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Coming Soon In Summer 2024

The Sanctuary Chi
Bringing together communities and startups for a transformative experience.

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Summit Details

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Why This Summit?

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Chicago's Inequity In Tech?

The future success of a city hinges upon its ability to nurture, attract, and retain highly skilled talent that can drive technology-focused enterprises. For Chicago to firmly establish itself as a leading US city in the years to come, it is essential to strengthen the tech workforce while reflecting the diversity of the city's population. Currently, the demand for tech expertise in Chicago and Illinois exceeds the available supply, a trend that persists unless comprehensive actions are taken. Unfortunately, access to premium tech opportunities is distributed unevenly, with Black and Latinx Chicagoans representing only 14% of the local tech workforce despite comprising two-thirds of the city's residents. Addressing this imbalance requires enhanced workforce initiatives targeting young individuals & those lacking affluence or established networks. This discrepancy is further highlighted by the fact that less than 4% of Computer Science bachelor's degrees awarded by Illinois colleges (excluding for-profit institutions) go to Black students, and less than 12% to Hispanic students, even though these groups constitute more than 30% of Illinois' population. Illinois forfeits the potential contributions of around 600 Black and Latinx computing graduates each year due to these imbalances. 

Recruiters Roadblocks In 
Contacting
Black Students

Recruiters often face challenges when it comes to efficiently engaging and promoting programs tailored for the Black demographic at Predominantly White Institutions. This becomes particularly apparent in cases where there isn't an active chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) or comparable organizations on campus. Unfortunately, the existence of such organizations is not always a given. Additionally, even when NSBE chapters are established, they might lack a notable presence of computer science majors due to the common practice of separating colleges within universities.

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Computer Science Students Post-Grad Struggles?

The unemployment rate for computer science graduates is nearly double the national average for all fields of study. A factor contributing to this is the lack of awareness among CS majors regarding the diverse career opportunities available through their degrees. Many students are primarily familiar with software engineering roles, which can limit their job search and hinder them from finding careers that best match their talents and interests. Raising awareness about the wide array of opportunities can empower CS majors to explore and pursue paths that align with their skills, ultimately improving their job prospects.

Our Goals

Empower students to foster community on their campuses.

Create a community to connect Black CS students across the Chicagoland area.

Encourage high school students to consider majoring in computer science

Increase the amount of Black CS students that stay within the Chicagoland area 
after graduation

Create a pipeline for recruiters to reach black computer science (cs) students so they can get access and exposure to scholarships..

Make CS students aware of the plethora of career paths they can take outside of software engineering

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