Black Boys Code is committed to improve STEM opportunities for young black men by: preparing them for a career in technology, while simultaneously breaking down industry barriers that will strengthen equal-access opportunities within the industry. The current racial divide in the computer science field calls for practical steps to close this gap and raise the percentage of Black students participating in STEM fields.
Simply put, far too many brilliant young men of colour aren’t choosing a career in technology, because they don’t see a place for them in the sector.
Here’s the good news, Black Boys Code is working to change the mindset of young black men by creating a program of inclusiveness and on-going support that will help to close the diversity gap in the new economy. With encouragement, education and empowerment, we are inspiring young men of colour to dive head first into technology.
At Black Boys Code, we aren’t just teaching kids to code. We are teaching critical problem solving and planning skills in an environment that fosters communication and collaboration. These are foundational skills that will ensure these young boys of colour not only see themselves as participants, but as future leaders in tomorrow’s economy.
By participating in BBC’s workshops these young men will develop lasting friendships and the beginnings of a professional network that they will carry with them throughout their lives and on their own personal success path. They are meeting their future start-up co-founders, business partners and engineers who will help bring their vision and ideas and to life!
At Black Boys Code, we believe every child should be given the opportunity and the support needed to participate in the new economy. In meeting this, BBC is governed by the following four core values:
Inclusion: Every boy willing to try will be accepted, and made to feel included. This is a team effort, and we are all part of the same team, pulling in the same direction.
Opportunity: Nothing gives hope like real opportunity. Our program is centered on opening the doors to new opportunities and ensuring our participants are prepared to take the next steps for themselves.
Empowerment: Self-confidence, awareness and information are all keys to success, and together they are what we mean by empowerment.
Respect: We accept one another without judgment and value each other’s opinions and points of view.
What We Do
Black Boys Code hosts collaborative workshops, hackathons and mentorship programs, that provide young men of colour with the foundational skills needed to take their position in a world run by technology and make a meaningful contribution.
Our programs use role models, success stories and engaging programming to show participants the scope and scale of opportunities in the sector, and to imagine themselves in key roles, starting exciting companies and delivering innovations that change the world.
We accomplish this by meeting each child where they’re at today, focusing on their individual needs, and helping them to take the next steps. At the end of each session, our hope is that every boy will leave inspired, and feeling like, “…a career in technology is for me!”.
Why It Matters
Blacks comprise less than 1% of start-up founding teams, a critical sector for job growth and wealth creation.
Women leaders in technology have seized this opportunity by developing programs for women, based on the strong evidence that single-gender instruction delivers much stronger outcomes. As a result, there are many excellent programs across North America offered to young women of colour. However, there is a vacuum in the availability and exposure to STEM programming and career development for young boys of colour. This group is most-likely to face personal, educational and professional challenges on their way to finding a foothold in the modern economy, and are even less-likely to find themselves in leadership positions in the workplace.
Black Boys Code was specifically founded to empower young men of colour to lead and succeed in the new economy, and in doing so to lift-up their own lives and their communities.