Black Boys Code, an organization that equips Black youth with skills and tools to thrive in technology, opens its newest location in Chicago today, the second location for Black Boys Code USA. Their inaugural event, Black Boys Code Technology Summer Camp, kicks off the expansion with a 5-week tech program that aims to equip youth participants, ages 13-15, with confidence and problem-solving skills, as well as their digital literacy – all while having fun.
“We’re so excited to bring Black Boys Code to Chicago 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 in the Chicago community,” said Bryan Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Black Boys Code. “Today’s youth are savvy tech users of smartphones, tablets and video games, however this will likely be the first time these boys learn about coding and how to code. It’s so fulfilling to see a young Black male’s eyes light up as they hear and then see for themselves that, yes, he can do it. When we ignite that, we can shape their futures by planting the seeds for them to pursue education and aspire for career opportunities in STEM fields.”
Founded in Vancouver in 2015 by Bryan Johnson, Black Boys Code is working to fill a growing lack of Black professionals in computers and technology. Through exposure to inclusive workshops, hackathons, summer camps, and after-school programs, they are educating Black youth, age 8-17, to become tomorrow’s creators and innovators of technology. Chicago participants will start with introductory computer coding, then additional workshops will be added, including: Python, coding video games with Roblox, mBlock, micro:bit, quantum computing, and analytical skills sessions and more.
Black Boys Code is about so much more though. It helps youth develop critical problem-solving and leadership skills in a collaborative and supportive environment. In addition, the workshops expose Black boys to Black male industry role models – living proof that success in the computer and technology fields is real, attainable, and can be the norm rather than the exception.
This new Chicago location, is Black Boys Code’s 13th location, with 11 locations in Canada and one in Atlanta. The camp and workshops will be held at Gately Park. To find out more or volunteer for the Chicago location, for technical or non-technical roles, or register for upcoming workshops, visit their website and follow @blackboyscode on Instagram.