Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

My Brother’s Keeper hackathon supports black youth interested in tech careers

Nov. 21, 2014, 12:14 p.m., Posted by Monica Peters

Philly Hackathon: Kalimah Priforce, co-founder of Qeyno Labs and hackathon organizer, talks to youth trailblazers about their pitches. Photos by Monica Peters.

Team Change Your Community worked feverishly in a computer lab at String Theory Charter School in Philadelphia last weekend to create an app for community good.

The youths tossed out problems, ideas for solving them, and narrowed down their options to one. Then, they got to work coding.  The result: an app that allows users to take pictures of abandoned buildings and nominate them for how they should be renovated or used.

Their project took first place during the event, the first hackathon for the White House initiative My Brother’s Keeper. Team members took home Samsung Galaxy tablets and a chance to participate in a Google Hangout with #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, the hackathon’s keynote speaker. The real prize, however, is that the hackathon, held Nov. 14-16, is a step toward guiding the 95 boys and girls who participated on a trajectory to careers in technology.

“Whenever young people start to break negative patterns and start a new positive pattern you have no idea what that’s going to mean for history,” Jones said.

Charlotte, N.C., riding forward into a bike-friendly future

Nov. 21, 2014, 10 a.m., Posted by Susan Patterson


Photo by Flickr user Tyler LaCross

What does Charlotte need to become a more bike-friendly city?

  • Events to let people experience the joy of cycling;
  • A clearinghouse for easy, safe routes;
  • Better signage identifying bike routes;
  • More bike safety information included in driver’s license testing;
  • A central cycling hub where bike commuters can grab a shower and store their bikes during work hours;

Initiative connects journalists and filmmakers to enrich storytelling

Nov. 20, 2014, 1:15 p.m., Posted by Jess Search

Jess Search is CEO of the BRITDOC Foundation, which Knight Foundation supports to promote excellence in journalism.

A few years ago here at the BRITDOC Foundation we began noticing the deepening relationship between journalism and documentary. It felt like a lot of long-form stories that used to be covered elsewhere were moving to documentary and that many younger people who would once have trained as journalists were more interested in making films.