#YesWeCode Hackathon, Philadelphia (November 14-16, 2014)

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More than 80 young men and women teamed up with professional coders, designers and innovators to develop apps for social good at the first #YesWeCode Hackathon in coordination with the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. This three-day event, which was presented by Google and powered by Qeyno Labs, produced 10 apps designed to solve problems within the community, including an app to connect teens to mental health professionals and an idea for crowdsourcing solutions to remedy urban blight.

Click to see event gallery (PHOTO CREDIT: Johnathon Henninger of Johntown Productions)


Glide Talk, San Francisco, (October 29, 2014)

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Dream Corps Unlimited founder Van Jones and Nationbuilder CEO Jim Gilliam participated in Glide Church’s esteemed thought leaders’ series to discuss national politics, activism, technology and Jones’ vision of how to close prison doors and open doors of opportunity.

Click to see event gallery


Platform Summit, Atlanta (October 24-26, 2014)

The Platform Summit is not just a conference, it’s an experience. You will not just be educated, you will be moved. You will cheer. You may cry. You will meet luminaries and people who will one day be luminaries. You will be overwhelmed, and yet energized by opportunity. You will wish it was longer and yet be excited to return home to share your extraordinary experience.

About Platform: Platform is a community of people who believe that the worlds of technology, science, art and entrepreneurship are the future of the planet, and that people from across all social, cultural, ethnic and gender groups should be a part of the revolution.




#YesWeCode launch at Essence Festival and Essence Hackathon, New Orleans (July 3-6, 2014)

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On July 4th weekend, #YesWeCode made history when it officially launched at Essence Festival – the largest gathering and celebration of African Americans on the planet. The launch included the debut of a robust facebook-designed search tool on yeswecode.org, a tech village featuring 15 coding and tech organizations from all over the country (including Facebook and Google) and the first-ever hackathon at the Essence Festival.

During Friday’s sold-out Prince concert, the Purple Highness himself gave #YesWeCode a shout-out on stage to more than 50,000 people.

Click to see event gallery


Start-up Weekend Oakland Hackathon, Oakland (February 7-9, 2014)

Oakland Hackathon 

It was a weekend that literally hacked the culture of Silicon Valley. More than 50 young black males (ages 13-20) participated in StartUp Weekend Oakland’s first Hackathon celebrating Black Male Achievement hosted by Qeyno Labs and Impact HUB Oakland.

These young people teamed up with business leaders, innovators, coders, and community activists from an array of diverse backgrounds to collaborate and create apps and programs focused on community problem solving. Teams were tasked with designing new technology that would tackle the following important issues: Education, Health, Restorative Justice, Gaming, and Sustainability.

Click to see event gallery ( Please credit: Photo credit: Adam Turner)


July 2015, New Orleans: Join #YesWeCode at Essence Festival 2015

When #YesWeCode officially launched at Essence Festival last year, we hosted the festival's first-ever Tech Village and Youth Hackathon. Over those three days, we met and were inspired by thousands of people from all over the country who believed in our vision to change the face of tech in America. 

We're thrilled to be going back! And this time... we're getting there in style. 

We’re going on a road trip with Estella’s Brilliant Bus and taking 80 bright students along for the ride!

We’ll be making stops in seven cities across the South to tour local cultural heritage landmarks, historical civil rights sites and historically black colleges and universities. We will also engage in various hands-on tech activities. Take a peek at the full list of activities here.

During this 10-day digital freedom ride, #YesWeCode and Estella’s Brilliant Bus will combine computer programming skills with on-the-go entrepreneurship training for the students through Mobile App Development and the Basics of Tech Entrepreneurship. It'll be equal parts learning, innovation and fun!

Before reaching our final destination in New Orleans, we'll make an important stop in Jackson, Mississippi. There students will take part in the TECHJXN Innovation Summit and #YesWeCode Hackathon. They’ll pitch and brainstorm ideas to create app prototypes with help from leading technologists and designers. And, the entire state of Mississippi, including the governor, will greet the bus-riders as part of their tech town hall exploring the state's innovation economy.

The teams with the best ideas will have a chance to present them LIVE on the Essence Festival Main Stage!

  • Get Tickets to the The TECHJXN Innovation Summit on June 30 in Jackson, MS. Please note that we are selling tickets for the innovation summit event only. For details about participating in the #YesWeCode hackathon, please visit techjxn.com. If you have questions about either event, contact Rhea Williams-Bishop at rbishop@mscei.com.
  • Support The Road to #YesWeCode road trip with Estella's Brilliant Bus here.
  • Visit us at Essence Festival on July 3-5 in New Orleans, CA. Come stop by our booth in the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.

*Check out some #YesWeCode photos from last year's Essence Festival on Facebook.

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A Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform

More than 600 law makers, criminal justice leaders and influencers gathered together in a sold-out crowd to agree on one thing: now is the time for Criminal Justice Reform.

With one in 100 Americans currently incarcerated at costs upwards of $80 billion per year, political leaders from across the political spectrum united for reform. From ALEC and Koch Industries to ACLU and Drug Policy Alliance, the summit served as the launchpad for unlikely alliances in 2015. 

The summit - hosted by Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Donna Brazile and Pat Nolan - brought together more than 90 speakers to share insights and innovative solutions to our country’s mass incarceration problem.

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Among the speakers were 3 GOP Governors and 10 members of Congress - both Republicans and Democrats - who participated in person or by video.

Featured speakers included: Attorney General Eric Holder, David Simon (The Wire creator), Donna Brazile, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, John Forté (Fugees), Piper Kerman (Orange is the New Black author) and Sen. Cory Booker.

President Obama, himself, even made a cameo — via video.

In a pre-taped interview between he and David Simon, the President talked about the national shift in conversation about prison reform and the real-life inspiration behind "Omar Little,” Obama’s favorite character from the hit show. Watch the full video here.

Did you miss the summit? 


WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED. This is just one of many upcoming bold, bipartisan and high-impact convenings to promote one idea: American can safely and smartly cut our prison population in half over the next 10 years.