Alison Stewart, Catherine Bracy and Jeffrey Tignor – Identifying the Next Diverse Generation of Computer Scientists and Technology EntrepreneursCITP Luncheon Series
Changes in the United States’ secondary educational system are necessary to develop a new, diverse generation of computer programmers. One of the more notable topics of conversation over the past year has been building a tech industry that reflects America as it develops products and services for the U.S. and the world. In today’s talk, Alison Stewart, the author of “First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School” will discuss how the history of African-American education in the U.S., particularly the remarkable success of Dunbar High School, helps us understand the factors that need to be present to solve today’s educational challenges. Catherine Bracy, who runs Code for America’s international programs, will talk to us about Black Girls Code and other initiatives that introduce young people to computer science and the tech community generally.
Catherine Bracy is Code for America’s Director of Community Organizing. In that role, she manages CfA’s community programs including its citizen volunteer program and its international partnerships. Until November 2012, she was Director of the Obama campaign’s technology field office in San Francisco, the first of its kind in American political history. She was responsible for organizing technologists to volunteer their skills to the campaign’s technology and digital efforts. Prior to joining the campaign, she ran the Knight Foundation’s 2011 News Challenge and before that was the administrative director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She is on the board of directors at the Citizen Engagement Lab and the Public Laboratory.
Alison Stewart has spent more than two decades as a journalist and has reported for all the major national news networks. She also has anchored her own programs on NPR, PBS, and MSNBC. She is an Emmy and Peabody award winning broadcaster who has reported internationally and domestically including from the floor of six presidential conventions and on the scene at The World Trade Center on 9/11. She got her start covering politics for MTV News in the 1990s. In 2013 Alison’s first book First Class:The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School was published. She is on the Board of Trustees of Brown University, her Alma mater.
Jeff Tignor is a CITP fellow and is Special Counsel in the Broadband Division of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. Reflecting his interest in the ability of wireless technologies to foster civic engagement in local communities, Jeff was a member of the FCC Working Group on the Information Needs of Communities, working primarily on the Wireless and Diversity chapters of the Commission’s 2011 report. He is also interested in the role of both licensed and unlicensed spectrum in meeting consumers’ demand for spectrum. Prior to joining the FCC, Jeff was an Associate and Member of the Hiring Committee at Dickstein Shapiro in Washington, DC. He was also awarded a patent for inventing a new-style container for dispensing liquids. Jeff holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard and a law degree from Duke.