Below is an official announcement from Codesmith sent out to the broader Codesmith Community on June 4th, 2020.
To our Codesmith community,
We have all been reminded, once again, how our nation’s legacy of racism continues to destroy the lives of Black people. The recent killings, shootings, and unjust harassments have made it clear just how far we still have to go as a society. Even the pandemic itself has killed Black people in America at higher rates than other groups, amplifying disparities that have existed for far too long.
We all have a lifelong responsibility to stand up against racism, whenever and however we may encounter it. Codesmith was founded to help people improve and empower not only their own lives but those within their individual communities. Our commitments to diversity and inclusivity, as well as a focus on the advancement of all human rights, are core to our mission, so I hope we will all continue to join together as we push forward toward a better world - one that strives relentlessly for equality.
Over the past week, we’ve been working to ideate and implement ways that we can support the Black community, both in the short-term and long-term. This work has involved further education on the challenges we face as a society and it’s clear there’s room for immense progress.
Acknowledging that this will not nearly be enough to create an equal and just society, here are a few steps we are taking to continuously fight for equality:
Minorities in Tech Scholarship Expansion
We are expanding the Minorities in Tech scholarship to develop the Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship. The scholarship will cover 100% of tuition for our Software Engineering Immersive programs for 10 Black students in addition to our existing scholarship opportunities.
Expanded Option for Deferred Payment Agreement
We will offer an interest-free Deferred Payment Agreement to Black students who are not awarded the Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship.
Mentorship Program for Black People
Currently offered for women, we will be expanding our mentorship program to the Black community, as well as other minority groups. The program offers guidance to prospective students starting from the admissions process through their time at Codesmith.
Second Implicit Bias Workshop Added
During the Senior portion of the Software Engineering Immersive, we will be adding a 2nd Implicit Bias discussion to teach our community how they can support equal opportunity for oppressed communities as they rise to influential positions in their careers.
Recurring Educational Opportunities
Current students and team members will be invited to regularly hosted Lunch & Learn sessions focused on diversity and inclusivity. This will be a place to learn from and listen to educators on a variety of topics such as anti-racism, the history of racial injustice, and inequality within the tech industry.
As we mentioned, part of this time has been focused on educating ourselves to better provide support for our community. Below is just a shortlist of some of the resources that we have been using to educate ourselves and we would like to encourage our community to join us:
Read (we encourage you to support a Black-owned book store when purchasing): Stamped by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi; The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander; Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World by Layla Saad; How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi; So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo; White Fragility by Robin J. DiAngelo, PHD
Watch: 13th and When They See Us - both on Netflix
While these initiatives are focused on supporting our larger community, as a company we are matching employee donations, expanding implicit bias & diversity training for new team members and managers, and broadening our newly established People Division to push forward and implement our ongoing Diversity & Inclusivity initiatives.
Our society needs your vision, tolerance, courage, and kindness, so thank you for being part of our community. Please let us know if there’s anything you need during these challenging and painful times.