#7: The Rise of Black-Owned Co-Working Spaces – by Sherrell Dorsey

February 18, 2020

Hello everyone & welcome to the Tech Thinking Aloud Podcast. Each episode, we bring tech articles to life by reading them aloud and discussing their importance to the tech community and the world. We’re your hosts, Heather & Jim O’Neill.

Today’s article is The Rise of Black-Owned Co-Working Spaces by Sherrell Dorsey. It’s featured on ThePLUG.

Whatever you tolerate, that’s what your culture is.

– Author Unknown

Discussion begins at 9:08


If you run or manage a co-working space, here are a few ways to ensure the space you provide is actually inclusive, equitable, and welcoming to non-white, non-male, non-cis-gendered, and non-able bodied people.

  1. Having inclusive policies that are stated, not just implied and that are meaningfully enforced.
  2. Consider your local community and their needs in a co-working space.
  3. Make your space accessible for all persons.
  4. Be sure you are aware of what is happening in your space.
  5. Consider your own attitudes.

If you’re white and privileged and you’re in a co-working space, here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re advocating for inclusivity and equality in the spaces you’re in.

  1. Be willing to push through discomfort to confront individuals who are harassing marginalized peoples as it happens, not after the fact. You have much less to lose.
  2. Pay close attention to your person: How are you taking up space? How much space are you taking up? Are you being abnormally loud in an otherwise quiet working space? Are you aware of others?
  3. Remember, even though you might be welcome in a space it doesn’t mean everyone is welcome in that space.

If you feel like you are unable to meet these points for any reason, be sure to check the legal requirements in your local area.

At the very least, reach out to the landlord or management company of your building and inquire what is being done to meet all accessibility and inclusivity standards and hold them accountable.


If you’re serious about a just, equal, and inclusive society, this is the work we have to do. Take a step back and understand your role and ask yourself:

Where is there privilege in my life where I can give power to someone else?

Get in touch with Sherrell

Sherrell’s Website

Links & Resources Mentioned

White Fragility

Me And White Supremacy

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