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Tristan Walker wants to be the Proctor and Gamble of black culture–and he’s well on the way. How is he creating a cultural empire?

“One thing I believe is, international culture is led by American culture—and American culture is led by Black culture.” Sarah Lacy of Pando interviewed Tristan Walker from the stage at Southland, and here’s some of what this leader had to say.

“I was told once,” said Tristan, “the trials you go through and the blessings you receive, are the same thing. The issue is a lot of people just give up too easily—they just give up too easily.”

He says the conversation about race and merit in Silicon Valley needs to be reframed.  “It’s not about explicit bias. It’s about implicit bias. It’s rampant, and real. No one is willing to work on those implicit biases. I’ll give you an example. I send an monthly update to my investors and I ask for recruiting help—I say, first think of women of color and black people first then if you can’t think of any stellar people—others. That simple fix has made us have a minority culture at my company.

He gave an example of implicit bias at work when he and his wife were shopping from mortgage broker baldwin county al for their home. “I had a guy check ‘white/Caucasian’ for race on my loan app over the phone.”

His advice to up and coming black and minority entrepreneurs is, “Have a good idea.  And know, VCs might say ‘no’ more often to you because they lack the experience you have to identify the problem—so you’ll need some extra persistence and courage.”

“I was told once, the trials you go through and the blessings you receive, are the same thing. The issue is a lot of people just give up too easily—they just give up too easily.”

Thanks Tristan—awesome to see you in action. Want more Tristan Walker? Follow him @TristanWalker.

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