Latinitas - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

Latinitas First Code Chica Conference

 According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by the time girls in middle school now attend college, there will be one million more computer science jobs than computer scientists to fill them. When we look at the number of girls and women pursuing that career path, things look bleak, women of color, worse. Less than one percent of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science in college and the American Association of University Women reports that only 19 percent of computer and information-science majors are currently women. When you put the lens on Hispanic women, that number shrinks to 1 percent.

To combat the current underrepresentation of women in the tech industry, Latinitas is hosting its first Code Chica Conference, Oct 25, 9am to 4pm at Austin Community College’s Eastview campus with support from Google’s Made with Code. This conference was developed with the aim of getting girls excited about coding and sparking an interest in tech jobs. Any girl is welcome to register, ages 9-18 (

“I love this quote I heard from a graduate of a coding academy in DC cultivating ‘coders of color’ : ‘Women of color are the original creators--the ones making a way out of no way since the dawn of time. If you gave them the reigns of power I can't even imagine what would begin to be unleashed in this world.’ -  Latinitas wants to give Latina and other girls the tools to innovate technology and they’ll do the rest.” Said Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Latinitas founder.

 Latinitas is a non-profit organization focused on empowering Latina youth through technology and media. Girls and teens at the conference will receive lessons in code languages, brainstorm a project to apply such skills, and then will carry out the project implementation in a hackathon style with the help of experienced coders. The activities include lessons in HTML, Javascript and CSS and meeting tech mentors. During lunch, notable women of color from the technology industry will visit attendees.

This event is backed by Made with Code, a movement started by Google to inspire millions of girls to try coding and to help young women see coding as a means to pursue their dream careers. A recent grant from Google made this program possible. Other event partners include MakerSquare, an Austin-based coding education company, Dell, the City of Austin Cultural Arts Department and Blackbaud, Inc. 

The Latinitas Code Chica Conference will be held on Saturday October 25th, 2014, from 9am to 4pm.  Austin Community College Eastview Campus is located at 3401 Webberville Road. The cost to attend is $15 with lunch included. It is free for participants of Latinitas, financial aid is available – no girl will be turned away from Code Chica because of cost. To register for this event go to or register by phone at 512.900.0304.

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