As this month’s guest editor, Serena explains that the passwords for her devices consist of affirmations, and though a small act, it helps her get through the day.
‘You’ll be surprised how many times a day you log in and have an opportunity to trigger that positivity. I love that I can use technology that way,’ she says.
An even bigger affirmation, which she promised herself she’d achieve as a child, is helping kids in Africa. In 2008, her hard work paid off: she opened her first school that year, and a second in 2010. But it was no small feat, as Serena fought to get enrollment in her schools to at least 40 percent girls. It was impossible to get 50-50, but after a bit of a struggle, she was satisfied with the 60-40 ratio.
Serena also wants Silicon Valley to include more minorities and women in its senior roles. She likens women’s battle in technology with her journey to reach the top of the tennis world, saying, ‘…We need to see more women and people of different colors and nationalities in tech. That’s the reason I wanted to do this issue with WIRED—I’m a black woman, and I am in a sport that wasn’t really meant for black people. And while tennis isn’t really about the future, Silicon Valley sure is. I want young people to look at the trailblazers we’ve assembled below and be inspired. I hope they eventually become trailblazers themselves.’
In regards to the inequality of Blacks in America, Serena is behind the Black Lives Matter movement, and hopes the organization will keep pushing for change despite the constant criticism, saying, “Keep it up. Don’t let those trolls stop you. We’ve been through so much for so many centuries, and we shall overcome this too.”
Serena also brought in a strong team of visionaries to honor in the issue’s Trailblazers feature, including rapper/actor Common, tennis legend Billie Jean King, and everyone’s favorite fighter, Ronda Rousey.
Check out the rest of Serena’s essay here.