Celebrating Digital Teaching in Africa, Europe, Central America in 2024

Celebrating Digital Teaching in Africa, Europe, Central America in 2024

The married team of William and Aida Jackson working with
international Organizers from WordCamp Europe in Torina, Italy,
WordPress Youth and Teen Workshop in Managua, Nicaragua,
the Uganda Website Projects Competition 2024 Kampala,
Africa and the school Clever Minds STEAM in Warri, Nigeria.
The team of William and Aida have been able to teach, sponsor
and support technology conferences across international
lines and locations.
The historic accomplishments of this husband and wife team
are the results of collaboration, connections and cooperation
with the WordCamp and WordPress Community.
William a retired Duval County Public School STEAM & CTE
teacher and Aida a university professor with Lenoir-Rhyne
University teaching Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the web
and studying web sites for accessibility challenges for
people with visual, hearing and other challenges when
navigating websites.

The historic aspect of these teaching adventures is showing
that Africans, Blacks and Afro-Latina’s (Hispanics) can be
involved and engaged in teaching, mentoring and collectively
influencing digital engagements internationally.
The facts that Blacks and Hispanics would have not been
allowed to volunteer, attend, speak, organize nor teach and
participate in conferences just 20 to 30 years ago. Blacks
and Hispanics (Latinx) have systematically been denied the
opportunities in national and international scales to share
their skill-sets, knowledge, businesses and entrepreneurial
successes.
Many tech events have been predominately white males and
gradually increasing white females have been included. Since
the slow inclusion of more Blacks and Hispanics across both
Diasporas have fought, struggled, earned degrees and
jumped into tech areas where they have been denied entrance.
Even in public education where William has been a STEM,
STEAM, & STREAM educator, the perceptions by whites
have been that I did not know how to teach technology
even though I have a Masters Degree from a PWI.
Since I was a Black male educator even with over 30 years
before I retired, I still was not respected and accepted in
many cases.

Because of the talents, creativity, works in local communities,
educational access and other opportunities their represents a
growing number of techies that are African, Black American
and Hispanic making significant influences not just locally,
but nationally and internationally.
William and Aida attribute their successes by keeping up with
the changes of tech with STEAM+M, AI, VR, Metaverse and
Web 3. Taking courses, trainings and joining organizations
like BlackPress WP (https://blackpresswp.com), Blacks In
Technology with is multiple global chapters
(https://blacksintechnology.org) and connecting using
LinkedIn with groups growing internationally.


Being fearlessly participating by speaking on Podcasts, Webinars, Community Meetings found on Meetup.com and share the road is not easy, but rewarding if you apply passion and acceptance that you will be the only African, Black or Hispanic face in the room, at the table in the computer lab and maybe at a technology conference. Do not falter or back-down.
William and Aida are Certified VR Educators with VictoryXR and EngageVR
by taking the required courses and passing the tests required to earn the much needed certifications to be recognized as experts.
The racial and ethnic diversity in tech has been slow and an uphill battle even for those with the education, knowledge and skills, but no one should ever give up. William attributes the challenges like those that played in the Negro league in Baseball. Those men were excluded,  denied, separated and even physically bullied, the same could be stated for the past several years in tech careers.
You do not stop working smart and hard to achieve your goals. You also have to give back to the community by sponsoring youth, teens and
young adults to attend conferences globally so people will see you really
do care and understand the responsibilities we have to help others rise to
their successes.
Black employees of the national workforce make up only 4% of tech workers. While Hispanic workers make up just 8% of STEM jobs. African workers are still struggling with foreigners to hire Africans. Those that are biggest tech companies report a big gap, even though companies claim to be
“looking” for employees they claim not to find capable tech employees.
Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Google and other companies still struggle with promoting African, Blacks and Hispanics to leadership positions. Not because Africans, Blacks and Hispanics do not have digital skills, but because of the continued lack of acceptance of the skills, talents, knowledge of color
and culture.

