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PHARRELL'S NEW CODE FOR SUCCESS

“Your Voice Is Power” is a new educational collaboration among Pharrell Williams’ education-equity nonprofit Yellow, Amazon and the Georgia Institute of Technology that encourages middle- and high-school students to lend their voices to the discussion about equity while learning to code remixes.

The program encompasses five teaching modules, each with lesson plans that teach coding while kick-starting conversations between students and teachers about the importance of racial justice. Students are encouraged to speak their minds in the process of remixing Pharrell’s “Entrepreneur” using EarSketch, Georgia Tech’s learn-to-code-through-music platform.

“YELLOW believes education is a pathway to success,” Williams said. “Teaching kids skills like coding, especially kids to whom opportunities like this have not been equally distributed, is how we prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

“Your Voice Is Power” aims to attract 100,000 students, lending unique, meaningful and entrepreneurial-oriented content to their current virtual-learning experiences.

Students will meet professionals currently using music and computer science to fight for racial justice, among them Mike Larson, Pharrell’s audio engineer; Chalece DeLaCoudray, a music technologist and Georgia Tech alumna; and Joycelyn Wilson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Hip Hop Studies and Digital Media at Georgia Tech.

The first round of competition will run through 3/12, the second, 3/15 to 6/4.

Remixes will be judged by a panel of Amazon engineers, Amazon Music team members and music-industry professionals. Winners will be chosen based on the quality of the music, the complexity and organization of their code and their messaging about the importance of racial justice.

Teachers and students can get started by visiting AmazonFutureEngineer.com, where a full list of rules, prizes, scoring guidelines and curriculum are available.

“The more we support the next generation of artists and creators, the better the future of music will be,” said Ryan Redington, VP of Music Industry at Amazon Music. “We are proud to work alongside Pharrell, a respected, visionary voice in promoting racial justice and helping students achieve long-term success.”

Throughout 2021, Amazon Future Engineer and Amazon Music will work with additional artists to add their songs to the EarSketch library. As of now, students can also use computer code to remix Ciara’s “Set” and “Melanin” and Common’s “God Is Love.”

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