A portion of CODE2040’s mission statement reads:
CODE2040 is a nonprofit organization that creates programs that increase the representation of Blacks and Latino/as in the innovation economy. We believe the tech sector, communities of color, and the country as a whole will be stronger if talent from all backgrounds is included in the creation of the companies, programs, and products of tomorrow.
Walker told Martin, “One thing we really like to talk about is the awareness problem. There aren’t enough folks who know that Silicon Valley exists.
“So I think it’s really fix the awareness problem. I didn’t know about Silicon Valley until I was 24 and therein lies the problem and it’s something that we’re working very hard to rectify,” said Walker.
Martin asked Walker what does he say to tech companies that claim they cannot find qualified African Americans and Latinos to fill open positions within their organization.
Walker responded, “They say we’ve found the folks … and we say that they are wrong.”
“One thing that we do uniquely well, is we recruit some the best and brightest engineering minds in the country from some of the universities that aren’t well sought after. We also recruit from the Stanfords, the MITs, the Carnegie Mellons. We also find great engineering talent from the University of Maryland in Baltimore County.”’
“We find great talent from the University of Illinois and we bring that talent to Silicon Valley to really succeed and learn more about this place and what it has to offer.”
NewsOne Now panelist Joia Jefferson Nuri, founder and CEO of In The Public Eye Communications asked Walker how should Black parents “train the next group of African Americans who will be qualified for Silicon Valley?”
The co-founder of CODE2040 explained, “It’s a matter of making technology sexy.” Walker added that he is incredibly excited about how “consumerised technology is becoming.”
Walker believes that preparing the next generation of African Americans for the tech industry is ”inevitable” and plans to immerse his five and a half month old son in the industry when’s old enough to grasp it.
“We’ve been adopting these technologies at faster rates than kind of the typical American and we just need to keep pushing forward and pushing and pushing…we’ll get there. Just as much in the same way as we got there in sports, in finance, in politics, Silicon Valley is just the last rung of the ladder.”
Watch Martin, Tristan Walker and the “NewsOne Now” panel, featuring Joia Jefferson Nuri, founder of In The Public Eye Communications, Ray Baker of Ray Baker Media and Lauren Victoria Burke, Managing Editor of Politic365, discuss CODE2040 in the video clip above.
For more information about CODE2040 visit http://www.code2040.org/
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