My name is Tomi

By Tomi Akitunde

2 min

My name is Tomi Akitunde. I’m a journalist and the founder of mater mea, a platform that celebrates, supports and empowers black moms through content and community.

I love talking to people. I love storytelling. I love hearing people’s stories.

Who were you 13 years ago and who are you now?

Oh, man. I had just graduated from college and was obsessed with Chicago. I thought it was the best American city…until I met New Orleans. But I was a big Chicago person. Most of my memories are of me being drunk and eating late-night tacos.

I was unemployed for a really long time after college because it was right after the recession. Then, I started a new job at a textbook publishing company. I was the person writing the answers for the teachers’ editions of their workbooks.

I was hiding in plain sight and didn’t know it.

I was in a bad relationship but didn’t know it was bad yet. There was a lot of hiding and performing that I was doing to look the part of a twenty-something-year-old in Chicago. I was hiding in plain sight and didn’t know it. I was afraid but didn’t know it.

So much has changed—very much so.

Now I’m learning about myself. I’m not hiding anymore. I think I’ve done some of my best personal work just in finding myself.

Describe a life-changing moment that contributed to who you are today

I think moving to New York was everything. I didn’t realize how strong and capable I was until I moved here. There were things that I would cry about at the drop of a hat when I was 22. Now I just keep it moving.

Things you thought you knew when you were younger that you know to be different today

I thought I knew my parents and I thought my parents didn’t care about me. I just didn’t think they thought about me at all. Now I realize, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. It’s just the way that they express love. It wasn’t always what I needed or how I needed it to show up, but I can now appreciate it and value it so much.


Girls in Tech members (and counting)

Other Community Stories Show all

Make space to learn who you are outside of your work.

Read Story

The value of your lived experience. It isn't tech that will save us, it will be people.

Read Story

It's always been my goal to make a difference by being part of the movement to eliminate the gender gap in tech.

Read Shriya's Story

I’m in the business of creating communities.

Read Story

There are a lot of divisions — specifically around race and wealth — that were very easy to ignore pre-pandemic that are front and center now.

Read Story

I’m prioritizing people, and people includes myself too.

Read Story

I listened to a speaker, who said that it is your responsibility to do that job to the best of your ability.

Read Melissa's Story

It’s been helpful to have community at work and outside of work with Girls in Tech, and to be able to have these conversations.

Read Story

Learn how to restore the existing gaps, find purpose every day and be proud of the woman you are.

Read Jodie's Story

I’ve learned that it’s important to be strong and call stuff out.

Read Story

Girls in Tech needs you, just as you are

Join our like-minded community

Become a Member

Join the community for members-only benefits


Have an account?

By signing up you agree to our Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy.

Become a member to download


Have an account?

By signing up you agree to our Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy.