“I think it’s really important that we give people the tools they need to succeed in their lives, whether they work at a tech company or drive a city bus. Coding is just a tool and a skill, much like knowing how to read, take care of a vehicle, or play an instrument. I *don’t* think everyone needs to be a programmer. But if you understand just a little bit about the technology that is increasingly present in our lives, you’ll be empowered to do more – build things, connect with family, and so on. If you can take the fear out of the equation and demystify tech, everyone benefits.
“Historically tech, like the STEM fields in general (science, tech, engineering, & math), has been a male-dominated field. I want to change that, and open doors for women, people of colour, and anyone else who faces barriers to access. We talk a lot about how innovative technology can be, but the reality is that diversity – different experiences, backgrounds, beliefs, and values – is something that drives true innovation and expands what is possible. If we continue to work in an echo chamber, we’re only going to create what already exists, for a very small subset of the population.” – Stephanie Rozek, Campaign Director
Year of Code Waterloo Region (#YoCWR) is a one-year initiative to teach digital literacy to 250,000+ people in Waterloo Region. #YoCWR was born out of a conversation between two leading tech organisations (Hackademy Canada and Communitech). We are leading the work to increase access to technological learning, and to shine a spotlight on tech learning opportunities, organisations, and facilities in the region.
#YoCWR will be inspiring engagement in the campaign by focusing on building and offering learning opportunities to people of all ages, with a primary focus on children and youth. Our organisation has top notch instructors who guide people of all ages through learning technology from the most simple tasks, to providing professional development to technological pros in the region.
Through a broad reach and through partnering with service agencies, #YoCWR will be increasing diversity in tech by providing learning opportunities, curriculum, and open events targeted at a population who are generally not represented in the sector. From working with agencies, municipalities, other organisations we will build accessible opportunities aimed directly at changing the tech landscape.