In Person Festival returns January 25-29, 2023 

T.E.C. Talks- Series of virtual panels embracing Technology, Culture, and Education

Virtual Panels will be held on Friday, January 28th at the 2022 virtual Denton Black Film Festival. 

Recordings will be available throughout February 6, 2022.

The technology experience will begin with Keynote speaker, Jeff Nelson at 9am followed by the Kickoff to the 2022 T.E.C Talk Series by DBFF Tech Expo CTO, Howard Lo.

Women In Tech – 9:30 am CT

Moderated by Laura Wise, Content Wise Communications

Marshun Scott Graham, IT, Senior Project Manager, American Airlines

Anatola Araba, Writer, Filmmaker and Futurist

Joe Mayes, Director of Security Strategic Operations, Indeed

Sade Benjamin, Product Marketing Specialist


The future of technology appears to be bright. The adoption of existing technologies alongside advanced emerging technologies has changed how we live and interact with each other. While the goal of these technologies is to improve the quality of life ultimately, one discussion that has been at the forefront is the huge concern with the groups of workers that the emergence of technology has often displaced. Employment/retention gaps, workplace culture issues, lack of representation, unequal pay, and leadership position gaps are common topics of concern that women in tech have had to navigate. 

How can we responsibly address these issues? What lessons from our history can we lean on to help us avoid further widening the existing disparities in technology? These are some of the questions that we will address with our panelists as we discuss the role of women in tech.


Laura K. Wise

Laura K. Wise is a writer, speaker, and content creator. As a freelancer for the last 12 years, she’s built a life that she loves—on her own terms—and is dedicated to helping women everywhere rethink work.

She is the founder of Content Wise Communications (CWC), a boutique communications agency that works with brands to build communication strategies and tell brand stories in a digital world. She is also the founder of The Black Female Freelance Network (The BFF Network), a growing community of Black women freelancers sharing tips, tools, resources, and stories—but most importantly, creating a hiring pipeline.

Laura has supported some of the world’s largest brands throughout her consulting career by developing strategic D&I- and CSR-focused communication plans, successfully executing countless global impact initiatives. Additionally, she creates weekly content to support Black women freelancers (and friends) on their journey to build profitable freelance businesses. You can find her on your favorite social media platform @laurakwise.


Marshun Scott Graham

Marshun is a dynamic Senior Project Manager at American Airlines skilled in management and coordination for various technical projects, acting as a relationship manager between revenue accounting and the American Airlines payments domain. 

Marshun holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Broadcast Journalism, is a certified Scrum Master, Certified SAFe Agilist, and an experienced project manager with over 8 years of experience in the computer software industry. 

Marshun is a native of Dallas,TX and outside of the office she enjoys traveling (she loves beaches), spending time with family, and doing yoga. Marshun sits on the board of UXD Academy. UXD Academy is a non-traditional educational institution specializing in connecting visual design, product design, and business design into a curriculum for anyone entering spaces where diversity is sold separately. Marshun also owns a non-profit called “Girl Go Yoga” to help girls in underserving communities practice yoga and mindfulness techniques.


Sade Benjamin

Sade Benjamin is a product marketing professional and freelancer who is inspired by opportunities to exercise analytical and creative thinking. With over 10-years of experience, Sade has developed strategies and deployed tactics for Walmart, Toyota Motor North America, USAA, and PepsiCo. Her work includes enhancing global business platforms, growing reach and adoption for mobile applications, and optimizing performance and conversion. Sade says ” [She] gets excited about roles and projects that challenge lateral thinking –the kind of work that employs data analysis skills as well as a passion for good design.” Sade earned a master of business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Anatola Araba
Anatola is a writer, filmmaker, and futurist from New York City. Her film and multimedia creations have been featured in film festivals, museums, and art galleries across the globe. She’s had various artworks exhibited at MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Her films have been recognized by AT&T’s Film Awards, the American Black Film Festival, Social Impact Media Awards, and more.

As a speaker, she had led panel discussions at events by Unity Technologies, Verizon 5G Labs, and Mozilla, to name a few. She has written articles that have been published in ELLE Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar.

