Updated: Aug 13
BCAUSEICAN, from its’ inception has been created by founders driven and motivated to make a difference in underserved communities. Over time, the mission and focus have stayed the same--from re-building donated Motorola computers in 1995 in the basement of a church in NW DC to teach youth about computers to hosting a winter basketball league for youth in 2014 in SE DC; from hosting and participating in Cyber Bullying Workshops in 2016 in Prince George’s County MD, to conducting computer classes from 2017 to present to students, who schools have been left behind due to gentrification in NW DC; and most recently sitting on a virtual panel to discuss “Racism in America” in 2020. We must educate, teach and stand for those needing a voice and a seat at the table.
Our current activities reflect our mission. We have conducted over 150 classes and taught over
250 students in the past year. We are currently conducting virtual computer coding classes for
the summer in Washington, DC and Prince George’s County, MD for students where this
opportunity is not available and preparing to extend our classes to an elementary school this
As I reflect on the year 2020, it has been a challenging yet enlightening year to this point. We
first experienced the tragedy of losing a sports icon in Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others and
then we were placed into a global state of immobilization and paralyzation due to the Covid-19
pandemic. We experienced the loss of friends and family due to the effects of this virus and the
disproportionate way it has affected people and communities of color. The economic impact
has been substantial and has severely harmed communities that could not afford any adverse
actions in order to maintain the bare minimal necessities of day to day living. The
unemployment disparity and digital divide issue have been magnified during the pandemic as
school systems across the country rush to provide free lunch, loaner computers and free
internet to families and students in need and in distress.
Then, as we collectively looked to reopen the economy and relax some of the state and local
restrictions, we were globally set ablaze by the unjust and unfair murder of George Floyd. I call
it the Perfect Storm of 2020. The entire world was able to witness the shocking video and the
systemic racial biases and injustices have been brought to the forefront instead being on the
back of a legislative bill or removed from the agenda of a local, state or federal legislator.
George Floyd’s death has sparked a movement and everyone has been touched, one way or the
other. The protest and protesters are seeking change and want the inequalities of America to
be addressed and altered, NOW.
This context makes our mission at BCAUSEICAN even more urgent as we move forward to
attempt to narrow the gap in educational disparities in the students, families and communities
we serve. We would be amiss to leave out the contributions of our partners, such as Google,
Georgetown University, Dell Enterprise and Shaw Community Center that have been essential
in supporting and contributing to our success. Although we have made great progress, there is
so much more work to be done. There are many students, families and communities still
without computers and high-speed internet. We know there are many schools that are not
equipped to provide the computer classes we provide. Why should the zip code you live
determine your student’s future? We will continue to move forward. When I’m asked why? I
respond, “BCAUSEICAN, We Can, You Can”.