Brianna White

Staff member
Jul 30, 2019
Ife Joseph is only 11, but she has something to say.
The Montclair sixth grader, a poet and computer coder, has read her work on stage and designed an app as part of a collaboration between MIT and the group Black Girls Code. This spring, she was nominated to be Time magazine's "Kid of the Year," and was named one of 50 finalists out of 5,000 applicants before being eliminated.
Ife, who learned to code at age 6, became worried about racial inequality after George Floyd's death in 2020. "I saw what was happening and I didn't like it," she said. "I wanted to make a change, to be one small part of the thing that can help." 
Last spring, she was part of a "hackathon" between MIT and Black Girls CODE, the California-based nonprofit designed to combat the scarcity of black women in technology. On the last day of the coding marathon, the university invited participants to enter a contest to design an app focused on specific social themes. She signed up and created an app called “Mental Health for Social Justice," a digital journal for kids. With prompts and positive affirmations, the app makes it easier for kids to express their feelings and experiences around racial injustice. 
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