How it all started

In the fall of 2016, Devin Jackson was feeling isolated as the only Black software engineer at his company. He scoured the web for a local community of other devs like him, but none existed yet. So he decided to create the Black Software Engineers of NYC Meetup and hosted the group every Saturday afternoon in his small office in Williamsburg. The group's numbers exploded quickly, hitting the 1,000 member mark in its first 6 months. Devin and a core crew of members became fast friends, and after a year of building community together they wanted to create something bigger.

We Build Black was founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in November 2017. Since then, WBB has created the Mavens I/O: Black Women in Tech Conference, taught coding programs in schools, piloted a recidivism program, and connected members to hiring opportunities. In the process, we’ve garnered sponsorship from Google, JP Morgan Chase, Birchbox, The New York Times, and more.

Where we're headed

We Build Black has explored many avenues for community empowerment through technology over the years. From startup acceleration to criminal justice reform. Our goal continues to be to solve the decades old problem of Black underrepresentation in tech by creating dedicated spaces that support Black technologists' economic advancement and career growth.

As we adjust to a digital-first world, our NYC-based community is expanding to a global one and the scope of our focus is narrowing to career development and inclusion advocacy. Along with planning for Mavens I/O 2021 , we're piloting an online coding program for NYC youth.

Meet the squad

  • Adam Johnson

    Program Manager

    Adam is a Flatiron School bootcamp grad who has since worked as a web developer and a QA Engineer for and is now a lead instructor for Flatiron School's immersive software engineering program. He has a passion for teaching others how to teach themselves and sharing the skills he's gained with the community.

  • Chloé Rice


    Chloé is a UX Developer at Shopify by day and a fashion designer by night. She's passionate about accessibility and is one of "those" people that has to talk to every animal she comes across (even when flying by on her bike).

  • Devin Jackson

    CEO and Co-founder

    Devin is a Full Stack Engineer with 5 years of experience building products with meaning. He loves finding people's hidden potential. His hobbies include debating Hip Hop, riding his bike, and sipping maple whiskey.

  • Kris Lee


    Kris is a Systems Engineer with over 20 years of experience, 5 years in Cybersecurity, with a special interest in vulnerability & penetration testing. He's devoted to community development, technical literacy, & wellness.

Want to help grow the community?

We're a volunteer run organization and are always looking to grow the team. Get in touch today about volunteering!