February 8, 2021
Inspire, motivate and counsel. Three foundational aspirations that are common among companies, but for HERE Seattle, the power of these aspirations run deep for the co-founder. Founded in 2014, HERE Seattle is an organization for minorities in creative and technical industries founded on the principles of empowering members through networking, philanthropic activity, and enhancing industry knowledge. The person behind the masterplan known as HERE Seattle? Eric Osborne.
Growing up, Osborne was well aware of the lack of diversity in the Seattle area. He grew to love the tech sector and everything about it, but he felt like he was the only one. Seattle, only seven percent Black, limited his scope and made it difficult to find people who looked like him in the tech space. Believing the idiom, “if you can see it, you can be it,” he ramped up his search for a tech community that more closely reflected who he was.
In October 2013, he attended the Seattle Interactive Conference, the premiere design and tech conference in the Pacific Northwest, where he crossed paths with the only other Black male at the conference, Seth Stell. Destiny—they shared the same goal: connecting Black males in tech with one another in Seattle.
Osborne and Stell launched their dream—HERE Seattle was born.
They began by creating a Meetup group for Black males in tech and had 20 men of color join. Fast forward—they have a growing group of more than 2,000 members. They have developed HERE Seattle not only as a professional networking group, but also as a social organization. Osborne often says his organization is a community where people can share their feelings not just in tech, but in life.
Osborne’s desire to be a catalyst for change in the tech industry was no simple feat, but his drive to inspire, motivate, and counsel led him to empower like-minded individuals and build the basis for a strong presence and culture for Black men in tech in Seattle.
Thanks to Osborne, Black men in tech in Seattle have a place “to see it and be it.”
Learn more about HERE Seattle.