MLK Meets Silicon Valley?!?

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I’m thrilled to be taking part in Oakland’s very first "StartUp Weekend": February 7-9!

Too many urban youth are slipping through the cracks. We need to stop wasting their genius -- and start celebrating and supporting it.

#YesWeCode -- our national initiative to support the movement to teach 100,000 low-opportunity youth to code -- is partnering with the amazing Qeyno Labs and Impact HUB Oakland to make this event a success!

During the weekend, we’ll explore the question: Could an app have saved Trayvon Martin’s life?

The weekend will feature the first global "hackathon" centered on Black Male Achievement and more. For those new to the term, a "hackathon" is a creative session in which innovators, coders and designers work together to create cool stuff. People from different technical backgrounds and cultures will create unique solutions from scratch -- from websites, to mobile apps, to my personal favorite, robots!

At the end, each team will have the opportunity to pitch its creation to a panel of judges. The panel's expertise reflects the following five tracks: education, health, restorative justice, video gaming and environment.

I’ll be doing the keynote at Saturday’s evening gala, and I would love to see you there. It's going to be a magical evening filled with #YesWeCode superstars and leaders from across business, government and social sectors. We will also be taking part in other festivities during the weekend.

Please join me. Even if you’re not a big "computer person" (I'm still learning myself!), it will be inspiring. You will meet game-changers from all over the globe -- plus bright, passionate young people who aren’t afraid to hack a positive future for themselves, and for us all. And there will be national news media and local tech entrepreneurs.

There is no doubt that this weekend will be a crucial step in creating a Silicon Valley of which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud!



See you in Oakland,

Van

p.s. #YesWeCode is online on TwitterFacebook and our new website.

 

See below for weekend schedule:

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