*Kaya Thomas, an Apple Entrepreneur Camp Alumni sat down with EUR to discuss the launch of her latest app We Read Too!
Thomas an avid reader explained how growing up she noticed a lack of Black characters and authors represented in the literature she was reading. And resources to find books written by Black authors. This lack of representation inspired her to create We Read Too – an app with a directory of books for all ages written by authors and with main characters of color and designed to assist parents, educators, librarians, or anyone who may be looking for books. Thomas wants We Read Too to be a space for community involvement. The app has a crowdsourcing feature allowing users to make suggestions to add books to the directory – that has over 1,000 books.
WATCH Thomas’ full interview via the player above.
Thomas hopes to see an increase of diversity in Silicon Valley through more exposure. She also explained coding is not a skill reserved for people who are innately apt at math and science – it’s a skill anyone can learn.
As an Apple Entrepreneur Camp for Female Founders and Developers Alumni she encourages others to utilize similar resources. Apple has made a commitment to supporting Black developers – they believe app creation is for everyone and there is work to be done to level the playing field in the industry. Apple has several nationwide programs to help build underrepresented communities in the tech industry.
We Read Too is available in The App store.
Apple App Store Commitment To Supporting Black Developers/Creators:
– At Apple, we believe that apps for everyone should be made by everyone. There is much work to be done to level the playing field for Black developers, and we’re committed to doing our part to support this important group of creators
– The team at Apple is inspired by the vibrancy and diversity of its global developer community. These are core values to the company, and its programs reflect a commitment to making sure everyone has the opportunity to access life-changing technology
– Coding is about having a voice, and having the tools to share it with the world. Apple has several nationwide programs to help underrepresented communities build this capacity.
– Through its Community Education Initiative, Apple is working in communities across the country — from Nashville and Birmingham to Sacramento and Chicago — to expand coding opportunities to under-represented groups
– Since the launch of the App Store, an entire industry has been built around app design and development. In the US, App Store ecosystem now supports over 2.1 million jobs across all 50 states, including 300,000 new jobs in the past year, even amidst a global pandemic (more here).
– One of the biggest benefits the App Store provides is we take on many of the traditional back-of-house functions that heavily burden small businesses. For example, we work with local governments to ensure our billing is legal and secure for our developers — an investment no small company would have the ability to make. We make it easy for developers to offer convenient and secure payment choices to their customers, wherever they are in the world.
– Developers also receive free marketing opportunities through our store design, including the Today editorial feature, personalized recommendations, search tools, top lists, and social marketing. All this helps to support the millions of successful apps on the App Store.
– We’re supporting more than 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities to help bring coding and creativity opportunities to their campus, and are proud that more than 100 community colleges now offer Develop in Swift to help their students create their own