This page features panels at SXSW Interactive 2013 that will be presented within the BiT House at the Hilton-Garden Inn.

Additionally - this page includes panels that will take place outside of the BiT House that self-selected BiT as a tag, or have panelists or subject matter that we think is of particular interest to blacks in tech. If you would like to have a panel included on this page, please email the SXSW schedule page url to us at info@wearebit.com.


avatar for Jerel Booker

Jerel Booker

5 Thoughts Inc.
Founding member & nonprofit sponsor of Urban Lyceum, a co-institutional STEM Charter School in Austin

@Jerel Booker currently serves as Senior Director of Educator Quality and Special Projects for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  He is also a founding member of 5 Thoughts Inc., a nonprofit sponsoring entity for Urban Lyceum, a co-institutional STEM Charter School in Austin slated to open in fall 2014. 

He recently served as the Executive Director of Stand for Children Texas, a national education advocacy nonprofit.  Mr. Booker previously served as Associate Commissioner for Educator and Student Policy Initiatives for the Texas Education Agency.  He managed all aspects of educator quality and student initiatives in the state including educator certification, credentialing, standards, differentiated compensation, professional development, investigations as well as student health and safety.  He oversaw the daily operations of over $500 million in education initiatives and grants.  He also served as Chair of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Federal Stimulus and Stabilization where he developed policy and coordinated agency plans to allocate over $6 billion in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

Mr. Booker’s professional career also includes service as an Associate Vice President for External Affairs at Coppin State University, an education and public safety legislative/policy advisor to the Governor of Maryland, as well as the Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs for the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Earlier in his career, Mr. Booker worked as a teacher in the Baltimore City Public School System and has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in political science and criminology.  He received his B.J. in Journalism (Public Relations) from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.S. in Criminology from the University of Baltimore, and a J.D. from Howard University School of Law.

My Panelist Sessions

Sunday, March 10

3:30pm CDT