I was inspired to write about today's Feel Good Friday group, Black Girls Code, for two reasons. First, Thursday night my company hosted a Girl Geek dinner to promote networking among women in the tech industry and second, it's Black History Month and this is an organization that combines both of those elements.
Black Girls Code (BCG) was founded by Kimberly Bryant in 2011. As stated on their website, the vision is "to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology."
BCG does this by running community outreach programs including weekend coding workshops, after school programs and hackathons that teach girls basic programming skills. As of this 2016 CNBC news report, there are chapters in 10 cities across the US and one in Johannesburg, South Africa, and over 5,000 girls have participated in the programs.
You can meet Kimberly and some of the girls in this 2-minute overview video. My favorite quote is "teaching kids of all ages, of all color, of all gender to code and to be able to become the programmers and not the programmed is critically important for our next generation."
To help diversify the tech industry and empower the next generation of programmers you can make a donation to BCG, volunteer your time, wear a shirt to represent, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @BlackGirlsCode. That's the best way to find out when the next hackathon is coming to a city near you!