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NorthStar & Blacks in GIS
Co-sponsored by 4 Days / 6 Events / 1 Social Register on EventBrite or Quick Register Below at the
Where professionals of African descent in the GIS industry can connect and network with each other to build community and belonging at the UC.

Welcome to Homecoming Week

A groundbreaking conversation on Equitable Disaster Response & a panel on representation in GIS.

Sun. July 12, 202010:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Event Description | Watch Session

Watch Parties

Join us in a Watch Party for the 3-Day Plenary at Esri User Conference 2020

Mon. July 13, 2020 – 10:00 – 12:00 p.m.
Tues. July 14, 2020 – 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Wed. July 15, 2020 – 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Event Description | Watch Plenary

GIS Can Look Like You! Careers in GIS

Highlighting career options in the GIS and technology field.

Mon. July 13, 2020 – 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Event Description | Watch Session

Virtual Happy Hour

Come As You Are Happy Hour
Sponsored by HERE Technologies Unity and Power

DJ-Hosted Social

Tues. July 14, 2020 – 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Education Spotlight

An informative and fun 2-part session for those of us looking for ways to involve youth.

Wed. July 15, 2020 – 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Event Description | Watch Session

2020 UC Sessions

UC Registration Required

The Homecoming @ the Esri UC
Map Gallery featuring Equity & Social Justice Maps
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Click for UC Sessions to Add to Your Agenda
Monday, July 13, 2020 – Map Gallery featuring Equity and Social Justice Maps

Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) in support of Clinton Johnson of NorthStar ERG/Esri

12:05 pm – 3:50 pm PDT


Thursday, July 16, 2020 – Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Science Symposium in support of Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist

6:15 am – 7:45 am PDT Streaming Live


Women and GIS in support of Cyhana Williams of African Women in GIS

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm PDT Streaming Live


The Homecoming @ the Esri UC (Blacks in GIS)
Sponsored by SpatialGIS

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm PDT Streaming Live

The Homecoming is a networking opportunity for GIS practitioners of African descent and allies. It provides a platform for showcasing the role of GIS in understanding, articulating, and resolving problems confronting underrepresented communities. This year’s themes include racial equity in emergency response, COVID-19 mitigation, socio-economic justice, and the impact of under-representation of Black people and other racialized communities. Please join the conversation.


Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) in support of Clinton Johnson of NorthStar ERG/Esri

11:45 am – 12:45 pm PDT Streaming Live


Young Professionals Network (YPN)

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm PDT Streaming Live

Virtual Events
User Conference Sessions
Homecoming Speakers
Map Initiatives
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Swipe for Schedule


Register and select the events you want to attend.

 Need to register for the Esri User Conference? Go to Esri


View opportunities to be a part of Homecoming.
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NorthStar Atlas

Add yourself to a directory of GIS professionals of African Descent and more.

Submit A Video

Tell us about your career in GIS in a brief video.


Voice Media Ventures Mapping Black California Census Lab

Community Partners

E -mail List

Can’t make it this year? Stay connected for future events.

Day 1 - Sun. July 12, 2020

Welcome to Homecoming Week

Time Zone
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. (PDT)
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (EDT)
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. (WAT)
8:00 - 9:30 p.m. (EAT)

Part 1

With this year's Homecoming theme focusing on Equitable Disaster Response, the first conversation will focus modern day disaster response - the good, the challenges, and successful equitable responses.

• Adrian Gardner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, SmarTech Nexus Foundation
• Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist, Esri
• Linda Ochwada, Managing Director of AfroAI, Germany
• Dr. Clapperton Mavhunga, MIT Professor of Science, Technology, and Society
• Erica Phillips, Discussion Master of Ceremonies

For intermission, a video montage will be featured with thought leaders speaking on the equitable disaster response or a related concern.

Part 2
The second conversation will feature organizers of Professional Affinity Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and organizations, that focus on GIS and people of African descent (NorthStar, HERE Unity & Power, and African Women in GIS.) The conversation will be focused on the motivating factors that led them to take action to move the needle forward for Racial and Gender Equity and thus empowering activism. We will learn what motivated them to start their organizations and what they are doing to empower communities of color.

• Chidimma Chisom Umeogu, African Women in GIS
• Luther Siebert, VP Corporate Quality, HERE Unity & Power
• Clinton Johnson, Esri NorthStar
• Laura Busolo, Discussion Master of Ceremonies

Duration: 90 Minutes

3-Day Event | Mon. July 13 - Wed. July 15, 2020
Plenary Watch Party

Join us in a Watch Party for the 3-Day Plenary at the virtual Esri User Conference 2020. The Plenary is hosted by Jack Dangermond, co-founder and President of Esri, and features the latest technology and capability demos from Esri, along with stories of how users are using GIS to address challenges and find opportunities. 

Mon. July 13, 2020 - 10:00 - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. (EDT)
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. (WAT)
8:00 - 10:00 p.m. (EAT)
Duration: 120 Minutes

Tues. July 14, 2020 - 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (EDT)
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. (WAT)
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. (EAT)
Duration: 60 Minutes

Wed. July 15, 2020 - 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (EDT)
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. (WAT)
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. (EAT)

Duration: 60 Minutes

Day 2
GIS Can Look Like You! Careers in GIS

Mon. July 13, 2020 - 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. PDT
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. (WAT)
7:00 - 8:00 p.m. (EAT)

This is a career spotlight meant to introduce early career professionals to the wide range of career options that exist under the GIS umbrella including related technology areas.


Ghermay Araya, CEO, New Light Technologies, Inc.

Christine Wacta D.P.L., Ph.D., Architecture/Urban Design

Danielle Steele, Database/GIS Analyst, New Light Technologies, Inc.

Caryl Alleyne, Sr. DevSecOps Engineer, New Light Technologies, Inc.

Dominik Whitehead, National Civic Engagement Director, NAACP

Nanmi Popoola, IT GIS Analyst, XTO Energy

Jen Johnson, Senior GIS Analyst, HDR Inc.

Gregory Gabriel, Transportation Planner, Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency

Participate: Submit a career profile video to be featured (up to 2 mins.)

Duration: 60 Minutes

Day 4
Education Spotlight (K-12)

Wed. July 15, 2020 - 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. PDT
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. (EDT)

The Education Spotlight at Homecoming UC will be a fun, interactive session where kids can get a taste of GIS, while thinking critically about disaster reliance and racial inequity. GIS can bring society and science together on the same map, this aspect of visualization is a great way to teach kids about both. For this session NorthStar is partnering with the C3 Initiative and GeoTechVision to create a mission-style workshop where kids are the heroes, solving problems that can help repair the world!

Activities by C3 Initiative and GeoTechVision


Duration: 90 Minutes