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Alumnae Stories

Spelman College Partners with SMASH to Diversify Tech Industry

March 2022

STEM StudentsSpelman recently teamed up with SMASH, a STEM nonprofit focused on addressing inequities in education, to offer programming and support to young women of color interested in academic and professional careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The inaugural SMASH x Spelman program cohort will include 25 high school women who will be afforded an opportunity to participate in multi-year immersive educational programming. “SMASH x Spelman is coming to fruition at just the right time. As technology becomes ubiquitous across all aspects of our society, the voices, experiences, and expertise of Black women are critical to the creation of a more equitable future. A future where technology is leveraged for the empowerment of all," said Tamara Pearson, Ph.D., C'96, director of the Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM at Spelman.

"Programs like SMASH x Spelman will remind our young people that they are the ones creating that future and equip them with the tools to do so with compassion,” added Pearson.

Students entering the ninth grade as of fall 2022 and meet the program criteria are encouraged to apply. In July, the scholars will jump start their SMASH experience with a three-week summer program that includes a two-week residency at Spelman where they will  explore the campus and learn about subjects including introductory coding languages and design thinking from a diverse set of instructors.

In addition to learning building computer science skills, accessing career mentorship, and participating in college-preparatory workshops, participants will  take part in Spelman’s The Future is Intersectional initiative, which explores the critical role of Black women in technological advancement through a series of lectures by leading academics centering the value an intersectional lens brings to the development and utilization of technology in our society.

Spelman Alumna and SMASH CEO Danielle RoseAs a proud Spelman College alumna and graduate of the dual-degree engineering program from Georgia Tech, I know the power of being immersed in Black excellence for a young Black woman, particularly in STEM, and it is a privilege to partner with the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)," said Oakland, California native Danielle Rose, CEO of SMASH. 

Large Blue Quote LeftAs we see a worsening racial divide in terms of education quality and access across the U.S., creating spaces that prioritize identity, community impact and culturally relevant coursework are critical to systemically diversifying the STEM fields, said Rose.

MORE ABOUT SMASH

SMASH is a STEM racial justice nonprofit focused on addressing inequities in education. Spelman's partnership with the organization builds on a strong bedrock of efforts by SMASH, which has operated in Atlanta for over five years at Morehouse College. With an expanded offering that now includes support for young women of color, SMASH is well positioned to lead on growing the thriving pool of tech talent behind Atlanta’s exceedingly diverse and rapidly expanding tech ecosystem.

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