ALL STAR CODE EVENT

We have a preview of this star-studded 21st Century event that kicks off this weekend.

Aired on July 27, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> THE TECH INDUSTRY IS NOT NECESSARILY KNOWN FOR ITS GENDER AND RACIAL INCLUSIVENESS.

BUT THE DAUGHTER OF THE LATE LEGENDARY BUSINESS TIE TAN REGINALD F. LEWIS IS WORKING TO CHANGE ALL THAT.

SHE LAUNCHED A NONPROFIT WORKING ON EDUCATION.

TECH TRAINING AND NAVIGATING UNIQUE BARRIERS HER STUDENTS FACE.

THIS SEGMENT IS PART OF OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE ON POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY IN AMERICA.

JOINING US TODAY WITH ALL THE INFORMATION ON WHAT HER NONPROFIT IS DOING TO HELP, THE FOUNDER AND CEO OF ALL-STAR CODE CHRISTINA LEWIS.

THANK YOU, JACK, FOR HAVING ME.

LET'S START OFF WITH ALL-STAR CODE.

HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?

I WAS A PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

AND WENT IN 2011 TO MY FIRST TECH CONFERENCE.

AND THERE I WAS STUNNED AT THE LACK OF BLACK AND BROWN FACES.

I SAW THAT THIS WAS A FIELD THAT WASN'T JUST UNDIVERSE, BUT IN A WAY I FELT HADN'T BEEN INTEGRATED.

AND THEN MY FAMILY STORY COMES IN BECAUSE MY FATHER WAS THE PIONEER OF WALL STREET.

YOU MIGHT CALL HIM THE JACKIE ROBINSON OF BUSINESS.

AS TALENTED AS HE WAS AND ALWAYS WAS, HE WAS VERY HONEST WITH US THAT HE NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE IT TO THE HEART OF WALL STREET IF THERE HADN'T BEEN AN ACCESS PROGRAM ACTUALLY RUN BY HARVARD LAW SCHOOL.

WITH THAT EXPERIENCE I JUST KNEW FIRSTHAND THAT IF THE GATE KEEPERS WEREN'T EXPLICITLY THINKING ABOUT THIS AND OPENING UP ACCESS THE INDUSTRY WOULDN'T INTEGRATE.

NOT JUST BEING DIVERSIFIED, BUT NOT BEING INTEGRATED.

SIGNIFICANT DISTINCTION.

20% OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO ARE TAKING THE ADVANCED PLACEMENT COMPUTER PROGRAMMING OR RELATED COURSES WERE YOUNG MEN OF COLOR.

THAT STATISTIC IS FRIGHTENING BECAUSE, OF COURSE, OUR YOUTH ARE ALMOST MAJORITY MINORITY RIGHT NOW IN THIS COUNTRY.

THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS BEHIND THE LACK OF DIVERSITY IN TECHNOLOGY.

AND THAT INCLUDES HIRING PRACTICES.

IT INCLUDES, YOU KNOW, POOR SCHOOLING.

IT INCLUDES LACK OF AWARENESS AND INFORMATION ABOUT S.T.E.M.

AND COMPUTER SCIENCE.

IT INCLUDES THE LACK OF ABILITY OF COMPUTER SCIENCE INSTRUCTION.

HOW DETRIMENTAL DO YOU THINK IT IS TO THESE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT THEY SAY TO THEMSELVES, I DON'T SEE ANYBODY WHO LOOKS LIKE ME?

THE FACT THAT YOUNG MEN OF COLOR ARE UNDERREPRESENTED IN COMPUTER SCIENCE WAS ON ALMOST NO ONE'S RADAR.

THERE WAS A SMALL AMOUNT OF PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT GIRLS AND WOMEN IN S.T.E.M., WHICH, OF COURSE, I SUPPORT.

BUT THE IDEA THAT THERE WERE BOYS WHO ARE ALSO UNDERREPRESENTED AND NEEDED SUPPORT, IT WAS -- THE IDEA WAS SO RADICAL.

JUST TO GO BACK TO THE GENESIS, THAT'S WHY I, ALONG WITH MY MY MOTHER, WE DECIDED TO LEAD IT, INITIALLY HELP START THIS ORGANIZATION BECAUSE THIS IS -- THERE WAS A LACK OF AWARENESS THAT THERE'S EVEN A PROBLEM.

WE HAVE TWO MAIN PROGRAMS.

