Pharrell Williams and his education equity nonprofit YELLOW have both teamed up with Amazon and Georgia Institute of Technology to announce a new educational collaboration aimed at inspiring young students to learn how to code.
“Your Voice is Power” — a newly-generated campaign between Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon Music, and Georgia Tech — is the latest initiative to emphasize the importance of computer science education to students in underserved communities, as well as minority groups that are currently underrepresented in tech.
According to a press release, the campaign was created to encourage both middle and high school students to share their voice on equity while learning how to code new music remixes.
“This collaboration between YELLOW, Amazon, and Georgia Tech is a celebration of Black creators and change-makers,” said Pharrell in a press statement. “YELLOW at its core believes that education is a pathway to success. Teaching kids future-ready skills like coding, especially those kids for whom opportunities like this have not been equally distributed, is how we prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
While introducing students to real-life computer-based careers held by people of color, the new collaboration also strives to utilize lesson plans to teach coding and initiate meaningful conversations among both students and their teachers about the importance of racial justice.
Through this program, students will have the opportunity to meet professionals who use both music and computer science to fight against racial injustices — including people like Mike Larson, Pharrell’s audio engineer; Chalece DeLaCoudray, a music technologist and Georgia Tech alumna; and Joycelyn Wilson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hip Hop Studies and Digital Media at Georgia Tech.
Per the initiative’s announcement, the campaign will conclude with a competition for students to share their own voices by remixing Pharrell’s new song “Entrepreneur” through computer code on Georgia Tech’s learn-to-code-through-music platform, EarSketch.
“YELLOW’s mission is to even the odds for kids through education. We’re teaching for the future,” said Mike McGalliard, CEO of YELLOW, in a statement. “Georgia Tech’s EarSketch platform is a powerful tool for kids to explore the connection between coding and creativity. In working alongside Amazon to give kids access to platforms like this, we can help them bring their ideas to life.”
This new partnership is a continuation of Amazon’s ongoing work to support education and racial equality initiatives in communities across America.
The hope for the new campaign is to attract up to 100,000 students in an effort to add “unique, meaningful, and entrepreneurial-minded content to their current virtual learning experiences.”
For more information on the “Your Voice is Power” campaign, click here.