A Message from our Executive Director
The Digital Literacy Gap
Women of color have found ways to manifest unique values and strengths, despite the gap that often secludes them from working in tech.
Rising to the challenge in an unprecedented year
Despite the many challenges of this past year, GOKiC adapted new ways to meet the emergent needs of youth and families, and experienced growing demand and interest from schools and other nonprofit organizations to partner and provide our programming to their youth.
GOKiC was founded in 2018 as a movement for racial justice and to close the educational opportunity gap for Black and Brown youth. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and increase in awareness for racial justice, GOKiC has received financial resources and support to step up in critical ways for our community.
Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, we experienced new challenges and some drop-off in participation as youth struggled with online learning. Additionally, several youth in our programs did not have consistent internet access at home and many took on extra responsibilities such as caring for younger siblings and helping with other household tasks, limiting their ability to attend our sessions as often. The strain of virtual learning and the toll of the pandemic on BIPOC youth has weighed heavily on their mental health. We have been sensitive to balance how we structure our program to create space for social connection and to process these emotions. GOKiC’s educators developed innovative and culturally relevant, youth-centered ways to teach computer programming and technology skills.
We transitioned all programs to a virtual platform
Integrating new ways for young people to connect, providing a space for healing with social emotional community building time as part of every class/session, and continuing to build computer programming skills.
We are providing all staff, full or part-time, with health insurance to remove barriers to good health care which is more critical than ever.
We built curricula that elevates what is happening in the world around us connecting history to the present day to see how we can use technology in dismantling systems of oppression.
We helped families navigate technology tools and resources and created videos in Spanish, Amharic, and Somali on how to use zoom, email teachers, and other technical supports.
We stepped up to provide financial assistance to our undocumented families, being responsive to the immediate needs faced by our community.
Expanding Our Reach
Our community of partners and funders helped leverage support and resources to provide more youth a GOKiC program and increase the number of GOKiC staff member’s over the past year.
We received renewed funding through King County’s Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time funding to engage youth of color living in King County Housing Authority sites in Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, and White Center. This program is in partnership with Southwest Youth & Family Services, Arts Corps, and School’s Out Washington.
We increased our organizational capacity onboarding new staff positions including a Development and Communications Manager to create sustainable funding through building relationships with donors and foundations and Lead Educators to create curricula and deliver programming.
We expanded our reach in Seattle through partnerships with Washington Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School and receiving a grant from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide our technology classes and other supports to BIPOC students.
What Sets Us Apart
We strive to close the digital literacy gap in kids of color through
Equity, Education, Intersectionality, and Technology
We are confronting inequality deeply rooted in our system by bridging education and technology.
Youth development is a family effort and we engage with student’s families, schools and other organization.
Through awareness of our differences, we can better understand and acknowledge differences among us.