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Girls Learn Code — at Georgetown Law

August 27, 2015 —

Why would more than 50 Washington, D.C.-area girls aged 7 to 17 (and their parents) voluntarily relinquish their last weekend of summer vacation for the classrooms of Georgetown Law? 

Because they wanted to learn coding skills at “Build a Webpage in a Day,” co-hosted on Saturday, August 22, by the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality and the San Francisco-based community program Black Girls CODE. 

The event, which launched the D.C. chapter of Black Girls CODE, gave girls the chance to write code on laptops provided by the organization and on Law Center computers. 

“It was an exciting opportunity for us to be able to give back directly to the community that we seek to assist,” says Poverty Center Executive Director Rebecca Epstein, explaining that the involvement with Black Girls CODE began after the Center held a conference last January on helping marginalized girls pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

So Georgetown Law was more than happy to help out with the Black Girls CODE launch event. “I heard a lot of feedback from the parents, who deeply appreciated our lending them our space. They said that their girls were inspired by being in the environment of this beautiful campus and the idea of law school itself,” Epstein said.

The girls and their parents also heard from Roy Austin, deputy assistant to the president for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity at the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, and Kimberlyn Leary, adviser to the White House Council on Women and Girls.

“These girls heard two Administration officials say, ‘I’m here to tell you that President Obama supports what you are doing and wants you to keep doing it,’” Epstein says,“which was an amazing way to start the day.” 

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