NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Black Girls CODE, the innovative non-profit organization dedicated to teaching girls ages 7-17 about computer programming and technology, cut the ribbon on its redesigned New York Tech Exploration Lab that’s co-located within its existing East Coast office within Google’s New York headquarters. Along with the opening of their new tech lab, CEO Kimberly Bryant announced the organization’s new Board of Directors.
Designed to look like the inside of a computer, the new space was built for the sole purpose of bringing both new and existing BGC students closer to the innovative technologies used within the workshops the organization hosts throughout the year on topics such as game development, robotics, virtual reality, blockchain and more.
“We’ve been working with Google to improve diversity in the STEM industry since we were founded in 2012,” says Black Girls CODE CEO Kimberly Bryant. “This new space will bring us one step closer to our goal of teaching 1 million girls to code by 2040. Here we will hold workshops, host talks, and also provide after-school and summer programs for students eager to learn skills for building mobile apps, virtual reality games, and more.”
At the grand opening, Bryant announced the organization’s new Board of Directors. The 10 Board members include:
- Kimberly Bryant, Founder & CEO, Black Girls CODE – Kimberly has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries as an Engineering Leader in a series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 50 companies including Genentech, Merck and Pfizer.
- Jessie Wooley-Wilson, CEO and President, DreamBox Learning™ – DreamBox Learning pioneered the concept of Intelligent Adaptive Learning™ and serves nearly 3 million K-8 students and 120,000 teachers. Jessie recently secured a $130 million investment in DreamBox from The Rise Fund, a global impact investing fund managed by TPG Growth.
- Heather Hiles, Founder, Chair and CEO, Imminent Equity – Over the past 25 years, Heather has researched and established some of the best technological architectures for startups or large companies and has served on more than a dozen boards, including for the San Francisco Unified School District and UNIFORM. She is also the Co-founder and CEO of Atribute.io.
- Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO, TaskRabbit – With over 15 years of consumer technology experience, Stacy has led the growth and scale of large and small enterprises in the digital economy. Ranked by Business Insider as one of the 46 Most Important Blacks in Technology, Stacy is a frequent speaker on the advancement of women and minorities in technology. She led a successful acquisition of TaskRabbit by the IKEA Group in 2017.
- Sebastien Taveau, Technologist, Entrepreneur and Curious Mind – Sebastien’s technical experience spans more than 25 years in various industries. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and watching people turn concepts into full-fledged companies via non-intrusive nurturing and mentoring.
- Lauren Olivia Ruffin, Chief External Relations Officer, Fractured Atlas – Lauren has experience in marketing, communications, community engagement, and fundraising. In her 2 years Fractured Atlas, Lauren has worked to develop the organization’s first Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression (ARAO) Community Guidelines and the ARAO Committee.
- Julia Collins, Co-Founder and President, Zume Inc. – As an African American entrepreneur, Julia’s focus is on building successful businesses in food. Zume Inc. sits at the forefront of responsible automation and has built a technology platform that’s poised to tackle the logistics needed to feed the estimated 9 billion people that will inhabit the planet by mid-century.
- Sherman Whites, Director, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – Sherman manages philanthropic investments in K-12 education, including emerging portfolios related to innovation and community ownership. Prior to joining Kauffman Foundation, Whites was a program officer for the K-12 Education and Special Interest teams at the Walton Family Foundation.
- Dr. Robert Simmons, CEO, See Forever Foundation and Maya Angelou Schools – As a nationally recognized scholar and expert on racial equity and urban education, Dr. Simmons has lectured and delivered workshops throughout the United States and Europe.
- Dr. Sylvia Wilson Thomas, Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering, University of South Florida – Dr. Thomas has over 25 years of global experience in academia and industry, assisting in the advancement of companies and organizations such as the University of South Florida, Lucent Bell Labs, IBM and Procter & Gamble.
To learn more about Black Girls CODE, events, or ways to get involved, visit: www.blackgirlscode.com/.
About Black Girls CODE
Since 2011, Black Girls CODE has been committed to providing girls from underrepresented community’s access to technology and 21st century skills necessary to become tech leaders. Having reached more than 8,000 young women in 14 chapters around the world, Black Girls CODE’s organizational vision is to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. http://www.blackgirlscode.com
Claire Nelson and Claire Burke