Closing the Digital Divide and Changing the Face of Tech
By: Abby Bobé, Black Girls Code Volunteer
With so much tech talk surrounding mergers, IPOs, and exits taking place in the Bay Area and the valley, it is hard to imagine there are children living in the shadows of tech industries like Google, Apple and Facebook who lack access to the Internet and use of electronic devices like a computer or a laptop. Yet here in the Bay Area there are many neighborhoods that lack the resources to provide each child with the access to such devices.
A 2011 study conducted by Connected Nation on technology access in the United States revealed that “40% of low-income households do not own a computer, compared to only 9% of all other households” and 63% of low-income minority households with children lack broadband at home. To ensure young minority girls are not left behind in this digital era, a local Bay Area non-profit organization, BlackGirlsCODE (BCG) created Summer of CODE 2012 – a program dedicated to giving girls from African American, Latino, and Native American communities the opportunity to learn valuable tech skills and to plant a seed that may “Change the Face” of the future of tech!
7 cities in 90 days
As part of this mission, founder Kimberly Bryant of BlackGirlsCODE and other BGC team members, are taking their program, launched here in San Francisco, across the nation with a goal to teach between 200-300 young girls computer programming skills such as how to build their very own video game, build a webpage, program robots and other fun and creative activities. Summer of CODE is scheduled to paint the following towns #FF0000: Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, Detroit, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco. Interested in learning more about these workshops? Visit BlackGirlsCODE’s site.
Since its launch in April 2011, BlackGirlsCODE has been amazingly impactful in our local community, cities across the US, and countries abroad. With your donation and support of BlackGirlsCODE and our Summer of CODE, we can introduce even more girls to the possibilities in the world of tech. BlackGirlsCODE is currently investing in a mobile computer lab so they can take their CODE workshops to the children who need it the most. See one of the most recent BlackGirlsCODE workshops in Oakland in this clip:
BlackGirlsCODE Summer of Code
Follow us on Indiegogo: SummerofCode
Abby Bobé is a dual MBA and Computer Science candidate at Mills College. Abby is passionate about technology, everything marketing and economic development. She recently traveled to South India to implement a computer technology program for a small rural village, volunteers at BlackGirlsCODE and is a Hispanics In Philanthropy Fellow focusing on education and technology issues affecting low-income Latino and Black communities. Follow her journey on her blog or on Twitter at @AbbyBobe.