By Nancy Dahlberg
eMerge Americas has partnered with Wyncode Academy and Code Fever to host a virtual hackathon on July 1-2 (Update: rescheduled to July 16-17) The hackathon, titled Unite & Fight, is in response to systemic racism and social injustices that have afflicted communities of color.
The goal of the hackathon is to develop tech solutions to combat racism, such as apps, which will be presented at the upcoming eMerge Americas conference Nov. 4-5.
“Leaders in the tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem have a unique vantage point to steward innovation as a tool for systemic change,” said Felice Gorordo, CEO of eMerge Americas. “eMerge Americas is committed to taking action to combat systemic racism and leveraging tech to fight social injustices.”
The hackathon will kick off July 16 (updated) with a webinar including lightning talks by Black tech community leaders who will share their experiences encountering discrimination and racism. This will help inform the project creators with ideas for projects they will develop using technology. The teams participating in the virtual hackathon -- a full day on July 17 (updated) — will be tasked with designing and building a solution that combats racial injustice.
Then, project developers and designers will meet weekly for at least the the next few months months to continue development on their solutions, leading up to a final presentation before a panel of judges in September. The winner of those presentations will meet with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez prior to showcasing the solution at the eMerge Americas conference in November.
“The impetus for this initiative is to create a framework to learn and educate our community about racism and channel our collective brain trust for tangible solutions to dismantle systemic racism. By design, we’re extending the initiative to continue after the hackathon for multiple months because we want an ongoing solution-oriented dialogue,” said Johanna Mikkola, co-founder of Wyncode Academy.
Adds Felecia Hatcher, founder of Code Fever: “We use technology to create solutions to problems, and it really can be a driving force to end systemic racism and equity issues. Partnering with eMerge Americas and Wyncode creates actionable first steps that can lead to tangible solutions.”
Software developers and product designers interested in participating can register here.
For more information on the 2020 eMerge Americas conference in November, visit www.emergeamericas.com.
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