NBCBLK’s Ultimate Guide To SXSW

Views Ahead Of The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival

An attendee checks his phone on an escalator in the Austin Convention Center ahead of the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, March 10, 2016. The SXSW Interactive Festival features presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of networking events hosted by industry leaders and a lineup of special programs showcasing new websites, video games, and startup ideas. David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images

NBCBLK is spending the next week at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. While we are there, we will be attending events and interactive panels that explore social innovation, startup culture, and technology through a diverse lens.

Take a spin through our NBCBLK guide to SXSW to see what discussions, events, and local eats we will be checking out while at SXSW. This is a living and breathing document, so let us know what we're missing and what you want to see more of.

Join the NBCBLK SXSW experience in person or follow us on twitter, instagram, or facebook using #NBCblkSXSW.

Join the Conversation: Interactive Panels


· Diversity in Tech: Building Inclusivity

Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Location: Austin Convention Center Ballroom EFG 531 E 4th St

· Hustler to Entrepreneur: Tech and Disconnected Youth

Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Location: JW Marriott Salon C 110 E 2nd St

· Cracking the Codes: Why Black and Latino Boys Matter

Time: 5pm - 6pm

Location: JW Marriott Room 303-304


· How Shattering the Stereotype Will Save Tech

Time: 9:30am - 10:30am

Location: JW Marriott

· # Movements: When a Hashtag Breaks the News

Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm

Location: JW Marriott Salon C

· Women Byte Back: Tech and Disempowerment

Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm

Location JW Marriott Room 303-304 110 E 2nd St

· Why Diversity Can't Be Built in a Day

Time: 12:300pm - 1:30pm

Location: JW Marriott Salon C

· Tech Diversity: Why We're Still Talking About It

Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Location: Austin Convention Center

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 11: Casey Gerald, co-founder and CEO of MBAs Across America, gives the opening Keynote address for South by Southwest Interactive before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs. Other speakers include Evan Smith, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of the Texas Tribune news service, and will talk about civic engagement in the 21st Century. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images) Erich Schlegel

· Kerry Washington and the New Rules of Social Stardom

Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm

Location: Austin Convention Center Ballroom EFG 531 E 4th St

· Niche to Movement to Mainstream: How Culture Grows

Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Location Hilton Austin Downtown Salon K 500 E 4th St

· How to Diversify in Tech and Our Unconscious Bias

Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Location: JW Marriott Salon 7 110 E 2nd St

· Improving Engagement in Today's Mobile/Social World

Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Location: Hilton Austin Downtown Salon G 500 E 4th St

· Multicultural Blogger and Content Creator Meet Up

Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott Room 208 110 E 2nd St

Get to Know MVMT50

MVMT50 is a coalition of Black thought leaders committed to sustained and systematic improvement in employment diversity, cultural representation and leadership development in the innovation, technology and digital sectors.


· Welcome Reception

Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Location: Carver Lobby + Atrium

· Innovators Awards, hosted by NBCBLK's Amber Payne

Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Location: Carver Lobby Auditorium


· <DIV Hack> Hackathon

Time: Saturday 7:30am - Sunday 11pm

Location: Huston-Tillotson University

· Innovators Dinner

Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Location: WE DC House/Revival Pub


· SXSW Inclusion Popup Exhibit OHUB + Mvmt 50

Time: 10:00am - 1:00 pm

Location: Austin Convention Center 521,523,620, and 622

· Inclusive Innovation Conversation

Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location: Austin Convention Center 521,523,620, and 622

· Blendoor Day Party

Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Location: Hookah Lounge

· Serendipity of Diversity Reception

Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm


Austin's Good Eats (h/t to Donell Creech on this)

· Hoover's Cooking

A true food icon run by Austinite and lifelong foodie Hoover Alexander. This is the place to come for comfort food. At Hoover's you can find: Southern, Tex-Mex, Cajun, and, of course, and BBQ.

· The Rolling Rooster

Glenn Williams may be new to the game having been only open less than year, but folks are loving what he's cooking! Chicken and waffles is the specialty at this joint. Williams' brick and mortar may be too far away, but he has a new food truck at 12h and Chicon, within 5 miles of downtown.

· Sam's BBQ

If you aren't in the mood to stand in line for 3-4 hours in the off chance to get bbq, you can go support Sam's BBQ. This family owned BBQ joint is cash only.

· Rolands

An iconic Austin restaurant 5 miles within downtown known for its classic down home soul food.

· Three Chicks Soul Food

This food truck is normally located in deep north Austin about 20 minutes from downtown, but they will be setting up in the heart of the action downtown at 6th street and 35 this week.

· Nice n' Full Vegetarian Soul Food

This unique, family owned, food truck within 5 minutes from downtown in East Austin.

· Ya'll Down Home Cafe

Located in a suburb of Austin called Manor, this cafe boasts excellent Louisiana inspired southern cooking.

· Country Boyz Fixins

A classic soul food restaurant about 10 minutes from downtown in East Austin.

· Southern Hospitality

Located in North-central Austin is run by a pastor, his wife, and and their children who have perfected southern style cooking.

· The Victory Grill

A chitlin circuit juke joint from 1945 that's still in business and worth the stop by.

· Tony's Jamaican Food

Jamaican cooking said to be "da real ting!'"

· Texas Sausage Company

Looking for smoked and fresh sausage? Texas Sausage Company provides customers with top-quality meats. Home of "Austin Hot Sausage since 1942.

· Nubian Queen Lola's

Dubbed by the Austin Chronicle as "the most delicious cajun-spiced hamburgers you'll find down here or up there."

Around Town

· Black Butterfly

Find some retail therapy - a perfect break from the SXSW madness. A natural bath & body haven featuring luxurious products handmade with shea butter, authentic black soap & dead sea salts; located downtown.

· Primpii App

Check out this beauty referral app if you are in need of last minute hair-therapy; however - the app is not quite ready for prime time. Try it out but be patient, this app is still in the launching phase.

· Bee Sweet Lemonade

This refreshing beverage is available all over Austin, including Whole Foods. This sweet treat is the brainchild of 11-year-old Mikaila Ulmer.

· The Carver Museum

Looking for some history? Check out the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.

· Huston Tillotson University

Visit this historically black university, which also happens to be the oldest university in Austin.

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