Civic News
Elections / Social justice / Year in review

Social justice: No. 3 Baltimore tech trend of 2015

How Baltimore's tech scene responded to April's unrest.

Items donated to the Digital Harbor Foundation following #BaltimoreUprising. (Courtesy photo)

Beyond individual stories, a tech community is defined by how its component parts work together. So, to look back at 2015, we’re unpacking 10 themes that kept popping up with big headlines all year long. See the full list of 2015 trends here.

The riots that followed Freddie Gray’s funeral will top any year-end list of top news events in Baltimore as a whole, and will probably even be on a lot of year-end national lists. The events shaped every community in Baltimore, including tech.
During the unrest, we saw the Digital Harbor Foundation host a drop-off point for donations and civic hackers make a map of incidents. Afterward, the community’s response was evident at events like the Hack for Diversity and Social Justice, and at EAGB’s annual meeting, where entrepreneurs sounded off on their role in Baltimore.
But perhaps the tech community’s greatest impact will be felt in the long-term.
Helping the city as a whole was identified as the tech community’s next big mission. Equally, tech access and the jobs pipeline ended up as a major piece of the economic strategy taking shape from OneBaltimore, the public-private partnership formed in the wake of the riots. In the very near-term, tech leaders are joining many Baltimoreans in highlighting the significance of the April mayoral election, and the importance of everyone getting involved. We’ll have a chance to see how these efforts play out in the mayoral race within the first half of the year, but the groundwork suggests these effects could continue to be felt for years to come.

Companies: Digital Harbor Foundation

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