Nadia Gathers is the development and communications assistant at CODE2040. Today Knight Foundation is announcing $1.2 million in new support for CODE2040, which was a winner of the Knight News Challenge on strengthening the Internet and has received other support from Knight. Above: From left to right: Guilherme Carneiro, Rodrigo Manubens, and Anthony Williams work on their project during CODE2040's Hack4Diversity in July. Photo credit: Nadia Gathers. Over the last four years, CODE2040 has helped thousands of black and Latino students connect with opportunities in tech through innovative programs such as our Fellows Program and Technical Applicant Prep. With the support of Knight Foundation, CODE2040 has rapidly grown from our pilot year of five fellows in 2012 to a record-breaking class of 80 students at more than 40 industry-leading companies. Knight Foundation’s new support will enable us to reach more students and change even more lives in the next two years. One such student, Anthony Williams, attended a Technical Applicant Prep retreat in Oakland, Calif., on May 29-31, and was so moved by the experience that he shared his story, “Escaping Rock Bottom,” on Medium: “With the amazing weekend CODE2040 put on, allowing us to network, practice behavioral and technical interviews, meet with professionals in the industry, and learn about branding and creating our image, I couldn’t help but feel inspired. I felt whole again. They didn’t just build a better professional; they built a better me. I was a completely new person by the end of the retreat. CODE2040 cultivated a better human being within me. I became more confident in my technical abilities as well as with who I am as a person. I was the type of person who could describe every detail of your shoes by the end of a conversation because I was too afraid to make eye contact. I would’ve never been able to openly share my thoughts and experiences in front of a crowd, I wouldn’t have been able to walk up to a group of staff members, ask to sit down and have a fun and genuine conversation. “I found that I valued myself more than ever, I found worth, I found purpose, I found me. I value my background, culture, friends, family and all those who I have ever crossed paths throughout my life because they have made me the driven person I am today.”
Nadia Gathers is the development and communications assistant at CODE2040, which recently held a hackathon in Miami to help increase opportunity for people of color in the tech industry. Knight supported the hackathon. CODE2040 was also a winner of the Knight News Challenge on strengthening the Internet. Photos are courtesy HACK2040 Miami. At CODE2040, our events give us insight into the diverse populations we serve on a daily basis. Over the last four years, we’ve been fortunate enough to spark relationships with students, entrepreneurs and other interested people in communities around the United States. The most recent of these transformative events was last weekend’s HACK2040 in Miami. HACK2040 is a hackathon powered by the CODE2040 community, bringing black and Latino/a students from local colleges and coding boot camps together. Teams use 24 hours to come up with ways to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the tech industry. As passionate changemakers, we revel in the chance to watch technologists of the present and future work together to help us change the face of tech in the next 25 years. Miami’s diverse and vibrant community served as the backdrop to what was an incredibly insightful weekend. While technological solutions to diversity are often created with grand scale in mind, we are influenced by the hyperlocal culture of every city we visit. Miami’s strong Latino/a presence excited us, and the effect that its communities of color have had on its development will inspire our vision as we expand. A number of community organizations, including CODeLLA, Iron Hack, Tech Miami, Refresh Miami, The Idea Center at Miami Dade College, Alpis, Get Wit It, Black Tech Week and Code Fever, are doing connective and informative work in the tech and entrepreneurship spaces. Representatives from each had the opportunity to share what they are doing in the community. This event served as an opportunity for participants from many organizations to come together, break bread and explore the ways they can support each other.