Meet The Black Codes – The Tech Evangelists Converting Nashville’s Black Community Into A Growing Tech Hub
Co-founded by Calvin Foster, a software engineer from Murfreesboro, The Black Codes help provide resources to increase representation in the Black tech community.
According to the McKinsey Study for Black economic mobility analysis, as of 2021, only 4.5% of software developers in America are Black.
It also reported that by 2030, about 6.7 million Black workers – 42% percent of the Black labor force – will be out of work due to automation. People in those roles will need to return to school to develop more marketable skills.
While STEM degrees are required for many of the fast-growing jobs of the future, just 6% of computer science and engineering students are Black, according to the McKinsey study.
“Nontraditional training programs, such as multiweek coding boot camps, teach specific skills and could offer a model for a more direct and accountable training ecosystem,” according to the study.
As “agents of change,” Randy Davis, a software engineer, and other members of the group are building tech opportunities and safe spaces for software engineers in Nashville’s Black community.
“As Nashville grows as a tech hub, how do Black people fit into that picture?” Davis asks. “What position do we have? How do we not get left? Nashville is going to be the next Silicon Valley,” he told Eu.tennessean.
“We need to get back into our communities and build ourselves up,” Davis said. “That’s what it looks like in the future, moving forward for us is getting into the community and creating a network that is established that we can actually not be left behind.”