Announcing Code Switch: A June Civic Hackathon hosted by Blacks in Tech, Umbra, Hennepin County, and Open Twin Cities

Sharing both for folks who might be interested in attending and folks who might be interested in replicating…

Please Join us for Code Switch, June 4 & 5 at the Downtown Minneapolis Library! Visit to RSVP, vote and comment on ideas, and submit your own ideas.

Code Switch is intense, fast-paced, extremely fun [organized] chaos. Code Switch is a free two-day civic hackathon that seeks to achieve maximum social impact by expanding participation among members of underserved communities. Everybody is welcome to join diverse project teams to brainstorm and create products and solutions to enhance economic opportunity, education, health, and safety in the African American and other underserved communities.

We provide breakfast, lunch, caffeine, wifi, and a beautiful space to work. You provide the creativity.

Is this event for me? Really?


**Yes**. Code Switch is for everyone. Tired of seeing problems in your community continue to go unsolved, and, in many cases, get worse? Join us at Code Switch. You hold the key to understanding issues and opportunities in your own community. Code Switch is for you.

Ask yourself these questions:

Have you ever had the thought, “This service should be easier”?

Have you ever had an idea for how to strengthen your community but did not know how to get started?

Are you frustrated that you have been unable to use your skills to help solve critical social problems?

Are you curious about the entrepreneurial approach of the technical community and want to see how it works?

If you answered yes, then join us at Code Switch to help us find paths to closing gaps and create new opportunities. Register TODAY at !

What is a Hackathon?


A hackathon is an event in which community members, designers, project managers, programmers, and people who just want to learn, collaborate intensively on projects. There are no fixed rules for what Code Switch project teams can work on. Projects can be technical or non-technical. Projects can be proposed by *anybody* (yes, anybody). You don’t need a detailed plan. Projects can begin and end at Code Switch, so don’t feel like proposing a project means you’ll have to maintain them forever. Some projects will be created on the day of the event and some projects teams will decide to join forces. This is your event, you decide how you spend your time! Don’t be shy, we are an open, supportive community who want to see you succeed!

Great solutions are born when innovators from the community are involved in the development process—from ideation to launch.

Our goal is to work together to develop ideas for solutions for problems that affect Minnesotans. Here are some example outcomes of potential projects:

An app that helps people find affordable housing A get out the vote plan for your neighborhood A website for discovering high performing schools A service to locate nearby job openings An interactive map that shows neighborhood living costs and economic opportunities To get your creative juices flowing, we have also identified a few “challenge areas” for you to consider when thinking about projects:

Closing the Achievement Gap

Economic Opportunity

Civic engagement

Health & Wellness

Connected Cities: improve access and safety for communities of color For more inspiration, have a look at the recent GeoCode 2.0 event where participants focused on issues of geography and technology in the Twin Cities: .

Great! How Do I Sign Up?



We can’t wait to see you on June 4th to discuss, brainstorm, laugh, and build.


The Code Switch Organizing Team

Code Switch is sponsored by the MN chapter of Blacks in Technology, Hennepin County, Open Twin Cities, and Umbra: Search African American History / UMN Libraries. It is part of Hack for MN and the National Day for Civic Hacking 2016 to leverage open data, technology, and community for civic innovation and change.

This entry was posted in Conferences, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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