Google Partners with Howard University to Increase Diversity

Looks like Google is trying something new to boost diversity within the company. The tech company is partnering with Howard University to launch Howard West, a three-month summer Computer Science residency for juniors and seniors in the University’s Computer Science program.

Howard University calls the announcement a “major step forward” for Googles efforts to recruit and keep diverse talent, as reported by CNN. The launch of Howard West serves as the university’s President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick’s vision to expand Howard’s presence to the West Coast.

“Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready Black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us,” Fredrick said in a statement. “We envisioned this program with bold outcomes in mind – to advance a strategy that leverages Howard’s high quality faculty and Google’s expertise, while also rallying the tech industry and other thought leaders around the importance of diversity in business and the communities they serve.”

The 25 to 30 students selected for the summer program will be taught by senior Google engineers and Howard faculty on Google’s Mountain View campus, as stated on CNN. The residency includes an awesome workspace and stipend that will cover housing and additional expenses. Students who participate in the program will also obtain 12 credits toward graduation.

The tech giant has continued to struggle with lack of diversity. According to CNN, Google’s most recent annual diversity report shows the company has not made any improvements on increasing diversity. “Only 2% of Google’s total workforce was black, while 3% were Hispanic at the end of 2015. The results were the same as the year before, when the company first released its internal numbers.”

Not too long ago, Google pledged to donate $11.5 million to fight racial bias in policing and sentencing. According to USAToday, Google is giving out $11.5 million in grants to organizations combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Along with the generous donation, back in 2015, Google donated $2.35 million to community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area fighting systemic racism in America’s criminal justice, prison, and educational systems.

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