During the last week of October, Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization focused on promoting and mentoring Black girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions, joined forces with General Motors to hold a three-day programming hackathon for students ages 12-17. The virtual event attracted participants from Detroit, New York City, and the Bay Area.
The hackathon’s central theme was Afrofuturism — a cultural movement aimed at creating an alternative, uncolonized view of Africa while promoting African culture and the achievements of prominent figures of African descent.
The participants were encouraged to use the theme to brainstorm ideas for software solutions that would promote gender and racial equity.
Appery.io, a low-code app builder created by Exadel, was selected as the primary platform to help the students bring their innovative ideas to life. The Appery.io team supported the girls before and during the hackathon by teaching them how to use the app builder and helping them solve technical challenges.
As the competition drew to a close, a panel of judges from several IT companies selected the winners and provided the students with expert feedback.
The winners included a recruitment app that helps diverse job candidates secure careers with Silicon Valley companies, a website that connects individuals who have experienced discrimination, and a social media app that helps Black students build self-esteem.
Exadel is committed to racial and gender equity. We’re grateful to have been part of the project and look forward to participating in Black Girls CODE initiatives in the future as part of our efforts to make the IT industry as diverse as the world around us.