As a businessman, engineer, and philanthropist, Robert F. Smith has been invited to speak on a wide range of issues.
Realizing Racial Equity – Together
Robert F. Smith emphasizes the need to come together to ensure that America truly works for all. He encourages individuals, specifically those in a position of power, to stand up and proactively educate others on change. Smith believes the companies in America can make a difference, specifically noting his optimism for the work he’s seen at Business Roundtable (BRT) and the CEO’s 500 biggest companies. Long term, change needs to be sustainable, Smith explains.
Building a New & Diverse Generation of Leaders
Robert F. Smith discusses the importance of building a new and diverse generation of leaders, starting with ensuring students in all communities have the support they need to pursue future opportunities. According to Smith, overcoming racism has always been the biggest issue he’s had to face personally. His mission is to ensure the next generation of leaders can get ahead.
Investing in African American Communities
Hear Robert F. Smith speak on the importance of investing in African American communities. Smith explains how increased economic health in these minority communities can help to create a sustainable economic infrastructure. The lack of accessibility to capital and banking relationships was something that became apparent during the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and inspired Smith to become involved with the program. He is stewarding what he calls a “modernization of the capillary banking system” to try and connect capital to those businesses who are at a disadvantage. Smith has challenged large corporations to pledge 1%-2% of their income over the next decade to drive capital into the banking system in order to help these communities.
Racial Inequality & Robert F. Smith's Parents’ Legacy
Robert F. Smith shares his parents’ inspiring legacy and lessons learned. Both school teachers and his mother, a principal, Smith’s parents taught him the value of education. Committed to helping their community, his parents focused on ensuring the children in their community had the academic preparation they needed to succeed in life. As the first generation in his family within the country to have all of their rights, Smith continues to be inspired by his family and those who have fought for civil rights to create a better society.
the Importance of Diversity in Coding
Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners discusses the importance of increasing diversity in the coding and programming fields. Smith walks viewers through Code.org’s approach to accessing diverse communities.
the Purpose of “Hour of Code”
Robert F. Smith, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, gives an overview of Code.org’s “Hour of Code” events. He explains why the event exists and how it can inspire students to further their education in programming.
Creating Opportunities Through Coding
Robert F. Smith explains how a working knowledge of how to code can be taught at a proficiency level in less than a year, and can subsequently create a lifelong career and open many doors for the individuals who learn to code.
Apollo Theater, Music and Meritocracy
Robert F. Smith discusses the cultural impact that the Apollo Theater has had on the community in Harlem and music fans around the world. Smith’s love of jazz music has led his company, Vista Equity Partners, to a partnership with the Apollo Theater. For more information about the Apollo Theater, visit its website at: https://www.apollotheater.org/
the Power of Internships
Robert F. Smith, Founder Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, talks about the internship that changed his life, and how he sees internship programs as a way to provide students with valuable learning opportunities and allows companies to access top talent and put students in a position where they can become better leaders in the future.