Moiz Rizvi of UT's Code Orange

UT Student Moiz Rizvi Wants Everyone to Code

In an effort to democratize tech, the senior created “Code Orange,” an organization designed to teach coding to underprivileged students.

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Moiz Rizvi of UT's Code Orange

In an effort to democratize tech, the senior created “Code Orange,” an organization designed to teach coding to underprivileged students.

Moiz Rizvi, a twenty-year old student at the University of Texas Austin, started Code Orange with the intention of teaching underprivileged kids that they belong in the world of coding and technology just as much as anyone else. After several challenging months and about 50 enlightened children later, the organization has completed their first Demo Day—successfully, I might add—and are looking forward to bigger and better things. I spoke with Rizvi about how he got started in the organization, as well as how he’s using his experience with the intersection of social justice and coding to inform decisions about his career.

We’re sort of a symbiotic organism, me and the organization.”

You know there’s a lot of anxiety involved, but I think I was able to manage it really well. Purely because about a month ago I started running daily. I have a running channel that invites people to run with me, and no one does, but I’ve posted screenshots of my runs every single day for the last 35 days. Now, sometimes, I’ll get heckled if I don’t.”

I think that there’s great people everywhere. Well, maybe not great, but there’s good people everywhere. What it really takes is some leadership.”

Many people might’ve thought, ‘Oh, he’s trying to get stamps on his resume,’ and I hate that so much. It really burns me out.”

I’ll see people fanaticize about whatever the heck they’re working on, wear their own organization’s shirt and be really excited to give you their pitch. I didn’t realize that I’d become one of those people but I am. I love talking about Code Orange.”

We had our homemade banner that we had hung up in our rec center, and we took that same paper banner and we put it on our table at the Digital Resource Fair. We’re sitting there, and every other organization had their nice printed things and all their flyers and stuff. We just looked like the jankiest, scrappiest ordinaire, which, we were down for.”

We might have to change our name, because with the university we’re registered as Code Burnt Orange. It took two applications to actually get it through because this grunge band in Canada is called Code Orange. I wish they didn’t exist. Not the people, I’m sure they’re okay people, but the band because they have the Instagram and all that stuff. The university wouldn’t even allow us to say Texas Code Orange.”

I got interviewed by Time Warner News for Digital Inclusion Day. But, it’s funny because I don’t have, nor do I know anyone that has, a Time Warner Cable subscription. So I never got to see it.”

When I was younger I hated establishments and institutions, and now I am the institution. I’m making rules and telling people what to do. People get in trouble and I’m cracking down on them. Maybe four years ago I would’ve been on the other side. I was a shitty kid, for lack of a better term. [Code Orange] has done a lot more for me than I’ve done for it.”

I’ve been conflicted about what I’m doing after graduation, and I just currently can’t really bear the thought of leaving. But I guess it does happen, and the show needs to go on without me.”

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