7 most powerful moments from 2019 RIDE Con

Munson Steed, Jazze Pha, Denise Williams, Dallas Austin, Sabrina Peterson (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise� Lamarre for Steed Media Service)

Several of the top minds in business, technology, and hip-hop, business and technology attended the third annual Rolling Out Innovation Digital Entertainment Conference. Held at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 67, 2019, attendees got an opportunity to gain knowledge and expertise from the likes of Damian Hooper-Campbell of eBay, activist Tamika Mallory, film producer Datari Turner, and music producer Jazze Pha.

Sponsors included blu, U.S. Bank, Coca-Cola, eBay, Georgia Power, Invest Atlanta, JBL, intuit, Morgan Stanley, and Bangi.

Here are the seven most powerful moments from RIDE Con.

Damian Hooper-Campbell of eBay

The Morehouse College graduate shared his story of how he transitioned from Wall Street to the tech space. “I will tell you that almost six years ago when I joined the tech industry and moved from Wall Street, I was blown away because I thought it was going to be all engineers and that, if I didn’t know how to code, I would be at a loss for a career,â€� Campbell said during the conference. “It’s been exactly the opposite. I would say — just a guesstimate — that about 50 percent of the jobs at each tech company are not tech. That means that if you are an accountant, a marketer, in human resources, a communications major, there are opportunities that are out there. Tech companies are companies at the end of the day.â€�

Roland Martin, Mathew Knowles and Ryan Mack at the “Bangi: Cannabis Land — Access and Ownership� panel discussion at RIDE Con 2019. (Photo credit: N. Ali Early for Steed Media Service)

Panel-Bangi: Cannabis Land; Access and Ownership

Several leading figures in business and media shared insight on how to enter and profit from the ever-growing Cannabis industry. Speakers included Roland Martin, Ryan Mack, Mathew Knowles, and Bonita Money. Knowles shared info about the business by saying, “We don’t grow cannabis. We buy real estate. We buy the land, and we lease it back. We have a market niche right now. Black folks are the last to get involved. We wait until the end, and then it’s too late. We are a penny stock right now.�

Julie Wenah of Airbnb

During the opening session, “A Talk with Power Executives in Tech,� Wenah offered insight into tech industry trends, diversity, inclusion, career advancement and the power of individual voices. “I have a thing called your album and your mixtape. I think your album is your day job, like your contractual obligation to your company. It pays the bills. But your mixtape is the thing that feeds you and gives you life. It is your play project that you are doing without restraint.�

Women’s Luncheon

Actress Essence Atkins, was honored during the Women’s of Influence luncheon. She discussed her storied career and provided the audience with tool for success. “I had no idea that this would be the legacy of me or that it would take this long to get to this point where I feel like would ever love this business more 30 years in than I did when I started, but I do. So, I know that this is a part of my purpose,� Atkins said.

Tamika Mallory

Activist Tamika Mallory will serve as the keynote speaker for the panel, “Messaging in the Digital Age of Social Movement� at 4 p.m. Friday. Mallory, co-founder of the Women’s March, has used her voice as a tool for social change. Mallory shared her truth with the audience and revealed why it’s important for her to remain true to herself and the community at all times. “I wanted to honor Munson Steed because he has been unapologetically Black in this space,� she said. “I’m sure there have been times when things hadn’t always gone as you want them to go, and when you face some challenges and doors are closed in your face because you choose to be unapologetically Black.�

Datari Turner 

Datari Turner shared his expertise about Hollywood during the “RIDE Film & Entertainment Honors.� During the conference, Turner said, “Innovation means, pushing the culture forward and continuing to evolve. As humans, we’re rapidly evolving every day, and that’s what innovation is. Just continuing to push the boundaries and continuing to push the code culture forward so we can continue to make it better.�

RIDE Music Honors

After a full day of impactful sessions and speakers, the 2019 RIDE Conference concluded with the RIDE Music Honors which paid tribute to music legends Jazze Pha, LVRN and Heather Beverly. Pha was honored with the Vanguard Award for career achievements in the music industry. He inspired the audience by saying, “No matter where you go, don’t forget where you came from. We have one shot. I became a sniper. That let me know the power of instinct. All those people you think about, call them. Don’t think twice, call them. When you’re thinking about jumping, don’t hesitate. Jump!�

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.