Cristina Jones, CEO
Black Girls Code
Cristina Jones LinkedIn profile

A Letter from our CEO, Cristina Jones

Dear BGC Community,

Code builds our tech, and tech builds our society. But less than 2% of science and engineering roles are held by Black women. An entire demographic is missing from the rooms where our future is decided through tech.

We are cultivating the next generation of innovators to transform the tech landscape.

Black girls are digital natives and everyday tech users who are highly proficient and creative. Yet far too many of them never consider tech as a career path, mainly because society and the tech industry have not told them they belong in tech. We’re changing this mindset, shifting this paradigm, by changing the view.

Our first job at Black Girls Code is to inspire early—in elementary and middle school—so Black girls see themselves as tech creators. This includes encouraging parents, guardians, and other family members to seed and support that inspiration, to affirm our girls as capable and ready for tech’s rewarding challenges.

When we talk about changing the view, we know it begins with our girls. That’s why we bring them into the room for real engagement: using MIT curriculum on image recognition; coding their own cartoon with the likes of “Lil’ Ruby” creators Danny Robinson, Tasha Dean, and Neel Williams; fast-tracking career training through ServiceNow; and spending time on college campuses like Spelman for summer bootcamps.

As our girls grow their skills and capabilities, they not only claim their place in the tech industry but also help reshape its perception. This is the cycle we set in motion again and again. Change comes when there’s more than one, and we aim to launch with one million, one million stars.

How do we get to that blazing constellation? We inspire, educate, and launch our girls with always-on programming like our global YouTube hit Code Along, challenges like Build a Beat, partnerships like ServiceNow, and coding events and workshops in city after city nationwide. We innovate our strategies, offerings, and narrative until they reflect our ambition. Moving beyond workforce and career development to workforce and career acceleration. Not just career-building but industry-shaping opportunities. Not just coding and other tech skills but holistic leadership and workplace adaptability.

As we change the view, we shift the paradigm. And we don’t do it alone. We need you to dare alongside us by donating, giving time, and amplifying our mission as our girls grow in the confidence of belonging that will propel them toward their best, brightest futures.

In gratitude,

NEWS ROOM

Black Girls Code And ServiceNow Are Paving New Tech Career Paths In NYC

May 8, 2024
Black Girls Code has partnered with RiseUp with ServiceNow to launch a three-year initiative redefining career paths within New York City’s workforce.
Read more

Black Girls Code Launches A Free Coding Academy For Black Girls Ages 7-10

May 1, 2024
Black Girls Code is back with another initiative to educate young Black girls about coding.
Read more

Black Girls Code Joins RiseUp with ServiceNow to Launch Three-Year Workforce Development Initiative in NYC

April 5, 2024
Black Girls Code joined RiseUp with ServiceNow to launch a three-year initiative to create new career pathways for New York's workforce.
Read more

Black Girls Code and GoldieBlox Launch Free Coding Academy for 7-10 year-olds: "Code Along Jr." Hosted By Kalani Jewel

April 2, 2024
Black Girls Code and GoldieBlox are partnering to inspire and educate the next generation of Black women leaders in technology through the free, video-based coding academy, Code Along.
Read more

Telling an Inclusive Story: How Black Girls Code CEO Cristina Jones Helps Girls Launch into Tech

February 6, 2024
In this episode of B The Way Forward, host Brenda Darden Wilkerson talks with CEO of Black Girls Code, Cristina Jones about her work to solve the lack of representation of Black women in technology.
Read more

Letter from our CEO: My First 100 Days

January 6, 2024
Code is more than algorithms and applications—it’s language that powers dreams and dissolves barriers.
Read more

‘We need more inclusion in the room’: This organization is helping Black girls feel welcome in the tech industry

January 3, 2024
It’s no secret: Black women have been left behind in the world of science and technology. And the numbers back it up. Only 2% of the STEM workforce are Black women, and from a business leadership perspective, just two Fortune 500 companies have a Black woman as CEO.
Read more

How MC Lyte's Tech-Infused Music Journey Fueled A Passion For Black Girls In Tech

December 1, 2023
Hip Hop icon MC Lyte wants to help Black girls code.
Read more

Ciara, Black Girls Code Set 'Build A Beat Challenge' To Inspire Young Coders Nationwide

November 17, 2023
Featured article on BLAVITY.com about the "Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara”
Read more

‘Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara’ Launched by Black Girls Code To Empower Young Coders

November 15, 2023
Coverage by BET about the "Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara."
Read more

Black Girls Code Announces “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” Inspiring Young Coders Nationwide

November 14, 2023
Contest to Feature GRAMMY Award winning singer/songwriter Ciara and Celebrity Guest Judges MC Lyte, Craig King, TikTok Sensation The BoykinZ, Bosko Kante, James Cuthbert, and More.
Read more

Black Girls Code Announces "Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara" Inspiring Young Coders Nationwide

November 14, 2023
Black Girls Code announced the launch of a nationwide contest, "Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara," set to spark a musical coding revolution.
Read more

Letter from our CEO: Let Me Introduce Myself

November 10, 2023
I've long been inspired by Black Girls Code's daring ambition to place one million girls in tech by 2040.
Read more

Cristina Jones Takes the Helm as New CEO of Black Girls Code, Pledging to Expand the Organization’s Mission of Launching Black Girls in STEAM

October 24, 2023
Black Girls Code is thrilled to introduce Cristina Jones as their new CEO. Jones brings decades of executive and leadership experience at the intersection of technology, marketing, and media. She is passionate about creating pathways for women of color to be in the rooms where tech is being innovated, and approaches this work with urgency.
Read more

NEWS ROOM

A photo of Ciara

PRESS RELEASE
14 NOVEMBER 2023 By admin in BGCNEWS

Black Girls Code Announces “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” Inspiring Young Coders Nationwide

Contest to Feature GRAMMY Award winning singer/songwriter Ciara and Celebrity Guest Judges MC Lyte, Craig King, TikTok Sensation The BoykinZ, Bosko Kante, James Cuthbert, and More.

