Black Girls Code

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Black Girls Code (BGC) is a non-profit organization focused on teaching computer coding to girls from racial and ethnic minority groups. BGC focuses on teaching computer programing skills to “young women of color between the ages of 7-14,”1


Kimberly Bryant, an African-American woman with an electrical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University, founded Black Girls Code in April of 2011. In 2010, Bryant had attended a Silicon Valley conference on women and leadership, and grown frustrated hearing one panelist after another claim that the technology industry struggled to hire women because there were not enough women to fill available positions. 2 The following year, Bryant attempted to find an organization in the San Francisco Bay area that could train her daughter to do computer programming. Bryant was frustrated to find that the available courses were heavily male and had very few African-American girls. 3

As a result of these experiences, Bryant started a small group to teach Black girls the fundamentals of coding. 4 In April 2011, Bryant formalized the project as Black Girls Code, hosting a computer-programming workshop for 14 girls between the ages of 6 and 13. The workshop taught basic computer programming, as well as app and web design, and took the girls to visit tech company offices. The project was a success, and more girls asked if they could participate. Within three years, Black Girls Code had provided computer-programming training to 3,000 girls and had expanded to seven chapters across the United States and two internationally, with sixty additional U.S. cities requesting local chapters. While BGC focuses on “underrepresented girls in our African American, Latino and Native American communities,” classes are open to any girls from 7 to 17. 5

In 2020, Black Girls Code had grown to 15 chapters around the world. 6

BGC’s corporate partnerships include Verizon, Oracle, Google, Capital One, and AT&T. 7 BGC also works with Microsoft and General Motors. 8

In 2017, after a former Uber employee revealed a culture of sexual harassment inside Uber, BGC’s Kimberly Grant disclosed that BGC, like some other groups, had turned down a donation from Uber. 9 Bryant explained that BGC had met with Uber in 2016 and continued to talk to them well into 2017, but declined a $125,000 grant from Uber because Uber had offered $1.2 million to Girls Who Code.  Grant called Uber’s offer “an insincere effort to change the needle specifically around gender and racial inclusion.” 10 BGC later accepted donations from Uber competitor Lyft. 11


Kimberly Bryant is the founder and has been the CEO of Black Girls Code since its creation in 2011. Prior to BGC, Bryant was a Senior Manager at biotechnology company Genentech. She has also worked at Pfizer, Merck, and Philip Morris. Bryant graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1989 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and a minor in Mathematics and Computer Science. 12

In addition to Black Girls Code, Bryant is an advisory board member at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the technology company Glitch, and consumer data company Nielsen. 13 Bryant has also served on boards of educational organizations, including the National Board of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance, and the National Champions Board for the National Girls Collaborative Project. 14

Kimberly Grant is on Twitter, where she regularly engages in racial-interest politics from a left-of-center perspective. 15

BGC key employees have included: Bernex Richardson, a former deputy director for BGC and now program manager for diversity and inclusion at Facebook, and Donna White, a regional program director at Black Girls Code. 16 17 18

As of 2019, the BGC Board of Directors was composed of Kimberly Bryant, along with a variety of women technology business leaders, Stacy Brown-Philpot, Sylvia Thomas, and Julia Collins. 19


In 2018, Black Girls Code received $3.4 million in total revenue, up from $2.4 million in 2017. Of the total revenue, $180,000 came from program services – that is, the fees that some students pay for training–with $3.2 million coming from contributions and grants. Founder and CEO Kimberly Grant received $147,000 in compensation, with two other Board and staff members reported as receiving $122,000 (Bernex Richardson) and $115,000 (Donna White). BGC spent approximately $1.5 million in compensation, salaries, and wages, with $977,000 going to program services. 20

BGC received a Paycheck Protection Plan loan worth between $150,000 and $350,000 from the U.S. federal government during the 2020 coronavirus. It claimed to have at least 10 employees. 21

BGC receives significant corporate support, such as a $25,000 “Toyota Standing O-Vation Award” from Oprah Winfrey in 2015. 22 It received grants totaling $137,500 from the left-of-center Tides Foundation in 2018. 23


  1. Black Girls Code, Who We Are. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  2. Dubois, Lisa, “Kimberly Bryant, BE’89, Is Changing the Face of High-Tech with Black Girls Code,” Vanderbilt University, September 26, 2019. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  3. National Society of Black Physicists,” The National Society of Black Physicists honors Kimberly Bryant. Ms. Bryant is the founder of Black Girls Code,” February 10, 2019. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  4. Lang, Marissa, “Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code founder, opens doors in tech,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 11, 2017. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  5. [1] Dubois, Lisa, “Kimberly Bryant, BE’89, Is Changing the Face of High-Tech with Black Girls Code,” Vanderbilt University, September 26, 2019. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  6. BET, “Trailblazing Black Women Making History,” March 30, 2020. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  7. Black Girls Code, Partners. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  8. HYPERLINK “” Black Girls Code, Programs and Events. Accessed September 29, 2020.
  9. O’Brien, Sara Ashley, “Backlash results after Uber teams up with Girls Who Code,” CNN, August 25, 2017. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  10. Connley, Courtney, “Why the CEO of Black Girls Code turned down a $125,000 Uber grant,” CNBC, September 06, 2017. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  11. Jessica Guynn, “Lyft riders can now add to fares and donate to Black Girls Code,” February 9, 2018. USA TODAY. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  12. LinkedIn, Kimberly Bryant profile. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  13. [1] LinkedIn, Kimberly Bryant profile. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  14. [1] U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Kimberly Bryant profile. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  15. [1] Twitter, Kimberly Bryant profile. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  16. [1] Guidestar, Black Girls Code, 2018 990. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  17. [1] LinkedIn, Bernex Richardson profile. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  18. LinkedIn, Donna White profile. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  19. New York State Registration Statement for Charitable Organizations, Black Girls Code. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  20. Guidestar, Black Girls Code, 2018. Form 990. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  21. ProPublica, Coronavirus bailout page, Black Girls Code. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  22. Lisa Ocker, “Why Oprah gave these 9 women standing o-vations,” January 10, 2015. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  23. Tides Foundation 2018 grants, Propublica, Accessed September 30, 2020.
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