Tag: Google

Christina Lewis’ All Star Code Nonprofit Raises Over $1 Million to Expand STEM “Summer Intensive” Program for Boys of Color

by Selena Hill via blackenterprise.com

All Star Code (ASC) will carry out its mission to educate, prepare, and place young men of color in the tech industry through its fifth annual “Summer Intensive” STEM summer program. The nonprofit announced Tuesday that it raised over $1 million for the growth and development of the program. ASC also received a record number of applicants—nearly 1,000 for just 160 spots. According to Christina Lewis, who founded ASC in 2013, the organization is on track to educate a total of 10,000 young black and Latino men in tech and entrepreneurship by 2022.

“All Star Code’s impact continues to spread as we establish a pipeline of talented and ambitious young entrepreneurs who are ready to enter the tech industry,” said Lewis in a statement. “Tech is one of the most influential and lucrative industries, so it’s vital that Black and Latino young men are better represented in this space to capture its economic opportunity.”

BOYS WILL LEARN WEB DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN STEM SUMMER PROGRAM 

ASC’s flagship “Summer Intensive” program is a free six-week course that teaches students web development skills and about entrepreneurship. It also empowers students with soft skills and a network of like-minded peers. It will take place in New York City and Pittsburgh.

The effectiveness of All Star Code’s curriculum is amplified by corporate partners like AT&T, Cisco, Goldman Sachs, Google, JPMorgan Chase, MLB, and Medidata, as well as the academic institutions Chatham University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, which provide operational and financial support and services. Through these partnerships, students will gain access to mentorships, speakers, and professional work culture.

Since its creation in 2013, about 300 students have participated in ASC’s flagship summer programs. Of the summer intensive students, 95% of All Star Code graduates have gone on to four-year colleges, while half of the graduates have created their own business or tech-related project, reads the press release.

Lewis says she was inspired by her late father, iconic businessman Reginald F. Lewis, to launch ASC as a vehicle to diversify the tech space. “I channeled his legacy to start All Star Code,” she said. Before his death in 1993, Reginald created TLC Beatrice International Holdings, the first black-owned global enterprise to earn more than a billion dollars in revenue. “I realized that if my father were a young man today, he would no doubt be working in technology, the growth industry for building wealth in the 21st century,” Lewis told Black Enterprise.

Source: http://www.blackenterprise.com/black-boys-stem-summer-program/

Google Partners with Howard University to Develop Future African-American Engineers

Bonita Stewart, VP of Global Partnerships at Google, and Dr. Wayne Frederick, president of Howard University. (Photo: Google/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

article via thegrio.com

On Thursday, Google announced a new program partnered with Howard University in an effort to recruit more young minds from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Howard has opened a campus at the Googleplex, called Howard West, “a physical space on campus where Howard students and Googlers can grow together,” and hopefully will encourage diversity in a field that sorely needs it.

In a press release, Howard University President Dr. Wayne Frederick said:

Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready Black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us. We envisioned this program with bold outcomes in mind — to advance a strategy that leverages Howard’s high quality faculty and Google’s expertise, while also rallying the tech industry and other thought leaders around the importance of diversity in business and the communities they serve.

The move comes as Google and other tech industry giants are still working to find ways to bring diversity to Silicon Valley in an industry where diversity in hiring has not been the norm. Bonita Stewart, Google’s Vice President of Global Partnerships says “students can expect an immersive academic and cultural experience at one of the most iconic companies in the world. Academically, they’ll acquire the skills necessary to excel on real-world projects, taught by the engineers who work on Google products and services every day.

The Howard graduate added, “Culturally, they’ll have a chance to experience daily life in Silicon Valley. On the flip side, we cannot wait to learn from our Howard West students and are excited to see the fresh creativity and innovation they bring to the table.”

Google hopes to expand the program to other HBCUs.

To read more, go to: Google partners with Howard University to develop future black engineers | theGrio

Google Pledges $11.5M to Organizations that Fight Racial Bias in Criminal Justice System

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Dr. Phil Goff, co-founder and president of the Center for Policing Equity. (photo via usatoday.com)

article by  via usatoday.com

SAN FRANCISCO — Google is handing out $11.5 million in grants to organizations combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system, double what it has given so far. And, in keeping with a company built on information, the latest wave of grants target organizations that crunch data to pinpoint problems and propose solutions.

“There is significant ambiguity regarding the extent of racial bias in policing and criminal sentencing,” says Justin Steele, principal with Google.org, the Internet giant’s philanthropic arm. “We must find ways to improve the accessibility and usefulness of information.”  Among the organizations receiving funds from Google.org is the Center for Policing Equity, a national research center that collaborates with police departments and the communities they serve to track statistics on law enforcement actions, from police stops to the use of force.

