February is Black History Month and we wanted to feature some of the amazing POC who’ve made a difference in Canadian history. Throughout the month, you’ve met trailblazers in health, business, community services and now tech – each representing one of our streams. This marks the final blog in our Black History Month series.
We’ve highlighted stories of racism and resilience, discrimination and progress. These individuals showcase some of the work that’s already been done to challenge systems of prejudice and inequality while highlighting that our work is far from over. We hope you question your knowledge and learn something new.
Now we’d like to introduce you to Tamar Huggins Grant, a dedicated entrepreneur, author, tech trailblazer and advocate for women and people of colour in tech.
Huggins Grant’s Story
Tamar Huggins Grant is first and foremost an advocate for the people. As a Black-Canadian woman in tech, she wanted young girls and children of colour to see people like them reflected in the tech industry.
In 2007, she graduated from Centennial College from a three-year Advertising and Marketing Communications Management program. In Brampton, Ontario, she started helping the community by raising over 1.1 million dollars to help Black and female tech founders launch their Canadian startups. But she wanted to go even bigger.
In 2015, Huggins Grant launched Tech Spark, Canada’s first technology and design school with the mandate to empower girls and children of colour through innovative tech education. Tech Spark offers a K-12 curriculum that focuses on tech, entrepreneurship and equity, all taught by industry experts. Huggins Grant’s goal was to increase diversity in the tech and STEM sector, especially among girls and Black youth. She also created a resource for teachers, giving them the opportunity to take professional development training through Tech Spark’s IGNITE initiative. IGNITE helps educators craft culturally responsive curriculums and create inclusive classroom environments.
So far, Tech Spark has created 7 curriculums and 300 curated workshops with 100 trained teachers and 10,000 trained students. Huggins Grant serves as Executive Director.
Bossed Up: The Novel
In 2017, she launched her debut novel titled Bossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss, God’s Way! Her book ties biblical stories to her experiences of success and failures. Huggins Grant writes about “100 Boss Truths” to guide readers on their journey to becoming their own boss and entrepreneur. The book is rated 5/5 stars on Amazon.
In early 2020, Huggins Grant founded and launched EDUlytics, an online platform that uses predictive analytics, data science and UI to create personalized lesson plans for K-12 students. This tech solution is able to predict learning gaps and create lesson plans and activities that fill those gaps for young students in real time. The platform has an AI-powered tutor, curriculum insights and advanced performance metrics.
Huggins Grant launched EDUlytics shortly before the coronavirus pandemic affected the globe. It’s turned out to be a useful learning tool for teachers and administrators trying to navigate remote learning.
Already forming a legacy
Huggins Grant’s career is far from over but she’s already been an inspiration to so many.
In 2015, Huggins Grant was one of 15 Canadians who received a Harry Jermone award. She was specifically honoured with the Young Entrepreneur award for her involvement in creating the DRIVEN Accelerator Group, a mentorship program for individuals in the tech field. In that same year, she was named one of the 100 Black Women to Watch.
In 2017, Huggins was honoured as one of Canada’s top 150 black women making an impact across Canada by CBC and HERstory In Black. She’s also had her writing published in The Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Blavity and more.
If you want to keep in touch with her latest projects, you can follow her on social media @tamarhuggins. You can also read her #MoveTheDial interview for her thoughts and insights on being a Black woman in tech.
Feel inspired to pursue a career in tech? Check out our course catalogue and start your journey towards an engaging career in the tech sector.