Now, more than ever, it’s critical for Black people to be actively engaged in the creation of digital systems. Already, in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, we’re seeing facial recognition systems failing to recognize us, recidivism algorithms labeling us as “riskier” in comparison to counterparts with similar backgrounds, being denied loans from banking institutions, and much more.

In this post, I’ll be highlighting organizations that are committed to educating, mentoring, and supporting the next generation of Black technologists.

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Credit: WOCinTech Chat

Computer Science Education

  • Black Girls Code: Black Girls Code (BGC) is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on providing technology education for African-American girls.
  • Black Boys Code: Black Boys Code helps Black boys engage with culture and become tomorrow’s drivers, creators, and innovators of technology. …

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Credit: University of Pennsylvania

Over the past week, we’ve seen statements by companies ranging from Google to Adidas regarding recent events and the systemic violence perpetrated against Black communities. On Friday, President Martha Pollack sent out a statement on behalf of Cornell University that was thoughtful and crafted with intention. She outwardly expressed her emotions, was specific in mentioning Black communities, and provided actionable steps that Cornell will take to address these issues in research and educational programming.

However, it has been interesting to note that my department (Computer Science), one that has praised itself and received notable press for increasing the number of Black and Latinx PhD students has yet to make a statement. …

About

Chinasa T. Okolo

Computer Science PhD Student @Cornell • I write about grad school, machine learning, venture capital, global health, & African development. www.chinasaokolo.com

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