Anatola was born in California and raised in the heart of New York City. She graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she majored in Film and Television Production with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Interactive Media Arts. With the mantra that “creativity is the greatest tool of humanity,” Anatola’s passion is to innovate, inspire, and reimagine the world as it could be.

Her project, “Afro Algorithms”, is a 3D animated short film in the Afrofuturist genre that explores the topics of AI and bias. She is currently developing immersive art galleries to take place in the Metaverse.




Reserve Spot



The Decade Ahead – 11:15am CT

Moderated by Kian Hervey

Anatola Araba, Writer, Filmmaker, Futurist

Robert Houston, Robert Houston Law, Patent Attorney

Clarence Okoh, Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Christopher Johnson, Texas Women’s University Chief of Staff



Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, the pace of human progress and culture has undergone an exponential shift. This panel will explore the implications of technology such as social media, automation, finance technologies, AI and its impact on women and black and minority cultures. With the panel’s broad expertise, we will also invite the audience to share their questions, insights, and thoughts on navigating the decade ahead.


Kian Hervey
Kian (key-awn) Hervey is a Manager, Diversity Equity and Inclusion at American Airlines. With 7 years of Fortune 200 experience, she is passionate about driving meaningful change in large organizations. Her current role includes supporting partnerships with diverse organizations like the National Urban League, Human Rights Campaign, and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Before joining American, Kian started her career at Southwest Airlines, moving from a
secretary role to supporting the Vice President Flight Operations – Communication. Kian’s academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University, where she also studied business and at Regents College in London, UK. She is currently halfway through the master liberal arts – journalism at Harvard University. Outside of work, Kian recently adopted an adorable pup named Langston. She is also a twin sister, doting “Tia” (aunt), and fan of art museums and ice skating.


Clarence Okoh

Clarence is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. His project challenges civil and human rights abuses that stem from emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Clarence has previously worked as a legal aide in the Civil Rights Bureau at the New York State Attorney General’s Office supporting initiatives related to civil rights and emerging technologies. Clarence is a graduate of the University of Chicago and New York University School of Law.


Robert Houston

Linear Labs Inc. (Smart Electric Motor Company), Fort Worth, Texas, Inside Counsel Intellectual Property / Patent Prosecution Attorney December 2019 – Present
As inside Counsel for Intellectual Property, I work closely with the company’s Vice President of Technology, Director of Engineering, Chief Technology Officer, and numerous individual inventors within the company evaluating patentability and preparing inventor disclosures for the company’s Patent Review Committee. In addition, I collaborate with outside domestic Patent Counsel on patent strategy and filings. I perform research, analysis, and provide guidance on a variety of patent and IP-related issues to members of the Patent Review Committee. I draft responses for all domestic Office Actions and liaise directly with all Foreign Associates providing them with letters of instruction and draft responses for all foreign Office Actions. I also draft provisional and non-provisional utility patent applications, domestic, national, and international (PCT), for all of the company’s innovations.


Christopher Johnson
As a first-gen college student who grew up in rural Alaska in a family-owned commercial fishing operation, Christopher has overcome many traditional barriers to higher education to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s of science in mathematics with a minor in computer science and physics. He is a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, a vegan, and a devotee of theatre, opera, and the visual arts. Serving as chief of staff at the Texas Woman’s University since 2015, he has: shepherded the Learn to Thrive: Strategic Plan 2022; supported Chancellor Feyten’s significant increase in outreach; and is co-leading a task force to operationalize Texas Woman’s new status as the first university system in the nation with a woman-focused mission.



Fintech, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, & NFTs – 1pm CT

Moderated by Benjamin Robinson

Frances Smith-Dean, Executive Director of The Zan W. Holmes, Jr. Community Outreach Center

Brian Diggs, Web Apps America and Community Serve

Earlina Green Hamilton, Speaker, Author and Podcaster

Matthew Osborne, 19 Production House

Philip Page, Producer, Animator and Director


A significant financial shift is occurring in our time. Advancements in technology and the desire for transparency and freedom of choice have ushered in what some would classify as the New Financial Revolution*. Are these emerging technologies sweeping the globe at a lighting pace a fad, or something that is here to stay for generations? Join us as we lead a panel of leading industry advocates to discuss the impacts FinTech, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the Metaverse will have on our communities and society.


