CBS Local: Mayor’s Office Teams Up With Black Male Engagement Network To Host City’s First “Hackathon”

By Cherri Gregg

YesWeCode MBKHack Philadelphia Hackathon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia will host its first “hackathon” as part of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.” The goal is to get kids of color focused on coding.

Three days, where young people team up with professional software developers and innovators to create new technology, that is socially conscious.

“If you were to put Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs and Amelia Earheart in the same room– then you would get our hackathon,” says Kalimah Priforce, co-founder of Qeyno Labs and organizer of the “My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon.”

The White House recently named the tech guru a “Champion of Change” for hosting a Black Male Achievement Hackathon in Oakland.

Priforce’s organization is known for creating apps that tackle issues like human trafficking and mass incarceration. So, he’s bringing a similar initiative to Philadelphia, this time expanding outreach to boys and of girls of color.

“We want to improve the life outcomes of young men of color in how they approach computer science, how they approach coding as a lucrative future for them,” says Priforce. “But our hackathon is not about building the next 3 a.m. pizza, they get to be the producers of content, they get to be producers of the applications that the app is hosted on and they actually build something that addresses a problem or opportunity that they see in their community every day.”

The free hackathon takes place November 14-16th at the String Theory Charter School. And there’s still room for young people and developers to sign up. Go to and sign up by November 14.

The “My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon” comes thanks to a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Philadelphia and the Black Male Engagement Network.

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"Diversity brings so much more to the table - and by focusing outside of the usual and rewarding all sorts of people in tech - we can only make it better. #YesWeCode is doing exactly that."
- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple