Black Boys Code Comes to Chicago

Free tech classes help bridge the diversity gap

It is no secret there is a substantial diversity gap in the tech fields, with women and people of color severely underrepresented in the industry. 

The reasons for this gap are legion, with tendrils stretching back hundreds of years, so fixing it is an overwhelming task. Thankfully, charitable groups such as Black Boys Code are trying to at least make a dent in the systemic issues at play here.

Black Boys Code Chicago

Black Boys Code

The organization, founded in 2015 in Canada, just opened a brand new location in Chicago, the second USA-based branch. The inaugural event is the Black Boys Code Technology Summer Camp, a five-week program open to kids ages 13 to 15 that looks to increase digital literacy and problem-solving skills related to the technology industry. 

The organization's aim is to "educate the next generation of scientists, technology professionals, and engineers, to fill the diversity gap in STEM and to create a presence for Black youth to learn computer coding skills," Bryan Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Black Boys Code, said in the press release.

Beyond the inaugural summer camp, Black Boys Code will host various workshops throughout the year to introduce kids and teens to computer coding, followed by more intensive education to teach specific coding languages and related concepts, such as quantum computing. 

Additionally, these workshops create much-needed industry contacts for Chicago-based youth, should they decide to carry on in the tech field. These introductions also act as "living proof that success in the computer and technology fields is real, attainable, and can be the norm rather than the exception," according to the organization. 

The Chicago branch is the 13th location worldwide, with 11 in Canada and the Atlanta office. 

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