Black Lives Matter. Coding to combat racial inequality and systemic injustices.

Who Are The Minority Programmers Association (MPA)?

https://minorityprogrammers.org/

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 BLM Hackathon?

We are sick and tired of being sick and tired of no significant progress in mitigating racial inequality and systemic injustices in America. At the same time, 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 as well. 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. 

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

 

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.

 

Challenge

You have 21 days (Monday July 13, 11:00AM EST - Sunday August 2, 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.

When

Start Date: Monday, July 13, 2020

End Date: Sunday, August 2, 2020

Winner Announced: on YouTube: Sunday, August 9th 1PM EST

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 team mates, you can find other members on our Discord server.

Rubric

 

 

Technical Complexity

Practicality

Presentation of Product

 

Quality of Features

Are your features meaningful and add to the overall quality of the product?

Accessibility

Will your solution work in places most impacted by systemic injustices? Mobile?

UX Design

Does your UX Design consider a wide variety of applications.

 

Comprehensive Project

Does your solution have comprehensive features or does it look like you just put something together?

Do you tackle multiple problems at once concerning systemic injustices?

Effectiveness

Does it actually solve a problem concerning the marginalized populations?

Code Cleanliness

Is your code easy to understand?

 

Efficiency

Is your code efficient? Do you use an efficient algorithm?

Portability and Usability

Is your code easy to run and works on multiple systems?

Originality of Work

Is your idea novel?

Do you not plagiarize and properly credit others for their contribution?

Submission Guidelines

All files must be submitted as a link by Sunday August 2, 11:59 PM EST

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Submission form on Devpost before the deadline, August 2nd 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. 

 

Although we cannot begin to quantify these grievances, we have broken these issues into common topics:

Police Accountability
  • Police Corruption
  • Discrimination and Profiling
  • Stop & Frisk, Unlawful Searches
Criminal Justice (Courts)
  • Wrongful Convictions
  • Diversifying Judges/Prosecutors
  • Drug War
  • Fines and Fees
  • Bail 
Internal Biases
  • Assessing Existing Biases
  • Eliminating workplace discrimination
  • Outlets to unlearn biases
Historic Issues
  • Controversial Monuments
  • Historic Whitewashing
  • Minority Cultural Preservation
Global Impacts
  • Africa-Centric Businesses
  • Political Change
  • Supporting global communities
Police Militarization
  • Overfunding of Police
  • Police Brutality/Excessive Force
  • Police Recruitment Tactics
Racial Inequality
  • Supporting Minority Businesses
  • Affordable Housing/Gentrification
  • Food Security
  • Access to Education
Mass Incarceration
  • In Prison Education Programs
  • Rehabilitative Programs
  • Youth Population
Felon Population
  • Integration into Workforce
  • Ban the Box
  • Assistance for released inmates
Policy Reform
Culture
  • Upholding Family
  • Dissolving family stereotypes
  • Building Generation Wealth
  • Mitigating Inner City VIolence

Ideas and Resources

Examples of Potential Solutions

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 and lets you look at police budget and repriotize those funds

Existing Solutions/Tools

Police Accountability
Internal Biases

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 solutions. We at the Minority Programmers would love to partner with organizations aiming to reduce harm by channeling the talents of coder’s across the world through situational learning.

Benefits of Sponsorship

  • 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 (look below)

  • 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 Specialistminorityprogrammers@gmail.com. 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/Twitch  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.

View full rules

Prizes

$1,800 in prizes

People's Choice

Based on a vote of fellow participants and community members

First Place

One thousands US Dollars

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Eligibility

  • Teams of 1-5 (minimum age of 13)
  • Anyone from around the world can enter

Requirements

All files must be submitted as a link by Sunday August 2, 11:59 PM EST

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Submission form on Devpost before the deadline, August 2nd at 11:59PM EDT.

Judges

Kush Gupta

Kush Gupta
President of Minority Programmers JMU, Software Engineer Intern at Northrop Grumman

Nick Morris

Nick Morris
Application Developer at TechTrend

Ram Ramkumar

Ram Ramkumar
Senior Consultant at CapTech

 Sergei Zotov

Sergei Zotov
Data Product Manager at Théa

Mondo Davison

Mondo Davison
Co-Founder of SafeSpace App, Founder of The Black Tech Guy

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Complexity: Quality of Features
    Are your features meaningful and add to the overall quality of the product?
  • Technical Complexity: Comprehensive Project
    Does your solution have comprehensive features or does it look like you just put something together? Do you tackle multiple problems at once concerning systemic injustices?
  • Technical Complexity: Efficiency
    Is your code efficient? Do you use an efficient algorithm?
  • Practicality: Accessibility
    Will your solution work in places most impacted by systemic injustices? Mobile?
  • Practicality: Effectiveness
    Does it actually solve a problem concerning the marginalized populations?
  • Practicality: Portability and Usability
    Is your code easy to run and does it work on multiple systems?
  • Presentation of Product
    UX Design -Does your UX Design consider a wide variety of applications. Code Cleanliness -Is your code easy to understand? Originality of Work -Is your idea novel? -Do you not plagiarize and properly credit others for their contribution?

themes

  • Lifehacks
  • Social Good