Official Blog of the Education Exchange Corps

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ubuntu Hackathon: Bringing Ferguson and St. Louis Together for Our Kids - Deadline to Register Is October 18

On November 1, 2014, kids will be mentored in Ferguson as they build the "app of their dreams" to solve a problem that they face in their lives. The event, called a Hackathon, brings professionals in different areas - coding, designing, marketing - together to work with kids over the course of a weekend.

This Hackathon will have an added element: ubuntu. Ubuntu is the philosophy that we can best solve conflicts by bringing opponents together in an environment of reconciliation and understanding. UbuntuHack: Ferguson will bring together community members and police officers to share in the common goal of providing our children with a better future.

I got involved in this project when the Co-Founder of Qeyno Labs, Kalimah Priforce, came to St. Louis to visit. Kelley Nayo, Chief Operating Officer for Qeyno Labs, arranged our meeting after seeing me speak about the Education Exchange Corps at the Missouri History Museum's Ferguson town hall meeting.

I met Kalimah at the airport and we spoke over dinner. I told him about the work the Education Exchange Corps has done in St. Louis and our plans for the future. He introduced me to the great work Qeyno Labs is doing, and he shared with me the concept of ubuntu. We spent the next hour touring St. Louis. He was amazed by the quick transitions that are visually apparent when going from an affluent area to a poor one. He had many questions, and I answered as many as I could.

When I left him, I wished him the best, and I asked him to do all he could to bring one of his Hackathons to St. Louis. I promised to do all I could to help Qeyno Labs, and St. Louis, succeed.

St. Louis, this is an amazing opportunity to give a group of kids an experience of a lifetime. To do it, we will need:

1) KIDS! Ages 11-18;

2) Coders, developers, programmers, and designers - those with technical expertise;

3) Marketers, business developers, and community leaders who can help make these kids' plans a reality;

4) Volunteers willing to work behind the scenes to make sure the event runs smoothly;

5) Community members, police officers, and others that want to be involved in the healing of our community. Protests in St. Louis have highlighted the need for change. Those that occurred just this past weekend in so many areas of St. Louis have the potential to bring us all closer together if we take the next step. This Hackathon is a great opportunity to take that step toward dialogue, progress, and community.

I'd be happy to answer any questions I can, but you can learn a lot from the event website, located at You can register on the site. The deadline to register is October 18.

Feel free to contact me as well. My email is below.

Elad Gross
President and CEO
Education Exchange Corps

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