Microsoft will partner with Black Girls Code and Technology Access Foundation through a $500,000 investment in order to bring more STEM learning opportunities to students of color in Seattle, it announced last week.
Microsoft will help Kimberly Bryant’s non-profit, Black Girls Code, establish a Seattle chapter. Black Girls Code was established to “provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming.” It introduces programming and tech to a new generation. Seattle will be the organization’s 14th city of operation.
The partnership between Microsoft and Technology Access Foundation, founded by Trish Millines Dziko, will consist of an investment in STEMbyTAF, which provides an out-of-school program that offers tech skills training, internships and college prep to students of color in the Seattle Area. It went on to become an expert organization on creating learning environments void of race-based disparity in achievement, and with the investment, they plan to help replicate the success of TAF’s work.
In its announcement, Microsoft acknowledged that last year only about 5 percent of AP Computer Science test takers were African-American and 25 percent were women, as well as the fact that there’s an obvious STEM pipeline issue. By investing in the Seattle community and providing young people of color with positive role models like the founders of these organizations, the next generation will have access to the ever-growing and advancing tech industry.