Post #Fix216 Focus: Hack Cleveland is formalizing our structure and streamlining our programmatic work to provide a focus on criminal justice reform and workforce development for the digital economy in Cleveland.

Background on 2016-2017 Focus: Within the digital economy, which encompasses information technology, Big Data, digital media and a broad array of associated industries currently present in Northeast Ohio, our goal is to create space for underrepresented communities. As a more structured and focused entity, Hack Cleveland will be better positioned to provide immediate and much needed impact for our communities through equity, inclusion and retention for Cleveland’s rapidly growing digital economy.

2016-2017 Tactics: While Hack Cleveland’s first event was a hackathon, events in 2016 and 2017 have included and will include multiple forms of convening, such as connecting local talent with like-minded organizations through events like TechUp (the Tech Jobs tour) and Meeting of the Minds, and hosting facilitated discussions on digital inclusion with local thought leaders.

There is an urgency within [our] community — people need not only jobs but healthy workplace support networks to remain employed. There is equal urgency to capitalize on the rapid growth we’re seeing in Northeast Ohio by ensuring our communities aren’t overlooked, excluded or misrepresented. #HackCLE believes that our evolution into a more clearly focused and sustainable entity aligns well with our long term vision of creating a thriving city that is stronger from confronting and addressing systemic injustices and inequities both as a moral and economic imperative.

  Photo  by Jopwell /  CC BY

Photo by Jopwell / CC BY

Hack Cleveland is uniquely positioned, our diverse working collective is an intentional reflection of what good can happen when spaces are not only inclusive, but affirming.

Together, we are hacking away at the systems that create margins. We are both at the table and building it.

For many of us, being at the table is a radical social justice act in itself. However, we recognize that isn’t enough. Through our collective we’re actively dismantling and extending the table.