Even with the recent attention and energy, tech's racial and gender diversity has not changed.
The tech sector remains white male dominant with a heavy presence of non-citizens, which means that our local underrepresented youth are involved in a worldwide competition.
Leading indicators of the future pipeline of workers, including college enrollment, also show that things are not changing fast enough.
The demographics of entrepreneurs who are obtaining venture capital seed funding, a prime funding source for startups, and the venture capitalists themselves also demonstrates a significant lack of diversity.
To make matters worse, the tech fueled gentrification has meant DISPLACEMENT & EXCLUSION for underrepresented populations, especially within the Greater Bay Area.
Being Part of the Solution
The East Bay Tech Hub will support marginalized youth in socially innovative ways utilizing the following four strategies:
Personal Development: creating a safe, sustainable environment to heal and grow through community rituals, cultural healing practices, and wellness services.
Creative Arts Education: instilling confidence and developing talent through digital, technological, and performing arts.
Career and Workforce Mentorship: cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship through fellowships, mentorship, employment pipelines, and business incubation.
Civic Engagement: building coalitions between communities of color, decision makers, and employers to advocate for community change.
These strategies will manifest into the following key programs:
The East Bay Tech Hub will engage underrepresented youth through media arts and technology training. Our ecosystem of programs will equip these youth with a number of relevant skills, including but not limited to, audio/media production, filmmaking, graphic / user experience design, software development, dev-ops, game thinking/design, and entrepreneurship training.
The STEAM programs are part of a training pipeline, and once a young person completes an introductory media training course they can become an intern of that department. As an intern, the youth gets to do year-round, one-on-one instruction with the instructor, and collaborate with other youth. Our artist-in-residency program allows youth to work on personal projects for up to 6 months. The educational programs are university-caliber level and provide young people with successful on-ramps to post-secondary education and entry-level placements within local media and technology firms.
The Hub’s Vocational Training will provide workforce development for young people from underrepresented communities in the East Bay. The training will be with professional software engineers, who will play a vital support role as tech mentors while sharing soft skills mentorship. All students will be provided a stipend for the duration of the training to ensure that income status is not a barrier to participation.
As part of the technical skills training, students will be challenged to conceptualize an app or technology solution to solve a local problem. Through a partnership with the City of Oakland and other community-based organizations, mentors will guide these aspiring social tech entrepreneurs and share their knowledge of how technology can catalyze local change. The products will represent the culmination of the technical skills training curriculum and will serve as an opportunity to deliver a benefit to the communities from where they grew up.
The Fellowship will begin after members complete the Coding Corps program and apply to participate in a year-long fellowship program for California residents assigned to a public sector or nonprofit entity. The Fellowship program, with the help of the California Innovation Corps (“CA i-Corps”), provides 15-20 diverse participants a one-year fellowship to support tech innovation at public entities or nonprofit organizations. All fellows complete their internships in underserved communities in California, allowing them to further hone and utilize their tech skills to improve the functions or services of other organizations.
One of the goals of the program is to assist members secure meaningful tech employment using their new skills - leading to the creation of a diverse pipeline of ‘homegrown’ tech talent in the East Bay. With the partnership of local companies, who will support the hiring of our program graduates, we are aiming for a 100% placement rate in jobs and/or apprenticeships following program completion.
Finally, The East Bay Tech Hub will help provide early stage tech businesses with the start-up capital required to build out capacity and bring concepts to market. The California Equity Entrepreneur Development (CEED) will invest in early stage concepts that will usher in a new era of equity across the state.
Who We Are
Vien has 20+ years as a solutions innovator and movement builder who has been a key architect in building an equitable and sustainable economy. She has received numerous awards for her leadership in shaping community development, workforce, and climate programs at the state, federal and local levels.
Co-Director, Youth Impact Hub Oakland
Gino Pastori-Ng was born and raised in Oakland, California, and in 2013 he Co-Founded Youth Impact Hub Oakland at United Roots, which has supported the funding and launch of over 70 youth-led social enterprise projects. Gino has been selected by the Social Enterprise Alliance as a 50 under 40 social enterprise leader, was selected as a Play Maker by the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, and in 2018 he was awarded the Jefferson Award for public service.
Randy was raised in Oakland, California, and has 30+ years experience as a software engineer, product manager and entrepreneur in the tech and media industries, within startups and corporate environments. He has led social responsibility initiatives and is an active volunteer, mentor and advisor to numerous STEAM related youth nonprofits.
Galen has 17+ years of experience developing campaigns, projects, and programs in partnership with local and national communities. Galen Co-Directed the Art in Action organization for 10 years, and ran the Turf Unity campaign in partnership with Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Galen is the Co-Founder of United Roots youth organization in Oakland and Co-Founder of the Youth Impact Hub Oakland initiative.