Philly Startup Leaders Announces 2018 Diversity Dinner Date

The third annual event will once again convene Philadelphia’s startup community for an evening focused on boosting diversity, equity and inclusion.

Kenney speaks at the 2nd annual Diversity Dinner. Samantha Madera | flickr

It’s about that time again: Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) just announced the date of its Diversity Dinner, an event that’s now shaping up to be annual.

On Thursday, November 8, the organization will bring the startup community together for a third time to “drive the conversation and evolution of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Philadelphia startup community over good food, in good company, and with a focus on listening, learning and collaboration,” the organization wrote in a blog post.

The gathering will once again feature a lineup of speakers, including startup founders, government and civic leaders, corporate partners, and local organizations that will “share and offer perspectives on how to better all intentions in these efforts,” the blog post states.

This year, PSL will shake things up by taking some time to recognize and celebrate the people, places and movements that have really driven diversity, inclusion and equity at their organizations in the past year. The organization is seeking suggestions for who should be acknowledged.

PSL’s first Diversity Dinner took place in December 2016 and assembled more then 100 startup community members at Bok to discuss best practices for bolstering diversity. In its second year, PSL upped its game by bringing in more community members and sponsors following controversy with the organization’s leadership.

Over the past two years, some members of the community have been torn about the purpose of the dinner. Some argue that the event is an important time to connect to address what’s ailing the startup community, while others reported feeling like they were “on the menu” as a person of color in the community.

Since the 2017 dinner, the community, along with Open Access Philly has launched a series of action steps on diversity and inclusion, a diversity and inclusion survey, and Mayor Kenney’s Project NorthStar conference for Black and Latinx community members is currently underway, developments that will likely be topics of discussion at this year’s dinner.

You can find out more about the Diversity Dinner and register for it here. Tickets are $35. On Thursday, PSL also announced that Founder Factory will take place on Thursday, December 6, and the deadline to apply for the organization’s eight-week 2019 accelerator is tomorrow, October 5.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include a new date for the diversity dinner. The dinner will now take place on Thursday, November 8, not Tuesday, November 6.