In addition to the grant of $5 million, Google engineers will put their time and skills to work on improving the center’s national database.”It’s hard to measure justice,” says Phillip Atiba Goff, the center’s co-founder and president. “In policing, data are so sparse and they are not shared broadly. The National Justice Database is an attempt to measure justice so that people who want to do the right thing can use that metric to lay out a GPS for getting where we are trying to go. That’s really what we see Google as being a key partner in helping us do.”

Like other major technology companies, Google is trying to address the racial imbalance in the demographics of its workforce. Hispanics make up 3% of Google employees and African Americans 2%. In 2015, Google gave $2.35 million to community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area tackling systemic racism in America’s criminal justice, prison and educational systems.

Four more grants totaling $3 million followed in 2016, including $1 million to Bryan Stevenson and his nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative to push America to confront its violent racial history including lynchings. The latest round of grants again put Google in the thick of a national conversation on race prompted by the police shooting deaths and mass incarceration of African Americans.

To read full article, go to: Google pledges $11.5M to fight racial bias in policing, sentencing

Black and Latino Youth to Benefit from Google’s New ‘Code Next’ Lab

(Photo by Ariel Skelley via essence.com)

Tech giant Google is aiming to foster the next generation of leaders by increasing learning opportunities for students of color by spearheading an initiative aimed towards encouraging young people of color to pursue careers in technology.

Launched earlier this week by the multimedia behemoth, the Code Next program was established in an effort to combat recent Google statistics citing that 51 percent of Black students and 47 percent of Latino students lack access to computer science classes in their schools.

Stressing the importance of students being given adequate learning tools to broaden their knowledge of technology in today’s constantly evolving tech environment, Code Next will provide enriching curriculum that serves to connect computer science to the students’ daily lives.

To read full, original article, go to: http://www.essence.com/news/google-code-next-lab

Black Girls Code Gets New $2.8M Space Inside Google’s New York Headquarters

(Photo via blackgirlscode.com)
(Photo via blackgirlscode.com)

article by Tanisia Kenney via atlantablackstar.com

Black women in the tech industry are few and far between. It’s an even more daunting task to get young girls of color interested in STEM, let alone present them with the opportunity to learn skills like coding and computing.

Earlier this year, the National Association for Women & Information Technology reported that Black women comprised a measly 3 percent of the technology workforce in 2015. An even smaller percentage — .04 to be exact — of tech startups were led by African-American women, according to #ProjectDiane.

In an effort to bridge this longstanding race gap and foster diversity in the tech industry, search giant Google is providing space at its New York headquarters to house a blooming non-profit dedicated to teaching young girls of color how to code.

Google and Black Girls Code have teamed up to launch a sprawling 3,000-square-foot work space at the company’s Manhattan office, CNet reports. The tech giant purchased the building in 2010, which will now serve as the new home of Black Girls Code.

Valued at nearly $2.8 million, the new space will be used to introduce students of color to the world of technology, inspiring them to possibly pursue a career in tech. The non-profit also hopes to tap into Google’s mentorship and internship opportunities.

With Black Girls Code housed at its headquarters, the space also gives Google access to fresh talent.

“We need a tech sector that looks like the society it serves, and groups like Black Girls Code are ensuring that we can cultivate and access talent in communities of color,” said William Floyd, Google’s head of external affairs.

According to Kimberly Bryant, founder and CEO of Black Girls Code, Google has hosted a number of student workshops at its New York office in the past. Their new partnership will allow the non-profit to have a permanent work space at the company, CNet reports.

“They’re able to influence these girls that Google is a company they might want to come work for once they graduate,” Bryant said.

Being a computer programmer herself, Bryant launched Black Girls Code in 2011 with the hope of providing young and adolescent girls of color the opportunity to learn technology and computer programming skills.

“That, really, is the Black Girls Code mission: to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures,” the company’s website states.

Serving as the non-profit’s first New York office, the space will double as a classroom and an outpost for its East Coast programs, according to Fortune.

The great thing about the Google/Black Girls Code partnership is that it’s mutually beneficial: the non-profit will have access to Google’s resources, while the tech giant will have the opportunity to foster talent from a group of young Black women.

To read more, go to: http://atlantablackstar.com/2016/06/29/non-profit-black-girls-code-gets-new-home-googles-new-york-office/

 

Today’s Winning Google Doodle Invoking Black Lives Matter was Designed by High School Sophomore Akilah Johnson

“My Afrocentric Life,” by Akilah Johnson (courtesy of Google 2016)
“My Afrocentric Life,” by Akilah Johnson (courtesy of Google 2016)

article by Michael Cavna via washingtonpost.com

JUST LAST month, Akilah Johnson was “surprised and overwhelmed” when she learned that she was a national finalist in the “Doodle 4 Google” contest for grade-schoolers.

