The work being done by the likes of Code2040—a nonprofit that, since 2012, has sought to help close the racial wealth gap by diversifying tech—is only more important in a year that has given voice to James Damore and his brethren. As Code2040 founder and CEO Laura Weidman Powers told USA Today:
“It was one thing when President Obama was in an office and he used to talk about diversity in tech and he paid attention to how tech and Silicon Valley were thinking about these issues. Now that external pressure is lost. For folks who are motivated by their own sense of conviction, that doesn’t matter necessarily. But for folks looking at the way the wind is blowing, there is less inclination to prioritize this work.”
A new cash infusion of $5.6 million—$3 million of which is from the Knight Foundation—will help Code2040 stay the course. As I wrote in August, Code2040 is expanding its fellows program to New York next year, partnering with companies like Goldman Sachs, Spotify, and the New York Times. By 2020, Code2040 hopes to build a community of 40,000 people, with 1,000 students taking part in its programs.
Also on the agenda: Code2040 will double down on its work with tech companies that need diversifying, by putting together a new team and creating a curriculum to help organizations build inclusivity into their company culture.