Tech Policy


Joint Center Co-Hosts Black Mayors Tech Day

On September 10 and 11, the Joint Center partnered with the African American Mayors Association and Comcast for the 2nd Annual Technology Summit in Philadelphia. Elected officials and experts discussed the role technology plays in the development, investment, and growth of America’s cities. Joint Center President Spencer Overton along with Comcast Senior Vice President of Community Investment and President of the Comcast Foundation Dalila Wilson-Scott highlighted the importance of technology and social innovation.The convening began with a dinner on the night of September 10 where attendees heard from Harold Epps, Commerce Director for the City of Philadelphia, and Charles Brennan, Chief Information Officer for the City of Philadelphia, about how the Mayor’s office is approaching innovation and the role that the tech economy plays in urban economic development.

On September 11, participants traveled to Pipeline Philly, a coworking space in downtown Philadelphia, and heard from Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship founders Tayyib Smith and Meegan Denenberg about how they use the ethos of hip hop to connect nontraditional ambitious young entrepreneurs with the resources, knowledge, and contacts needed to take their ideas from concept to reality.

The group also visited the University City Science Center, which included a tour of the facilities, a presentation from Brookings Senior Fellow Jennifer S. Vey about research by Brookings on Philadelphia’s Innovation District, and panel discussing robotics and STEM.

The event concluded with a reception hosted at Ballard Spahr, where Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney highlighted the importance of focusing on innovation and emerging technologies to drive economic and community development.

Participants included: Valarie​ ​Allen, Partner, Ballard​ ​Spahr Maria​ ​Arias, Vice​ ​President​ of ​Diversity​ ​&​ ​Inclusion, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal Dayna​ ​Bennet, Chief​ ​of​ ​Staff, Gary,​ ​IN Charles​ ​Brennan, Chief​ ​Information​ ​Officer, Philadelphia,​ ​PA David​ ​Cohen, Senior​ ​Executive​ ​VP, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal Meegan​ ​Denenberg, Founder, Institute​ ​of​ ​Hip​ ​Hop Entrepreneurship Edward​ ​Estes, Mayor, Glenarden,​ ​MD Harold​ ​Epps, Commerce​ ​Director, Philadelphia,​ ​PA Eugene​ ​W.​ ​Grant, Mayor, Seat​ ​Pleasant,​ ​MD Nilda​ ​Gumbs, Vice​ ​President,​ ​External​ ​Affairs Association​ ​Affairs NCTA​ ​-​ ​The​ ​Internet​ ​&​ ​Television Association Paula​ ​Hoisington, Vice​ ​President, Net​ ​Communications Kemi​ ​Ijitimehin, Vice​ ​President,​ ​Legal​ ​and​ ​Regulatory Affairs, Net​ ​Communications Jim​ ​Kenney, Mayor, Philadelphia,​ ​PA Stephanie​ ​Kosta, Regional​ ​Vice​ ​President, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal Ebony​ ​Lee, Senior​ ​VP​ ​of​ ​Growth​ ​Development, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal Demarius​ ​Love, Operations​ ​Associate, AAMA​ ​(Washington,​ ​DC) Everton​ ​Morris, Deputy​ ​Executive​ ​Director, AAMA​ ​(Washington,​ ​DC) Spencer​ ​Overton, President, Joint​ ​Center​
Jamie​ ​Pascal, Policy​ ​Associate, AAMA​ ​(Washington,​ ​DC)
Bret​ ​Perkins, Vice​ ​President Government​ ​&​ ​External​ ​Affairs, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal
Sam​ ​Schwartz, Chief​ ​Business​ ​Development Officer, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal
Will​ ​Searcy, Inclusion​ ​&​ ​Opportunity​ ​Program Manager, Joint​ ​Center
Valencia​ ​Seay, State​ ​Senator, District​ ​34,​ ​Georgia
Bob​ ​Smith, Vice​ ​President​ ​of​ ​Community Investment, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal
Tayyib​ ​Smith, Founder, Institute​ ​of​ ​Hip​ ​Hop Entrepreneurship
Sharif​ ​Street, State​ ​Senator, District​ ​3,​ ​Pennsylvania
Stephanie​ ​Mash​ ​Sykes, Executive​ ​Director, AAMA​ ​(Washington,​ ​DC)
Jennifer​ ​S.​ ​Vey, Brookings​ ​Senior​ ​Fellow​ ​and Co-Director Bass​ ​Initiative​ ​on​ ​Innovation​ ​and Placemaking
Adzi​ ​Vokhiwa, Events​ ​Manager, Joint​ ​Center​
Karen​ ​W.​ ​Weaver, Mayor, Flint,​ ​MI
Antonio​ ​Williams, Senior​ ​Director, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal
Dalila​ ​Wilson​-Scott, SVP​ ​of​ ​Community​ ​Impact, Comcast​ ​NBCUniversal
Bryan​ ​Witkowski, Head​ ​of​ ​Product, Machine​ ​Q