Image courtesy Hack the Hood

#YesWeCode is a national
initiative to teach 100,000
low-opportunity youth to code.

Image courtesy Black Girls Code

Black Kid + Hoodie = Thug?
White Kid + Hoodie = Genius?
Let’s Flip the Script With Code.

Images courtesy of Penner, and Micahmedia

#YesWeCode has partnered with
Prince & ESSENCE Music Festival
in New Orleans, July 2014

Our Partners

About #yeswecode

Many have been searching for ways to uplift today’s urban youth and help them achieve a more promising future. We believe that one solution lies in connecting tech and social justice leaders to spearhead revolutionary tech programs whose benefits extend to the most disadvantaged of society.

The #YesWeCode initiative targets low-opportunity youth and provides them with the necessary resources and tools to become world-class computer programmers. By learning this highly valuable and relevant 21st century skill, these young people are shifting the trajectory of their futures and transforming their relationships with their communities and their country.

The Trayvon Martin tragedy has become a national call for social change within our urban communities. There are currently 300+ coding and computer education programs serving youth in America. Of the 300+, less than 13% target low-opportunity youth. With our involvement, these small but mighty groups could grow stronger -- and their number could grow exponentially.

Our Goal

#YesWeCode will recruit hundreds of grassroots training programs and team up with major technology partners, celebrities and political leaders to promote the goal of training 100,000 low-opportunity youth to become high-level computer programmers.

#YesWeCode is powered by Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund. To learn about Rebuild the Dream, please visit

“You could imagine a situation, where out of this initiative, you get a 100,000 Mark Zuckerbergs, 250,000 Mark Zuckerbergs, a million Mark Zuckerbergs -- but a whole lot of them look
like Trayvon Martin.”

- Van Jones



West Coast #YesWeCode Convening

San Francisco, CA


East Coast #YesWeCode Convening

New York City, NY


StartUp Weekend Oakland Hackathon and Gala

Oakland, CA


Midwest #YesWeCode Convening

Chicago, IL

Interested In Becoming A Partner?

We plan to drive energy and momentum into this space by effectively communicating the #YesWeCode vision, convening groups committed to bringing it into fruition and catalyzing its implementation on a national level.

We are partnering with the best and brightest from diverse cultures and industries, focusing on innovators, technology leaders, celebrities and all-around change-makers who are passionate about our mission.

Collaborative Partners Are:

  • Invested in educational, economic and entrepreneurial advancement opportunities for youth from low-income communities
  • Committed to stop wasting the genius and potential of urban-American youth
  • Champions of diverse perspectives and backgrounds

#YesWeCode Press Release

The Rebuild The Dream Innovation Fund is partnering with Essence and Prince to launch our newest initiative, #YesWeCode, at the 20th Annual Essence Festival on July 4-7 in New Orleans.  On Tuesday, Dec. 3rd, Essence Magazine released the following press release, announcing this partnership. 

#YesWeCode asks: What if you were given the opportunity to flip the current American status quo / economic landscape upside down? What if youth from the east side of Detroit, the southside of Chicago, the fourth quarter of New Orleans, etc. came together in collaboration to build amazing game-changing apps, support one another in partnership, mentorship and entrepreneurship and to begin elevating the condition of low-opportunity neighborhoods across the country? What if we mobilized the nation around the #YesWeCode initiative to train at least 100,000 youth from low-opportunity neighborhoods to become high-level computer programmers?

#YesWeCode is a response to the negative image of low-opportunity youth in America. The unnerving death of Trayvon Martin has given us an opportunity to create a bold, game-changing strategy. 

"I always remember how Trayvon Martin's hoodie was seen as a justification for his murder," says Van Jones, the founder of The Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund and #YesWeCode.  "But billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wears hoodies -- and nobody shoots at him. So let's flip the script: let's give our hoodie-wearing youth the same tools, training and technology that the kids taking over Silicon Valley have. I hope #YesWeCode creates 100,000 'Mark Zuckerberg's' -- and that a whole lot of them look just like Trayvon Martin."

So, what if youth of color, girls, and low-income youth were given the space and motivation to “geek-out” during a hack-a-thon, a robotics competition or a pitch mixer? Is that the secret sauce to increasing their economic employability and their neighborhood’s social prosperity? No, not entirely. You are. And you’re equipped with all the tools they’ll need – energy, excitement, wisdom, cultural values and tradition, coding knowledge, business and investment “know-how”, passion for economic justice, a commitment to thriving communities and to diversifying technology innovation.

Join the movement.  Become a part of #YesWeCode.

Learn To Code, Yes You

Yes We Socialize

#YesWeCode is Powered By
rebuild The Dream Innovation Fund.

To learn more about Rebuild the Dream, please visit

Rebuild The Dream logo