11 September 2022
Rap star Jay-Z, otherwise known as Shawn Carter, and Block CEO Jack Dorsey, recently airdropped bitcoin to members of the Bitcoin Academy in Brooklyn. Jay-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter explained in a statement that a myriad of residents from Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant participated, and more than 350 people attended the crypto classes.
During the first week of June, Bitcoin.com News reported on Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z teaming up to launch the Bitcoin Academy in Brooklyn for residents of Marcy House. A report from Business Insider details that the academy’s classes saw hundreds of people. “Marcy residents showed up,” Jay-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter told the publication. “The over 350 people who attended The Bitcoin Academy classes let us know that this education is important to them—and that it matters,” she added.
The report further discussed the project with a Marcy House resident who participated in the classes. Furthermore, at the end of the courses, the residents from Bedford-Stuyvesant could enroll in a grant that gives each person $1,000 in bitcoin (BTC) sent to their Cashapp or Munn Wallet. The 12-week educational course was free exclusively to Brooklyn’s Marcy House residents. Marcy resident Mariela Regalado said that the academy reminded her of when she saw Jay-Z growing up in the neighborhood.
“I remember when I was younger, growing up in the project, [Jay-Z] and his team would come and give us toys and things like that,” Regalado told Business Insider. “My friends and I would call it this kind of ‘hood philanthropy,’ — So for me, this is kind of like an evolution of that.” Regalado further detailed that the academy offered free daycare for her daughter, and as a single mother she was able to attend the courses. Regalado added:
[The classes were] purely this fun, educational journey that I got to do with my neighbors. It always felt like [we were] at a family dinner, and like that cousin that discovered Bitcoin is telling everybody else about it.
Brooklyn’s Bitcoin Academy was also backed by Crypto Blockchain Plug (Najah J. Roberts) and Black Bitcoin Billionaire (Lamar Wilson). Wilson was an instructor and the person that connected with the Block CEO Jack Dorsey to propose the program. Courses that were taught included subjects like “Careers in Crypto,” “Wealth Building and Assets,” “Bitcoin & Taxes,” and “Why Decentralization Matters.”
“A lot of times, information doesn’t get to our community. Not because people are being intentionally discriminatory, it’s because they’re not being intentional about getting the information there. And so somebody has to pick up the mantle and do it,” Wilson said. The Brooklyn Bitcoin Academy instructor added:
Because I understand the information and I can break it down into a vernacular that others can understand, especially folks from where I’m from, I feel like it’s almost my obligation to make sure I get the information to them, and it’s not to like recommend them to buy bitcoin or try to get them to invest all their money or anything like that. It’s just really, let me provide the information and allow you as a very intelligent being to make your own decisions.
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