Over the past five years, Code2040’s fellows program has paired black and Latinx students with internships at key Silicon Valley players like Slack, Airbnb, Intel, and Twitter. Starting next year, Code2040 is bringing the program to New York City. Its initial partners include Goldman Sachs, Jane Street, Squarespace, Spotify, and the New York Times.
“It’s really clear if you take not just the tech sector lens, but an economy lens that . . . it’s not just about the tech companies headquartered [in Silicon Valley],” Code2040 cofounder and CEO Laura Weidman Powers told me. “The financial services industry, the media industry—these other centers of power in the economy are increasingly relying on the technical skillset in order to make their decisions and deliver their products.”
Code2040 has always taken a longview approach to changing the racial and ethnic makeup of tech. When Powers founded Code2040 with Tristan Walker in 2012, the goal was to work toward closing the racial wealth gap by creating more opportunities for black and Latinx students and entrepreneurs to enter an industry that is now central to wealth creation. As companies in countless sectors—finance and media, for example—effectively become tech companies, bringing the Fellows Program to NYC is a necessary next step.