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Code Black Indy expands programming for underserved Hoosiers in the tech industry

Bank of America awarded the organization a $30,000 economic mobility grant.
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Posted at 9:45 PM, Nov 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-29 23:30:56-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Sitting front row in Code Black Indy's new digital literacy class are Carol and Patricia Johnson.

"I've been in the computer field since '69," Carol said. "I'm an old, retired employee from Allison General Motors."

When it comes to showing his wife how to use her laptop, Carol admits he's not the best teacher.

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"I guess she thought I didn't have the patience to to teach her," Carol said.

"All I know how to do is turn it on and turn it off," Patricia said. "I asked my grandsons and relatives to show me and they ended up doing it for me. So I'm not learning."

Samuel Campbell leads the digital literacy class. He's the president and co-founder of Code Black Indy.

"The basis of this program, essentially is to create a foundation of digital literacy and then help them to kind of get more comfortable with technology," Campbell said.

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The non-profit serves Hoosiers who are underrepresented in the tech field, like people of color, women, individuals with disabilities and those from low-income backgrounds.

Code Black Indy does this by providing hands-on training, mentorship, and job placement support.

"So we exist to kind of even the scales. There are individuals who have the talent, but don't necessarily have the resources. They have the want, but don't necessarily have the opportunity. So what we're here to do is kind of bridge that gap," Todd Deloney Jr. Code Black Indy's Chief Financial Officer said.

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The new digital literacy programming is free for community members thanks to a $30,000 economic mobility grant from Bank of America.

The grant also helped Code Black Indy move into its first office space in Downtown Indy.

"We have strategies in place and this was the next step," Campbell said.

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When it comes to using technology, Cody Black Indy leaders don't want people to just be comfortable with it, they want to help them create a living off of it.

"Our next step is to create our student led tech support service for our students are in high school right now. They'll be actually able to work in our office with us while they're in school. Then, for adults who are going through workforce development, they can get some hands on experience in a business setting," Campbell said.

The first round of the digital literacy classes wrapped up before Thanksgiving. Code Black Indy leaders are now looking for more sites to host the program after the 1st of the year.

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