#YesWeCode Initiative

This is really interesting on a number of levels. I don’t want to cast doubt on the value of the project or the motivations underlying it, but I think there are important questions to be asked about the increasing weight placed on the diffusion of coding skills as a way to ameliorate inequality:

>#YesWeCode (http://www.yeswecode.org) is an initiative that seeks to
>mobilize tech and social justice leaders to connect 100,000
>low-opportunity young adults to the skills and experiences they need to
>access high-paying careers in technology. CNN commentator Van Jones
>founded the #YesWeCode initiative with the support of Prince, who passed
>away yesterday.
>Jones elaborated on Prince’s involvement at the 20th Anniversary Essence
>”After the Trayvon Martin verdict I was talking to Prince and he said,
>’You know, every time people see a young black man wearing a hoodie,
>they think, he’s a thug. But if they see a young white guy wearing a
>hoodie they think, oh that might be Mark Zuckerberg. That might be a
>dot-com billionaire.'”
>”I said, ‘Well, yeah, Prince that’s true but that’s because of racism.’
>And he said, ‘No, it’s because we have not produced enough black Mark
>Zuckerbergs. That’s on us. That’s on us. To deal with what we’re not
>doing to get our young people prepared to be a part of this new
>information economy.'”
>Since July 2014, YesWeCode has been focused on three activities:
>Communicate: In partnership with Oakland, Calfornia-based organizations,
>#YesWeCode launched an interactive website with a powerful search tool
>that enables users to find local coding education resources. This tool
>also helps users find local events and learn more about coding
>Convene: #YesWeCode has convened 100+ coding practitioners and
>stakeholders in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans.
>#YesWeCode partnered with Qeyno Labs to host a Start-Up Weekend
>hackathon in February 2015, focused on uplifting young African-American
>men and boys.
>Catalyze: In July, #YesWeCode launched at the 20th Anniversary ESSENCE
>Festival with a youth-focused hackathon and a headline performance by
>Prince, before a festival audience of 500,000 people.
>Just seemed appropriate to post this.