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Hack Nation Creating Viral Change

Hack Nation Creating Viral Change

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community...” –Cesar Chavez

A flame was sparked in 2014 at the Hack the Central District Cultural Innovation Conference (“Hack the CD”). Great minds convened to tackle issues affecting their community and, as a result, many noteworthy solutions were introduced. Of those ideas that surfaced, Hack Nation organically sprang forth from the desire to share the example set by Hack the CD with neighborhoods across the globe.

Hack Nation holds the vision of being a facilitator of change at the neighborhood level, a target base that separates it from most other organizations and efforts. As an entity that enacts human-centered design and approach, Hack Nation empowers resource-constrained communities to use their intellectual, ingenuitive, and skill-based wealth to change their realities.

Leveraging community assets is an identifiable theme in many of its programs. For example, the Africatown Seattle Entrepreneurs Meetup Group seeks to share knowledge and provide a productive environment for like-minded people to incubate ideas. Black Dot, a membership community for black entrepreneurs, is an example of an idea that came out of last year's Hack the CD event and has continued to thrive. Hack Nation has partnered with Black Dot to pilot Accelerate Africatown, a series of workshops and bootcamps throughout the year that help propel seed stage and existing businesses. The Seattle Black Music Summit is a yearly gathering of music-related artists that increases awareness of opportunities and strengthens the networks between creatives and potential collaborators. Hack Nation also now houses the Hack the CD conference under its umbrella of awesomeness.

Its programming is just a small glimpse into the potential Hack Nation has of bringing inclusive innovation to non-dominant populated neighborhoods. They are shifting the individual mindset to a collective prosperity for the community. Get ready for a Hack Nation event near you!

Visit their website or find out how you can support here.

All Power to the People with Black Out WA

All Power to the People with Black Out WA

“We say all power to the people- Black Power to the Black People, Brown Power to the Brown People, Red Power to the Red People, Yellow Power to the Yellow People.”

This quote, taken from the Black Panther Party’s slogan, perfectly sums the importance of self-advocacy for marginalized groups around the world. Considering Seattle’s own extensive history with the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement, it is no wonder that this mantra would be embodied in one of the most crucial community organizations in town- Black Out WA.

As an anti-racist, Washington-based advocacy group focused on building capacity around political advocacy & civic engagement for families of African descent, there is a marked difference between the work Black Out WA does compared to other policy-focused advocacy groups.  They are led and organized by members of the Black community.

For people of African descent who suffer the trauma of colonialism and racism, it would be remiss not to counter the dominant white culture and practices that fuel oppressive institutions with a more culturally-reflective and holistic approach to legislative work. In recognition of this, Black Out WA intentionally bases their approach, attitudes, and focus around pan-African culture, making sure to engage every group of the community from young to old.

In that same vein, Black Out WA partners with other community organizations and interests groups to ensure that the work being done reflects an expressed need from the community. Some of their projects include Legal Financial Obligation Reform and the “2nd Chance Act”, An Anti-Racist Approach to Parole: two efforts led by the Black Prisoners Caucus. Through their work with the BCIA, they have also helped secure $2.2 million for the William Gross Cultural Innovation Center. Moving forward they will be supporting the Seattle King County NAACP- Police Accountability and the Seattle Black Book Club with their #BlackLivesMatter Police Accountability platform; aiding the All-City Black Student Union, NAACP-Education, and Black Law Student Association on their #ArrestTheLegislature campaign; supporting EPIC’s work with #NoNewYouthJail; and furthering the causes of the BCIA and NAACP-Economic Development in supporting Black entrepreneurship and growth with the #StopBlamingHookahLounges initiative.

Learn more about their work by following their Facebook page. Meetings are also held every 1st and 3rd Friday, 6 PM, at the Black Power Epicenter (for Black community members only).