Hi There Young Black College Girl

Hi there young black college girl
College can be hard and can make your face crack
Have you chosen your major yet?
Hi there young black college girl
Are you still there, what major did you choose?
Pre Law, Math, Sociology perhaps Computer Science
Your parents must be stressing you to become a neuroscientist
Hi there young black college girl
Focus on your school work these boys can wait
Yes I’m talking about after you graduate
At this rate, it will take you almost four years to cross that stage right?
Hi there young black college girl
Put your mind and soul into it so you can create the person you are
Beautiful, Brown, and Highly Intelligent will bring you a lot of hate
Never be discouraged you have everything all right on your plate!

How Do We Get Young Women Interested in Computer Science?

I have always wondered why there more women aren’t involved in computer science. Is it because computer science tends to be more found by men? According to the National Center for Education Statistics, during the 1984-1985 academic year, 37% of women were invovled in computer science as undergraduate students. This number dropped drastically as the users of computers at home became more common. Since the historical reasoning and misconception has overturned, it is now time to think about how to take steps towards involving more women in the industry.

While the number of females studing computer, science is at an all-time low, there must be action taken place. We must remember the root of the problem should start at an early age to rectify it. Ways some educators and parents can work to increase the rate of young girls to gain interest in computer science and STEAM related subjects are by:

  • Creating an equal learning enviorment: Since boys tend to talk more in class, it is up to the teacher to make more females students engage and bring them into learning more and having more class-wide discussions. If the teacher does this, it will increase the chances of girls to engage in the subject that matters.
  • Enacting mentotship programs: Most girls that are entering the field of computer science are likely to face way more resistance than in any subject areas. Adults can provide great examples to be strong successful females to thrive in their careers. It does not matter whether the mentorship programs are at high school or college level. If there is a speaker or using female leaders for both educators and parents to give these girls a sense of confidence while pursing a historically male dominate field when giving them role models.
  • Making it approchable: While we are pushing to encourage more girls’ to be interested in computer science and gain momentum, a ton of programs have been created to help them adjust to the field. These programs are SciGirls, Girls Who Code, Girls Inc., Girlstart, and GEMS.

It does not matter whether the operting this at the middle school, high school or even college level these can be pivotal in both encourahing and sustaining young girls to pursue these topics. These young girls should feel like they should be able to fit in and be encouraged to join the male dominate career because theu have to choice to do so if they are encouraged.

What It’s Like Being Black At a PWI

Prior to my senior year of high school, I honestly knew nothing about Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Being originally from Brooklyn, New York (though I moved to Pennsylvania when I was 12), I wasn’t a fan of going to a community college first then attending a university like most of my white classmates mentioned. I knew I wanted to go to a four-year college and stay in state. So, I applied to many different university nonstops. So, there I was accepted to IUP – Punxsutawney Campus. I never knew I would fall in love and be accepted to university approximately 4 hours away from my family.
The Punxsutawney Campus was ten times smaller than the IUP main campus. Here It felt like I was in high school all over again as if I was in the 13th grade. Though the university was a PWI before I knew it, I was surrounded by brown and black faces, of whom I assumed would be my future classmates. Which many of them was since I majority if the students that went to Punxsutawney were students of color. As I a walked around campus, current students told me about the different resources but most of the greater resources were on Main Campus. Even though I was on the Punxsutawney campus for my freshman year, I was still familiar and knew the main campus very well. My freshman year flew by quickly as I indulged myself in the black community at IUP Punxsutawney and main campus.
As sophomore year approached, I was so excited to be on IUP main. Not only was I know attending the main campus that was larger than Punxsutawney, but I also got the chance to explore more and get to know who I was as a person. Being on the main campus was much different, the black and brown faces became less seen, my classmates that I had at Punxsutawney became more diverse, and the organizations were much harder to find. There was still a small and lively black community that is filled with people of different majors, backgrounds, and ideas. I spent almost every week at an educational event, a social event or a cultural event.
From the Greek life events, the basketball and football games, and the events that were thrown by other Black organizations, I totally forgot that I attend a PWI. Well, that was until a student post a photo via snapchat of other black students in the campus library that was captioned “monkeys stay in groups”. This led to unhappy minority students protesting in front of Wallwork Hall addressing the situation waiting for the dean to say what will happen or how can we make the campus more diverse and not racial. IUP is supposed to be my second home, not a place where I should feel ashamed of being colored. Not only that, immediately the pride and sense of belonging was shattered when I came across Yik Yak, which is an anonymous posting app for college students. On this app, fellow students would throw out racial slurs, calling us crybabies and a host of other names. They have expressed disgust without protest, yet the racism has not stopped on campus! I decided to join an on-campus organization called Diversity Student Council (DSC), where we distill the heart and soul if students, faculty, and staff to promote awareness, advocacy, and acceptance of individuals on and off campus. We assist with issues on campus and transforms stereotyped mindsets.
For the second time in less than two years, another racist social-media photo and caption seen by IUP students and administrators. This time we promoted the call for action against this hate speech! This was a snapchat picture with a blackened sandwich with a caption saying “How do you like your grilled cheese? The same as my slaves.” This was not the first time something like this happened on campus and nothing has been done, the IUP chapter of NAACP and seven other campuses (including DSC) groups hosted a “resolution seminar” where over 100 students and staff combine attended. Where many students stood up spoke their thoughts to IUP administrators which were Kathleen R. Linder associate vice president in the student affairs division; Yaw A. Asamoah dean of College of Humanities and Social Science; Theodore G. Turner, director of the IUP Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement Department, and Pablo B. Mendoza, assistant to the president of social equity. Though there was no real solution to this the poster of this photo did apologize and was the first time in almost 30 years that a student has apologized.
I love my university. I love being part of the Hawks but there are times when being black at a PWI is difficult. At times I found it hard to be part of Diversity Student Council because how was a small group of 4 people re-up an organization that was not getting funded by the school and still put our voice out there. Being a part of this organization comes with challenges, but it also comes with positives. For every time I’ve been the only black student in a class, I’ve found 20 or more black students willing to study within the library. Your university experience is what you make of it and sometimes I do wish I had gone to a school where everyone looks like me or a place where student swag surfed at football games instead of parties or black events, but I didn’t and that is perfectly fine. At my PWI I have found a great community of scholars who look like me, willing to stand in the gap, and a wonderful love. I wouldn’t like it any other way!

