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Black Churches Put Faith in Coding Classes

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Children are learning to code in black churches.

Calvary Hill Community Church in San Francisco is one of the first to take part in an initiative from Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition to forge a new generation of computer programmers.

Credit: Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY

Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition aims to forge a new generation of computer programmers by working with African-American churches and the FAITHTECH Labs initiative, which provides access to computers for all ages as well as coding classes for young people.

FAITHTECH Labs is part of Rainbow PUSH's 1,000 Churches Connected Program, which supplies technology to boost financial literacy and technological proficiency.

Rainbow PUSH has opened tech labs in San Francisco, Chicago, and Greenville, SC, with two more slated to open soon in Oakland and Richmond, CA. Each tech lab is equipped with laptop and desktop computers, printers, servers, and networking technology donated by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

"We have to get a whole new generation 'code ready,' to produce thousands of young people who can fill the pipeline to the technology industry," Jackson says. "If not us, who will?"

Rainbow PUSH also is campaigning for Silicon Valley tech companies to increase hiring of African Americans and Hispanics.

"Black churches have a powerful ability to assist in the educational mission of communities and to help communities flourish," says Duke University professor Valerie Cooper. "I'm excited about the possibility that people will discover a love for technology, for coding, and a love for computers."

From USA Today
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