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My Brother’s Keeper, BMe, and Qeyno Labs Create an Impactful Partnership!

Philly Speaks had the pleasure of attending the Innovate Philly Town Hall on November 3rd, 2014 at Philly’s New Innovation Lab- 1401 JFK Blvd. BMe Community organized alongside White House program “My Brother’s Keeper” with Qeyno Labs to address and brainstorm ways to transform Philadelphia’s communities and offer solutions to help drive the city’s future in tech innovation. The attendance showed how important our community values developing youth.

CEO and Founder of BMe Community Trabian Shorters said, “Our combined efforts are part of a new conversation taking place to transform our communities. Many attempt community transformation by asking what is wrong in the community, what has to be fixed: at the Innovate Philly Town Hall we will be asking what is right, what is possible and how can everyone contribute their skills and passion to cultivate Philadelphia’s young innovators.”

Kalimah Priforce, Co-founder of Qeyno Labs expanded on his statement during the event, “Philadelphia, Oakland, New Orleans, and throughout many cities in the US and globally, we are seeing a rising interest in youth who want to upload their own apps, rather than just downloading someone else’s app. Their schools are stuck with a 20th century model of content consumption, while their 21st century minds know better than we do that they are capable of so much more.”

Meeting Panelists Included:

  • Anthony Martin, founder of Urban Youth Mentor Program

  • Dr. Jamie Bracey, founder of Creative Tech Solutions

  • Kalimah Priforce, co-founder of Qeyno Labs

  • Lawrence James, co-founder and CEO of Connexus Technology

  • Sylvester Mobley, founder and executive director of Coded by Kids

  • Yasmine Mustafa, CEO of ROAR for Good

  • Youngjin Yoo, director of Center for Design+Innovation at Temple University

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Qeyno Labs is a hackathon incubator that harnesses the interests of high potential youth from low-opportunity settings into STEM career pathways. Qeyno Labs is proudly committed to providing playful learning experiences to the world by making “hackathon” a household word in every home and to lift innovation in every community.

BMe Community is a real-world social network for building more caring and prosperous communities inspired by Black men. These men lead in matters such as economic opportunity, violence prevention, youth development, re-entry for the formerly incarcerated, small business development and the environment. BMe invites people of all backgrounds, races, and genders to work together with us to build more prosperous communities.

The #YesWeCode initiative targets low-opportunity youth and provides them with the necessary resources and tools to become world-class computer programmers. #YesWeCode will recruit hundreds of grassroots training programs and team up with major technology partners, celebrities and political leaders to promote the goal of training 100,000 low-opportunity youth to become high-level computer programmers.

The Innovation Lab is a key piece of the City of Philadelphia’s overall plan to build an infrastructure of innovation within municipal government. Once two separate meeting rooms, the Lab is now a fresh, bright, technology-enabled space in the Municipal Services Building where City employees and external stakeholders can meet to think creatively and generate solutions to the City’s most pressing problems.

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In September 2014, President Obama issued a challenge to cities, towns, counties and tribes across the country to become “MBK Communities.” This challenge represents a call to action for all members of our communities, and mayors in particular, as they often sit at the intersection of many of the vital forces and structural components needed to enact sustainable change through policy, programs, and partnerships.

The MBK Community Challenge encourages communities (cities, rural municipalities, and tribal nations) to implement a coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategy for improving the life outcomes of all young people to ensure that they can reach their full potential, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born. http://www.whitehouse.gov/my-brothers-keeper

For more information, visit: http://www.mbkhack.com/

By: Tiffanie Stanard, Philly Speaks Producer

Follow us on Twitter @Philly_Speaks

(Cover) Photo Credit: Johnathon Henninger

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