BLUE1647 Partners With Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. to Increase Tech Diversity Nationwide

BLUE1647 Partners With Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. to Increase Tech Diversity Nationwide

BLUE1647, a tech incubator and learning lab in Pilsen, announced Wednesday that it has parented with Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow PUSH organization to increase tech diversity nationwide with educational training and pipeline programs.

The alliance, called the PUSH Excel/Blue1647 Technology Partnership, will establish a pipeline for people in undeserved communities to get jobs in the technology sector. It will provide STEM education to residents of those communities, create an online job board to connect candidates to available jobs, and develop an internship pipeline.

BLUE1647 CEO Emile Cambry said the partnership will allow his organization to continue its national expansion and impact minorities on a greater scale.

“We are excited about this opportunity for BLUE1647 to have a national reach and develop a true pipeline program that jump starts careers in technology,” he said. “Rev. Jackson has really been outspoken about the lack of diversity in technology, going all over the country and really championing this. Access to capital and building technology is the fourth biggest civil right issue that he’s been a part of.”

Jackson has been a vocal proponent for more diversity in tech, frequently calling on Silicon Valley to be more inclusive of people of color.

“As we are expanding to the fourth stage of our struggle, access to capital, technology and deal flow, we are fortunate to partner with BLUE1647, a group of well-educated young people whose desire to make us technically superior,” Jackson said in a statement. “As we move forward to open up Silicon Valley and Wall Street, Rainbow PUSH and BLUE1647 have partnered to make it happen.”

Locally, the partnership will also expand BLUE1647’s presence in Chicago. A “Powered by BLUE” satellite facility will open at Rainbow PUSH’s headquarters at 930 E. 50th St., where there will be STEM classes, workshops, mentorship opportunities, and other resources available. It will operate similarly to BLUE1647’s Pilsen facility, but on a smaller scale, Cambry said. It is also opening another satellite facility at the Firehouse Community Arts Center in Lawndale.

It’s been a busy year for BLUE1647, which announced it will be opening an Englewood facility in 2015, and more recently, Cambry said it is expanding to St. Louis and opening a new 10,000 square-foot incubator.

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