Latinitas empowers all girls to innovate using media and technology with a vision to create courageous leaders.
The only bilingual STEAM education nonprofit in Austin for nearly 20 years, and just one of a handful nationwide, Latinitas serves 2,000 girls and teens (9-18) annually in Central Texas and across the state. Now, with remote programs throughout the year, we have reached girls in 25 other states and 5 countries. Exclusively in underfunded schools, Latinitas after school clubs, camps, conferences, and certification programs serve as a pipeline of new and diverse voices into the world’s most lucrative economic sectors. Latinitas graduates 50% more STEM majors than the national average for girls, overall. Leveraging available computer labs and internet at more than 142 public schools, libraries, and cultural centers, Latinitas has provided culturally relevant digital media and STEM access and training to more than 30,000 girls since its origin in 2002.
Latinitas began with lessons in digital media such as writing, filmmaking, web and graphic design, photography, and podcasting, but has evolved with Austin's growth as a global tech sector teaching virtual and augmented reality production, coding, drone technology, 3D printing, game and app design, robotics, and artificial intelligence. We were built with inclusivity and communities of color in mind and as media and technology continue to be valuable tools to tell stories, create game changing products or services and educate and mobilize communities, we need to ensure girls of color are at the helm of that innovation, storytelling, and leadership across industries.
Latinitas understands the challenges of inclusivity in the media and STEM industries and encourage the future generation of girls to consider academic and professional opportunities in these fields not only by providing access to hands on activities but by having a media and cultural literacy component to have girls understand the meaning of terms like representation, stereotypes, imposter syndrome and code switching or the power of impactful content to highlight an important cause or issue. The combination of valuing culture and identity, hands-on learning to acquire skill sets in media & technology, discussions around and awareness of advocacy and representation as well as the realities of navigating a workspace or industry as a woman and/or a person of color, is what makes Latinitas a truly unique experience.
As a recipient of The Barbie Dream Gap Project, Latinitas will provide over 600 girls between the ages of 9 and 14 with the opportunity to explore STEM/STEAM and digital media activities around health and wellness; design thinking; advocacy and entrepreneurialism; filming, audio and visual editing, and production; and coding and game development. We believe that bridging the gap in access to education and careers in technology and achievement of women in media and STEAM fields will be impactful in helping to #ClosetheDreamGap
WHAT IS THE DREAM GAP?
Research shows that starting at age five, many girls begin to develop self-limiting beliefs and think they're not as smart and capable as boys. They stop believing their gender can be anything. This critical time in girls’ development when they begin losing confidence is called the Dream Gap. The Dream Gap creates barriers for girls to reach their full potential, which can negatively affect and inhibit their future trajectory or career choices. Early indicators suggest that for Black girls, the impact is even larger and this self-perception at a young age can be detrimental.
THE BARBIE DREAM GAP PROJECT FUND
Barbie established the Dream Gap Project Fund with $250K in March 2019 to fuel efforts to close the Dream Gap. No matter how big or small a donation, every bit counts. Your support will go towards leveling the playing field for girls, by providing tools, resources, and support to organizations on the ground working to change the lives of girls around the world.