Philly to host first-ever 'My Brother's Keeper' youth hackathon next week - Technical.ly Philly

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Nov. 7, 2014 8:31 am

Philly to host first-ever ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ youth hackathon next week

The hackathon will cater to minority boys and girls. They'll build apps focused on education, restorative justice, masculinity and more.

A #YesWeCode participant.

(Photo courtesy of #YesWeCode)

Minority youth will become civic hackers at the first “My Brother’s Keeper” hackathon next week.

It’s a response to President Obama’s call to action for organizations to help black boys succeed. Though the hackathon is geared toward boys, girls are also welcome. Participants will build apps around “education, wellness, restorative justice, food, sustainability and masculinity,” according to a release.

The hackathon will be held from Nov. 14-16 at String Theory Schools in Center City. Organizers are looking for youth participants, as well as adult mentors and volunteers.

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The hackathon is organized by two organizations that teach urban youth about technology: Qeyno Labs, based in Oakland, Calif., and #YesWeCode. The groups are working with the Mayor’s Office and the Black Male Engagement (BMe) network.

So why launch in Philly?

Here’s what Qeyno founder Kalimah Priforce said through a spokesman: “With change agents like the Knight Foundation, the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office, BMe, and other Philadelphia community organizations leading the way in improving the life outcomes of young men of color, launching the first My Brother’s Keeper hackathon in Philadelphia was a natural choice for Qeyno Labs and Yes We Code. In making this decision, we have seen the Philly tech and corporate community rise to occasion in providing leadership in the way of not just sponsorship opportunities but with talent and logistical support for this hackathon and its youth participants.”

The My Brother’s Keeper hackathon is another effort to engage low-income and minority youth in Philadelphia. Other projects include Temple’s Urban Apps and Maps Studio, Coded by Kids and Creative Tech Works. Black Girls Code is coming to Philadelphia next year.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes has been covering the Philadelphia tech scene since 2012. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

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