‘Black Techies’ Hosts Hackathon to Honor Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hackers work against clock to create social good innovations

MLK Dream Code hackers take time to play with wearable technology (Image: Kevin Steck)

“Dr. King went around from church to church spreading his message, trying to bring people together to act on one thing. I think this is a new age way to do that in that it’s creating that same awareness,” said Pinto on Our Black Box’s ability to mobilize change. Her team won first place in the social justice category.

Another group, Hiro Sitzin, worked on a volunteer voting app that would provide “easy-to-follow, nonpartisan registration guidelines for employees and volunteers of nonprofits,” according to the team description. Down the line, the team of three would like to build in training within the app that would ensure each user is approved to act as a volunteer.

The hackathon win went to Sponsibil, a Yelp-meets-Kickstarter platform for social good. The team of five designed a site that would allow visitors to pinpoint community issues (think: subway system issues, streetlight problems, etc.), and, ultimately, gain the attention of government officials. The grand prize winners each took home a Roku 3 and Wanamaker will donate $500 to the charity of their choice, which will be matched by Yahoo!, totaling $1000.

Local Greens, which aims to combat food deserts and find affordable, fresh produce based on one’s zipcode, won the “Best Use of Tumblr” category.

With all the innovation developed during the weekend event, Wanamaker is pleased at the turnout and looking forward to the work that will stem from the connections made.

“To me, I see this as a connector of talent…as they say, you are the strength of your network.”

To see updates and photos from  #MLKDreamCode, visit the Dream Code Tumblr account.

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