Black Girls Code Announces “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” Inspiring Young Coders Nationwide
Black Girls Code Announces “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” Inspiring Young Coders Nationwide

Contest to Feature GRAMMY Award winning singer/songwriter Ciara and Celebrity Guest Judges MC Lyte, Craig King, TikTok Sensation The BoykinZ, Bosko Kante, James Cuthbert, and More

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Black Girls Code, a nonprofit dedicated to CS education for Black girls and gender nonconforming youth, announced the launch of a nationwide contest, “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara,” set to spark a musical coding revolution. Sponsored by Infosys Foundation USA, the “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” empowers students ages 13-18 to code their own song for the chance to meet global superstar Ciara via a video call, as well as to win tech prizes that will help inspire and further their dreams. Watch Ciara’s announcement video and sign up for the contest HERE.

“I am proud to be supporting this initiative and empowering young people to take their passion for music and use it to develop technology skills that can give them a leg up in life,” said Ciara. “I’m excited to team up with Black Girls Code because their mission aligns so perfectly with the charitable work Russell and I do at our foundation, Why Not You, which lifts students out of poverty through education and inspires them to lead with a Why Not You attitude. I look forward to seeing the incredible submissions and meeting with the winner in February!”

Running from November 14 through December 31, 2023, “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” invites young coders to join Infosys Foundation USA’s Pathfinders Online Institute to access engaging video tutorials, designed and developed by Black Girls Code, to guide students on their coding journey. Using these newly acquired skills, participants will craft their unique songs and remixes, blending their creativity with sounds from artists like Ciara, Alicia Keys, Common, Pharrell, and more.

The winners, selected by a panel of celebrity judges including Hip Hop pioneer MC Lyte, music producer and entrepreneur Craig King, TikTok sensation The BoykinZ, GRAMMY Award-winning artist and producer Bosko Kante, Rock the Bells President James Cuthbert, and more, will have the opportunity to meet global superstar Ciara during a live video call, as well as receive up to $10k in tech prizes.

“Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” is the latest initiative of the CODE Along program, a collaboration between Black Girls Code and girl-power multimedia company, GoldieBlox. CODE Along has seen tremendous success since launching on the Black Girls Code YouTube channel in February 2023. In less than a year, the free coding program gained nearly 20K new subscribers and received over 156M impressions, proving that there is a need for accessible STEAM education among underrepresented youth. According to a third-party research study, after watching the CODE Along series, Black girls and Black young women were twice as likely to agree ‘people like me belong in the world of technology and computer science,’ and that they can ‘easily learn to code.’ 

Cristina Jones, newly-appointed CEO of Black Girls Code, explained, “Black Girls Code is for those who dare to build the world they imagine. The “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” is a chance for Black girls and gender nonconforming youth of color to meet relatable role models and code something that is original and dope. This experience is about increasing learning and a sense of belonging. Solving for both will bring about more opportunities in tech for the girls we serve.”

“Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” is the second collaboration between Black Girls Code and Infosys Foundation USA, whose mission is to expand access to computer science for K-12 students and educators. The Foundation’s digital learning platform, the Pathfinders Online Institute, offers free access to the “Code a Song” tutorial videos developed by Black Girls Code and hosted by alumna, Cadence Patrick, who is currently studying Computer Science at Spelman College. Viewing of this content is fundamental to student entries for the contest.

“The Foundation is committed to delivering equitable STEAM opportunities for those most under-represented. We are honored to partner with Black Girls Code and GoldieBlox to reach the next generation with a cool and relatable contest to experience computer science and build digital skills. Without a doubt, the creations of these 13-18 year old students are going to be chart-topping!” says Kate Maloney, Executive Director, Infosys Foundation USA.

Sign up for the “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” is free through the link here: wearebgc.org/buildabeatchallenge. Finalists will be notified via email on or about February 16, 2024, using the information provided with their entry. For more information please visit: https://www.wearebgc.org/.

About Black Girls Code: Since 2011, Black Girls Code has been dedicated to placing one million girls of color in tech by 2040. The organization ignites interest, activates potential, and nurtures careers in tech for girls and women of color ages 7-25. They partner with schools, local organizations, and dedicated volunteers to get participants the resources they need to thrive. For more than a decade, Black Girls Code has provided Black girls, girls of color, and gender nonconforming youth with computer programming education to nurture their careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics fields.

About Infosys Foundation USA: Infosys Foundation USA is dedicated to expanding access to computer science and maker education for K-12 students and educators across the USA, while working to digitally upskill all learners for 21st century technology-enabled opportunities. The Foundation aims to inspire everyone to be creators, not just consumers, of technology.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Black Girls Code
Debbie Veney / [email protected]

“Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” Contest
Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis / [email protected] 

Infosys Foundation USA
Kate Maloney / [email protected]
Mary Shen / [email protected]

SOURCE Black Girls Code

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