ONE IS A FREE SIX-WEEK COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAM WHERE THE STUDENTS COME OUT LEARNING WEB DEVELOPMENT.

BUT IT ALSO TEACHES SOFT SKILLS.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT, FOR PEOPLE WHO MIGHT NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH THE TERM SOFT SKILLS.

SOFT SKILLS IS HOW TO PRESENT, COMMUNICATION, AND EMPHASIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT JUST BUILDING SOMETHING GREAT, BUT ALSO DESCRIBING IT REALLY WELL.

ONE OF THE BIG INSIGHTS THAT I HAD FROM MY RESEARCH BEFORE I STARTED ALL-STAR CODE WAS THAT A BIG TECHNOLOGY COMPANY IS LOOKING FOR GREAT ENGINEERS, AND GREAT COMMUNICATORS.

AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES A REALLY SUCCESSFUL ENGINEER.

YOU KNOW, YES, THEY CAN BUILD, BUT ALSO WHEN IT'S TIME TO POWER POINT IT, WHEN IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT, THEY CAN DO THAT TOO.

SO THAT'S WHAT OUR SUMMER PROGRAM IS, AND IT'S RUNNING RIGHT NOW.

WE HAVE 150 STUDENTS IN NEW YORK CITY AND PITTSBURGH LEARNING TO CODE INSIDE COMPANIES AND UNIVERSITIES.

TALK ABOUT, IF YOU WOULD, THOSE PARTNERSHIPS THAT YOU HAVE WITH COMPANIES AND UNIVERSITIES.

WHAT DO THEY CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROGRAM?

WELL, WE RAISED A MILLION DOLLARS THIS SUMMER FROM COMPANIES IN ORDER TO ACTUALLY FUND THE SUMMER INTENSIVE.

BUT THEY ALSO PROVIDE IN KIND RESOURCES, SPACE TO HOST THE PROGRAM, THERE ARE WEEKLY MENTORING LUNCHES FOR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND WE ALSO DO SITE VISITS WEEKLY.

SO OUR STUDENTS RIGHT NOW ARE CRISS-CROSSING SILICON ALLEY VISITING DIFFERENT COMPANIES, SO THAT EXPOSURE.

WE ALSO -- ONCE YOU'RE AN ALL-STAR, YOU'RE AN ALL-STAR FOR LIFE.

WE'RE COMMITTED TO DEVELOPING AN ALUMNI NETWORK TO SUPPORT THE STUDENTS UNTIL THEY GET THEIR FIRST FULL-TIME JOB IN TECHNOLOGY.

TALK ABOUT THE SUCCESSES.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, THEY ARE JUST MARVELOUS.

WE'RE SO PROUD THAT 85% OF OUR STUDENTS ARE MAJORING OR MINORING IN COMPUTER SCIENCE.

AND ABOUT 95% ARE GOING TO FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES.

A THIRD OF THOSE SELECTIVE COLLEGES.

IN THE JOBS MARKET THE OLDEST ARE STILL ONLY JUNIORS IN COLLEGE.

BUT THEY'RE INTERNING AT MANY OF OUR CORPORATE FUNDERS, LIKE INCLUDING GOOGLE, INCLUDING GOLDMAN SACHS, INCLUDING AT&T.

YOU HAVE YOUR FIFTH ANNUAL SUMMER EVENT.

IT'S 350 PEOPLE COMING TO EAST HAMPTON, THE HOME OF AMERICA'S WEALTHY AND POWERFUL, AND TO CELEBRATE DIVERSITY AND TECHNOLOGY.

OUR CO-CHAIRS ARE -- INCLUDES THE OWNER OF WEB.COM, AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRIVATE EQUITY INVESTOR, AND OUR HONOREES ARE VAN JONES, THE CNN COMMENTATOR AND ACTIVIST, AND THE FOUNDER AND CEO OF GIRLS WHO CODE.

YOU'VE DONE EXTRAORDINARY WORK HERE.

THANK YOU.

YOUR DAD WOULD BE QUITE PROUD OF WHAT YOU AND YOUR MOM HAVE DONE HERE.

BEST OF LUCK THIS WEEKEND.

THANK YOU.

BE WELL, TAKE CARE.

> FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL-STAR CODE, ALSO HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT THEM AT THEIR STAR STUDDED EVENT IN HE'S HAMPTON THIS WEEKEND.

VISIT US AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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