(Source HBCU Buzz):
Last recently, Florida Memorial University unveiled its brand new tech center in partnership with tech nonprofit TechNolij.
TechNolij is a non-profit organization focused on closing the racial wealth gap through technology education.
FMU’s new TechNolij Innovation Center was created to provide tech accessibility to underrepresented Black and brown communities in South Florida and “allows people to earn tech experience through the program’s curriculum and potentially pivot into the industry professionally,” according to the Miami Times.
The partnership between FMU and TechNolij has been in the works since the pandemic, as FMU’s president Jaffus Hardrick, and founder, and CEO of TechNolij, Ted Lucas both saw the importance of creating a Black tech hub for the local community.
According to the SFCN, the center will be open to students and community members. It will offer programs such as talks from local entrepreneurs and nationally recognized technologists, as well as philanthropic events, and educational workshops.
During last Thursday’s unveiling ceremony, FMU hosted various partners, such as Florida Memorial University, Career South Florida, Miami-Dade County, Venture Miami, Miami Gardens Mayor, and Council Members.
Kham Ward, founder of BLK Men in Tech was a speaker at the unveiling ceremony and offered words of encouragement for the students present.
“Everyone will not be a coder, but someone needs to sell the product. Someone needs to manage the people in human resources,” said Ward. “Use your talent and bring it to tech. To my students back there, I want to encourage you all with the time you have to come and access our 3D printers, computers, and the curriculum built for everyone to use.”
According to the Miami Times, accommodating as many people in the community as possible is a priority of the center. Its hours of operation cater to various schedules, with courses available morning and evening, running as late as 10 p.m. and also during weekends.
The center has yet to release an official start date for its program but anticipates beginning in the first quarter of 2023. According to TechNolij’s Managing Director, Chandler Malone, the program expects to welcome an inaugural cohort of 30 people, and expand over the course of five years.
“This is about more than technology and bigger than Ted and I,” said Malone. “This program is about people’s families and their futures. This is about our communities.”
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