Black Girls Code is Bridging the Digital Divide


I had the pleasure of taking my daughter to a recent Black Girls Code event…and she LOVED it!

For those of you who haven’t heard of the organization, Black Girls Code is “a non-profit whose mission is to teach girls of color to become digital creators and technology leaders.”

Black Girls Code was founded by Kimberly Bryant in part as a reaction to her own experiences as a black women enthralled with technology. As a college freshman majoring in electrical engineering, Ms. Bryant was introduced to the world of computer programming and immediately took a liking to the world of computer science and all things programming. “By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up,” said Bryant. “That, really, is the Black Girls Code mission: to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.”

The Black Girls Code event my daughter attended was held in conjunction with ThoughtWorks, at the ThoughtWorks offices in downtown Chicago. From 10am to 3pm my daughter worked on learning some basic programming skills; when I came to pick her up she had created a simple webpage with a couple of YouTube videos (one was her favorite song of the moment, Katy Perry’s “Roar”), a gif or two, and some text letting me know this was her website. At this point I think my daughter has more programming skills than I do. And best of all, after the event my daughter expressed interest in learning more about programming and has been playing around with the site she created.

I’m really looking forward to the next time Black Girls Code offers an event for black girls in my neck of the woods. This organization is doing something truly amazing and the girls who took part seemed to have been having a ton of fun.

If you would like to get involved with what Black Girls Code is doing there are several ways to help out. You can make a donation to help out with paying for equipment, computer science experts, cash donations, and mentors/workshop assistants. You can make a donation to sponsor a girl who cannot afford to attend a BGC event without financial help. Purchase something from the BGC shop. Volunteer to help at an upcoming event. To stay updated on what BGC has going on follow the organization on Twitter and sign up for updates.
Jamila Akil is a Community Manager at Beyond Black and White. Follow her on Twitter @jamilaakil

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