“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
I don’t tend to like trite expressions like that (although I do really love rhymes) but my experience founding and running CODE2040, a nonprofit fellows program for black and latino students interested in pursuing careers in technology, has taught me that there is a deep truth to this turn of phrase.
Often, this quip is used to explain to why it is so important for young impressionable minds to be exposed to people in positions of authority and influence who look like them or come from similar backgrounds. That is, public figures who can be “seen” en masse.
This is, without a doubt, critical — an increasing number of people from underrepresented backgrounds in visible positions of influence and authority is both a harbinger and a proof of progress and change. ... Read More