Robin Brewer, an assistant professor in the U-M School of Information, leads an effort to introduce high school girls to technology through workshops that encourage them to create social impact through coding. Brave Initiatives, a Chicago-based non-profit, started offering weekend workshops in January, 2018 to young women at Hamtramck High School in Detroit. Brewer leads up this Detroit chapter and is a core member of Brave Initiatives. The non-profit runs half-day weekend workshops for high school girls, with the Chicago program running weeklong summer camps in addition to the workshops, all at no cost to participants.
According to Brewer, the workshops seek to challenge perceptions of who can be successful in technology. “It’s mostly an awareness thing,” Brewer said. “Statistics show you that if parents had a son and a daughter, they’re more likely to sign their son up for coding camps than their daughters. It’s about changing the narrative around who can be successful in technology fields, so women and girls see themselves as technology creators and designers.”