Why Diversity Matters

by Jeff Lin, Antoinette Smith, Jenessa White, Philip Xiao, and Elliott Payne | at MinneBar 14 | 1:00 – 1:45 in Theater | View Schedule

Come hear from and interact with a panel of people who work in technology and related fields and for whom diversity is not a metric or a goal, but a fact of everyday life. We will cut through buzzwords and catch phrases to stimulate discussion about what "diversity" means and why it's important in the workplace and in your community. With your participation, we will encourage new thought, challenge existing ideas, and talk about why - really WHY - you should care about diversity and what you can do about it.


  • Antoinette Smith - Co-founder of Techquity and full-stack developer at Glitch.
  • Philip Xiao - Founder and CEO of Homi.
  • Jenessa White - Front-end developer at Software for Good.
  • Elliott Payne - Founder of Sense Datum, a digital business consulting firm.

Moderated by Jeff Lin

All levels

Jeff Lin

Jeff Lin is the founder of Pennant and Bust Out.

Antoinette Smith

Antoinette is the co-founder of Techquity, a local organization focused supporting African Americans and people of color in tech. She works as a full stack developer for Glitch, an NYC-based startup.

Jenessa White

Jenessa White is a Front End Developer at Software for Good. She also is/has been a part of many local tech organizations. When she's not on the computer she doing CrossFit or playing Tight End for the Minnesota Vixen.

Philip Xiao

Cofounder and CEO of Homi, a marketplace for students, alumni and companies. Maker of the best Chinese food in Minnesota.

Elliott Payne

Elliott is the founder of Sense Datum, LLC, a digital business consulting firm. He has over a decade of experience preparing private sector, public sector, and non-profits for the digital economy. First, by modernizing manufacturing facilities through implementing automated manufacturing processes and technology; then by helping startups and Fortune 500 companies build and market digital products and services.