Aspirations Tech Executive Director Allen Gunn -
“Technology is for building and strengthening relationships, it is not a replacement for them”
Everett Program Impactathons start with a social justice issue specific to the needs of the community. We analyze the social, political and economic context around the issue through activities and discussions that are engaging and dynamic.
We find accessible tech tools to critically engage with the social justice issue and practice using technology for the social good
We build near to peer and peer to peer learning communities to make technology more accessible
We deeply engage with community partners to connect with the social justice issue. Collaboration ranges from hosting the space to holding guest workshops and discussions
THE JOURNEY OF IMPACTATHONS
Everett Program Impactathons were born in 2015 out of a desire to empower and build student’s confidence when engaging with technology. There exists many intersectional barriers and limitations for communities of color, first generation, low-income, women and non-binary students, who have been historically marginalized and discouraged from entering the field of technology. Thus, we strongly believe that building near to peer (n2p) and peer to peer (p2p) learning communities and mission-driven social impact work, together are powerful motivators for learning technology as a means for addressing the social, economic, and political barriers that underserved communities continue to face today.
In collaboration with our organizational partners and friends, the Digital NEST, Impactathons flourished as weekend events for underrepresented youth with a focus on bridging tech and social justice through n2p & p2p community learning and partnerships across the Santa Cruz/Bay Area. Through our Impactathon model, we sought to make an impact on our students and communities through collaborative, critically engaging, and hands-on work that inspired them to see themselves as changemakers and technology as a tool for change. Now we move forward with the goal to make the Impactathon model replicable across more communities because we believe that it will empower more people to continue creating a future where technology can be seen as a powerful tool for social justice.