Black Women Leaders On College Campuses

On most college campuses it is not common to see black women as leaders or mentors.  According to the American Council of Education, in 2016 only 5 percent of college presidents were women of color, whereas for white women it was 25 percent.Mentorship should be the key for sustaining black women leaders especially those that are in high levels because there are few black women leaders. When a black woman is stepping into a leadership position, they are usually “the first” to carry significant challenges. There are three black women who are “the first” leader or president in a few universities which are:

  • Lily McNair, Ph.D. – the first black women president in 136-years at Tuskegee University.
  • Yolanda Pierce, Ph.D. – the first black women dean in 150-years at Howard’s Divinity School
  • Bernadette Grey-Little- the first black women & black chancellor at University of Kansas.

I believe there is a lack of support for black women leaders even within the black community. It seems like as a woman we do not get the same respect and same support in return as white women. These colleges would rather have a black non-radical male or a black male who would just go with the flow instead of trying to at least accept black women leaders who would love to make a change on campus. Sometimes it is not about gender or color it is mismanagement of funds and professional leadership that males seem that women do not have.

This is a problem because women should feel equalized to do the same thing as males. The three women I have mentioned above make sure they did everything in their might to maintain their job for being “the first” black leader or president If they worried about what others had to say they would not be as successful. These women are a great example for leaders and mentors for other black women college students.

Four Issues Black Women in the 21st Century are Facing

It is now the 21st Century, where things have changed drastically from music, technology, living cost but black women are still facing issues. The everyday lives of African American women are misrepresented and misconstrued. There are four issues that may affect other black women and are currently weighing on my mind daily for myself. These issues are health, financial freedom, education, and pro-black women leadership and political representations.

