Comcast Provides $2M Grant to Hidden Genius Project
The funding will help black male youth acquire digital skills and enter the tech sector
PHILADELPHIA—Comcast NBCUniversal has announced a new $2 million grant to The Hidden Genius Project to provide digital training to young black men and help them enter the tech sector.
A globally recognized nonprofit, The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities. Comcast’s funding, which will be distributed over two years, will support The Hidden Genius Project’s expansion to new markets in Atlanta and Chicago this year.
“Our continued partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal will equip us to engage even more Black youth with the skills, experiences, and networks to find their way into family-sustaining career pathways, including the tech sector,” said Brandon Nicholson, Ph.D., CEO of The Hidden Genius Project. “With ample access, our young people regularly realize their potential to pursue meaningful and exciting pathways, and subsequently create future opportunities not only for themselves, but also their entire community.”
This grant announcement marks the continuation of Comcast’s seven-year partnership with The Hidden Genius Project, which has enabled programmatic, volunteer and outreach collaboration in local communities across the country. The announcement is also a part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach tens of millions of people in order to advance digital equity and help create a future of unlimited possibilities.
The funding comes at a time when representation within the tech sector continues to be starkly inequitable, with Black Americans occupying just 7% of tech jobs even though they account for 14% of the national population.
Founded in 2012, The Hidden Genius Project has provided mentorship, career planning and tech skills training to hundreds of Black male high school youth in Oakland, Richmond and Los Angeles in California and Detroit in Michigan through their Intensive Immersion Program.
Program participants have a 98% high school graduation rate with 95% entering post-secondary education and over 40% of alumni studying computer science or related fields.
Building on this track record, Comcast’s funding will help even more former program participants gain post-secondary education and support the development of Genius Lab, an innovative new curriculum for young people of color to gain computer science, software development and entrepreneurship skills.
“As the lack of digital skills continue to be a determinant of future economic opportunity, we must ensure that young Black men have access to the resources and programming that will put them on a path to success in our digital economy,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, executive vice president and chief diversity officer of Comcast Corporation and president of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. “For years, The Hidden Genius Project has proven to be a key partner in helping young people acquire the knowledge and resources needed to ensure long-term upward mobility and create generational change. Comcast is proud to deepen our commitment to help empower these Geniuses and future leaders pave the way to even greater innovation and equity within the tech sector and beyond.”
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.