Akilah, a sophomore at Eastern Senior High School in Northeast Washington, has just been named Google’s big winner in the national contest, topping the 53 state and territory champions, whose work had been culled from about 100,000 student entries.

“It is really overwhelming,” Akilah tells The Post’s Comic Riffs, minutes after receiving the news Monday during a ceremony at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.  “I was so excited, I started crying,” Akilah says. “I didn’t even look at anybody — I was just looking at the framed copy [of the Doodle] they gave me.”

Akilah is the contest’s first winner from Washington, as D.C. was not eligible to enter the states-only competition in past years. (The Post’s Comic Riffs had joined the chorus of voices urging that the District be included.)

This year’s contest theme was: “What makes me…me.” Akilah drew a box-braided Doodle titled “My Afrocentric Life,” using color pencils, black crayons and Sharpie markers. The Doodle includes symbols of black heritage and signs representing the Black Lives Matter movement.  “Although it felt like forever making this picture, it only took me about two weeks,” Akilah told Comic Riffs last month. Continue reading “Today’s Winning Google Doodle Invoking Black Lives Matter was Designed by High School Sophomore Akilah Johnson”

Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative Receives $1,000,000 Grant from Google

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Bryan Stevenson at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Feb. 26, 2016. (photo via theroot.com)

article by Angela Bronner Helm via theroot.com

Tech giant Google announced on Friday that its philanthropic arm would be donating $1 million to Bryan Stevenson’s Alabama-based non-profit, Equal Justice Initiative.

The Harvard-educated Stevenson is a lawyer who has for decades fought the good fight—winning major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults in a deeply flawed American criminal justice system.

EJI has also created the nation’s first lynching memorial and fastidiously marked lynching sites throughout the South.

Justin Steele, a principal with Google.org and the Bay Area and racial justice giving lead told USA Today, “I think what’s exciting about what EJI is doing is that at a national level it is really trying to tell the untold history around race in this country and help people develop a deeper understanding for the narrative around race and how we have gotten to where we are.”

Google.org made the announcement during a Black History Month celebration at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters where Stevenson gave a speech on how the Google grant will help further his work.

USA Today reports that the racial justice grants were born out of a growing consensus inside Google that it must respond to the police slayings of African Americans and the fatal shooting of nine black citizens inside a Charleston, S.C., church last summer.

In November, Google.org made its first racial justice grants, giving $2.35 million to community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. This week, Google.org made four more grants, totaling $3 million.

Keeping in line with the activist mantra of organizing locally and thinking globally, the Equal Justice Initiative grant was the only grant gifted to a national non-profit—all other money was given to local organizations in the Bay Area working to eliminate racial disparities in education.

To see video of Bryan Stevenson’s Google talk, click here.

Read more at USA Today.

Diversifying Google: Meet Black Google Engineers Clennita Justice, Aggrey Jacobs and Travis McPhail

As tech companies continue to share diversity statistics with the public, it’s clear there is still a lot of work to do to boost inclusion in tech. Yet, people of color are working at some of the largest companies in technology even though their numbers are few.

Google’s latest diversity stats from January 2015  show that 2% of its workforce is black. Meet three successful Google engineers:

Clennita Justice
Clennita Justice, Senior Engineering Program Manager, Google (Image: Google)

Clennita Justice is a Social Engineering program manager. She’s been at Google more than half a decade.

She was hired to launch Google e-books, which became Google Play Books. Now, she does user research and Product Excellence—a focus on making the right product for the right user—part of Google’s shift in culture from launching to adopting. Justice’s particular area of focus is infrastructure.

Originally from Los Angeles, Justice has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Howard University. She pursued a degree in Computer Science before the Internet was ubiquitous and before the big push to get women and girls interested in STEM, and despite the insistence of her uncle (who worked for IBM) that she study business.

She actually studied business for a year at Denver University as a business major. When she took a course in DOS programming and received an “A”, she was hooked and switched her major to Computer Science. She eventually taught herself HTML and JavaScript as the Internet took off.

A pivotal moment in her life was when someone in the Computer Science department at her university said he didn’t think she would stay in Computer Science. Not only did she stay and complete her degree, but she received the best job offer of anyone in her class.

Justice is a strong believer in self-educating. She also advises, “Anyone who gets into tech has to be a constant learner. That’s how you stay relevant.”

Aggrey Jacobs
Aggress Jacobs, Software Engineer on Google Play, Google; (Image: Google)

Aggrey Jacobs is a software engineer for Google Play; specifically, he works on Google Play Books for iPhone and iPad applications. His typical day is spent mostly coding, although he also engages in general problem solving for iOS at Google and also helps bring more users on board.

