STEM has been dominated by male, white programmers for decades. But the tides are changing, and there are several groups dedicated to diversifying the world of STEM by providing training for black men and women. These non-profit organizations are working hard to make the tech world more inclusive for the black community by teaching people of color how to code.
1. Black Girls Code
Black Girls Code, or BGC, was founded by Kimberley Bryant, who wanted to encourage her daughter’s interest in STEM, but found that most—if not all—of the available programs we dominated by white males. Because of the lack of inclusion, Kimberley spotted a hole in the system that needed filling and launched BCG in 2011. BGC offers programs in artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile app design, web design, game design, virtual reality, blockchain, and 3D printing. This non-profit currently has 14 chapters across the United States and one in South Africa and has committed to training a whopping 1 million girls by 2040.
2. All Star Code
Christina Lewis, an award-winning journalist, and black woman, started All Star Code in 2013 after seeing firsthand how people with assets, usually white, were those who continued to profit in the world of science and technology. Not to let people of color fall behind in this growing and dynamic field, ASC got up and running with the mission of giving young men of color access to the exciting world of STEM that they are not given elsewhere.
This non-profit started in 2015 as a small team in California and has grown to a group of over 600 people. Founded by Makinde Adeagbo and currently led by CEO Rhonda Allen, /dev/color is dedicated to bringing together black engineers to build a community network to advance their skills and further their careers. /dev/color offers virtual and in-person programs that focus on building technical skills and professional development
4. Black Tech Nation
Kelauni Cook, a software developer from Chicago, founded Black Tech Nation in 2017. After graduating from a coding boot camp and getting a job as a software developer, she noticed just how homogenous the tech industry was in terms of race and gender. She held an event in Pittsburg that sought participation from local black technologists, which started a major conversation about the lack of diversity in the tech industry. What started as a small event born out of frustration grew into Black Tech Nation (//BTN), a non-profit that aims to uplift, educate, and support black technologists. With the motto “Gather. Connect. Affect,” //BTN collaborates with community partners and members to create a ‘nation’ of black technologists—a Black Tech Nation.
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