Adam Boone ’10 Visits Black Student Union
By Dr. Anthony Perry
On Thursday, April 30, Adam Boone ’10 returned virtually to his alma mater for an engrossing conversation with our Black Student Union (BSU). After Branson, Adam attended Arizona State University, where he studied Business. Adam now works in the tech industry, for the SaaS company PagerDuty. There he works on the Strategy and Planning team, primarily focused on propensity data modeling. Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities, he co-leads the company’s employee resource group (ERG) for Black and LatinX employees globally, Array.
Though he stood 6 feet 5 inches when he graduated, Adam, by his own admission, has “grown since [his] days at Branson.” When asked by first-year student Lumina, just exactly when he figured out who he was, and when it was that he “found his voice,” he quickly said, "Two years after college." That was not too long ago!
Thoughtful and contemplative throughout our almost hour-long conversation, Adam offered us honest and sage advice. One particularly memorable piece of advice was to “intentionally go into rooms where you don’t feel you belong.” Thinking about his time at Branson and feelings of belonging, he noted that though the structures and support were there, his teenage self was not in a place to take full advantage of them. Therefore, not surprisingly, Adam noted that if he could do Branson all over again, he would “speak [his] point of view more,” both in and outside of the classroom. It is quite evident that Adam embodies Branson’s community values of courage, kindness, honor, and purpose.
The BSU is a space inclusive of members’ own understanding and engagement with their own Blackness. As Blackness is not a monolith, we’ve spent time over the course of this year engaging with our own Blackness. During our conversation, Adam shared his perspective, cogently discussing his racial identity as it related to his growth. He noted that he understood from an early age that he was Black, both from a personal perspective as well as from a societal perspective. He mentioned that, though his mother is white and father Black, “nobody would say that [he] is white.” He recalled that walking around with his mother, "there would always be looks and questions,” but with his father there were no such apprehensions.
At PagerDuty, Adam is part of the company’s Black and Latinx ERG, Array. Its mission is to “enable a community of continuous learning that fosters empathy and understanding of the lived Black and LatinX experience.” Array created experiences throughout February to celebrate and amplify the voices of their Black/African-American employees. We hope Adam will be a part of our Black History Month celebration next year!
Adam, an amateur photographer, harkens his artistic propensities back to Branson, noting that “Mr. O…saw the artistic drive in me during freshman year when nobody else did.” As of late, Adam, with the help of a real Kodak camera, has been documenting the people of San Francisco under quarantine. Check out his photographs on his Instagram page: @adamboone!