In this episode of the Innovation Storytellers Show, we journey beyond the executive boardroom to explore the vibrant intersections of social communities, networks, and the transformative power of sharing knowledge. 

I welcome Leigh Higginbotham Butler, the Founder & CEO of Akina Technologies, to delve into how Akina is revolutionizing networking for women of color. Leigh shares her journey from leading initiatives for liver disease prevention and treatment to founding Akina Technologies, a social enterprise dedicated to addressing systematic disparities faced by black women through new media and innovative solutions. 

With a rich background in government affairs and public relations and a heartfelt commitment to advocacy, Leigh discusses the essence of innovation as a tool for seeing ourselves, our communities, and our opportunities in a new light.

Akina Technologies emerges as a beacon of empowerment, leveraging technology to create a platform that promises personalization, representation, and meaningful connections. We talk about the development of a culturally competent AI, aiming to dismantle biases and ensure every woman of color can find resources and connections that resonate deeply with her individuality and needs.

In a reflection on Women’s History Month, Leigh articulates a vision for the future where women of color are celebrated and acknowledged for their contributions to technology and innovation. From the unsung heroes behind everyday technology like text messaging to the broader aspirations of Akina Technologies, Leigh’s message is clear: representation matters, and it is pivotal in shaping how we see ourselves and our potential to contribute to the world.

As we step into a new future around what women’s history can be, Leigh’s insights remind us of the opportunity to write it in a way that has never been written before. This episode is a call to action for everyone, from corporate leaders to community members, to recognize and support the pivotal role of women of color in technology and beyond.

What role can technology play in bridging gaps and fostering communities? How can we ensure that women of color are not just participants but leaders in the future of innovation? Share your thoughts and join the conversation as we explore these vital questions together.

Name: Leigh Higginbotham Butler
Title: Founder & CEO
Company: Akina Technologies
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Leigh Higginbotham Butler is the founder and CEO of Akina Technologies, PBC, a social enterprise that leverages new media and innovative solutions to address systemic disparities faced by Black women. Leigh is a 3x start-up founder, 2x non-profit founder and mother of three young boys. With over 20 years of experience in government affairs and public relations, Leigh has a proven track record of building and managing strategic partnerships, designing and executing effective campaigns, and generating positive media coverage for causes and organizations.

Prior to launching Akina, Leigh served as the regional program director for the Texas Liver Foundation, where they led the development and implementation of educational and advocacy initiatives for liver disease prevention and treatment. Leigh also has extensive experience as an events manager for the American Liver Foundation, where they planned and coordinated successful fundraising and awareness events across the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Leigh is passionate about using their skills and network to create social impact and improve lives.