When I spoke at a recent conference, I wrapped up my talk with an exercise in order to make a point about why I’m so passionate about computer science education.
I asked everyone to raise their hand if they’ve heard of Jeff Bezos.
100% of the hands went up.
I asked everyone to keep their hands up if they’ve heard of Elon Musk.
Then I told them to keep their hands up if they’ve heard of David Steward.
All but a handful of hands went down.
David Steward is the CEO of World Wide Technology. World Wide Technology provides advanced technology solutions for the manufacturing, commercial, government and telecom sectors. He is the second richest black man in America. He was born poor in the segregated South and is now worth around $6 billion.
He should be a household name, and yet, as everyone in that conference hall proved, he isn’t.
When asked about his company’s success, Steward observed: “Talent is equally distributed; opportunity is not. We need to change that by inspiring and igniting untapped potential.”
Computer science education is the ticket to opportunity in the 21st century. If we want more black billionaires who innovate, create, solve complex problems and make the world a better place, then we need computer science education for all. It’s that simple.