Prior to Google, Jacobs worked as an iOS developer at Western Digital. How the 28-year-old ended up working for two of the most prestigious technology companies is interesting. Jacobs says he never really knew what he wanted to do, and that his father was the one who suggested he study computer engineering. Jacobs’ father’s own computer experience is limited to playing Solitaire on the computer, according to Jacobs, who says, “Who knows?” how his father had the knowledge to direct him to that career.

During his first semester in school, Jacobs learned Java programming. He ended up double-majoring in both computer and electrical engineering.

The Brooklyn native says a pivotal point in his life was when he was contemplating graduate school. He went, but dropped out, because he was “trying to figure out what to do.”

Jacobs relocated to California to search for a job. It was there that Google reached out to him and he was hired, although he didn’t see himself getting through the interview process.

He now encourages other people of color to apply at Google. He says lack of exposure and intimidation can prevent some from applying at the company. By the way, he still speaks often with his father.

Travis McPhail
Travis McPhail, Software Engineer, Tech Lead within Geo (Image: Google)

Travis McPhail is a software engineer and tech lead who works with Google Maps.

He is currently leading an effort to create one library that performs all of Google’s renderings across Maps, Google Earth, and Google Street View data.

McPhail believes the future of Google is through geospatial rendering applications that will allow people to be informed of the world around them.

He credits his career in software engineering to being “a bad kid” who “used to break a lot of things at home.” Fortunately, instead of “strangling him,” his father bought him a Commodore 64 computer when he was just five years old.

He had a natural affinity for technology from the start. His father challenged him to learn to use the computer, and McPhail says he started to “bang away on it.”

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

Google Donates $2.4 Million in Fight Against Racial Injustice

The Paley Center For Media & Google Present 'Cracking the Code: Diversity, Hollywood & STEM' At Google

Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the internet giant, has announced plans to dedicate $2.35 million in grants to community organizations combatting racial injustice in the U.S., according to USA Today.

The announcement came Tuesday during a screening of 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, the report says. The film examines the shooting death of Jordan Davis, 17, who was unarmed when he was shot and killed in 2012 by a White man, Michael Dunn, outside of a gas station in Jacksonville, Fla. for playing music too loud in a vehicle.

The grant program is part of a “larger giving effort over the course of the next year.” Via USA Today:

The technology giant’s philanthropic arm chose organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area taking on systemic racism in America’s criminal justice, prison and educational systems, says Justin Steele, who leads Google.org’s Bay Area giving efforts.

Steele says the grants are just the first for Google.org as it seeks to address the Bay Area’s growing economic gap that has only widened during the technology boom.

“We hope to build on this work and contribute to this movement for racial justice,” Steele said in an interview.

Google.org’s decision comes after the Mountain View, California tech giant announced plans this spring to recruit more women and people of color into one of the best paid growth industries in the nation.

Under the ambitious $150 million recruitment plan, half of the money is for outside organizations and communities to train and hire people of color, while the other half will be used on internal diversity efforts.

The changes did not come without pressure. For over a year, civil rights leaders called on Google and other tech companies to diversify their ranks at a time of high unemployment in communities of color.

article by Lynette Holloway via newsone.com

Tech Giant Apple Appoints former Boeing CEO James A. Bell to its Board of Directors

James A. Bell (photo via macdaily.com)
James A. Bell (photo via macdaily.com)

Technology companies have been the target of questioning when it comes to hiring minorities. In fact, with the lack of adequate minority representation in companies like Facebook and Google, civil rights activists such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson along with the Rev. Al Sharpton have called out these companies. By calling out major technology companies with regard to their hiring practices of minorities to managerial and upper management positions, some companies are listening.

In a recent development, Apple has elected James, A. Bell to its board of directors. This move is without a doubt, a move in the right direction for a company as powerful as Apple.

Bell is the former chief financial officer and corporate president of the Boeing Company. With a 38-year tenure at Boeing, Bell served as the interim CEO of the the company in 2005.

When asked about his election to the board of directors for Apple, Bell said “I am an avid user of Apple products and have a tremendous respect for the company’s ability to innovate. I am delighted to join the Apple board and look forward to contributing to its continued success in any way I can.” according to The Root.

With all of his vast experience in corporate America, Bell brings quality leadership and strategic planning to the board. In addition to that, his experience in finance will definitely be a huge contributing factor.

“In August, Apple said it was making efforts to hire more women and underrepresented minorities, recruiting more diverse candidates in the past 12 months than in any previous year, but overall there was little change in the demographics of the company, which is overwhelmingly male and white, USA Today reported Thursday.”

Apple isn’t the only board appointment Bell has. He’s a board member of the following: Dow Chemical, JP Morgan Chase, and CDW. He’s also a trustee of the Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center
.

article via financialjuneteenth.com