The Internet is the greatest engine of wealth and progress in human history! But all Americans do not have equal access to take part in the educational and economic promises of this country. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than 20% of Americans or more than 60 million people do not have access to high-speed at-home Internet. These disconnected Americans are disproportionately people of color, particularly African Americans. Additionally, the largest corporations in America are heavily tied to the Internet. But of the largest companies in Silicon Valley, such as Google or Twitter, African-Americans make up no more than 4% of their workforce.
When one connects the dots, the solution is clear. What is needed is a robust and comprehensive solution that connects our youth to the Internet, teaches them the computer science skills necessary to master it and the entrepreneurial mindset to harness it to improve the quality of life for themselves, their families, and our communities. 100 Black Men of Prince George’s County seeks to address this through our SILICON100 Initiative. By providing youth with the means to connect to the Internet, code the next technological breakthrough, and compete in their marketplace for their ideas, we know we can close the gap and empower the next generation of coders in our communities.