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Hot 20: The Equalizers

Kimberly Bryant, Founder, Black Girls Code, and Tristan Walker, Founder, CODE2040. Photograph by Joe Fletcher.

HOT. The word carries so many meanings: passionate, sizzling, trendy, intense, and yes, sexy. But for us, it signals our favorite month. Meet the 20 movers and shakers that have us fired up this year.

In the year 2040, what today is a minority population of blacks, Latinos, and Asians is expected, by many demographers, to become the majority.

Presumably, the playing field in the American workforce (particularly in 
the science and technology industries) will be evened out by then, but 30 years just isn’t fast enough for Tristan Walker and Kimberly Bryant, who are present-day catalysts in the evolution of the labor force.

Bryant’s SF-based Black Girls Code strives to teach one million young black women to be programmers by 2040. “We’re redefining the image of computer geeks to include women of color,” says Bryant, a former Genentech executive, who was recently honored by the White House for her efforts.

Though Walker’s impressive credentials include a stint as the biz dev director at Foursquare and his current position as entrepreneur-in-residence at the noted venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, the New York City native knows firsthand that high ambition doesn’t necessarily translate to opportunity. After all, his hard-knocks upbringing in Queens could’ve shaped a very different destiny. Walker’s organization, CODE2040, helps black and Hispanic youth conquer the digital divide. “Greater diversity in the industry means greater perspective,” says Walker. “And more perspective is just good business.”