Prince, the music icon who was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis on Thursday, is being remembered in Silicon Valley as a social innovator and a passionate advocate for Black youth.
His advocacy often took place behind the scenes, but Prince envisioned a better future for kids of color, inspiring YesWeCode, an initiative whose goal is to teach 100,000 low-income kids to write code.
"People think about him as a musician," Jones, the author and CNN contributor who founded YesWeCode, told USA TODAY Thursday. "But it's not just what he did with musical instruments. It's what he did with his whole life. He helped so many people. Most people don't know that. He wanted to keep his charitable activities a secret. He wanted to keep his passion for underprivileged people between him and his god."
Jones says the idea for YesWeCode took root when he was discussing race with his friend after the Trayvon Martin verdict.
"Every time you see a black kid wearing a hoodie, you say: There's a thug. If you see a white kid wearing hoodie, you say: There's Mark Zuckerberg," Jones told USA TODAYlast year.
"I said, 'That's because of racism. And Prince said, 'Maybe so, or maybe you civil rights guys haven't created enough Mark Zuckerbergs.'"