Nationwide — London Walker, a 15-year-old African American high school student and aspiring lawyer from Oakland, California, has launched a new book for Black and brown children entitled The ABCs of Cybersecurity.
In February 2023, London and her mom, Claudia, were invited to the White House to participate in a roundtable discussion on the state of cybersecurity in the Black community. London, the only teen at the event, wasn’t intimidated by the moment. “She never ceases to amaze me,” says her mother. “Here she is, a kid, sitting next to some of the most influential people in the White House, and she raises her hand, turns on her microphone, and explains why cybersecurity education is such a critical skill for children to learn.”
London’s mom wasn’t the only one impressed by her daughter’s poise. During the roundtable event, London received a full scholarship to Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.
“It was an amazing opportunity,” says London. “Before participating in the event, I knew very little about cybersecurity because we weren’t talking about it at home or school.”
According to a 2020 report by Cyber.org, only 10 percent of schools offer cybersecurity classes. Although schools often employ firewalls to limit students’ access to non-academic sites, London insists that there are dangerous loopholes that educators and policymakers need to be aware of. “My peers are smart. We know how to get around firewalls. The problem is that some of these workarounds might infect our devices with malware or viruses. These are serious risks that no one is educating us about.”
During the White House event, London and her mom jointly announced their commitment to co-author The ABCs of Cybersecurity to teach children how to protect their privacy and stay safe online.
After months of researching and collaborating with organizations like Black Girls in Cyber and #ShareTheMicInCyber, the mother-daughter duo is excited to debut their newest book and a cybersecurity game on January 6 — National Technology Day.
In addition to teaching children about digital citizenship, the authors also hope to raise awareness about the need for more diversity in the cybersecurity field. Illustrated by Dissirama Laurencia, the book pays homage to African-American trailblazers like cryptographer William Coffee, cybersecurity attorney Camille Stewart Gloster, and Elijah Muhammad, who earned cybersecurity and computer science degrees when he was 13.
When asked what makes this project unique, London said, “My little brothers love video games, so we created an online cybersecurity game that kids can play by scanning a QR code in the book. We’re using technology to make learning fun.”
The ABCs of Cybersecurity is available for purchase through HBCUPrepSchool.com and select retailers nationwide.
HBCU Prep School, an award-winning multimedia education company founded in 2020 by Claudia Walker, is dedicated to replicating the Black college experience for children through their books, flashcards, puzzles, and classes. Their best-selling books, The ABCs of HBCUs and The ABCs of Black Wall Street, were featured in Target’s 2023 Black History Month Collection. HBCU Prep School’s products unapologetically celebrate Black culture and inspire children to see themselves as part of the rich tapestry of Black history. Learn more at HBCUPrepSchool.com
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