Nicholas writes, "Hacker School is a three-month, free-for-everyone programming retreat for experienced and new programmers alike, now offering need-based living expense grants to women, black people, Latino/as, and people from many other groups traditionally underrepresented in programming.
"The grants, previously only available to women, are for between $500 and $7,000, depending on need, and are sponsored by Etsy, Juniper, Betaworks, Fog Creek, Perka, and Stripe."
I wrote about Hacker School's successful effort to reach out to women in 2012.
There are many reasons why diversity is valuable, but there are two reasons why it is especially important to Hacker School as an organization.
The first is that diversity helps to reduces the harmful effects of stereotype threat. Put another way, we focus on diversity so Hacker Schoolers don't have to. We want you to be able to focus on becoming a better programmer, not being the only person like you in the room. The more diverse Hacker School is, the easier it is for a greater range of people to do that.
Second, a large part of the value of Hacker School is what Hacker Schoolers learn from each other. Hacker School relies on a diverse range of experiences and perspectives; if everyone were the same, no one would have anything to learn from each other! Our self-directed and peer-driven educational model is in this way very different from traditional, one-size-fits-all approaches to education.1
Given this, it's unsurprising that Hacker School has gotten better as our community has grown to include more women, trans people, genderqueer people, older people, younger people, parents, and people from a greater range of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Building a better and more diverse community [Nick Bergson-Shilcock/Hacker School]