In an effort to further strengthen the mission of introducing young women of color to code and stem education, Black Girls Code has announced a partnership with General Motors, which includes a hefty $255,000 donation to launch a chapter in Detroit.
GM says it’s teaming up with Black Girls Code partly because of the work its doing around electric and self-driving cars, and how much technical genius is going to be required of younger generations.
“It’s one of the reasons that it’s our mission to help build the next generation of STEM leaders, with an emphasis on expanding opportunities to women and other underrepresented groups,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.
To celebrate GM and Black Girls Code hosted a series of hands-on and engaging activities at Detroit International Academy for Women(DIA), a Detroit Public Schools Community District school, and TechTown.
According to the Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit outpaces the nation in information technology job growth and is expected to continue the pace through 2025. This partnership, announced alongside four other computer science partnerships in June, aims to increase interest in STEM career fields for girls of color. Women of color are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, especially in technology. Only 3 percent of African-American women and less than 1 percent of Latinas receive degrees in computer science.
Black Girls Code CEO Kimberly Bryant shares “Although we’ve hosted workshops in the area off and on since 2012, we are thrilled to officially launch a Black Girls CODE chapter in Detroit with the support of GM and other corporate and community partners like Comcast and Wayne State University. Our regular programming, launching this fall, will lay a foundation to fully engage girls of color in Detroit and is designed to inspire them to continue their paths as future STEM professionals.”
For more information about BGC student workshops, events and how to get involved, visit http://www.blackgirlscode.com/programsevents.html
Cartoon Network and co-host Google welcomed Made with Code, Mayor of East Point Jannquell Peters and Black Girls Code at Turner in Atlanta for a special event launching GIF: The Powerpuff Girls. The event and coding activity are part of the collaboration between the companies with a mission of combining their entertainment and tech expertise to bring the power of creative coding to kids in every community, at every income level and in every demographic group.
The event’s special guests, forty five teenage girls from Black Girls Code, were greeted by female executives from Cartoon Network and Google, including Christina Miller, president and general manager for Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang; Katie Krentz, Senior Director, Comedy Animation Development, Cartoon Network; Lilyn Hester, Public Affairs Manager for Google; Google Engineer Monica Renneke; and Mayor Peters. Each woman reaffirmed the importance of coding as an essential language to fulfill your goals and dreams, and encouraged the girls to continue to explore their creativity through coding.
“This day is exactly why we at Cartoon Network committed ourselves to encouraging kids to explore coding and the intersection of creativity and technology,” said Christina Miller, President and General Manager of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang, during the event. “We know how important this is, and that is why we want to be part of the community who helps all kids learn the language of coding to build their futures – and frankly – all of our futures.”
If you’ve ever wanted to learn about coding in technology, or have children that could be interested in learning how to code, there are more resources available than ever before! One of the biggest misconceptions about coding is that you have to be a super genius in science or math (when in all actuality, that couldn’t be furthest from the truth). I truly believe that anyone can learn to love coding if they have one common goal in mind – the goal of solving problems and improving our future. Whether it’s the Bronx School of Promise students creating an app that makes learning math fun, to a group of Spellman students creating an app that makes learning about natural hair easier – solving problems and creating solutions is the single root when it comes to STEM. If you know a child interested in learning more about STEM, check out these five STEM programs that’ll encourage kids (and adults) of any age to go tech below!
Black Girls Code
Through workshops for young girls of color, Black Girls Code aims to help address the “dearth of African-American women in science, technology, engineering and math professions,” founder Kimberly Bryant writes, and build “a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.” blackgirlscode.com
Yes We Code
The #YesWeCode initiative targets low-opportunity youth and provides them with the necessary resources and tools to become world-class computer programmers. By learning this highly valuable and relevant 21st century skill, these young people are shifting the trajectory of their futures and transforming their relationships with their communities and their country. yeswecode.org
Girls Who Code
Geared specifically toward 13- to 17-year-old girls, pairs instruction and mentorship to “educate, inspire and equip” students to pursue their engineering and tech dreams. “Today, just 3.6% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women, and less than 10% of venture capital-backed companies have female founders. Yet females use the internet 17% more than their male counterparts,” the website notes. girlswhocode.com
While women make up 46.7% of the U.S. workforce, they represent less than 25% of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workers. Sisters Code was founded to help bridge the technology gender gap by providing women with the tools they need to successfully re-career into the field of technology, transform lives and provide corporations with a greater pipeline of diverse talent to address the gender equity balance within their organizations. sisters-code.org
There are many ways to GO TECH and these programs are great guides to discovering which road in the science and technology space you’ll enjoy most. Know more STEM programs not listed here? Share them in the comments section below.