Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization that aims to increase the number of women of color in the digital space, has announced a partnership with General Motors, which includes a generous donation of $255,000. The funding will be used to launch and maintain a local chapter of the organization in the Detroit metro area.
This partnership aims to increase interest in STEM career fields for girls of color. Women of color are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, especially in technology. Only 3 percent of African-American women and less than 1 percent of Latinas receive degrees in computer science.
Kimberly Bryant, CEO of Black Girls Code, comments, “Although we’ve hosted workshops in the area off and on since 2012, we are thrilled to officially launch a Black Girls CODE chapter in Detroit with the support of GM and other corporate and community partners like Comcast and Wayne State University.
“Our regular programming, launching this fall, will lay a foundation to fully engage girls of color in Detroit and is designed to inspire them to continue their paths as future STEM professionals,” she adds.
Since their launch in April 2011, Black Girls Code has had the ultimate goal to provide African-American youth with the skills to occupy some of the 1.4 million computing job openings expected to be available in the U.S. by 2020, and to train 1 million girls by 2040.
The organization was recently offered a $125,000 donation from Uber, but Bryant politely turned it down because she says she felt that it was just a PR stunt meant to distract people from Uber’s dismal track record on diversity issues. She then went and raised $150,000 for the organization through crowdfunding.