“Black Girls Code” offered young women the chance to change their industry.
Just a couple of years ago, only 3 percent of individuals working in computing jobs were black women. Statisticians were not the only ones noticing the disparity; young women have reported that, although they like to code, they have a hard time finding people who look like them with similar interests.
In an effort to remedy that, a New York nonprofit called Black Girls Code held their second “hackathon” of the year, during which around 80 young black female coders and 50 volunteers and mentors gathered for a weekend in Brooklyn.
During the three-day event, these young women—grades 6 to 12—worked with their mentors to learn about app design and coding, hear from industry experts, and design their own app prototypes.
Given the theme “project humanity,” these coders created app prototypes that are designed to forward social justice. At the end of the weekend, they were awarded prizes for their efforts. The top place team—who took home $2,000 for their app prototype—designed an app called Mana, which makes it possible for students to study together virtually and collaboratively, geared at making studying more fun. The runner-up app, BeeU App, was created to come alongside and empower kids who find themselves victims of bullying.
In just three days, these young women designed technology well beyond the grasp of most adults, and the goal is to continue to give them the tools and confidence they need to make an impact in the tech industry. It seems to be working, too, as Black Girls Code has grown from 300 to 500 girls in just a couple of years – we think that’s pretty awesome.
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