Let's Build a (Wakanda) Tech Center in Oakland (Inspired by Marvel's Black Panther)
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Inspired by Marvel's Black Panther, a youth-friendly tech center in Oakland would gather groundbreaking organizations based in Oakland working to bridge the digital divide through STEAM education into a cooperative that will spearhead the future of inclusive innovation for cities across the globe.
Championed by Van Jones (The Van Jones Show, CNN Anchor, Dream Corps), and organized by Qeyno Group and Yes We Code, the following organizations are already working together to bring the Afro-futuristic/Latinxt vision of Wakanda to Oakland.
- Black Girls Code
- The Hidden Genius Project
- Hack the Hood
- David E. Glover Technology Center
- Youth Impact Hub
- Ile Omode School
- Brotherhood of Elders Network
The following organizations have a history of working together, as a cohort and as leaders, and collectively have trained thousands of youth, but to reverse the deep trends of homelessness, gentrification, over-policing, and the lack of technology access - we need to reach millions, and that is where you come in!
Working with Disney/Marvel to create a tech center would provide Oakland youth (and serve as a model for other cities) an opportunity for organizations to unify their work to create a space that:
- Host satellite headquarters for existing organizations that no longer have to face displacement or search for office spaces.
- Provide desks to new and emerging organizations that address parts of the cradle to career pipeline that have yet to be engaged in Oakland (i.e. trans communities, kindergartners, differently-abled) and provide them to an opportunity to network with potential funders and influencers.
- A maker lab that brings hardware construction, wiring, and engineering to Oakland's untapped talent.
- A design studio that harnesses the artistic gifts and expressions and transforms them into technology infused possibilities that utilizes design thinking.
- An innovation gallery that showcases technologies past, present, and future have been invented and shaped by women and minorities - those historically under-represented in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art Design, and Mathematics.
- An IT lab that provides on-site laptop access and recycled tech giveaways for homework, special projects, and hackathons.
In addition to being an energy-efficient, green building that is environmentally-responsible, this "Wakanda Center" would be additionally supported by the philanthropic community and will host opportunities for youth to become entrepreneurs and activists that shape the world and moonshot their own billion dollar ideas to venture capitalists and angel investors.
Ryan Coogler's direction of Black Panther is a breakthrough film that shifts pop-cultural to imagine what innovation can look like if communities work together and network their resources to create prosperity for all. It is a story that begins in Oakland and begins anew in Oakland and with your support by signing and sharing this petition, we can bring the magic of the silver screen Wakanda to the streets, classrooms, and offices of Oakland and beyond. #WakandaForever #WakandaOak
To learn more, go to IAMWAKANDA.COM
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