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Last weekend, Impact Hub Oakland hosted Oakland’s first Startup Weekend Black Male Achievement (SWOBMA). Kalimah Priforce says of the motivation behind the event, “Black boys are the most vulnerable population in the United States when it comes to incarceration rates and graduation rates,” he said. “It’s the population most ignored and that people are most afraid of. […] I personally want ‘hackathon’ to be a common word in every black home, in every Latino home, in every girl’s home,” he said. “For those underrepresented populations, a hackathon [should be] something they can see themselves in.”

Below are a few highlights from the event, and you can listen to SW BMA Organizers Ayori Selassie and Kalimah Priforce discuss this event on NPR here.

Van Jones gave the keynote at Saturday’s evening reception and shared his vision for Rebuild The Dream’s latest program, #YesWeCode, a major initiative to help train 100,000 low-opportunity youth become the next generation of world-class computer programmers.

The packed house also saw a panel: “Building a Silicon Valley that lives up to Dr. King’s dream” with Kimberly Bryant (Black Girls Code), Obai Rambo (Black Young Democrats of San Francisco), Marc Philpart (PolicyLink), Shaun Tai (Oakland Digital), Nicole Sanchez (Kapor Center for Social Impact), and Dan Portillo (Greylock Partners). 

Oakland Local




Claire Topalian Claire Topalian
(@clairetopalian) Blog, Professional Writing, Communications and PR Specialist. I craft compelling, mission-driven content for companies and individuals that amplifies brand awareness, fosters community, and drives engagement. My experience includes work with tech startups, major corporations, and international non-profits. @clairetopalian