All photos via Google
Google has ramped up their diversity efforts with a $1,000,000 grant in an effort to increase the representation of Black male youth in tech.
The tech giant is granting the Oakland-based Hidden Genius Project, an organization that mentors Black male youth in technology creations, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills. Along with inspiring more young Black men to pursue their passions in STEM, the funds will help the organization expand to new cities and train more staff.
The announcement was made at “Tech Slam,” an event in Silicon Valley that provides youth with access to mentors and activities in several fields including computer science, music, fashion and sports.
The Hidden Genius Project previously received a $500,000 grant which they utilized to reach “more than 1,700 Bay Area students through their 15-month intensive CS and entrepreneurship boot camp program, as well as events and workshops exposing young Black men to mentors, basic computer programming, and various careers in tech, like sports analytics and video game design,” said Justin Steele, principal at Google.org.
Black people make up only 2 percent of the workforce in tech. With several recent reports disparaging the lack of representation of Black people in tech, programs like these are crucial to the growth of our demographic in the field.
By increasing youth interest in STEM, the Hidden Genius Project is cultivating a lifelong interest that can lead to careers in tech and beyond. Community outreach efforts like this will also help Google to increase the number of people of color in their own ranks.
Congratulations to the Hidden Genius Project for earning this prestigious opportunity!