Congressional Black Caucus Reviews CBC Tech 2020 Initiative a Year After Its Inception

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cbcLast year, the Congressional Black Caucus launched the CBC Tech 2020 Initiative to address the lack of African American talent in the technology pipeline.

On its one-year anniversary, the initiative is still going strong.

Today, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), co-chairs of the CBC Diversity Taskforce and CBC TECH 2020, released the CBC TECH 2020 Year in Review, a report that highlights CBC efforts to increase African American inclusion in the technology sector.???

?When we launched CBC TECH 2020, we set out to change the workforce landscape of the tech industry, making it more diverse and inclusive of African American talent,? said CBC Chairman Butterfield. ?Over the last year, the CBC Diversity Taskforce has been successful in taking our message across the country and to the heart of Silicon Valley where we have met with tech companies large and small and non-profit organizations to address the gap in minority talent among all levels of the technology industry.? CBC TECH 2020 had a successful year and we will continue our efforts to get more African Americans in the tech talent pipeline.?

?Diversity in tech has been an afterthought for too long.? Addressing the massive lack of African American talent in the tech sector is a moral and economic imperative,? said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-chair of the CBC?s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.? ?In just the past year, the CBC TECH 2020 Initiative has made significant progress in developing partnerships that will help expand access and opportunity to the tech sector and computer science skills.? However, much work remains, including advancing the President?s Computer Science for All agenda, to ensure ?techquity.??

According to a CBC official who we spoke with earlier today, the partnerships that Congresswoman Lee mentions ?are with the non-profits, organizations and companies that have adopted African American inclusion plans as part of their hiring process. To date, nearly 10 organizations and companies have adopted such plans: American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity (AAAED) Blacks in Technology, Career Communications Group, Inc., Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), Bleeker, Global Leadership Forum, Information Technology Senior Management Forum, and TaskRabbit.?

The report is an overview and a breakdown of non-profit and education solutions; corporate solutions; and policy solutions. Among other points, it cites the CBC?s desire for taskforce members to support legislation that:

* Empowers teachers, improves curricula, and finds research into educational technology
* Offers fair incentives designed to encourage students to pursue STEM degrees
* Promotes consistent and substantial science testing standards
* Provides grants for afterschool, weekend, and summer STEM

In addition to the CBC, other organizations, companies and individuals nationwide, such as Google and the Reverend Jesse Jackson, are doing their part to spread the message.