Dream Corps Unlimited, the nonprofit social and enterprise incubator founded by activist and former Obama administration adviser Van Jones, is launching a multimillion-dollar #YesWeCode scholarship fund and other programs next year.
The organization’s #YesWeCode project teams up with major tech companies, celebrities, and politicians in an effort to train 100,000 low-opportunity youth to become high-level programmers.
This year, #YesWeCode launched the Coding Corps–a national job training program that placed trained apprentices from Oakland, California, into more than a dozen tech companies including Pinterest and Twitter. Along with cable network MSNBC, #YesWeCode also produced documentaries about its hackathons and on young people of color in technology.
“Diversity in tech is not about guilt, morality, or the word ‘should,’” said Jones, president and co-founder of #YesWeCode at the Diversity in Tech Summit at the Oakland Museum Oct. 19. “Diverse companies are showing strong evidence of outperforming non-diverse companies. Diversity in tech is about the bottom line.”
Green For All is another Dream Corps program that strives to build a green, environmentally-conscious economy to lift people out of poverty. Another program, #cut50 works to transform the justice system by meeting with congressional leaders and pushing reform legislation.
In addition to the scholarship fund, Dream Corps’ goals for 2016 include collecting 1 million signatures to support federal reform of the criminal justice system; and to work with states to push for punishment of polluters so that money can be invested into low-income communities.
To achieve these goals in the New Year, Dream Corps is kicking off a fund drive in attempts to raise $36,000 to prepare for the new initiatives. Donations are being accepted on the organization’s website and via mail.