“…the urge for freedom will eventually come.”

There have been too many acts of violence to not see, or to forget what is happening. The phrase, “This isn’t who we are” in reference to the events on Capitol Hill feels akin to gaslighting; this is who we are. From the Trail of Tears to George Floyd, white supremacy is woven into the very fabric of this country’s foundation. Honoring Dr. King today means acknowledging this fact and acting on it.

This is why Hack the Hood is a racial justice organization — We recognize our work as a justice-centered approach to education. Given the historical destructive relationship between BIPOC communities, white supremacy, and the STEM industrial complex, justice is an integral component of our pedagogy. This means we center the experiences of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous peoples — an approach that emphasizes liberation through socio-political action. Developing technical skills is easy; our young people are natural creatives and innovators. It’s learning how to thrive outside of white supremacy that is difficult.

In preparing our learners for the future of work, we understand it is also necessary to offer tools that will enable them to act on behalf of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. Our vision is to build a generation of computational thinkers that leverage data to solve community issues. In the next five years, Hack the Hood will serve 5000 young people and small business owners across the U.S. We are designing a sociopolitical data science curriculum for Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth.

We’re focused on data science foundations because (a): We recognize data empowerment is essential to the futures of our communities. Knowing how to read, analyze, and make informed decisions about our own lives using data will impact us today and seven generations from today. (b): We believe that, when equipped with data science knowledge and skills, learners are best positioned to continue to upskill for long-term career opportunities in the most in-demand areas across sectors.

Dr. King’s reference to “the urge for freedom” is reflected in how we will train the next generation. As a racial justice organization, Hack the Hood is committed to ensuring Black, Latinx, and Indigenous learners are prepared for the future of work — this is our civil rights issue of today. This includes having the technical skills and the sociopolitical sharpness to understand that liberation comes through action. Read more about our education philosophy here.

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