Hacktivists: Roll up your sleeves!

Guest Post by David Delmar, Founder and Executive Director, Resilient Coders

Charles Blow poses an interesting question in an Op-Ed in the New York Times: “Will our future be highly delineated by who does and who doesn’t have a science education (and the resulting higher salary), making for even more entrenched economic inequality by race and gender?”

I used to believe that technology was the great leveling force of our generation. Almost every developer I knew had taught him/herself how to code. And so it follows, I thought, that anyone who had the right cocktail of talent and hunger could sit down and teach himself/herself the basics of web development. And from there, given time and the internet, continue honing the craft that could ultimately lead to lasting and meaningful employment opportunities.

But data tells another story. Last year, Google published a breakdown of its employees by ethnicity, revealing that only 3% of its workforce is Hispanic, and 2% is black. These stats, they argue, are a reflection of the talent pool.

 We want to change that.

Resilient Coders is a volunteer-based program focused on making web technology skilld more available to urban youth who might not otherwise be exposed to it.  We are unique.  We identify, foment, and enable, rather than teach. There are no assignments or tests.

We have a simple theory of change: smart, ambitious young people working collaboratively, given the tools and a credible reason to succeed, will do amazing things.

This summer, we will be co-hosting the Media Leadership Institute with Press Pass TV, an organization that empowers youth from all backgrounds with education, skills and employment in media production. From July 6th through August 21st, 15 young people will be learning audio/visual production, as well as HTML and CSS. They’ll be coached along by our network of volunteers, and by our youth mentors.

Want to get involved?

We’re looking for coders to join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2pm to 4pm, in Roxbury. Come once, if that’s what works for you. You’ll find some details at resilientcoders.org/camp. If you’re interested in joining, or just learning a little bit more, drop me a note at david@resilientcoders.org. If this summer doesn’t work for you but you’d like to be kept in the loop about future opportunities, sign up for the mailing list at resilientcoders.org/you.

The MLI is free for our youth, and so we’re also actively building a coalition of sponsors. Get your company involved. Join the Boston Police Department and the Mayor’s Office in helping us spread code literacy throughout neighborhoods that aren’t currently part of the conversation.