Keynote Wednesday: Virginia Eubanks
Virginia Eubanks is the cofounder of Our Knowledge, OurPower (OKOP), a grassroots anti-poverty and welfare rights organization, and the Popular Technology Workshops, which help community organizations and social movements make the connection between technology and their other social justice goals. She teaches in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY and writes books about technology, social justice, and politics. In past lives, she edited the cyberfeminist ‘zine Brillo and was active in the community technology center movements in the San Francisco Bay Area and Troy, NY.
Kimberly Bryant is a Biotechnology/Engineeringprofessional who has spent the last decade in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, and Manufacturing industry in a series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 100 companies such as Merck, Pfizer, and Dupont. Most recently Ms. Bryant spent 5+ years as a Senior Manager with Bay Area biotechnology company Genentech. Ms. Bryant is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and she received her Bachelors of Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with a major in Electrical Engineering and a minor in CS and math. Ms. Bryant founded BlackGirlsCode in April 2011 to meet the needs of young women of color who are underrepresented in the currently exploding field of technology.
The program focuses on introducing girls of color between the ages of 7-17 to the field of digital technology and computer programming with a focus on emerging entrepreneurial concepts. Since launching BlackGirlsCode in 2011 in the Bayview Hunter’s Point community the very successful pilot program has experienced incredible growth with workshops now being offered in Oakland, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, and various other cities as part of a national expansion effort.
Among some of the honors BlackGirlsCode has achieved since its launch include being selected from amongst 400+ applicants for the prestigious Google R.I.S.E. (Roots in Science and Engineering) award for 2012 and its selection as a semifinalist in the Echoing Green Social Entrepreneur Fellowship Program. The program has received national recognition via feature articles on CNN, The Huffington Post, and The Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC, MadameNoire, and other major publications. BlackGirlsCode founder, Kimberly Bryant, was also selected to appear in an upcoming episode of SciGirls a nationally syndicated PBS show which focuses on introducing girls to science. In addition to her responsibilities as founder of BlackGirlsCode, Ms. Bryant serves on the National Champions Board for the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the National Board of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance. In August 2012, Kimberly Bryant was also given the honor of receiving the prestigious Jefferson Award for Community Service for her work to support communities in the Bay Area with Black Girls Code.
Although the digital divide is steadily eroding there is still a great disparity in the representation of women and people of color in STEM fields, the mission of BlackGirlsCode is to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders who will become the leaders and creators of tomorrow.
Our motto is: Build the Future!