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Black Girls Code: Helping Black Girls Live Their Coding Dream

by Roveen Anyango
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The wave of technology is gripping many people across the world, and black girls have not been left out of this. However, due to historically being maligned on matters technology, their path to living their dream in tech is a little harder than most.

Enter Black Girls Code.

Started in 2011 by Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code (BGC) is a program with footprints in the U.S and South Africa that aims to find future architects of technology from the underrepresented black girls. The program introduces computer programming and technology to girls from underrepresented communities in areas such as gaming, web design, robotics, mobile app development and many other fields.

“Black Girls Code works to close the digital divide while simultaneously addressing the gender gap prevalent in the tech industry which comprises of less than 20% women and only 3% women of color,” The Elsevier Foundation says in their write up of the program.

Black Girls Code aims to directly combat the racial issues in technology through early exposure to STEM courses. It also aims to provide role models to these girls through the existing pool of female technologists. So far, the organization has over 8000 volunteers who have taught over 50,000 hours. Over 30,000 young women have learnt through BGC. And from this year (2023), the organization will double its enrollment in the in-person program and plan to reach millions of new girls with their web series.

As a non-profit organization, BGC often relies on grants to run its program. It has been the recipient of the Microsoft Azure development (AzureDev) grant ($50,000), among others like At&T, Meta, IBM, Lyft and Mastercard. It also relies on donations from well-wisher and you can donate here if you so wish.

The work that BGC is doing cannot be understated as it is directly introducing black girls to the technology world which in turn will encourage more girls to join.

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