Being fearlessly participating by speaking on Podcasts, Webinars,
Community Meetings found on Meetup.com and share the road is
not easy, but rewarding if you apply passion and acceptance that
you will be the only African, Black or Hispanic face in the room,
at the table in the computer lab and maybe at a technology
conference. Do not falter or back-down. William and Aida are
Certified VR Educators with VictoryXR and EngageVR by taking
the required courses and passing the tests required to earn
the much needed certifications to be recognized as experts.
The racial and ethnic diversity in tech has been slow and an uphill
battle even for those with the education, knowledge and skills,
but no one should ever give up. William attributes the challenges
like those that played in the Negro league in Baseball.
Those men were excluded, denied, separated and even physically
bullied, the same could be stated for the past several years in
tech careers. You do not stop working smart and hard to achieve
your goals. You also have to give back to the community by
sponsoring youth, teens and young adults to attend conferences
globally so people will see you really do care and understand
the responsibilities we have to help others rise to their successes.
Black employees of the national workforce make up only 4% of
tech workers. While Hispanic workers make up just 8% of STEM
jobs. African workers are still struggling with foreign nations to
hire Africans.
Those that are biggest tech companies report a big gap, even
though companies claim to be “looking” for employees they claim
not to find capable tech employees. Apple, Microsoft, IBM,
Google and other companies still struggle with promoting
African, Blacks and Hispanics to leadership positions.
Not because Africans, Blacks and Hispanics do not have digital
skills, but because of the continued lack of acceptance of the
skills, talents, knowledge of color and culture.

William has taught in higher education in the early and
mid 2000’s with Edward Waters College (University) and
Florida State College of Jacksonville, but was let go because it was
thought he was teaching too advanced for the students to comprehend.
Many realities are that the thinking is that Black and Hispanic youth
and teens cannot work within tech fields, but William and Aida have
taught internationally since 2018 to global audiences.
Even in employment data shows by the EEOC that among Executives,
57 percent of employees were white, 36 percent were Asian American,
1.6 percent were Hispanic and less than 1 percent were African American.
The data also shows that, “Black households stand to lose out on more
than a cumulative $350 billion in tech job wages by 2030,”
https://www.mckinsey.com/bem/our-insights/how-to-close-the-black-tech-talent-gap
William and Aida are speaking out and have sponsored and provided scholarships for over 500 internationally to attend conferences like those
in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Pakistan, India, Canada and Central America.
Their represention historically that Blacks and Hispanics can be influential
and successful in the development of content, and components of
businesses involved in technology.
If given a chance and provided an opportunity Africans, Blacks and
Hispanics can make significant contributions in multiple areas of
technology.
The web site MetaverseWP shows their clients https://metaversewp.com/destination in 2023 they made history by
being the First Black and Hispanic educators to teach at WordCamp
Europe 2023 and WordCamp Europe 2024 where they taught youth
and teens from 8yrs to 16yrs Web Development, Internet Safety,
Avatar building, and VR with the Metaverse. They continue to teach
how the Metaverse,
AI and VR are changing Education, Web Development, Immersive
Learning, Business and Commerce that are key for even governments
to understand to strategize in building and supporting entrepreneurialism
and collaboration. In 2024 they were invited for the second year to
teach and had students from across Europe and even youth from India.
WordCamp conferences are global conferences that they volunteer,
speak, sponsor, promote, and organize.
William Jackson, since 2010 has been part of the WordPress community
and since 2017 has been speaking, teaching, sponsoring, promoting
global WordCamps that help youth, and teens in workshops.
Since 2018 Aida has been speaking, teaching, volunteering and
organizing as well. Since 2022, MetaverseWP has been building
Metaverse sites for global WordCamp conferences. MetaverseWP https://metaversewp.com/
where William is the CEO and has a team. In 2023 William has
been honored to be the Metaverse Education Program Director
of the World Metaverse Council housed in Slovenia, the Republic
of Slovenia in Southern Central Europe and he is the Director of
Education and Technology with One Africa Forum housed in
Johannesburg, South Africa.
Aida is a Certified Life Coach, Certified and Recognized Artist
having her works displayed at the Eartha White Museum and
Gardens in Jacksonville and a respected NFT Artist on the
Metaverse.


San Jose Costa Rica 2023

Over 500 youth, teens and young adults have been helped
to attend conferences globally, specifically on the African
continent since 2017. Their speaking videos can be seen on
WordPress TV
William
https://wordpress.tv/speakers/william-jackson/
Aida
https://wordpress.tv/speakers/aida-correa-jackson/
McKinsey.com – Diversity and Inclusion Economic State
https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/the-economic-state-of-black-america-what-is-and-what-could-be


WordCamp Orlando, Florida 2019


WordCamp Europe 2023


WordCamp San Jose 2021


Florida Blogging and Technology Conference


Orlando Car Show