Citywide initiative to bring sustainable, high-growth opportunities in tech and innovation
Today, Coded By Kids announced lead partners Bank of America, Comcast NBCUniversal and the Lenfest Foundation have invested nearly $1 million to launch the OnE Philadelphia (Opportunity and Equity for Philadelphia) initiative. This provides the foundation needed for Coded By Kids to begin to address diversity and inclusion in tech and innovation with long term solutions that are designed to deliver high-quality, sustainable career opportunities for communities of color in Philadelphia.
Coded By Kids is a nonprofit organization that provides young people with development, digital design, computer science, and tech startup–focused education programs. OnE Philadelphia, their new initiative, addresses the city’s focus on short-term solutions to systemic racial inequity. By implementing a citywide tech education effort, OnE Philadelphia’s mission is to transform the city into a pipeline for high-level tech talent and tech startup leaders.
The initiative is driven by three main strategies: creating an integrated tech education, skill development, and experiential learning ecosystem that targets high-growth opportunity careers; building the infrastructure needed to support an integrated ecosystem; and changing the way underrepresented Philadelphians look at tech and innovation in order to change the culture of the city.
“At the heart of my work as founder and CEO of Coded By Kids is my commitment to building one Philadelphia,” said Sylvester Mobley, founder and CEO, Coded By Kids. “When you look at our city there are two vastly different realities that Philadelphians experience that are connected to the color of their skin. This outpouring of support we’ve received from Bank of America, Comcast, and The Lenfest Foundation demonstrates the value this pipeline will add to the city and acknowledges the collaborative effort it will take to make equity and inclusion a priority in the tech and entrepreneurship fields. The launch of OnE Philadelphia is just the beginning. It’s going to take additional funding commitments from stakeholders around the city to make this successful. This isn’t a one-time thing—this is an investment in lasting equity in our city.”
Bank of America is committed to addressing issues that are fundamentally connected to economic mobility – like access to workforce development opportunities – to build more sustainable communities. As part of the bank’s $1 billion, four-year commitment, $10 million was allocated to providing Economic Resiliency Grants to local organizations working to advance racial equality and economic opportunity for communities of color, including Coded By Kids. With these funds in addition to receiving Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders® grant, Coded By Kids is better equipped to launch the long-term initiative and bring access to tech and innovation opportunities to more Philadelphians.
“Our support of OnE Philadelphia is rooted in our commitment to meaningful solutions to advance racial equality and economic mobility in low- to moderate-income populations and communities of color,” said Jim Dever, Greater Philadelphia market president for Bank of America. “The work that Sylvester and his team have done so far to put this plan into action is inspiring and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this transformative workforce readiness initiative.”
Comcast has long been committed to addressing digital inequities so that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed in an increasingly digital world. Since 2011, its low-income, high speed broadband adoption program, Internet Essentials, has connected more than 8 million Americans to the Internet at home, including more than 288,000 Philadelphians. Beyond connectivity, Comcast is also focused on providing digital skills training to young people and to upskilling adults with the aim of improving economic mobility. Comcast’s investment in OnE Philadelphia is part of the company’s multi-year $100 million commitment to fight injustice and inequality and its mission to create a more connected and equitable society.
“Now more than ever, we need to ensure all of Philadelphia’s residents have the opportunity to thrive in the digital economy,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast. “By providing tech skills training and educational opportunities to marginalized communities, OnE Philadelphia aligns perfectly with our company’s commitment to advance digital equity. We look forward to working with Sylvester and the Coded by Kids team on this important initiative, and together, creating a brighter future for our city.”
The Lenfest Foundation is committed to finding solutions for life-changing impact in Philadelphia for years to come through strategic investment and fostering collaboration.
“The Lenfest Foundation is committed to identifying and investing in initiatives, like OnE Philadelphia, that aim to find solutions that have a life-changing impact for generations to come,” said Dr. Keith Leaphart, board chair, the Lenfest Foundation. “We believe in the power of opportunity, which is why partnerships like this are critical to providing Philadelphians with limitless career possibilities, ultimately strengthening our community as a whole.”
To learn more about OnE Philadelphia and how to get involved with Coded By Kids, visit www.codedbykids.com.
Coverage was garnered by Philadelphia Business Journal, Technical.ly Philly, and El Sol.
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