There have been many attempts from numerous sections of the society (government initiatives, non-government initiatives, corporate social responsibility initiatives among others) to bring about diversity and inclusion within the tech space.
However, most of these attempts are often from the people already in tech trying to spark and inspire individual and communities underrepresented within the tech space to take up the STEM education and be en-route to Tech careers.
<div> hackathon is a different approach. It is a hackathon meant to spark and inspire the underrepresented communities in tech, but organized and operated 100% by the youths and students of color themselves. The bulk of those underrepresented in the tech space are people of color and women.
<div> hackathon wants to inspire Millennials of color, not just to become tech consumers, but also tech producers, innovators, and disruptors of future tech development.
The inaugural <div> hackathon took place last year (2015) where 50 Millennials of Color (high-school and undergrads) spent the first weekend of SXSW matched with mentors and developing apps seeking to solve challenges faced in Education, Health, and Social Justice sectors.
For the year 2016, <div> hackathon wants to address the problem with technology pipeline. This year’s <div> hackathon intends to serve as an information and social capital conduit, a pipeline connecting talent-seeking companies to 65 phenomenal Millennials of Color.
The <div> hackathon 2016 will take place on the campus of Huston-Tillotson University on March 12 and 13. The University is located in the heart of East Austin and is a federally designated HBCU (a Historically Black College and University). The University is currently home to a diverse campus of students: 72% African-American, 17% Latino, 6% White and 4% International.
What to expect at the <div> hackathon
There will be more than 234 participants (65 students, 40 mentors, 100 spectators, 12 Houston-Tillotson Student Hackathon Organizers, 5 Guest Judges, 10 Huston-Tillotson Faculty and Staff Members and 1 Huston-Tillotson President)
65 students from diverse backgrounds, creating mobile apps that disrupt the Business, Health, Education and Entertainment sectors.
Supportive, engaging, and curriculum-based environment.
Tech talks, which share with students new product knowledge, career survival skills, and the power of personal branding.
Opportunities to network, table, and explore
The following are some of the remarks made by participants at <div> hackathon 2015:
“<div> hackathons was a life changing experience that helped open my mind to becoming innovative and more than just a consumer of technology.” – Judith Job, Huston-Tillotson University Kinesiology student.
“At <div> hackathon, I made lasting connections. I was also inspired to continue to create apps.” – Arsenio Brown, Huston-Tillotson University, a Sociology student.
“<div> hackathon opened my eyes to something special about my East Austin community. Spending a weekend seeing different people of color work together to solve different issues was not only empowering but proves that we can go further if we do it together.” – Juan Zuniga, Austin Community College Business Management student.
“Thank you so much for putting together the <div> hackathon! It’s great that you guys promoted diversity and women’s equality! I had so much fun, met some amazing people and learned so many tools that I will definitely be using… Please let me know if you guys ever do this again, I’d definitely be interested.” – Maryam Khawar, Austin Peace Academy student.
For additional information, click here and to be a part of the event, click the links below:
Want to participate?
BE THE PIPELINE
Register to participate in the 2016 <div> hackathon (open to high school and college students)
BECOME A MENTOR
Volunteer to empower the future
BETTER THE INDUSTRY
Support MVMT50 + <div> hackathon
#IAMTHEPIPELINE | #DivHack2016 | #pipeitup