Washington DC, USA
With nearly two decades of experience creating impact across sectors, Oakland native Lajuanda M. Asemota specializes in grassroots program design, diversity and inclusion in educational spaces, and technology for good.
Currently, she is the Chief Executive Officer & Cofounder of Second Chance Studios, a nonprofit digital media company that trains and employs people who were formerly incarcerated. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of /dev/color, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Black software engineers to help one another grow into industry leaders. Lajuanda also led Diversity & Inclusion, as well as Program Operations, at Singularity University (SU), working with thousands of global leaders to fuel innovation at the intersection of technology and social impact. At SU, she successfully launched numerous initiatives, including the Future of Virtual Reality, Exponential Youth Camp, Impact Fellows, and SU’s first employee resource group, the Women’s Impact Network. Led by her passion for innovation in emerging markets, Lajuanda co-organized both SingularityU West Africa Global Impact Challenge and SpeedUpAfrica, a startup bootcamp convening the top 100 African entrepreneurs with investors and mentors from Africa, Silicon Valley, and beyond.
For much of her career, Lajuanda has worked extensively on empowering communities with equitable and inclusive access to resources. This work has included roles as Executive Director for the Black Recruitment & Retention Center at UC Berkeley, as well as Head of Marketing & Development for World Bridges, a nonprofit dedicated to providing low-income youth with international opportunities.
Lajuanda is also passionate about community building and cultural expression. This passion has led her to organize hundreds of spaces, events, retreats, workshops, and conferences to this end, including the Empowering Women of Color Conference, the Western Regional LGBTQIA Conference, and a lecture series entitled “Oral Histories and Traditions” at the Multicultural Community Center, where she also co-founded an art gallery space.
Lajuanda has served on the Board of Trustees for Leadership High School in San Francisco and advises young entrepreneurs. She attended the University of California, Berkeley to study both African American Studies and Advertising & Consumer Behavior. In her leisure, Lajuanda enjoys reading Spanish-language literature, traveling, and playing volleyball.