more here.

You can learn about our philosophy on fostered space here.

An answer for the “I”:  Our next Sector Shifting journey flows from an intention to IMAGINE, CREATE, and FOSTER exploration in shared space.  Each conversation path sets out regarding and revering the four directions and remembering that many of our ancestors imagined and carried us to this moment. In SSTS 2023, we continue the journey. We shift the sector by regarding & remembering we are worthy of inhabiting and taking up space that requires, expects, and pushes the need to solve nothing. Your participation matters because you deserve a  space, where you get to be, explore, laugh, be curious, and rest.

An answer for the “we”: So Shifts the Sector is an opportunity to support Code2040 as it seeks to use its platform to highlight, elevate and center the Black/African American experience from the Black/African American lens with what is said and shared by us NOT what is assumed and presumed for us. Code2040 wants to know how Black/African American technologists are navigating the tech industry in the current moment. Your participation will not only contribute to this knowledge building, but you will be helping co-create a more powerful community of Black/African American technologists.

If you have a burning question that is not answered by our FAQs, please feel free to reach out to Xafsa at

For SSTS 2023, we are offering four potential conversation paths  – North, South, East & West. Each path consists of two 90 minute online conversations.

Each path has its own focal point. We encourage you to let your experiences, story, passion, and eligibility guide you in participating in the one or more paths that speak to you.

If you are eligible based on the demographips shared for each path, have the capacity and desire to do so, you are welcome to participate any one of the dates offered.

Yes! Coordinate and sign up. Ifyou have a group larger than 6-8 people please email us at, we may be able to offer your group their own conversation date/path.

There will always be at least one, possibly two conversation facilitators engaging in each online conversation. These folks will be taking notes in the aggregate, making note of themes and Ah-Ha moments. We will also review close captioning transcripts especially when ythe ocversations are fluid, dynamic and juicy and taking real time notes doesn;t allow the faciloater sot be present.

Diedra Barber, facilitator and designer of So Shifts the Sector will create a post project Storybook. This will be done in the aggregate unless participant consent to attribute is desired and confirmed. This project write-up will be given to Code2040, for use in their social justice racial equity mission “to activate, connect, and mobilize the largest racial equity community in tech to dismantle the structural barriers that prevent the full participation and leadership of Black and Latinx people in the innovation economy.”

So Shifts the Sector is not in collaboration with any employers, other than Code2040. For more on what will be shared with Code2040 see FAQ question above. Learn more about our conversation Transparency & Confidentiality Statement here.

If we desire to share, with name specificity, any part of your offerings during conversations, we will first ask for your consent. If you do consent, we will attribute said offering to you, if and when incorporated in the final project share out. If you do not consent, generally speaking, it may still be included but will be included in the aggregate form, i.e as a theme or highlighted share that arose during our conversations.

For access to post project information please reach out to Code2040 in winter 2023.

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