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[liberationtech] #YesWeCode Initiative - & Prince

Chris Csikszentmihalyi robotic at gmail.com
Fri Apr 22 18:55:57 PDT 2016


Feross,

You are not wrong: I'm sure that Prince (and Jones) meant what he said in
the same way that you interpreted it.

But with all due respect to Prince, that's fucked. To the degree that
minorities in the US have been systematically (or more truthfully:
viciously and genocidally) denied rights and put at risk, it is no surprise
that there are fewer black Zuckerbergs. Black youths aren't suffering
because the African American community has somehow not "produced" them as
Phillips Exeter / Harvard entrepreneurs: they are disempowered by constant
racism, death in police custody, and wildly disproportionate rates of
incarceration. Yes, individual members of groups that have been
systematically and violently disempowered need positive and supportive
messaging, including proactive programs for technical training. But these
initiatives should not be run at the expense of dissimulating the
injustices black youth suffer, even before they are born.

I respect Prince in part because he navigated a racial identity as original
and complex as his gender identity. But it was an original and private
approach. He went it alone, against all odds, in a way that Zuckerberg
never had to. Of the two, Prince is the one who actually built something
original, giving to society far more than he took.

Any interest I might have had in #yeswecode is diminished, if indeed Ms.
Jayne Cravens is an official representative of the organization.  I would
help to fund #byanykludgenecessary or #graspingthingsattherootacess as
better approaches to tech empowerment.

C.

On Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 2:21 AM, Feross Aboukhadijeh <feross at feross.org>
wrote:

> > If that was his attitude, then his attitude sucked.
>
> That's interesting. I saw it as an attempt to empower black youth --
> changes the dynamic from "it's someone else's fault" to "what can *we* do
> to fix the problem?"
>
> On Fri, 22 Apr 2016 at 18:00 Chrrles Paul <charles.paul at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> ---
>> "I said, 'Well, yeah, Prince that's true but that's because of racism.'
>> And he said, 'No, it's because we have not produced enough black Mark
>> Zuckerbergs. That's on us. That's on us. To deal with what we're not doing
>> to get our young people prepared to be a part of this new information
>> economy.'"
>> ---
>>
>> If that was his attitude, then his attitude sucked.
>>
>> On Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 9:02 AM, Jayne Cravens <
>> jc at coyotecommunications.com> wrote:
>>
>>> #YesWeCode (http://www.yeswecode.org) is an initiative that seeks to
>>> mobilize tech and social justice leaders to connect 100,000 low-opportunity
>>> young adults to the skills and experiences they need to access high-paying
>>> careers in technology. CNN commentator Van Jones founded the #YesWeCode
>>> initiative with the support of Prince, who passed away yesterday.
>>>
>>> http://www.yeswecode.org/prince
>>>
>>> Jones elaborated on Prince's involvement at the 20th Anniversary Essence
>>> Festival:
>>>
>>> "After the Trayvon Martin verdict I was talking to Prince and he said,
>>> 'You know, every time people see a young black man wearing a hoodie, they
>>> think, he's a thug. But if they see a young white guy wearing a hoodie they
>>> think, oh that might be Mark Zuckerberg. That might be a dot-com
>>> billionaire.'"
>>>
>>> "I said, 'Well, yeah, Prince that's true but that's because of racism.'
>>> And he said, 'No, it's because we have not produced enough black Mark
>>> Zuckerbergs. That's on us. That's on us. To deal with what we're not doing
>>> to get our young people prepared to be a part of this new information
>>> economy.'"
>>>
>>> Since July 2014, YesWeCode has been focused on three activities:
>>>
>>> Communicate: In partnership with Oakland, Calfornia-based organizations,
>>> #YesWeCode launched an interactive website with a powerful search tool that
>>> enables users to find local coding education resources. This tool also
>>> helps users find local events and learn more about coding opportunities.
>>>
>>> Convene: #YesWeCode has convened 100+ coding practitioners and
>>> stakeholders in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans.
>>> #YesWeCode partnered with Qeyno Labs to host a Start-Up Weekend hackathon
>>> in February 2015, focused on uplifting young African-American men and boys.
>>>
>>> Catalyze: In July, #YesWeCode launched at the 20th Anniversary ESSENCE
>>> Festival with a youth-focused hackathon and a headline performance by
>>> Prince, before a festival audience of 500,000 people.
>>>
>>> Just seemed appropriate to post this.
>>>
>>> ---
>>> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
>>> Ms. Jayne Cravens MSc
>>> Portland, Oregon, USA
>>>
>>> The web site - http://www.coyotecommunications.com
>>> The email - jc at coyotecommunications.com
>>> Me on Twitter, other social networks, & my blog:
>>> http://www.coyotecommunications.com/me/jayneonline.shtml
>>>
>>> Author: The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
>>> More about the book, and how to buy it
>>> (as a paperback or as an e-book):
>>> http://www.energizeinc.com/store/1-222-E-1
>>> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
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>>> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech.
>>> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing moderator at
>>> companys at stanford.edu.
>>>
>>
>> --
>> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
>> of list guidelines will get you moderated:
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>> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing moderator at
>> companys at stanford.edu.
>
>
> --
> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
> of list guidelines will get you moderated:
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech.
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing moderator at
> companys at stanford.edu.
>



-- 
Chris Csikszentmihályi
ERA Chair & Scientific Director
Professor
[image: m-itiLogo] <http://www.m-iti.org/>
------------------------------
www.m-iti.org | csik at m-iti.org | edgyproduct.org <http://edgyproduct.org>

* "Art means… to resist the course of a world that unceasingly holds a gun
to mankind's chest."

--Theodore Adorno*
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