Benjamin Robinson

Benjamin M. Robinson is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a proud graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Benjamin also has a Masters in Interactive Media from Elon University. He is currently a visual storyteller and digital designer for HKS Inc., the second-largest architecture firm in the United States.  He is a storyteller who takes personal responsibility to document today’s culture through film and uses various tools like social media to inform people.  He creates experiences that attract and engage audiences’ attention through storytelling. Good storytelling can help solve problems and share ideas by connecting people with information in the right context. Asking questions
establishing a body of knowledge both about the audience and client allows him to craft emotional moments through image, web, and video. Benjamin was previously a visual journalist for The Dallas Morning News. He has covered several notable new stories including the Botham Jean and Jordan Edwards cases. He has also captured everything from U.S Presidents to Dallas Cowboys games.


Philip Page

Philip Page Is from High Point NC. He attended North Carolina A&T State University and received a MA in Interactive Media from Elon University. He has been a long time pencilist, digital creator, web designer/coder and professional DJ/turntablelist. In recent years, Philip taught at Journalism and Mass Communication and Web Design professor at North Carolina A&T. His experience with coding and journalism led him to study and research blockchain technology.


Matthew Osborne

19 Production was founded by Matthew Osborne. Matthew grew up in Ohio, and in 1999, at the age of 19, he started working in media production there. He discovered his love of photography and film that year while working on self-publishing a book. During that process, he began taking photographs for his book cover. It was then Matthew knew he could convey a message through visual media.
Since that time, he has filmed numerous artists and businesses in both Ohio and Texas. In addition, he has directed music and promotional videos, documentaries, and short films. And he has cultivated a talented team to assist him in capturing his clients’ moments.

As a naturally creative individual, Matthew was drawn to NFTs and the world of cryptocurrency. Like many others, he strongly believes NFT and blockchain technology will govern how we interact with each other in the future as Web3, the decentralized internet, grows and becomes more common. He is excited to see this evolution. In addition, later this year, Matthew, along with three other individuals, will be launching an NFT production company.

Matthew is married to his lovely wife Amy, and they have a beautiful son.
Matthew is also a firm believer in civil rights, equal rights, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights, and in science. He believes that no human is illegal, and he follows the golden rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. This should be refreshing to our clients because they know they will all be treated equally and are welcome to share their story.


Earlina Green Hamilton

Earlina Green Hamilton is an author, national speaker, and podcaster. She is the published author of two books and has given speeches nationwide, including West Point United States Military Academy, Ignite DFW, and Manhattanville College. Currently, Earlina is the host of the Dallas Business Podcast. Green speaks with business leaders, creatives, and entrepreneurs about the work that fuels their lives. This season of the show is dedicated to educating the public on blockchain technology, its development, and the implications the space will have on the future. In 2021, Earlina accepted a position to sit on the advisory board of the Texas Blockchain Council (TBC). The TBC is shaping blockchain policy in Texas




Frances Smith-Dean

Executive Director – Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr. Community Outreach Center August 2017 – Present

Oversee operations of the nonprofit organization. Responsible for creating 5327 jobs for low-income individuals from March 2019 to March 2020 and providing technical assistance to 46 small minority businesses and organizations during Covid-19 to receive an aggregate of over $900,000 from the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Owner of The Financial Educator, LLC –  Coaching and Training business for non-profits and for-profit businesses since Sept 2000.  The Financial Educator, LLC provides training on finance and economic topics to help her clients navigate the changes within the economy.  Frances’ coaching business has allowed her to coach clients who live across the United States in – TX, MS., LA, PA, IL. CA. NY, NJ, and GA.

Frances works to help small investors and business owners scale their market capitalization.  As a former registered investment advisor for Retirement Plan Advisors of Chicago, Frances helps her clients do their due diligence when it comes to their financial needs, goals, and dreams.

A native of New Orleans, now residing in Dallas, Texas, Frances provides coaching and training to many throughout the United States and globally.




Brian Diggs

Founder of Community Serve, Partner of Web Apps America, graduate of Southern University & University of Houston Clear Lake. Musician, fitness enthusiast, avid reader, husband, and father of 2 boys





Reserve Seat





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