Spelman College, the historically Black liberal arts educational institution for women in Atlanta, has entered into a partnership with SMASH, a nonprofit organization that has a stated mission is to build a strong, diverse and socially conscious tech workforce.
The first SMASH site program was launched on the University of California, Berkeley campus in 2004. It has operated a program at historically Black Morehouse College in Atlanta for the past five years.
The inaugural SMASH/Spelman cohort will comprise 25 female high school students, who will have the opportunity to participate in multi-year immersive educational programming focused on preparing them to drive social change through technology. This training will include building computer science skills, accessing career mentorship, completing college preparatory workshops, and more for the full duration of their high school careers. The program will begin with a three-week summer program that includes a two-week residency at Spelman College. Scholars will be provided time to explore the campus and learn about subjects including introductory coding languages and design thinking from a diverse set of instructors.
“As technology becomes ubiquitous across all aspects of our society, the voices, experiences, and expertise of Black women are critical to the creation of a more equitable future,” said Tamara Pearson, director of the Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM at Spelman College. “Programs like SMASH x Spelman will remind our young people that they are the ones creating that future and equip them with the tools to do so with compassion.”