Like you, we have been overwhelmed by the events of the past week. Leading our organization forward with greater intention to follow black voices and to commit to listening is our next step. Recognition is not enough. To challenge racism, white people must acknowledge that their lens is incomplete. To effect change, especially within our platform in tech, we believe education is power.
Here’s what’s new - and what we’re already doing - at Alchemy Code Lab.
In the works since February, we’ll be announcing a scholarship in partnership with PDXWIT. Unlike our Diversity in Tech scholarship, this dedicated offering provides tuition assistance solely for Black and Indigenous women identified. Alchemy’s training aims to equip these women with the technical and professional skill sets to enter their software careers as mid-level developers, where they are better positioned to pull other Black and Indigenous developers upward within those organizations providing mentorship and networking opportunities which are critical to career success and advancement.
We are implementing equity training into our core curriculum with the goal of equipping students with skills and resources to advocate for themselves and others. These trainings will be led and designed under the guidance of external equity specialists. We are bringing in new content quarterly, to give time in between the classes for practice and build upon the skills introduced. The training sessions will be made available not only for our current students, but also for our alumni and industry partners. We are dedicated to helping build an inclusive tech community with on-going equity educational opportunities.
We’re implementing ongoing space for student, staff and alumni discussions. This summer, Fridays are now dedicated to choosing self care, coding solo, coding with peers or alumni, or the space to access staff.
Insight gathered in regular confidential surveys will inform curriculum improvements that steer our conversations safely and constructively.
By eliciting feedback from our student body post graduation, and from our alumni during their employment, we aim to further expand upon needed tools and core awareness.
To stay responsive, our team is building in quarterly check-ins to reflect upon our work as antiracists and plan for needed adjustments. Ongoing our team is attending meet-ups and workshops to develop further tools and skills to be better antiracists.
We’re not here to declare ourselves experts at equity or diversity. We believe in amplifying true experts and those with lived experience. We are learning to follow.
-Megan Nelson, School Director + co-owner