Cisco African American Partner Community Eyes Hiring, HBCU Opportunities

Cisco is working with 14 Black-owned partner firms in a "high-touch" manner to invest in their growth.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 28, 2023

12 Slides

For Cisco leaders and partners working with the company’s African American Partner Community, efforts to diversify the vendor’s partner ecosystem are impacting the larger Black community for good.

The African American Cisco Partner Community launched in 2020 to provide support and investment to some 54 partners. Recently the company has added a special “Acceleration” tier to the program for partners that will get special focus from the enterprise technology giant. It’s part of a $50 million Cisco has pledged to invest by 2025 to diversify its partner ecosystem.


Cisco’s Andrico Spates

Andrico Spates, senior manager, sales business development for global partner routes to market and sales, told Channel Futures in an interview that Cisco’s efforts to support Black-owned partner firms through the African American Partner Community are playing into other commitments Cisco has made toward racial justice and equity. For example, Spates said AACPC has played a key role in promoting hiring from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). For example, Accelerate partner Molaprise and others joined Cisco in a recent virtual event focusing on students from Clark Atlanta University and Howard University.

“That’s been one of the great things about this,” Spates said. “What you can do to service your customers are the same things you can do to make an impact on your community.”

Spates and Molaprise founder Emmanuel Ola-Dake spoke about the African American Cisco Partner Community with Channel Futures. They also described opportunities they see to bring diverse talent into the channel. Read highlights of the conversation in the 12 images above.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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