Black Lives Matter Hackathon

Join the fight to stop racial inequality and systemic injustices.

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Who are the Minority Programmers?

We are an international network of diverse professionals, educators, students, and hobbyists that unify together to combat humanitarian problems through software solutions with a project based approach to learning.

Why Are We Sponsoring the Black Lives Matter Hackathon?

As people who are minorities in the tech space, we feel personally responsible to not only educate our fellow minorities but to develop solutions that bring justice to all people. Additionally, the Minority Programmers has many founders and members that have first hand experiences in the criminal justice system. Programming has been essential in their struggle to break their cycle of incarceration and empower those who are/were in similar situations. We want to provide a platform and motivate other programmers to channel their fear, isolation, and frustration in a productive manner as well as work with people from all races/ethnicities to begin healing through technology.

Minority Programmers Black Lives Matter Hackathon

Premise

In a race to tackle systemic injustice in its track, we decided, in these tough economic times, to inspire people to use STEM to join the fight along with a $1000+ prize.

Benefits of BLM Hackathon

  • Channels Frustration into Innovation
  • Bring Coders Together From All Backgrounds
  • Opens Avenues to Discuss Injustice
  • Long Enough to Develop Impactful Solution
  • Promoting Interdisciplinary Learning: Bringing Tech into Social Space
  • Allows Public to Motivate Coders to Develop Existing Ideas
  • Networking Opportunity
  • STEM Education
  • Technical Support for Aspiring Programmers
  • A Way to Collaborate During Pandemic
  • A Constructive Way to Protest
  • Opportunity for Students to Win Money
  • Building Resume with Relevant Projects
  • Recruitment Opportunity for Employers
  • BLM

    Challenge

    You have 21 days (Monday July 6, 11:00AM EST - Sunday July 26, 11:59PM EST) for your team (1-5 people) to develop a coding solution to help mitigate systemic injustices. *You can join the challenge anytime before the submission deadline.

    Your Task

    Develop a software solution (as a shippable product) that addresses one or more of the following problems that have arisen as a result of prolonged systemic injustices.

    Black Lives Matter Street Protest

    Competition Guidelines

    Team Guidelines

    The more people consider for a team, the more the prize split. Your team can be up to 1-5 people. All members must register for the competition, and also specify their team name with fellow team members’ github usernames. If you do not have teammates, you can find other members on our Discord server.

    Rubric

    Submission Guidelines

    All files must be submitted as a link by Sunday July 26, 11:59 PM EST

  • Link to Demo video (hosted on YouTube or Vimeo). Your video should be around 5 minutes long and include a demo of your working application.
  • Repository access to your working application for judging and testing. Include a link to your repo hosting the code and all deployment files and testing instructions needed for testing your project in a README.md file. (Repositories may be public or private — if your repository is private, share access with testing@devpost.com AND minorityprogrammers@gmail.com.
  • Submission form on Devpost before the deadline, July 26th at 11:59PM EDT.
  • Summary Of Problem

    Background of Systemic Injustices in America

    Black Lives Matter is a decentralized movement started in 2013 after the killing of unarmed 17 year Trayvon Martin. The BLM movement uses non-violent civil disobedience to protest police brutality. This 7 year movement, along with the culmination of countless deaths, has resulted in a broader discussion of criminal justice reform and racial equality in the world.

    This sentiment seen in the protests everyday for the past month is hundreds of years in the making.

  • African slaves were first brought to America by the Spanish and Portugese settlers in 1501.
  • In 1641, slavery was legalized in the state of Massachussets. Slaves would be shipped from Africa and sold to white slave owners, who forced slaves to work for them.
  • In 1865, slavery was officially abolished. However, the last state to abolish slavery, Mississipi, failed to do so until 1995.
  • During Reconstruction in the South, local sheriffs became akin to the early slave patrols, enforcing segregation and the disenfranchisement of freed slaves.
  • Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes severely limited the rights of Black citizens. In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled segregation constitutional.
  • Discrimination and segregation were legal until 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was passed.
  • Despite the Civil Rights Act, Black Americans still face brutality and unequal conditions today.
    • Black Americans suffer a higher rate of fatal police shootings than any other ethnicity at 30 shootings for every one million Black Americans.
    • Black households have 1/10 The median net worth of white households
    • Black Americans are living in poverty at twice the rate of their white counterparts
    • Black Americans constitute a higher percentage of COVID-19 Deaths
    • Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at 5.1 times the rate of their white counterparts
  • Although we cannot begin to quantify these grievances, we have broken these issues into common topics:

    Police Accountability

  • Police Brutality/Excessive Force
  • Discrimination and Profiling
  • Stop & Frisk, Unlawful Searches
  • Criminal Justice

