Knight Blog

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

Code for America's Jen Pahlka on the selection of Detroit, Macon and Philadelphia as partners for 2012 program

Sept. 7, 2011, 11:36 a.m., Posted by Jennifer Pahlka



Jen Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America writes:

As we are nearing the end of Code for America’s inaugural fellowship year, we’re excited to announce the forward-thinking city governments we will be partnering with in 2012. Today we’re honored to share that the cities of DetroitMacon and Philadelphia have been selected as partners for the Code for America program next year.

At the core of Code for America is a belief that we live in an age of participation, but that our public institutions haven’t benefited equally from the technologies and approaches that have so dramatically changed the business and social landscape in the past decade.  We are blessed to have the support of an institution that also believes fundamentally in the power of civic engagement to create a better world. The John S. and James L Knight Foundation is supporting Code for America’s engagements in these three cities, through its Technology for Engagement Initiative, which funds projects that help communities use technology to take action.

BME Challenge: Philadelphia father fights against domestic violence in honor of his only daughter

Sept. 7, 2011, 8:29 a.m., Posted by Marika Lynch


Philadelphia father William Spratley is raising his three grandsons after losing his only daughter. Recently, Spratley uploaded a video as part of the BME Challenge to talk about how his daughter’s death spurred him to be an advocate for eradicating domestic violence. 

“Whatever it takes me to do, to make sure I have my voice heard and listened to, I plan on doing it,” Spratley said in the video.



Communication is Aid video illustrates the importance of information for communities in crisis

Sept. 7, 2011, 6:23 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

An animated video, Communication is Aid, makes the case that in crises, knowing what’s happening, where to go for assistance and who to call for help is crucial to survival and recovery. The video points out that during a natural or manmade disasters, information itself is as crucial to people’s survival as other types of more traditional aid. It also describes the positive impact of two-way communication in a crisis.

The video was produced by Infosaid, a collaboration of Internews and the BBC World Service Trust.