A new fund being created by General Assembly, a private New York City technical school with a bent towards programming and engineering, is hoping to redress the dearth of minority participation in the tech sphere. The so-called "Opportunity Fund" will offer scholarships to women, veterans, African-Americans, and Latinos, all groups who have historically and systematically been denied equal access to the sciences.
Nas, who has stepped up his involvement in the tech world in recent months, is joining Google, Microsoft, and Hirepurpose as one of the fund's backers. His QueensBridge Venture Partners project will provide the funds for scholarships to African-Americans and Latinos, while Google will fund women and Microsoft and Hirepurpose will pay for veterans to attend the school.
“This is the start of what hopefully will be a contribution to what will be a more diverse and accessible community worldwide,” General Assembly CEO Jake Schwartz told Betabeat.
“There’s sort of a like-attracts-like issue in engineering subcultures. It’s the ‘brogrammer’ syndrome," he added.