  • Wrongful Convictions
  • Diversifying Judges/Prosecutors
  • Drug War
  • Fines and Fees
  • BailBail
  • Internal Biases

  • Assessing Existing Biases
  • Eliminating workplace discrimination
  • Outlets to unlearn biases
  • Global Impacts

  • Africa-Centric Businesses
  • Political Change
  • Supporting Global Communities
  • Racial Inequality

  • Supporting Minority Businesses/Access to Capital
  • Affordable Housing/Gentrification
  • Food Security
  • Access to Education
  • Mass Incarceration

  • In Prison Education Programs
  • Rehabilitative Programs
  • Youth Population
  • Felon Population

  • Integration into the Workforce
  • Ban the Box
  • Assistance for Released Inmates
  • Policy Reform

  • Three Strikes Policy
  • Mandatory Minimums
  • Ideas and Resources

    Examples of Potential Solutions

    An application that...

  • Allows you to easily look police by badge number and precinct
  • Speeds up appeal process
  • Automatically files for restoration of rights after certain time inmate is released
  • Calculates mandatory minimums
  • Maps all the remaining monuments, with pictures and dimensions
  • Detects whether application has the “box” (Have you been convicted of a felony)
  • An app that calculates diversity scores of institutions based on the make up of key members in power
  • An app that calculates the likelihood you will get incarcerated by demographics
  • A website that breaks stereotypes by showing personal stories of individuals who defy these stereotypes
  • A map of minority owned businesses
  • An app that breaks down funding of community programs, lets you look at police budget and reassign those funds
  • Existing Solutions/Tools

    Police Accountability

  • Raheem
  • OpenPolice
  • I’m Getting Arrested
  • ACLU Mobile Justice
  • Safe Space App
  • Oh Crap App
  • ACLU Stop and Frisk Watch App
  • Internal Biases

  • Project Implicit
  • Suggestions from MPA Community

    On our discord server we will be continuously contributing new ideas, feedback, and help to anyone that wants to learn and create!

    Announcing Prize

    When

    The prize will be announced on our YouTube stream, 7 days after the submission deadline: Sunday, August 2nd 1PM EST

    How Prize Will Be Awarded

    If you have multiple people in your team, the total grand prize will be divided evenly amongst all winning team members. If you are not in the United States please indicate so we can give prize according to standards of your country.

    Claiming Your Prize

    Check the YouTube video live stream to see the results. You will then be contacted by MPA executive members with ways to claim your certificate and prize money. Also awards and other accolades will be given to noteworthy participants.

    How You Can Help Without Competing

    Co-Sponsor Prize

    The bigger the prize, the bigger the teams, and the more complex the solution. We at MPA would love to partner with organizations aiming to reduce harm by channeling the talents of coder’s across the world through situational learning.

  • Appear as ally for minorities and patron of innovation during time of crisis
  • The more money the more professional hackathees will come to forefront and make more effective solutions
  • Opportunity to invest in startup technology from competition
  • Ability to recruit talented workers into your organization
  • Continued partnership with MPA
  • On Devpost
  • You can sponsor particular prize with certain stipulations for contestants to opt into. For ex; Police Accountability Prize: $5000
  • Study This Hackathon

    We at the Minority Programmers Association prioritize STEM education, believing that it is the key to upward mobility in the 21st century. We believe in the efficacy of project-based learning, group-learning, interdisciplinary teamwork, where the students use their passion as their primary motivation. If you are a data scientist, professor, or a student interested in collecting data regarding how the principles impact the software development process, contact Jack V, Education Specialist. We believe this particular Hackathon is interesting as it faces the challenge of both remote work and individual social distancing of the team.

    Become A Resource

    We need live TAs that can host sessions on Zoom/Discord/ to facilitate questions that participants may have. We believe that competition should also create an ability to teach others different technologies and we hope to build a rich live community of online resources from across the world.

    Share With Community

    If you are not competing you can also help through many means including.

  • Donate to the BLM Hackathon GoFundMe to contribute to larger prizes for contestants
  • Sharing this hackathon flyer on social media
  • Providing feedback in our discord throughout
  • Helping the Minority Programmers to organize this event
  • Contacting National/Local Media
  • Share on reddit
  • Join the event on LinkedInand Devpost
  • Join MPA

    Want to join the network of STEM professionals that is the Minority Programmers Association? No chapter near you? You can still be a mentor to youth, work on software projects, develop STEM curriculum, and contribute to all overall missions through our international network.

    Start A Chapter

    If you are interested in starting a MinorityProgrammers chapter at your college/school contact minorityprogrammers@gmail.com with subject line entitled: Starting A Chapter At YOUR_SCHOOL

    Judges

    Want to participate as a judge? Email minorityprogrammers@gmail.com a brief summary about yourself and why you want to be a judge with the Subject Line: Judge Application