Beginning this summer, 30 students from the Horace Mann UCLA Community School in South Los Angeles will attend a free computer science intensive training program at UCLA that includes entrepreneurial and leadership training, as well as five days learning to code and a tour of a major tech company.
The Bruin Code Summer Academy, which is a partnership between the UCLA Tech and Innovation initiative and L.A.-based non-profit Urban TXT, was announced recently during a special panel discussion held at Mann UCLA that was focused on re-shaping K-12 education and hiring practices in the tech industry to increase opportunity for black and Latinx youth.
Speaking as part of the UCLA Tech Talk “Advancing Pathways to Tech for Black and Latinx Youth,” were Andres Cuervo, director of the UCLA Tech and Innovation initiative, which hosted the event; Oscar Menjivar, founder and CEO of L.A.–based nonprofit Teens Exploring Technology, known as Urban TXT; Jarvis Sam, manager of Global Diversity Initiatives for Snapchat; and two UCLA alumni, Christine Shen, director of the UCLA Community Schools Initiative, and Orlando Johnson, principal of Mann UCLA Community School.
“Today’s conversation is really about how tech represents how we build the future, but if tech is leaving communities out of the conversation, we’re not including [people] of color and women to be a part of how this future is built,” Cuervo said. “It’s about forming partnerships that are not just talk.”
Addressing a group of students in the inaugural ninth grade class at Mann UCLA, Sam described the importance of having students of color earn more than just “a seat at the table” in the tech field.
“I’ve had tons of seats at the table where I’ve felt entirely uncomfortable being at the table,” Sam said speaking about the need for diversity and representation. “So rather, it is a voice in the conversation … that is unique and impactful.”
Read the full story on the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies website.