Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Andrea is an advocate for social change and environmental justice. A graduate Oakland Unified School District, Andrea received her Associate of Science in Business Administration and Associate of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science from Butte-Glenn Community College, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics from Sacramento State University.
For the past ten years, Andrea has worked in community development banking at Beneficial State Bank and Foundation. She currently holds the role of AVP, Creative Media Evangelista, managing all marketing and communications for Beneficial State Bank.
In 2018 Andrea launched, “Black Woman’s Guide to Crypto and Blockchain”, to empower Black women who are interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Andrea is a board member at East Bay College Fund, a nonprofit that helps resilient public school students, under–represented in higher education, access and succeed in college, expanding their life opportunities.
Andrea has a two year old daughter, Alexandria and is currently writing a children’s book focused on normalizing breastfeeding.
1. What inspired you to create Black Woman’s Guide to Crypto and Blockchain?
I became interested in this space in 2017 after hearing about it for a couple years. As I tried to learn more, I noticed most of the people keynoting, paneling and actively speaking up about it in online communities was white men. As I attended events and asked questions, I didn’t feel like I was welcomed, I was talked down to and frankly, I wasn’t comfortable speaking up because I didn’t feel like I knew enough. Come to find out, no one knew much! We were all discovering, but the culture wasn’t welcoming to women, especially Black women.
I believe that crypto-assets and blockchain technology will lead to a huge transfer of wealth and I am determined to make sure Black women benefit from this opportunity because history has shown that early-adopters are the largest beneficiaries of “the greatest wealth transfers” of our past. The moment I felt alienated from these conversations, I decided I wanted to bring other Black women along with me on this journey and talk about it in terms that we are comfortable with, so “Black Woman’s Guide to Crypto and Blockchain” was born.
2. How can blockchain communities become more inclusive?
One way it can become inclusive overnight is if people who have privilege and authority create a path for others. There are two concrete examples that come to mind:
1. Samson (@HustleFundBaby), is very intentional about raising awareness of women doing amazing things in this space and constantly advocates for women. Just check out his feed and you’ll see what I mean. He and I have never met, but he’s definitely my mentor in my head!
3. Which blockchain developer, entrepreneur, or public leader do you admire the most?
McKenzie M Slaughter is a fintech and blockchain impact venture capitalist and crypto fund manager who runs Beyond Capital Market, with her amazing partner Telly V. Onu. They both are doing amazing work and have taught me so much from afar. Preethi Kasireddy is a blockchain engineer and her writing about Ethereum has been pivotal in my understanding. Also, Olayinka Odeniran is an entrepreneur and has done a fabulous job bringing together Black people who are crypto-enthusiasts, I appreciate her tireless effort to connect many of us.
4. What problems do you see blockchain solving?
For me, this work is all about decentralization, distributing wealth, and shattering barriers to access so everyone thrives, not just a select few. There are so many institutional systems that were not built for Black people to succeed, they were designed to keep Black people and many others, living in despair. The blockchain universe is an opportunity to create a new system, and I want demographics traditionally taken advantage of, creating the system this time around. With that in mind, I believe the possibilities are endless when it comes to blockchain technology, and I’m most excited about the potential for social justice reform, Proof of Ownership and advancements toward healthier food systems, like Food Supply Chain transparency.
5. How did you become interested in blockchain?
When I started researching Bitcoin, I learned about the technology behind it and the potential of that technology interested me far more than my original interest in bitcoin. Like many people, I was interested in bitcoin for the investment opportunity, but when I dug deeper and pulled back the veil, I realized how amazing blockchain technology is and how it can change our world for good.
“Please note, all views expressed are her personal views and not representative of current employers.”
Portia Burton is founder of Blockchain Explainer, and specializes in “long form” B2B blockchain marketing and coding blockchain proof of concepts.