New York, NY - November 14, 2023 - Today, Black Girls Code, a nonprofit dedicated to CS education for Black girls and gender nonconforming youth, announced the launch of a nationwide contest, “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara,” set to spark a musical coding revolution. Sponsored by Infosys Foundation USA, the “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” empowers students ages 13-18 to code their own song for the chance to meet global superstar Ciara via a video call, as well as to win tech prizes that will help inspire and further their dreams.

Watch Ciara’s announcement video HERE and sign up for the contest HERE.

“I am proud to be supporting this initiative and empowering young people to take their passion for music and use it to develop technology skills that can give them a leg up in life,” said Ciara.

Running from November 14 through December 31, 2023, “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” invites young coders to join Infosys Foundation USA's Pathfinders Online Institute to access engaging video tutorials, designed and developed by Black Girls Code, to guide students on their coding journey. Using these newly acquired skills, participants will craft their unique songs and remixes, blending their creativity with sounds from artists like Ciara, Alicia Keys, Common, Pharrell, and more.

Sign up for the “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” for free at wearebgc.org/buildabeatchallenge.

See full press release HERE.

# # #

SPONSOR: 
Infosys Foundation USA: Infosys Foundation USA is dedicated to expanding access to computer science and maker education for K-12 students and educators across the USA, while working to digitally upskill all learners for 21st century technology-enabled opportunities. The Foundation aims to inspire everyone to be creators, not just consumers, of technology.

MEDIA CONTACTS:Black Girls Code — Debbie Veney / debbie@crosswalkcreatives.com
“Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” Contest — Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis / BlackGirlsCodePR@ssmandl.com Infosys Foundation USA — Mary Shen / mary.shen02@infosys.com

A headshot of Cristina Jones, CEO of BGC
Cristina Jones, CEO
Black Girls Code
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PRESS RELEASE
24 October 2023 by admin in BGC NEWS

Cristina Jones Takes the Helm as New CEO of Black Girls Code, Pledging to Expand the Organization’s Mission of Launching Black Girls in STEAM

Black Girls Code is thrilled to introduce Cristina Jones as their new CEO. Jones brings decades of executive and leadership experience at the intersection of technology, marketing, and media. She is passionate about creating pathways for women of color to be in the rooms where tech is being innovated, and approaches this work with urgency.

Jones will ignite and expand Black Girls Code’s vision, broadening the curriculum and increasing the age limit to reflect a renewed emphasis on workforce development. She will also focus on cultivating partnerships across industries that create the conditions for girls of color to access career opportunities and grow into leaders whose imagination, verve, and creativity will materialize the regenerative future we need.

“We met with tens of stellar, extraordinary candidates for this position," said former Board Chair Heather Hiles. "Cristina is the perfect blend of an accomplished executive in tech with a creative, visionary, entrepreneurial spirit. She is the perfect fit for the new CEO of Black Girls Code.”

“I’m elated to join this global community at this pivotal moment,” said Cristina Jones. “An entire demographic has been missing from tech, and it’s time to advantage and embolden these future leaders to enter and thrive wherever this innovation is happening. We’re accelerating our mission to place one million girls of color in tech by 2040.”

Most recently, Cristina served as Chief Engagement Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Salesforce.org, where she worked to humanize tech and elevate the mission and impact through authentic storytelling.


About Black Girls Code

Since 2011, Black Girls Code has been dedicated to placing one million girls of color in tech by 2040. The organization ignites interest, activates potential, and nurtures careers in tech for girls and women of color ages 7-25. They partner with schools, local organizations, and dedicated volunteers to get participants the resources they need to thrive. For more than a decade, Black Girls Code has provided Black girls, girls of color, and gender nonconforming youth with computer programming education to nurture their careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics fields.

Please contact Debbie Veney at 202.491.8833 and debbie@crosswalkcreatives.com for interview requests, additional information, or media inquiries related to Black Girls Code and Cristina Jones.


Biography

Cristina Jones is an intentional storyteller with a focus on action, impact, and culture.

Throughout her career, Cristina has used new media and tech to unlock and elevate C-Suite and brand voices. She has worked at the intersection of marketing, technology, and media, most recently as Chief Engagement Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce.org. Before Salesforce.org, Cristina was Senior Vice President of Salesforce Studios, where she led a team that included Customer Marketing, Brand, Media, & C-Suite Partnerships, Content Production, Video Distribution & Programming, and Sponsorships. Her talent for storytelling inspired millions during the COVID-19 pandemic through initiatives like “Leading Through Change.” Prior to Salesforce, Cristina was at 20th Century Fox, where she held senior roles in marketing, technology, and franchise development.

Cristina amplifies under-recognized voices, earning recognition in the Ebony Power 100 as well as the World Woman Foundation’s #ShesMyHero campaign. As CEO of Black Girls Code, she champions equity and innovation, steering the organization toward a future where Black girls are not just coders but imaginative creators shaping our world.

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