Goodie Hack Atlanta (2016): a Dope Experience for People of Color in Tech

...quite possibly, the coolest community service project you’ll ever experience.

Goodie Hack: Team Urban Tecs | Photo: Goodie Nation
Team Urban Tecs - Photo: Lynsey N. Weatherspoon for Goodie Nation

Last month Sherri and I had an opportunity to lend our expertise to a local organization supporting communities impacted by gentrification. Goodie Nation was putting on a Goodie Hack - a hackathon series for under-served communities. This was our first time taking part in an event like this, so going in we really had no idea what to expect. We were hoping to do a little networking while doing some good at the same time, but we ended up walking away with so much more.

People of Color Do Tech Well

This was truly my first experience being in a room with so many brown faces all centered around technology. Experts in various fields, from Programming in Ruby, Python, and other back end development disciplines, to designers - both native app, software and web design, to user experience professionals, PR, Marketing, Video, Film, and Photography professionals - the people on-hand ran the gamut of folks who are on-top of their game within new media. It was definitely something I felt honored to be a part of.

The Goodie Hack Experience

The event started on a Friday evening where the teams who made it through phase one, Goodie Ideation, pitched their business ideas to a room full of professionals looking to donate their time, resources and expertise to help the cause. Since Sherri wasn’t able to participate on Friday, the privilege of choosing a team was left to me, and it wasn’t an easy decision. My strategy included meeting several of the founders; taking notes during the pitches and then figuring where our skills aligned along with our personal interest. In the end I decided to team up with Urban Tecs. I knew we could make a big impact with them and their mission resonated with me.

The Urban Tecs Website (Minimal Viable Product) - Customdesigned and Developed in Less Than 48hrs
The Urban Tecs Website (Minimal Viable Product) - Custom Designed and Developed in Less Than 48hrs

The folks on our team were dope. Sherri took part virtually and the gang felt like a crew who’d been working together forever. We still talk regularly and are planning to team up again for phase three, Goodie Marketing, this weekend.

Yes, the hours are long, and we were most def worn out by the end of the last day. We hadn’t prepared to work until well after 1:am two days in a row. But, it was hella worth it. (Those chairs though, left something to be desired. My ass hurt dawg!)

If you’re down for a good event with good food, you won’t be disappointed here. There was plenty of food and snacks - damn, that’s my kind of thing. The food was great, from pizza to grub from Zoes (one of our favorite spots!), there was no lack of good things to eat. And though I was personally heads down most of the time, and didn’t eat much during the event, I was at least smart enough to bring home a sizable to-go bag when I bounced each night.

The event was done really well. The organizers obviously care about what they’re doin’ and it really shows. From the DJ on hand, to the food and the large amount of staff, public relations people, social media pro’s, photographers, etc. they’re doin’ this for a reason - to give back to a city and the people they love.

There weren’t any attitudes or superiority complexes. Seemed most folks were pretty down to earth and that was a good feeling too.

Goodie Marketing

Goodie Marketing is Phase III in the Goodie Innovation Tech Incubator for connecting those affected by gentrification to nearby economic opportunities. It’s a mashup of social good, tech, entrepreneurship and highly-skilled people, and, quite possibly, the coolest community service project you’ll ever experience.

Goodie Marketing begins this weekend, November 18-20. They’ll take those same groups and help them with their social media, promotion and other related things to ensure they’ve got a great shot at success by getting their name out there in the ether. We’ll be participating virtually on Saturday, and may pop in on Sunday for the pitch, so if you go, be sure to say hello! You can also follow our team’s progress on twitter at @UrbanTecsATL and of course @FlyDuo.

I wanna give a huge thanks to everyone on team Urban Tecs: LaTrice, Kat, Sam, Satyam and of course Miss Sherri baaaby! :)

Special big-ups to WOCInTechChat.com for providing the images we used to create the design and build for the new Urban Tecs website, social media branding, and other digital branding.

For more event photos, visit the Goodie Nation Facebook page.