  1. Health: Sometimes it is not just about watching your diet and going to the gym. There are black women that are dying from preventable diseases, social ills, and other causes. Black women are suffering from stress, mental exhaustion, spiritual loss, depression, low self-esteem, and self-doubt. How is it that black women seek help in a society that has the idea that African American women are indestructible superwomen, expecting us to move on heavenly and earthly to solve every problem alone. You may think that the health risk would have stopped from how it was in the ’60s but no it has not! History repeats and some things will always stay the same until everyone sees that black women are not so “superwomen” as they think they are.
  2. Education: More African American women are earning college degrees whether it is an undergrad or a graduate but there are still way too many black girls and women without high school diplomas. For those women who are earning undergraduates or above are in the same fields of humanities such as education, history, law, or sociology. There are not many sisters that are earning any degrees in science, computer science, business, math or engineering. Some of my greatest joys and my greatest disappointments have come with my computer science and math experience. It really disappoints me that some black women can be uninformed and oblivious to some information. There are free libraries and reading for black people is no longer a crime. Being said there should NOT be an excuse to why black women do not know things.
  3. Pro-Black Women Leadership & Political Representations: I would love to see more African American leadership and political positions. Which mean these black men leaders such as Will Smith, Spike Lee, Russell Simmons, and Barack to all need to get out of the way! Where are all the girls at? More sisters need to run for office and challenge for leadership in some of these established organizations. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, there seems to be a huge jump for black women in 2018 politics there are about 535 women of color that are members of Congress. This makes me so proud to hear because out of all those women there is a likelihood that one or two of them would become the first black governor for a state or even run for president, I want to see more people that are in power that know and care about these black women so there can be a change.
  4. Financial Freedom: There are so many black women out here regardless of their education or employment status are living paycheck to paycheck. Neither less, there are way more black women who are overwhelmed with a credit card or student loan debt, perhaps both! Being a college student, I am so worried about going out into the real world after graduation as black women. What if I do not get enough money from a job to pay off my loans, or what if I cannot get a great home on my own. It will be extremely hard to live paycheck to paycheck let alone I am already a broke college student this trying to survive a semester of school. Having financial freedom is one thing that is on my list to check off, with that I would be debt free, could buy my dream house and even would be able to pay my parents medical bills if any.

This information I have provided was kind of lengthy, but I want to know what you think. What are your top four issues or concerns as a black woman in the 21st century? My issues are my issues, but I would love to hear what your thoughts are telling me your own top four, maybe we can find some common ground or a few starting points to improve our lives.

I Promise I am Not Done…

I promise I am not done…
I am not done with school
It is one of my rules to get my masters, will you?
I will pray to my pastor so that all this work will get done faster
I promise I am not done…
I get scared sometimes being the black sheep in my classes
I push my glasses far up the bridge of my nose to take a look at everything close
These white students can sometimes be gross, but I never get out of my character
I promise I am not done…
When in doubt I would go talk to my professor, advisor or perhaps the dean
They should not shock this is a PWI that I have attended right?
Racism and Sexism still exist but with just a minor twist
I promise I am not done…
I will survive these long night shifts doing homework or studying for a test
I will try my hardest to be the best
Just so I can give my parents a big fat kiss on the cheek.
And say I am a GEEK but I, sure enough, DID IT!

I Know I Am A Black Woman…..

I know I am a black woman…
It does not mean that I cannot be as smart as a man
It does not mean that I am not worth the job offer
It does not mean that I cannot be an overachiever
I know I am a black woman…
I can bring my all to the table and WOW you
I can make it my choice to learn everything and more
I can be a great co-worker
I know I am a black woman…
The color of my skin should NEVER decline my job position
My gender should NEVER have to be a choice for me to be hired or not
My talent is what should surprise you,
My GPA or Degree should be able to WOW you
I know I am a black woman…
I have every right to be mad if I get declined from a job due to my skin color or gender
I have every right to NEVER let any male co-workers shame me either is on my work or telling me I should not be here
I have every right to stand ten toes and never fall!
I know I am a black woman…
I will encourage other women of color to pursue their dream
I will make sure I succeed


Google Will Focus On Diversity Efforts On Black & Hispanic Women

I find it amazing that Google has now decided they want to increase the diversity in the company! Especially by hiring more black and Hispanic women into the Google team. We all know it is very difficult to get women of color to be hired in the tech industry! But that thanks to Google’s new diversity chief Danielle Brown, Google is planning to make women or color an “intentional focus”. Brown joined Google about 2 years ago, in replacing the former diversity chief James Damore. Damore was fired because he was using harmful gender stereotypes and unconscious bias training towards gender and race instead of talent. Since Brown is the new diversity chief if Google, she insists that she is going to work on centering and focusing on bringing in more women of color into the team. I think this is a great advantage for women of color to come in and take their chances to be apart one of the biggest tech company in the U.S.

Out of about 56,000 people who are employed at Google in the U.S in 2017, there were 544 black women who were hired which went up from 348 in 2016. As for Hispanic women in 2017, there were 945 women employed which when up from 566 in 2016! These numbers will increase drastically within the next few years of course if more women of color get involved with tech. Google will retain and further educate more women of color who is into Tech. This is a great advantage for women of color who interested in tech or IT but do not have enough skills in their pocket.

I think this is a great opportunity that has happened in the past year not because Google is hiring more women of color but because the number of women of color is being employed every year! I have always wanted to work with Google, now I really see myself at least sending in an application and not being rejected because of my gender or race! Do you think this a great opportunity? Have you ever thought about working for Google?