Howard Leads HBCU Effort to Bring Black Talent to Silicon Valley
Courtesy: Christopher Gregory (Bloomberg)
Courtesy: Christopher Gregory (Bloomberg)

By: Vauhini Vara – Bloomberg Businessweek

In the fall of 2013 a young software engineer named Charles Pratt arrived on Howard University’s campus in Washington. His employer, Google, had sent him there to cultivate future Silicon Valley programmers. It represented a warming of the Valley’s attitude toward Howard, where more than 8 out of 10 students are black.

The chair of the computer science department, Legand Burge, had spent almost a decade inviting tech companies to hire his graduates, but they’d mostly ignored him. Pratt began teaching computer science classes, helping to revamp the department’s curriculum, and preparing students for Google’s idiosyncratic application process. It was one of several initiatives meant to get the school to churn out large numbers of engineers. Two and a half years later, that hasn’t happened. The slow progress reflects the knottiness of one of Silicon Valley’s most persistent problems: It’s too white.

Read the full story – Why Doesn’t Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders?


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